Congratulations, you are now in charge of a sensor manufacturing company. Your company was formed when a former monopoly was broken up into identical competitors.
What are sensors? Cameras, biometric devices, and labs-on-a-chip are all sensors. New sensor businesses are being created today in arenas as diverse as genetics, power generation, and satellites. The most relevantpoint from your perspective is that your sensors are incorporated into your customer’s products. You are in a business-to-business market, not a direct-to-consumer market.
To access proformas, click the proformas menu in the Capstone Spreadsheet; to access the annual reports, click the Courier menu in the Capstone Spreadsheet or, on the website, login to your simulation and then click the Reportslink.
1.4 DECISION OVERVIEW
You need to coordinate strategy and tactics across all functional areas of your company: • Research & Development or R&D • Marketing • Production • Finance
Your simulation might also include Human Resources, TQM (Total Quality Management)/Sustainability, Labor Negotiation and Advanced Marketing modules. On the website, your simulation Dashboard will tell you ifmodules are scheduled.
1.1 TIME FOR A SHAKEUP
Although last year’s financial results were decent, your products are getting old, your marketing efforts are falling short, your production lines need revamping and your financial management is almost nonexistent. You and your management team must correct these problems.
1.2 THE CAPSTONE® COURIER
The Capstone Courier is an industry report that haskey information about your company and your competitors. The Courier will help you find opportunities and identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
The Courier displays “Last Year’s Results.” For example, the Courier available at the start of Round 2 will display the results for Round 1. The Courier available at the start of Round 1 displays Last Year’s Results for Round 0, when allcompanies have equal standing. As the simulation progresses and strategies are implemented, results among the competing companies will begin to vary.
1.4.1 RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (R&D)
R&D is responsible for inventing new sensors and re-engineering old ones. R&D determines each sensor’s physical characteristics: • Size (The sensor’s dimensions; there is a trend towards miniaturization.) •Performance (The sensor’s speed and sensitivity; there is a trend towards improvement.) • MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure; the sensor’s expected life span, measured in hours.) R&D decisions affect the perceived age of your sensors. Revising a sensor’s size and/ or performance makes the market view it as a newer product. R&D decisions affect the material cost of your sensors. Decreasing size, increasingperformance and increasing MTBF increase the cost of material. The length of time required to revise a sensor varies. Slight revisions can complete in three or four months; more comprehensive projects, two or three years. The longer the project, the greater the expense: a six-month project costs $500,000; a 12-month project costs $1,000,000. R&D invents sensors by assigning a name, performance,size and MTBF. Inventing a sensor always takes more than a year. Your new sensor cannot be built without an assembly line, and new assembly lines take one full year to install. If you invent a sensor, you must coordinate with Production to time the delivery of your design with the delivery of your assembly line. The number of simultaneous projects affects the time required for each project tocomplete. As you add projects, dates can slip. Be sure to check the revision dates of all your projects.
The Courier is available from two locations: • On the website, login to your simulation then click the Reports link; • From the Capstone Spreadsheet (available from the website’s Downloads area), click Courier in the menu bar.
1.3 PROFORMAS & ANNUAL REPORTS
Proformas and annual reports both...