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3 days to the test, i need some feedback

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Sharbel Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
08 Mar 2008
Posted:
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3 days to the test, i need some feedback

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:27 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Tell me how you rate this essay "Analysis of an Argument"

    The following appeared as part of an annual report sent to stockholders by Olympic Foods, a processor of frozen foods:
    "Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn how to do things better, they become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch print fell from 50 cents for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the processing of food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its 25th birthday, we can expect that our long experience will enable us to minimize costs and thus maximize profits."

    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.


    The argument states that time factor plays a major role in reducing the cost of production for companies; it argues that as the company moves on further on the learning curve it becomes more efficient in doing business. While this is true, the author makes a false analogy in his assumption that the Olympic Food celebrating its 25th anniversary will make it a better and more efficient company.

    It is a proven theory that the more companies advance on the learning curve the more they become efficient in doing business. Many variables such as the Total Quality Management and the outsourcing strategy has helped many companies while maintaining good quality to cut cost and in some cases offer better quality and service to their clients. But in all these cases these processes have been long and complex ones, therefore the oversimplification of this situation by the author is completely false, the simple fact of celebrating 25 years of experience does not make the company more efficient than last year.

    The author makes the mistake of assuming that time is the sole factor to becoming more efficient as a company. While it is good planning and a clear vision by the management that will set any company on the right track in order to achieve better results and become more efficient, this process takes time.

    The example of the color film given by the author, states that during a period of 14 years the cost of a 3 by 5 inch print fell from 50 to 20 cents and from 5 days to 1 day, this dramatic decrease in the cost is created by the introduction of a new technology for developing color films, this new technology allowed the reduction in cost is a short period of time and not throughout the 14 years period that the author states making the time factor irrelevant to the argument.

    Further more, if we wish to consider time as being the primary factor in this decrease in cost, the color film dropped in cost within a period of 14 years, assuming that the same logic should apply to Olympic food, the company should have made its dramatic cost reduction 11 years ago and not today which means that any additional reduction after that will be minimal due to macro and micro economical factors.

    Had the author presented any relevant and solid data to support his assumption, such as the company revealing a new production technology that will allow a considerable cut in the use of raw materials, or announced the outsourcing of one of its previously in house supplied tasks that will show a notable decrease on the expenses side of the income statement then his statement would have been a more logical and reasonable one instead of falling in the category of a generalized and superfluous statements.

    _________________
    Sharbel Nasr

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