The purpose of the activity was for the student to analyze the numbers and business model of a large company listed in Dow Jones index. Specifically, we wanted you to analyze its business’ strategy through information available in Internet as annual reports and PESTEL and SWOT Company’s templates.
We expected you to experience the role of an assistant (intern) of the CFO – Chief Financial Officer of one particular company we assigned you out of 800 public companies. Your role-play duty was to provide the CFO all the information he/she needed in order to write the last annual earnings report (2015 data) that the company is supposed to send to the shareholders.
In this respect, we gave you access to financial data of your assigned company. You were supposed to write the earning report the CFO would use to deliver the company’s results. Once you did it, we expect you to agree with us that producing the numbers is not as hard as to sell them to your audience –your CFO and his later to shareholders.
At this stage, some students did found hard to find all data needed to produce the earning report in so far financial or insurance corporations do not follow the same accounting rules as the industrial or service companies. Detecting this dissonance was a good learning point for the students.
Let’s start reminding we provided those of you that did not have financial knowledge with access to the Pitly lessons. https://projects.invisionapp.com/share/QF7HRQH7N#/screens
As well, Mentor Air Gas was available for any questions could arise in this field.
As we said above, in elaborating the Earning Report we asked you specifically to link the financial results to your findings about the business’ strategy of your company. In this regard, we think that one of the reasons to connect a SWOT / PESTEL analysis to an earnings report is that you can relate all into numbers. The business strategy converts into numbers when the company executives decided to put in practice. Also, a good SWOT / PESTEL analysis can prevent the companies to fall or make mistakes that rivals can take advantage on.
We would liked that many of you had taken advantage of Sun Tzu teachings shown in chapters 2, 3 of the ibook. Let’s share some worthwhile reflections: “Here we will see the importance of the first move. Generally whoever occupies the field first and awaits their enemy has the strongest position; whoever arrives late and has to rush is weakened. So, those who are skilled in warfare will choose the battlefield rather than be drawn into it. Whoever is able to make their enemy come willingly will do so by offering some kind of advantage, and whoever is able to prevent it does so undermining their strength.”
We were expecting a bit more justifications about the number behind the numbers, not only a simple description. When you are analyzing a company you have to take the 5 W rule from the publishing industry: WHY, WHO, WHERE, WHAT, WHEN. The most important is WHY. Why this ratio drops like that? A mere description of an evolution doesn’t justify the changes. A deeper analysis is needed. In this regard we have encouraged you to always go further in your analysis, you will always find something that may be the KEY.
Last but not least, we would like to offer you some insights on your aggregate performance in this activity. We’re sorry a gloomy 22% of the enrolled students decided not to face the challenge.
On the good side, only 3% of the ones who did deliver the activity did not accomplish it.
To sum up the performance of the students who successfully completed the activity, figures are represented like:
61% have ample room to academically improve their work.
32% have solid conclusions about the company, but they could offer better explanations about the ratios results and take into account that business presentations templates need to be more professional looking.
4% have an outstanding performance close to our expectations and to the maximum reachable grade. With solid arguments, a good Risk and SWOT analysis and also a deep explanation about the numbers behind the ratios