I recently started studying for the GMAT and plan to take it this November at the latest. I just completed my first attempt at an AWA Essay and could really use some critiquing to further my writing techniques. Please feel free to comment below any suggestions you may have to improving this essay. Thank you!
“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.”
The assumptions in the passage create a flawed argument, in that the argument states that the costs of processing decreases as organizations become more efficient over time. This is flawed due to the underlying assumptions and inappropriate comparisons of Olympic Foods to a different service, such as film processing.
The first assumption is that the cost of processing decreases over time as organizations become more efficient. Ideally, the cost of processing would decrease, however, if the processing method requires sophisticated equipment in order to increase efficiency, then this assumption would be incorrect and weaken the overall argument.
The second flaw is Olympic Food’s price comparison to film processing during the 1970s. The film processing service company evidently decreased the cost of their services as they decreased the amount of time spent working on the print from five days to one day. However, the film processing company is not an adequate comparison to food processing, as food processing has varying shelf life due to the nature of the product, which could impact their overall cost of goods. For example, the shelf life of canned meat will differ from the shelf life of canned vegetables, and since they are not processed using the same machine, the costs of these goods will vary in price. The comparison of film processing to food processing is inappropriate, and thus weakens the argument that the cost of processing decreases over time.
Lastly, Olympic Foods believes that their long experience in food processing enables them to minimize costs and maximize profits. This statement doesn’t take into consideration the current economic climate, as well as the changes in the supply and demand for their products over the course of 25 years. Although Olympic Foods has been functioning for 25 years, that doesn’t mean their company is sustainable enough in the current climate to minimize costs. For example, the former video store, Blockbuster, had been functioning for almost 25 years before going out of business. Their demise was their lack of adaptability to the everchanging technological ecosystem and the current economic climate. If Olympic Foods is faced with a competitor that has a stronger business model than them, they will have to invest in new systems to maximize profits, which will not necessarily minimize costs. Their failure to consider their position amongst competitors and the current economic state weakens this argument.
In conclusion, the argument is flawed because it assumes the costs of processing decreases over time, and inappropriately compares themselves to a different industry with differing circumstances.