Business - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Prospects for a satellite engineering office in a remote community

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

An established engineering office needs to consistently monitor usual business measures such as financial analysis, revenue capture and employment opportunities to be sure that the operation is on the right track. Other areas that should be evaluated as part of an ongoing commitment are: community values, long-term relationships, and internal and external corporate culture. Without this evaluation Earth Tech runs the risk of not being able match their resources to meet the customer requirements and deliver effective solutions. Other areas that should be evaluated as part of an ongoing commitment are: community values, long-term relationships, and both internal and external corporate culture, to determine if there is a fit over the long term. This paper reviews the intangible aspects of business and discusses their relevance when conducting business in a remote community. It presents some of the issues that are of concern at present, evaluates how previous events, decisions, and past actions may have conspired to create these circumstances, and suggests actions or guidelines for future operations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

A strategic analysis of a kraft linerboard and sackkraft mill

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This project presents a strategic analysis of a linerboard and sackkraft mill. The industry analysis of the two different industries shows that both industries are facing substitution pressures and some growth that is largely occurring in non-traditional regions. Competitors are closing high cost facilities and new capacity being built represents low cost production. The cumulative effect of changes is a reduction in unit costs throughout each industry. The internal analysis of the company identifies the fundamental issues the company faces are low productivity and higher manning and energy costs. While the company has good reputation for quality, it has not been able to achieve cost parity with its competitors and remains unprofitable. The broad strategic direction recommended is to lower costs to achieve cost parity with key rivals, while maintaining a reputation for slightly better quality.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

Strategic analysis of a small information technology management consulting company

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Perceptron Technology Inc., an IT Management Consulting and Services company, provides consulting services to small corporate businesses. The B.C. small corporate market is a very attractive market to enter with 359,600 small companies and growing by >13,000 a year. Any company competing in this market has one critical success factor; highly skilled professionals with the specialized knowledge required to implement and maintain sophisticated business infrastructure and application solutions. A niche focused differentiation strategy is used because this service is perceived as unique. This strategy can be sustained and a competitive advantage can be obtained with core competencies in project management and in technical resource management. To achieve this, the company needs a capital infusion to grow, recruit and compensate highly skilled personnel and change the business model from a time and materials model to a fixed price long-term contracts model.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

Downside-risk performance measures and hedge funds

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This paper delves into performance measures which have recently emerged in an attempt to circumvent the well recognised flaws of conventional measures derived solely from mean and standard deviation. I use several of these measures to rank both equity indices as well as hedge fund strategies based on their likelihood of achieving a particular return level, relative to the downside risk associated with that target return. This method makes intuitive sense since one of the key characteristics of hedge funds is to seek to capture most upside while protecting the downside. While the conclusions clearly point to the superiority of hedge funds at all return thresholds, with the equity indices improving their rankings from worst to middle of the pack at the higher threshold levels, the use of the downside measures is not clear-cut and can be fraught with some ambiguity in the interpretation of rankings which they yield.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

Succession planning at the ministry of forests and range: A focus on developing an effective formal mentoring program

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This study examined the Succession Planning initiative at the BC Ministry of Forests and Range (MOFR), with a focus on developing an effective formal mentoring program. Using a change audit approach, the researchers examined work completed to date and interviewed Succession Planning team members and other project stakeholders, with the purpose of assessing the initiative against 8 key change project success criteria. Individual research in Mentoring, Visioning and Succession Planning also provided the MOFR with some further recommendations, with the in-depth assessment of the Mentoring program presented in this paper. Results of the audit indicated that while the MOFR's change initiative had some strengths, there are some key recommendations for improvement in all 8 dimensions. Additional improvements included succession mapping, stock flowcharting, communications strategy, stakeholder analysis, training and development, performance measures, vacancy chains and a pilot project. The research on mentoring resulted in some recommendations for developing a formal mentoring program.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

The opportunity for retail drug store development in rural British Columbia

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The drug store industry provides pharmacy service, cosmetic product and other health, beauty, and convenience goods to the population of British Columbia in urban, suburban and rural markets. Many different store formats compete in the industry using a variety of different strategic approaches. The mix of formats varies between urban and rural markets. A review of the value chain and a competitive force analysis identifies key success factors for the industry. The impact on these factors of differences in the rural markets and in particular the small population base must be considered. This determines the essential factors for successful competition in rural markets across the province. Over 25% of the British Columbian population lives in small rural communities. Development or expansion into these markets by companies who can achieve the key success factors will present the opportunity to increase market share and profitability.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

Analysis of Alcan Kitimat smelter's approach in maximizing values of the engineering services

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Alcan's smelter in Kitimat is equipped with 50 year old technology and is therefore close to the end of its operating life. A major capital investment will be required sometime in the future, to extend operations at this location. Each year, approximately $1 00 million is spent on sustaining projects and maintenance to support smelter operations. Sustaining projects fall into two categories, one is the replacement or upgrading of existing equipment and the other is the addition of new equipment to meet changing environmental, health and safety regulations. Managing the projects generated by these sustaining expenditures is a challenge for the engineering department. With limited manpower resources, Alcan engineering has to rely on the services of engineering consulting firms. Consulting engineering firms play a key role in managing these sustaining projects by providing manpower and expertise for all project phases. An isolated location further complicates the availability of support resources for all three major industries operating in Kitimat. Finding a satisfactory solution for both industry and consulting firms is a challenging task. For Alcan, a long term planning strategy cannot be fully developed without consideration and promotion of a long-term business plan.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

Strategic analysis of Business Objects versus Cognos Incorporated, providers of business intelligence software

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Business Objects is the current market leader in the Business Intelligence software industry, which provides query, analysis and reporting tools to organizations needing to access data stored in disparate sources. In 2003 Business Objects acquired Crystal Decisions the # 3 firm at the time, resulting in the current organization. During the period of acquisition Cognos Inc. released a new product, ReportNet that was extremely well - received, becoming their leading revenue product in a 12 month period. Based on this success, Cognos is in a position to overtake Business Objects as the #I provider in the space within a 2 - 3 year period. This paper proposes a marketing strategy and new product introduction to reduce the capability of Cognos to threaten Business Objects as the #I vendor. This marketing and product strategy is consistent with management preferences and produces a positive NPV.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

Defining a competitive strategy for the maintenance function at Eurocan pulp and paper mill

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Eurocan Pulp and Paper Co., Division of West Fraser Mills, Ltd. (the Company or Eurocan), located in Kitimat, BC, operates two paper machines and manufactures unbleached linerboard and haft paper. This project defines a strategy for maintenance at Eurocan. The Company has no sustainable competitive advantage and therefore needs to be competitive based on cost. Maintenance is a significant cost and therefore is subject to analysis. After examining maintenance, this paper found that Eurocan must continue to improve its maintenance function in order to improve equipment reliability. Additionally the Company must lower the cost of maintenance without affecting the improvement in reliability. Eurocan should continue to improve the performance of its in-house crews. As higher levels of efficiency are reached, the in-house teams can be further utilized by performing some administrative duties, performing more preventative maintenance work, or by taking on work that is currently being contracted out.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

Using technology for bed management in public hospitals - A strategic analysis and change management plan

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

As healthcare organisations in New South Wales, Australia, are facing the increased demands of an aging population, new approaches to improving access to services are being sought. This project explores the potential of applying information technology to the management of beds in a large Sydney public hospital. More specifically, this project addresses the cultural and organizational aspects of hospital environments and factors them into a change management plan for implementing bed management technology proposed by New South Wales Health, the State governing body overseeing public hospitals. In the process, the strategic implications of the proposed technology implementation are considered and alternative suggestions employing more advanced information technology are made. This study, then, acts as a change management guide for information technology implementations in general in public hospitals and offers insight into healthcare service demand management strategies and how business methodology and technology might be factored into assisting in this challenge.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)