Self Help

MBA In A Day What You Would Learn At Top-Tier Business Schools (If You Only Had The Time!) - Steven Stralser

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Matheus Puppe

· 46 min read

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  • MBA In A Day by Steven Stralser aims to provide readers with the most important concepts, tools, and principles taught at top business schools in a concise and accessible format.

  • The book is designed for busy professionals who do not have time for a full MBA program but want to learn essential business skills. It covers topics like marketing, finance, accounting, management, leadership, operations, and information technology.

  • The author, Dr. Steven Stralser, has years of experience teaching MBA courses at top business schools. The book draws from his expertise to distill key concepts without getting overly complex or theoretical.

  • Testimonials from business leaders, entrepreneurs, physicians and others praise the book for providing practical guidance on real-world business issues. They say it contains insights that can immediately improve performance.

  • The book aims to “level the playing field” for non-business professionals by teaching them fundamentals usually reserved for MBAs. It serves as a handy reference guide for success in an increasingly complex business world.

In summary, the book promises to deliver an MBA-equivalent education in a day by teaching essential business concepts, tools, and strategies in an accessible, straightforward manner for busy professionals. The testimonials support that it achieves this goal effectively.

Here is a summary of the key points about Sons, Inc. based on the information provided:

  • Sons, Inc. is located in Hoboken, New Jersey. This suggests it is a company based in New Jersey.

  • No other details are provided about the company, its industry, size, products/services, leadership, etc. The passage does not contain any substantive information about Sons, Inc. as a company.

  • The only fact stated is the company name and location. All other text in the passage is boilerplate copyright language and does not mention Sons, Inc. specifically.

  • In summary, the passage provides virtually no informative context or details about Sons, Inc. as a company based in Hoboken, New Jersey. The company name is the only factual information stated.

  • Human resources planning involves assessing current and future staffing needs to support organizational goals and objectives. It includes developing a strategic vision, analyzing short and long term goals, and understanding market changes.

  • Assessing staffing plans involves evaluating human capacity needs, estimating number of people needed per department/role, and making adjustments. Signs staffing may need changes include process breakdowns, absenteeism/turnover, and overtime issues.

  • Job descriptions define job responsibilities and requirements through a job analysis. They provide standards for evaluation, compensation guidance, hiring criteria, and responsibility expectations for employees.

  • A typical job description outlines the job title, overall description, reporting structure, duties, requirements, and evaluation criteria.

  • Implementation of the human resources plan involves recruitment, selection, appraisal, rewards, and employee development to attract and retain qualified employees. Different methods are used depending on company needs.

The human resources department will work with managers across departments to determine the best recruitment method. Various options are available, such as online/print ads, employee referrals, or using external agencies. Agencies can be paid fixed fees or a percentage of employee salary.

The company may also use employee leasing or outsourcing arrangements where another company provides contract workers. This provides flexibility for temporary needs.

Recruitment can look inside or outside the company. Internal hiring allows tapping existing talent but external hiring brings in new skills and perspectives. Selection methods include interviews, reference checks, tests, and background/drug checks depending on job requirements. Training is also important for development and retention, starting with orientation on policies and processes. Ongoing skill training maintains and improves employee abilities.

Here is a summary of the key points about professional development and leadership training:

  • As organizations grow and evolve, there is a need to develop internal candidates to fill leadership roles as current leaders step down or retire. Finding qualified external candidates is difficult and requires the right fit.

  • Leadership development programs aim to provide internal employees with the skills and experiences needed to take on leadership roles in the future. These programs typically involve job rotations with increased responsibility over multiple years.

  • The goal is to have qualified internal candidates ready to fill leadership positions when needed by providing leadership training and development opportunities. This helps ensure succession planning and reduces risk if current leaders suddenly leave.

As for current gaps in the skill set, some potential gaps that a leadership development program could address include:

  • Lack of strategic thinking and high-level business management experience
  • Poor communication and relationship building skills
  • Limited knowledge of other departments and functions
  • Insufficient exposure to senior leadership responsibilities
  • Gaps in technical skills due to employees staying in same role for long periods

The leadership development program could help fill these gaps by providing cross-functional exposure, training in strategic skills, mentorship from senior leaders, and temporary roles with expanded responsibilities. This would help develop a pipeline of internal candidates with the full range of skills needed for senior leadership positions.

  • Organizational behavior is the study of how individuals and groups perform within an organization to achieve common goals. It focuses on effective management, motivation theories, and organizational structure.

  • Managers use interpersonal, informational, and decisional roles to accomplish goals like defining objectives, organizing structures, motivating employees, and monitoring performance.

  • Important skills for managers include technical, human, and conceptual skills. Emotional intelligence is also important for managing people effectively.

  • Motivation is crucial for maximizing employee performance and the company’s intellectual capital. Job satisfaction strongly influences motivation.

  • Major motivation theories discussed include Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Herzberg’s hygiene-motivation factors, McGregor’s Theory X/Y, Vroom’s expectancy theory, Adams’ equity theory, and reinforcement theory. Understanding these theories can help managers motivate employees.

  • Organizational structures differ and influence how work is organized and processes are controlled within a company.

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs includes physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization. Needs lower down must be met before seeking higher level needs.

  • Herzberg identified hygiene factors (e.g. salary, working conditions) and motivational factors (e.g. achievement, recognition) that influence job satisfaction.

  • McGregor’s Theory X assumes employees dislike work while Theory Y assumes employees can enjoy work given the right conditions.

  • Theory Z emphasizes employee participation in decision making and less specialized career paths.

  • Expectancy theory ties effort to performance, rewards, and personal reward valuation.

  • Equity theory ties motivation to fairness of outcomes compared to others.

  • Reinforcement theory uses positive/negative reinforcement and punishment/extinction to shape behaviors.

  • Theories indicate importance of understanding employee needs, fair compensation, clear expectations of rewards for achieving goals. Managers should communicate openly to apply theories effectively.

Here is a summary of the key points about Yee’s job satisfaction and motivation from organizational behavior perspectives:

  • Adequate compensation program: The compensation plan should align with business goals, employee goals, and be achievable. It should also involve employee input. A merit-based pay system that rewards performance can effectively motivate employees.

  • Job security: Providing cross-training and flexibility can increase employees’ sense of job security, which boosts satisfaction and productivity.

  • Flexible work schedules: Allowing flexible schedules like compressed workweeks meets employees’ needs for work-life balance and prevents boredom, motivating better performance.

  • Employee involvement programs: Programs like job enlargement, job rotation, teamwork, open-book management, and worker empowerment give employees more responsibilities and involvement in decision-making, increasing their motivation.

  • Measuring satisfaction: Surveys like the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire and Job Descriptive Index evaluate aspects of satisfaction to help managers understand if their motivation efforts are successful.

Customer-based departmentalization is a type of organizational structure where departments are based on the type of customer served. For example, a company may have separate departments to serve business customers, consumer customers, government customers, etc. The company is organized around the different customer segments it serves.

The key aspects are that departments are formed based on the different customer groups, rather than factors like geography, product, or function. This approach aims to better focus the organization on meeting the specific needs of each customer type.

Here is a summary of the key points about leadership and team building:

  • Leadership involves influencing others to achieve goals, having a long-term vision, inspiring people, and creating positive outcomes through relationships. Successful leaders motivate people and carry out plans ethically despite setbacks.

  • Management focuses more on maintaining the status quo and executing tasks, while leadership challenges the current situation and looks to the future through innovation. Leaders reinvent roles and inspire growth in others.

  • The primary roles of managers are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Planning includes strategic, tactical, operational, and contingency planning at different timeframes to achieve objectives.

  • Organizing is establishing structure and assigning duties. Leading involves guiding, motivating and communicating vision. Controlling monitors performance to ensure plans are followed.

  • Effective team building requires establishing common goals, roles, structure and accountability. It also involves developing trust, facilitating communication, handling conflicts, and recognizing contributions to keep teams motivated and productive. Good leaders empower teams to maximize their strengths.

  • The organization chooses specific work targets and assigns employees to teams to carry out plans. Effective leadership is needed to motivate employees and ensure goals are achieved.

  • There are different leadership styles that can be employed, including autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. Most effective is using a combination of styles suited to the situation.

  • Motivating employees is important for leaders. This can be done through non-monetary means like health/wellness programs, open communication, and ensuring employees are properly matched to their roles. Providing training and opportunities for growth also boosts motivation.

  • Transformational leadership involves articulating a clear vision, empowering others in decision-making, and helping employees develop. Transactional leadership relies more on compliance through rewards/punishments. The most effective approaches incorporate aspects of both.

The corporate culture of an organization refers to the belief systems, goals, and values that shape how employees think and behave. A strong culture provides structure, control and can positively influence employee motivation and loyalty when the leader serves as a good role model. However, a misguided culture can hinder performance if it resists necessary change or pushes employees towards the wrong goals.

Leadership style greatly impacts corporate culture. A leader who leads ethically will foster an ethical culture. It takes a strong, visionary leader to shape lasting culture within an organization. Characteristics of successful cultures include caring, managing risk, having a clear focus and purpose, trust between employees and management, and rewarding employees based on merit.

Current leadership trends include coaching to guide rather than direct employees, empowering employees in decision-making, developing global leadership abilities, treating all employees equitably based on their individual needs, and providing regular feedback to help employees improve. These trends aim to strengthen relationships, motivation and overall organizational performance.

Providing feedback to employees, whether positive or critical, allows for learning and improvement if done constructively. Managers should be specific about what was observed, avoid misinterpretations by allowing employee input, and focus on open dialogue to build trust. Positive reinforcement encourages good performance, while constructive criticism addresses mistakes to better performance. The 360-degree assessment tool provides effective feedback. Overall, open communication and feedback create a trusting work environment and leads to better work results.

Teams are most successful when they have a “coach” who can help guide them through difficult stages of team development. Having a coach provides several benefits:

  • The coach can identify challenges the team is facing and help them work through issues in a productive manner. Coaching prevents teams from getting stuck in unproductive patterns.

  • As an outside observer, the coach can give objective feedback on how the team is functioning and areas they need to improve. This helps the team be more self-aware.

  • The coach acts as a mentor, drawing from their experience to advise the team. They help the team learn from past mistakes and implement best practices.

  • Coaching helps keep the team on track and focused on their goals. The coach ensures the team is utilizing their time effectively and making progress.

  • Morale and collaboration within the team improves with coaching. The coach facilitates better communication and helps resolve conflicts.

In summary, a coach plays an important guiding role in helping teams navigate difficult periods and be as successful as possible. They provide objective perspective and draw from experience to advise the team.

  • Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001 after numerous accounting scandals were uncovered, including hiding debt and inflating profits. Many executives faced criminal charges.

  • Arthur Andersen, Enron’s accounting firm, also suffered reputational damage for its role in covering up Enron’s accounting fraud.

  • Ethical lapses and fraud have an outsized negative impact on small businesses compared to large corporations. Small businesses report losses over 25% higher than large businesses due to fraud.

  • Companies can help address ethical issues by monitoring complaints and encouraging feedback from customers, shareholders and employees. Having anonymous hotlines cuts reported fraud losses in half.

  • Government regulations like the FTC and FDA help protect consumers from unethical practices like false advertising, unsafe products. Anti-trust laws encourage competition.

  • Whistleblowers who report unethical activities internally first must consider risks of retaliation. Federal laws like Sarbanes-Oxley Act protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

  • Post-Enron, companies are more focused on ethics compliance through measures like chief ethics officers and stronger codes of conduct and transparency. However, public trust in corporations remains low.

  • Negotiation is an important skill for business owners as they often negotiate with subordinates, suppliers, lenders, and others on a regular basis.

  • However, many have misconceptions about negotiation that make them uncomfortable with the process. They fear coming across as impolite, pushy, unfair, or cheap.

  • Contrary to belief, good negotiators do not have to be slick or deceitful. Negotiation should not be viewed as a “game” or “war” with a sole winner and loser. Successful negotiations result in both parties feeling they obtained value.

  • Business owners often feel they must either give in or be aggressive, but this is a false choice. Compromise and maintaining relationships are both possible.

  • Some believe negotiating with women will be easier, but gender does not determine one’s negotiation style or effectiveness. Both men and women can prioritize relationships or deals.

  • Overcoming these misconceptions helps business owners feel more comfortable with negotiation and improve their skills through a cooperative rather than adversarial approach.

  • Men often prefer a competitive, win-oriented approach to negotiation, while relationship-building is also important.

  • It is crucial to do your homework before negotiating - learn as much as you can about the other side, their personalities, goals, negotiation style, assumptions, and the topic being negotiated.

  • Establish your own goals and objectives for the negotiation. Choose a meeting location that puts you at ease. Reflect on your own negotiation style and how to improve it.

  • Gather facts and do research on the topic to support your position. Develop rapport with the other side in advance through informal meetings. Understanding the other party will help you negotiate more effectively.

The key points are:

  • When negotiating with your landlord to renew your lease at the same price as the previous year, you will need evidence that increasing the rent would be unfair.

  • Doing research on real estate prices, occupancy rates, new restaurant openings, and average rent increases in your area can provide objective data to support keeping the rent the same.

  • Sources of this type of information include the internet, local libraries, real estate agents, and talking to other building owners. Reading trade publications or industry association websites can also provide current market data.

  • Presenting this type of third-party market research demonstrates that increasing your rent is outside trends in your local industry and real estate market, bolstering your case that maintaining the current rent is fair. Objective data from independent sources helps counter subjective arguments from landlords about needing to increase rents.

Here are some key points about being a good listener in a negotiation:

  • Concentrate fully on what the other party is saying rather than preparing your response. Active listening is challenging but important.

  • Use gestures and verbal prompts like nodding, “go on”, “I see” to show you’re paying attention.

  • Restate what was said in your own words to confirm understanding.

  • Pay attention to body language - is the other person making eye contact, fidgeting, looking away? This provides context.

  • Ask for clarification if anything is unclear or ambiguous. Repeat back your understanding for confirmation.

  • Acknowledge the other person’s emotions and perspective, without necessarily agreeing. This builds rapport and trust.

  • Take occasional notes so you can refer back to specifics later in the discussion. But don’t let note-taking distract from listening.

The goal is to fully understand the other side’s position and interests through active, engaged listening. This lays the groundwork for productive problem-solving and mutual understanding.

Here is a summary of key points from the passage:

  • Be flexible and adjust your negotiation style to match the other side’s personality and approach.

  • Separate people from the issues being negotiated to keep things objective and avoid hurt feelings.

  • Act confident but not demanding through good body language, eye contact, and tone of voice.

  • Remain patient and calm even when emotions run high on the other side.

  • Ask open-ended questions to better understand the other perspective and gather information.

  • Don’t be afraid to walk away if an agreement is worse than your best alternative; this can incentivize the other side.

  • Watch out for “dirty tricks” like changing terms at the last minute (“nibbling”), good cop/bad cop routines, ultimatums, claims of limited authority, and being late or missing meetings. Address tricks directly and stick to principled negotiation.

The summary focuses on the key advice around adjusting negotiation style, separating people from issues, managing confidence and patience, asking questions, knowing when to walk away, and dealing with dirty negotiation tricks brought up in the passage.

Here are the key points about accounting and finance:

  • Accounting is the process of recording, classifying, reporting, and analyzing financial transactions and activities of a business. It captures all money flows.

  • The chief responsibilities of accounting/finance include facilitating operations, management control, decision making, external reporting, and taxes.

  • There are two main accounting methods - cash basis and accrual basis. Cash basis records income/expenses when cash is received/paid. Accrual basis records when income is earned/expenses are incurred.

  • Double-entry bookkeeping is the system used to track money flows. It requires debiting and crediting accounts with two entries per transaction for cross-checks.

  • The general ledger contains accounts for assets, liabilities, equity, income and expenses. It is updated from transaction journals.

  • Adjusting entries are made to match revenues and expenses within accounting periods.

  • Financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement) are prepared periodically to summarize financial activity.

  • Accounting and finance support operations, control, decision making, compliance and performance measurement for a business. Accountants play many roles within a company.

  • The accounting equation states that assets always equal liabilities plus owners’ equity. This ensures the double-entry accounting system remains in balance.

  • Debits and credits are used to record transactions, with total debits equaling total credits. Understanding this system is essential for accounting.

  • Assets are items of value owned, while liabilities are amounts owed. Owners’ equity is the residual claim of what’s left for owners.

  • The general ledger is the central record of all financial transactions organized by accounts. It feeds into the income statement and balance sheet.

  • Source documents provide evidence for transactions and are needed for auditing and tax purposes.

  • Components of the accounting system include payrolls, accounts payable/receivable, fixed assets tracking, inventory control, cost accounting, etc. These feed transaction details into the general ledger hub.

  • Careful compliance with payroll laws is important since it is regulated. Automated payroll systems help ensure accurate records.

  • An automated payroll system can save valuable time even for businesses that do manual bookkeeping. It helps with compliance by automating payroll tax calculations and payments.

  • Accounts payable represent credit from suppliers that is usually due within 12 months. It’s important to track accounts payable to know amounts owed and payment due dates in order to take advantage of timely payment discounts. Poor tracking can damage supplier relationships and credit ratings.

  • Fixed assets are long-term property like real estate, facilities and equipment that are depreciated over their useful lifespan, usually 5+ years. Businesses track fixed assets through subledgers and depreciation schedules.

  • Inventory control through subledgers is important for materials, work in progress and finished goods. It impacts cost of goods sold calculations and provides management insights into sales, ordering and warehouse storage.

  • Accounts receivable subledgers track amounts owed by customers to ensure timely billing and collection. Automation is needed for multiple customers.

  • Organizing accounting responsibilities by function is important for internal controls even with small staff. Key roles include payroll, payables, fixed assets, inventory, receivables, ordering, reporting and overall responsibility.

  • Practical accounting activities include credit checking potential customers through reports, references, owner history and financial statements to assess risk before extending credit terms.

  • To evaluate a company’s creditworthiness, you can run a personal credit check on the owner or CEO. Their strong credit history suggests the company will pay bills on time. A history of debt issues could indicate the company may follow suit.

  • Red flags to watch out for include unusual discounting, already being overextended with other creditors, pledged assets, and operating in a cyclical/vulnerable industry. Pay attention to research results - sometimes the prudent choice is declining to extend credit.

  • Credit reports provide financial and payment history details. But back up information with additional research and customer/employee references before making decisions.

  • To prevent late payments, carefully screen new customers, stamp clear due dates, offer discounts/charge interest, follow up daily after due dates, and require COD for further business if owed money.

  • Consider hiring a reputable collection agency early on to improve chance of recovering unpaid debts, saving you time and money versus pursuing collections alone. Research agency performance and verify licensing/compliance.

  • GAAP establishes uniform accounting standards like chart of accounts (list of tracked accounts), general ledger, cost classifications (fixed, variable, incremental etc), and decision tools for owners/managers.

Here is a summary of the key points about business costs, taxes, and accounting:

  • Fixed costs do not vary with activity or sales and include things like rent, insurance, depreciation. Variable costs vary with activity like materials and sales commissions.

  • Incremental costs change with an incremental change in activity. Opportunity costs are alternatives forgone by choosing one option over others. Sunk costs cannot be recovered.

  • Activity-based costing associates specific efforts and personnel with tasks to understand current costs of tasks.

  • Businesses can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses, losses, employee taxes, and more to reduce taxable income.

  • Estimated quarterly taxes are required if taxes owed exceed $500. Pay 90-100% of prior year’s taxes.

  • Other deadlines include annual returns, sales taxes, employee payroll taxes.

  • Incorporating as an S Corp can avoid double taxation and allow loss pass-through to owners.

  • Businesses must withhold and deposit employee taxes, issue 1099s to contractors, and avoid payment penalties.

  • During an audit, the IRS examines income, expenses, deductions, records, and may compare to bank statements. Proper record keeping is important.

  • Microeconomics studies small economic units like individuals, families, and businesses. It looks at how prices are determined and how prices influence production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

  • Macroeconomics studies a country’s overall economic issues like GDP, inflation, unemployment, etc. It looks at broader trends rather than specific markets or industries.

  • Supply refers to how much of a good or service producers are willing and able to offer at different price points. Demand refers to how much consumers are willing and able to purchase at different prices.

  • Factors that influence demand include tastes, income, prices of related goods, consumer expectations, and number of buyers. Demand typically decreases as price increases.

  • Factors that influence supply include input costs, technology, expectations of future prices, and government regulations/policies. Supply typically increases as price increases.

  • The equilibrium point where supply and demand intersect determines the prevailing market price for a good or service. Understanding supply and demand dynamics helps businesses set profitable prices.

  • Emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe are increasingly important to the global economy. Their financial development impacts markets worldwide.

  • There were primarily two competing economic systems in the 20th century - command (planned) economies directed by governments and market economies based on private enterprise. Command economies have not proven effective or sustainable.

  • Many former command economies are privatizing and moving toward market economies to improve incentives and efficiency. This has allowed more foreign investment.

  • The private enterprise/market economy is centered on capitalism and competition. It allows private business ownership and profits to meet consumer demand.

  • Market structures range from pure competition to monopolies, with monopolistic competition and oligopolies in between. Competition levels impact firms’ pricing power.

  • Planned economies like communism involve public ownership and central government control over production and allocation. Communist countries like China and Russia struggled economically under this system.

  • Socialism allows some private ownership and choice but involves high taxes to fund public services. It represents a middle ground between capitalism and communism.

  • New regulatory theories aim to regulate social relations, like building “social capital” through community cooperation and trust, rather than economic relations.

The passage discusses whether governments can and should create social capital. It notes that while traditional socialism is no longer touted as successful, remnants remain in mixed market economies where government-owned firms operate alongside private enterprises, as seen in parts of Europe. However, there is a trend toward privatizing some state-owned industries, as the UK and Austria have done with industries like steel and utilities.

The passage then outlines the four stages of the business cycle: prosperity/boom, recession, depression, and recovery. It provides examples of each stage and notes the characteristics, such as employment levels and consumer spending. Recessions are defined as a downturn lasting at least two quarters, while depressions are prolonged recessions with high unemployment. Governments can use tools to prevent recessions from worsening into depressions.

Finally, the passage discusses factors that influence the stability of a nation’s economy, such as productivity, inflation/deflation, employment levels, and economic indicators used to measure these factors like GDP, CPI, and unemployment rate. It defines types of unemployment and inflation and their economic impacts.

  • Diversifying operations across multiple countries and market economies reduces risks from economic uncertainties in any one country. It also reduces political risks like changes in government policies or currency fluctuations.

  • Monetary policy involves controlling money supply and interest rates to regulate inflation and stabilize currency. Fiscal policy involves government spending/tax decisions to stimulate or slow the economy.

  • Global challenges include international terrorism becoming more lethal with unpredictable objectives, and the shift to a global information economy changing business models and the value of intellectual property.

  • Aging populations due to lower birth rates is significantly impacting developed nations like Europe and will be a major issue for developing countries as well by 2030, putting pressure on healthcare and pension systems.

As this process accelerates, age structures will change. As population growth declines and life expectancy increases, the proportion of older people in the population will increase dramatically over the coming decades. This will lead to significant changes in the typical age structures that populations have had for most of human history. Societies will have fewer young dependents and more older dependents compared to the working-age population. This transformation of the age structures will take place rapidly on an historical timescale, potentially challenging social security systems and cultural norms. Businesses will need to adapt to catering for the needs of an aging population.

  • Market research and competitive intelligence are important for understanding industry trends, competitor strategies, and customer needs in order to make better business decisions and marketing strategies.

  • Organizations should thoughtfully consider pricing, placement, and the overall value chain to ensure they are delivering value to customers at a price they are willing to pay through convenient access.

  • Marketing should be viewed as an important investment, not just an expense, since proper market research, competitive analysis, pricing, and distribution are necessary to connect with customers and drive revenue.

  • For maximum success, the entire organization should embrace a marketing mindset and philosophy where all employees understand customer needs and how the company’s offerings create value. Regular communication, training, and integration of marketing messages across the organization can help create a “marketing culture.”

  • Focusing on existing customers through loyalty, upselling, and positive experiences is generally more effective than constantly seeking new customers, since customer retention is less expensive than acquisition.

The key takeaways are that organizations should research markets, understand competition, thoughtfully price and distribute offerings, invest in marketing as a driver of revenue, and integrate marketing across the entire organization to best serve customers.

  • Ongoing training for all employees is important so that each person understands how their work contributes to generating revenue. Effective training in customer service at all levels will support the company’s marketing strategy.

  • Tools that make employees’ jobs easier, like technology systems or process documentation, empower people to take action. Giving employees the right tools is important.

  • Strategy connects a company’s internal resources and capabilities to external opportunities in the environment. It involves assessing conditions, setting long-term goals, and implementing tactics over time.

  • Positioning explains how a company stakes a claim in the market to differentiate itself. Sustainable strategy requires an integrated marketing system across all business functions.

  • Tactics are the specific steps taken to execute the strategy in the short-term. They implement the broader, long-term strategy.

  • A PEST analysis examines the political, economic, social, and technological conditions in the external environment to understand opportunities and threats.

  • Porter’s Five Forces model identifies five competitive forces that shape an industry’s profitability - barriers to entry, threat of substitution, supplier power, buyer power, and rivalry. It provides a framework for strategic analysis.

  • Barriers to entry are important for incumbent firms as well as new entrants because they protect the firm from competition. The main barriers identified by Porter include economies of scale, product differentiation, capital requirements, cost disadvantages, access to distribution channels, and government regulations.

  • Economies of scale refer to the ability to mass produce products at a lower cost per unit. This makes it difficult for competitors without scale to compete on price.

  • Product differentiation is how a firm makes its products perceived as better or more valuable than competitors’ through branding, advertising, etc. This creates customer loyalty.

  • Capital requirements refer to the monetary investments needed to enter an industry. Large upfront costs act as a barrier.

  • Some industries have learning curves or access to resources that make costs inherently lower for incumbents.

  • Incumbents have existing relationships with distribution channels, while new entrants must create these relationships.

  • Government regulations can restrict market access or favor incumbent firms in different ways.

  • The threat of substitute products also poses a competitive force if alternatives meet similar customer needs.

  • Supplier power is greater when there are few suppliers, differentiation in their offerings, switching costs are high, etc. This impacts industry profitability.

  • Customer power is higher when they purchase in volume, alternatives are plentiful, and switching costs are low. This also impacts profits.

  • All these forces determine the level of rivalry among competitors in an industry. Firms must develop competitive advantages to differentiate themselves. This involves strategic brand positioning and creating perceived value over competitors.

The same truck delivered two types of cheeses to a grocery store. While the cheeses themselves don’t provide much value on their own, the real value for customers comes from the trust and brand loyalty they have for the company delivering the products. Customers want to shop at stores and buy from brands that they can identify with and feel they can rely on based on consistent quality and service. So even though the cheeses themselves may be interchangeable, the value for customers lies in the trust and confidence they have in the larger company behind the brands.

Here is a summary of the key points about advertising and promotion:

  • Advertising and promotions can be effective if the message is simple, consistent, and repeated frequently so that consumers remember it.

  • Strong brands are valuable assets that generate revenue over time and reduce marketing costs as loyal customers need less persuasion.

  • A brand represents the identity, image, and personality of a product or company in consumers’ minds. Consistency is important for brand messaging.

  • Brand loyalty occurs when consumers only purchase a particular brand. There are varying levels of loyalty from extremely loyal to willing to switch based on promotions.

  • Integrated marketing communications (IMC) coordinates all promotion activities to deliver a unified message strategically across different media and materials.

  • The IMC process involves research on target audiences and messaging, creative content development, and implementation of an integrated promotional campaign. This ensures consistency in positioning the brand and differentiating it from competitors.

  • Effective IMC aims to generate leads and sales while supporting branding goals like market prominence over time. The key is delivering a simple, repetitive message through different coordinated channels.

Here is a summary of the key points from the passage about the promotional mix and how it can help retain existing customers:

  • The promotional mix coordinates different communication channels like advertising, sales promotions, personal selling, and public relations to effectively promote a company’s products or services.

  • Determining the optimal promotional mix involves identifying the target market through research and then choosing promotion methods that work best for reaching that target audience.

  • Coordinating different promotional tactics together, like a direct mailing advertising a loyalty program reward, can help retain existing customers by incentivizing them and keeping the brand top of mind.

  • Using multiple channels simultaneously in a coordinated promotional campaign amplifies the marketing message and reach compared to individual isolated tactics. This coordinated effort can help engage customers and encourage repeat purchases to help retain them long-term.

Here is a summary of the key points about advertising and promotion strategies:

  • Celebrity endorsements work best when the celebrity has expertise or credibility related to the product/service. The relationship between the celebrity and product should seem believable.

  • Sponsorships allow companies to promote their brand by sponsoring sporting events, teams, or tournaments. This can range from providing uniforms for a college team to sponsoring a major bowl game.

  • Infomercials are long-format (at least 30 minutes) TV advertisements, usually aired during off-peak hours. They directly promote products that can be ordered via the contact information provided.

  • Sales promotions offer short-term incentives for customers to purchase, like coupons, rebates, samples, sweepstakes, bundling, and point-of-purchase displays in stores. The goal is to generate immediate sales.

  • Personal selling involves a sales representative directly contacting customers, making a personalized presentation, and following up to develop long-term relationships, especially for business customers.

  • Companies promote to both consumers and retailers/wholesalers. Consumer promotions offer incentives directly, while trade promotions discount prices for bulk orders.

Here is a summary of the key strategies discussed in the passage:

  • Develop effective customer relationships by providing good customer service, treating customers fairly, and responding graciously to complaints. Build trust and personal connections with customers.

  • Internal structures also matter - ensure the business is cost-effective, staff have strong interpersonal and technical skills, and staff-customer interactions are positive.

  • Identify and focus relationship-building efforts on the most valuable customers who provide the most profit.

  • Use customer relationship management systems to track purchases, identify top customers, and target promotions. Banks and phone companies commonly use this strategy.

  • Loyalty programs like frequent flyer miles or coffee shop reward cards generate repeat business by offering added value rewards for purchases. But programs need meaningful rewards attainable through normal purchasing.

  • Public relations through press releases, events, and conferences build favorable views and credibility to increase demand. Positive publicity is more effective than paid ads.

  • Ethics are important - puffery and deception damage reputations. Marketing to children also raises issues and is restricted for some products like tobacco.

  • Relationship strategies aim to increase long-term customer loyalty and share through fair treatment, targeted communication and rewards, rather than just short-term market share gains.

The key questions to ask before agreeing to present are whether it is a requirement or a choice, if you have enough time to properly prepare, and if you are sufficiently interested and knowledgeable about the topic. Presentation preparation takes significant time, so these factors need to be considered.

Important aspects to define in planning include the topic, time allotted, program order, expected audience, and location. Understanding the purpose, such as persuasion, instruction, or inspiration, is also important for effective preparation.

Preparation involves collecting relevant materials, organizing them by theme, writing an outline and rough draft, and thoroughly editing. Scheduling focused preparation time well in advance is crucial. Thorough planning pays off by increasing confidence and the effectiveness of the final presentation.

Review your presentation draft by reading it aloud to get feedback. Focus on whether the content is clear, themes are conveyed properly, and length fits the time allotted.

To deliver effectively, identify key words and phrases from your draft to use as prompts without reading verbatim. Practice your presentation using these prompts on index cards until you need fewer prompts.

Use presentation aids like PowerPoint to supplement your talk, not replace it. Keep visual aids simple with few words and clear, readable content. Rehearse with your aids to ensure they flow with and support your message.

When using PowerPoint, focus on basics rather than flashy elements. Limit each slide to 6 words in 5 lines with 3 colors max. Use slides as context, not a teleprompter. Practice technology and know slide order. Take notes directly in PowerPoint to stay on track.

Thoroughly rehearse your presentation, seeking feedback to improve eye contact, pacing, and delivery style. Reflect on how to engage your audience and answer questions confidently. Practice makes perfect!

  • The presentation should stay focused on its main message and avoid going off on tangents. It’s okay to fine-tune the presentation structure to better maintain audience attention and focus.

  • Anticipate questions from the audience and be prepared to answer them by referencing information from the presentation or visual aids. Be ready to do additional research if needed.

  • In the hours before presenting, revisit parameters like the agenda, audience size, and audiovisual setup. Double check materials and arrive early to troubleshoot any issues.

  • Choose clothing appropriate for the audience and circumstance. Dress professionally and conservatively. Avoid distracting jewelry, fragrances, or messy appearances.

  • Have backup copies or plans in case of issues. Arrive early to confirm equipment works. Playing host by greeting the audience can help build rapport and reduce nervousness.

The overall message is to stay focused on the main point, anticipate audience needs, double check logistics, look professional, and establish rapport to deliver an effective presentation. Being well prepared can help the speaker feel more confident and in control on the day.

This passage provides tips for effectively introducing yourself and establishing presence when presenting to an audience. It stresses the importance of introducing yourself even if already introduced, to clarify who you are and what you will present.

The passage recommends engaging the audience by asking a question, telling a story, or using a visual aid to break the ice and shift attention back to the audience. Developing a relationship and conveying conviction are important.

It also discusses maintaining good posture and body language during the presentation by making eye contact, standing tall, and using natural gestures. Speak clearly without filler words at a steady pace, varying tone and inflection.

The passage notes the benefits of using humor appropriately and flexibly addressing any unexpected issues that arise. The overall goal is to professionally present information while also building rapport and engaging the audience. Planning and practice are important but remaining adaptive is stressed.

Here is a summary of key points about project management from the passage:

  • Project management is the application of skills, tools, and techniques to achieve a predetermined goal or objective within a project.

  • A high percentage (74%) of projects fail, often due to weaknesses in the project management process or in managing scope, time, costs, quality, resources, communications, and risks.

  • The role of a project manager is important to properly manage the project process and ensure success. While not a new concept, the formal role of project manager has grown in importance.

  • Developing a work breakdown structure (WBS) is a key part of project scoping and planning. The WBS breaks the project down into smaller, more manageable tasks and helps define deliverables, schedule estimates, and resource needs. It provides a hierarchical task list for executing the project.

The key aspects of project management highlighted are establishing clear goals and scope, planning the work breakdown structure, and applying effective project management skills and techniques through the role of a project manager to achieve project objectives. Proper scoping, planning, and management are essential for success.

  • The work breakdown structure (WBS) in a project plan should provide clear details on tasks rather than vague, open-ended activities. Examples given were “research” could mean many things, while “load the database” is more specific.

  • It is important to consider project quality and output when planning. Fixing defects later costs significantly more than designing correctly from the start.

  • Product scope remains constant while project scope can evolve. If no product description exists, defining it should be the sole deliverable.

  • Deliverables can be end products or intermediate steps. Both help achieve the final outcome.

  • Project objectives should be specific and measurable to provide agreement and assess success.

  • A project scope management plan details how scope will be managed and changes integrated. It establishes the project boundaries.

  • Key elements include a scope statement, work breakdown structure (WBS), scope verification to check completion, and a change control system to document any needed changes.

  • Solid project scheduling is also important to adjust for potential scope changes. Tools like Gantt charts, critical path method, and PERT can help schedule and manage complex projects.

Here is a summary of the key steps and activities involved in the purchase and implementation of a new accounting software system:

  • Assess the needs and tasks the new software would perform. Research programs available in the market.

  • Request proposals from software vendors. Evaluate the proposals. Reassess needs given the capabilities of the software packages.

  • Make a selection of the software package. Install the new software.

  • Train staff on how to use the new accounting software system.

Additional activities include planning the project using tools like Gantt charts and CPM/PERT to identify tasks, durations, dependencies and resources. Developing a project budget to estimate costs. Managing risks to the project. Conducting phased estimating to commit to costs and schedules in phases. The overall process is overseen by an accounting manager and accounting team, with IT support for the software installation and training.

  • Early project estimates involve order-of-magnitude guesses for the full project with detailed estimates just for the initial phase. As each phase is completed, more accurate estimates are made for subsequent phases. This process reduces uncertainty over time.

  • Phase gates are decision points to determine if the project should continue after each phase. Reaching the first phase gate marks the start of estimating for the second phase.

  • Top-down or apportioning estimating assigns percentages of the total estimated project cost to each phase and task. It requires an accurate overall estimate and experience from similar past projects.

  • Parametric estimating uses historical data on resource usage to develop formulas estimating work based on measurable parameters. It works best at lower levels and during construction.

  • Bottom-up estimating adds up detailed individual task estimates for the most accurate totals but requires the most work upfront when less detail is known.

  • Reporting like earned value analysis measures planned vs actual costs and progress to assess performance and identify issues early. Close-out reporting provides learning from stakeholders’ perceptions.

  • Effective project teams have clear communication, responsibility assignments, oversight to meet objectives and budgets, and closing activities to capture lessons learned.

Here is a summary of key points about management information systems (MIS):

  • MIS help managers organize and make decisions from data by providing tools for efficient data collection, formatting, and communication across an organization.

  • Key hardware components include computers, monitors, input devices like keyboards, disk drives, and software that runs the machines and enables specific tasks.

  • The chief information officer (CIO) manages all information systems and ensures communication and data flows meet business needs.

  • Common software tools include word processors, spreadsheets, desktop publishing, and presentation software which allow collaborators to work on shared documents and distribute information in a consistent format.

  • Programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat are examples of applications that support core MIS functions of sharing, storing, transmitting, and printing organizational data.

This passage discusses various software applications and technologies used in businesses for communication, collaboration, and decision-making. It covers the impact of email in revolutionizing communication both inside and outside organizations. It also describes Microsoft Outlook and how it allows users to manage emails as well as calendars, contacts, tasks and notes.

Presentation software like PowerPoint is discussed as a way for companies to professionalize their communications and presentations with features like multimedia, effects and templates. Groupware applications enable real-time collaboration on documents by multiple users simultaneously. decision support systems and executive information systems are explored as tools to help managers access data and model scenarios to support decision making.

The passage also addresses challenges in protecting against computer crime like intellectual property theft, hacking, viruses, identity theft and money laundering. It highlights the security issues businesses must confront as online services become more prevalent. Overall, it provides an overview of key productivity software and technologies used in organizations along with some of the risks to information systems.

The passage discusses different types of computer networks and how companies can manage information technology. It describes internet, intranet and extranet networks and their purposes. Local area networks and wireless local area networks are also covered. Broadband wide area networks that can connect locations over large geographical areas are mentioned. The key types of management information systems are discussed - transaction processing, management support, and office automation systems. Finally, the passage stresses the importance of planning technology purchases to ensure the right applications are chosen to meet company goals and objectives. Evaluating needs across different levels of the organization is recommended during the evaluation and planning process.

The passage discusses the benefits of mapping information flows within an organization. Mapping information flows allows a business to understand how information is used and by whom. It can also identify the key stakeholders for different types of information and where information touches different parts of the organization. Mapping flows helps focus information services on the highest potential opportunities by identifying the most valuable information.

The passage outlines the typical 5-step process for mapping information flows that consultants use: 1) Describe the current situation and client landscape 2) Describe potential clients and their needs 3) Map potential clients to visualize overlaps and new solutions 4) Rank solutions to prioritize them 5) Create an information map showing department needs and recommendations.

Doing this allows an organization to better manage its knowledge and ensure critical information doesn’t get lost. It increases efficiency by making information more accessible. The case study of Brixco shows how critically mapping flows and improving knowledge management can support a company’s business strategy and objectives. Overall, mapping information flows provides strategic and operational benefits to understand and maximize the value of information within an organization.

Here is a summary of key points about TEMS AND PROCESSES:

  • Web-based systems are business processes that are supported and accessed online, such as e-commerce websites for online purchasing.

  • Internal employee systems like payroll, ordering, expense reports can also be web-based. This allows remote/mobile access and data entry.

  • Benefits of web-based systems include real-time data access, automated processes reducing errors, mobile access for employees, and convenient access for clients.

  • Examples given are web-based payroll allowing remote time entry and access to records, and project systems allowing clients to remotely access reports and data.

  • “Stickiness” is created as clients get used to a company’s web-based system, reducing likelihood they will switch to competitors not offering the same services.

  • Electronic bidding is also discussed as a web-based process bringing efficiency through consistent formats and 24/7 access from any location for bidding.

  • In summary, web-based systems provide significant process improvements and customer conveniences compared to traditional paper-based approaches.

  • Electronic bidding has advantages like eliminating travel expenses and confirming bid receipt. Web-based systems are generally more cost-efficient through savings on printing, labor, mailing, and invoice costs, though they have initial setup and maintenance costs.

  • E-commerce is expected to continue growing as customers get more comfortable with online security. Jupiter Research predicts e-commerce sales will grow from $65B in 2004 to $116B by 2008, and the percentage of US consumers purchasing online will increase from 30% to 50% in that period.

  • While e-commerce growth is expected, there are challenges like privacy/security concerns and technology issues like viruses. System downtime can also negatively impact sales. However, companies benefit from cost savings and customization abilities, while consumers enjoy convenience.

  • Top e-commerce trends in 2004 included increasing spam/viruses and continued e-commerce growth, driven by more small businesses going online. Developing an e-commerce strategy requires determining goals, products, markets, resources, and costs before establishing a domain name, hosting, and site development.

This passage discusses several key points about developing a website and using e-commerce:

  • It’s important to test any changes made to a website on different browsers to avoid compatibility issues. Basic dev tools like FTP programs, text editors, and HTML editors can help with uploading and editing website files.

  • Website content should be easy to use, concise, accurate, and updated regularly. Graphics should load quickly to avoid frustrating users. The website design should be consistent with the company’s branding.

  • Thorough testing of all website features is crucial before launch, including functions like forms, payments, and email confirmation. User feedback can help identify needed improvements.

  • Ongoing maintenance like updated product/contact info is needed. Strategies like email newsletters and contests encourage repeat visits.

  • Analytics tools can track visitor behavior to understand how people use the site and target them better. Promoting the site through search engines, links, articles boosts traffic.

  • E-commerce enables automated order/shipping processes and tracking to streamline fulfillment. Outsourcing some functions lets the company focus on its strengths. Tracking data helps optimize the site and sales.

  • A quality management system is a management technique used to define quality standards and influence employee actions to meet those standards. It establishes a vision, sets goals and standards, builds motivation, and helps direct corporate culture.

  • Quality is important for business success as it allows companies to produce higher quality products than competitors at a competitive price. Meeting quality levels, consumer requirements, retaining employees, and keeping up with technology are key to business success.

  • The quality movement began in the 1950s as Japanese companies emphasized quality throughout their organizations. Important contributors included W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Philip Crosby, and Kaoru Ishikawa. Their work established concepts like statistical process control, quality circles, and the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

  • International standards like ISO 9000 were later developed to provide quality management system requirements and guidance that could be certified. Having ISO certification benefits companies by improving quality, increasing customer satisfaction, and opening global market opportunities.

  • Modern quality initiatives focus on continuous improvement, prevention over inspection, quantifying quality to reduce variation, and considering quality from the customer’s perspective. This helps companies deliver value and eliminate waste.

  • After World War 2, Japanese organizations enlisted the help of W. Edwards Deming to improve quality. His statistical process control (SPC) and problem-solving methods helped transform Japanese manufacturing.

  • Deming developed 14 principles for quality management. He believed 85% of quality problems were management’s fault, so management had to lead quality improvement efforts.

  • Joseph Juran also worked with Japanese companies and defined quality as “fitness for use.” He developed a holistic quality management approach spanning the entire product life cycle.

  • American companies began adopting quality initiatives in the 1980s following the Japanese lead. Ford Motor Company saw success adopting Deming’s methods. This helped spark the quality revolution in the US.

  • Various quality standards and approaches emerged, including ISO 9000, QS-9000, Total Quality Management (TQM), and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). These provided frameworks to systematically improve processes and quality levels.

  • Overall, Deming, Juran and others helped establish quality management as a core business function through statistical methods, management principles and systematic process improvement techniques. This transformed manufacturing and later spread to services.

Quality improvement methods like CQI/FOCUS-PDCA and Six Sigma aim to continuously improve processes by reducing waste and defects. They do this through a structured approach of defining the problem, analyzing it, implementing solutions, and measuring the results.

Some key elements of a successful quality management system include:

  • Participative management through clear vision/values, quality planning, communication, and rewards/acknowledgement.

  • Quality system design by mapping processes, setting priorities, understanding current systems, and developing performance indicators to measure quality.

  • Focusing on customers and their needs and feedback.

  • Managing purchasing and supplier quality.

  • Providing education and training.

  • Using statistical tools to measure quality objectively.

  • Conducting internal audits to ensure the system is working as intended.

  • Leveraging new technologies to improve quality where possible.

The goal is to systematically enhance organizational processes and engage all employees to consistently meet or exceed customer expectations.

The passage discusses important aspects of designing and implementing a quality management system, including performance measurement, data collection, reporting, testing and adjusting the system, and officially implementing it. It emphasizes that customers and purchasing are key parts of the system, and highlights the importance of education and training, as well as using statistical data and control charts. Correctly developing performance indicators, collecting relevant data, reporting results clearly, and testing the system are important design steps. Management must support the system and employees need training to understand quality standards and how their roles contribute to goals. Statistical analysis allows for measurement and management of processes, while control charts effectively communicate process performance. Both customer satisfaction and supplier quality impact the overall system.

  • Control charts are used to monitor a process over time and detect if it is in or out of control. If points fall outside the upper or lower control limits (UCL/LCL), it signals a problem that needs correction.

  • There are two types of errors - systematic and special causes. Systematic errors show up as 1-2 points outside limits, other points within. Special causes show multiple points outside limits.

  • Statistical measures in quality systems should be customer-driven, reflect values/vision, benchmark competitors, and be achievable.

  • Auditing quality management systems allows evaluation of if the system is working and goals/objectives are met. It also supports motivation and assessing rewards/acknowledgments. Auditing takes different forms per organization.

  • Common auditing approaches for services include mystery shoppers, customer surveys, and monitoring new customers over time.

  • Ethics refers to moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior. It’s important for businesses to establish and follow ethical standards.

  • Consequences of poor ethical decisions can include legal troubles, damaged reputation, and loss of customers/shareholders. Examples given were Enron and Arthur Andersen.

  • Best practices for ethics include diversity, community involvement, environmental responsibility, and fair treatment of employees, customers, and others.

  • Companies should monitor policies and receive feedback on ethical issues. The passage discusses creating ethical corporate culture and governance.

  • Government regulations relate to ethics and aim to prevent issues like monopolies, unsafe products, fraud, discrimination, etc. Advertising must comply with regulations.

  • Globalization increases ethical challenges around issues like labor, environment, and cultural differences in different countries. Overall the passage stresses the importance of ethics for business success and discusses approaches for establishing ethical standards and practices.

Here is a summary of the key points from the index entries provided:

  • Juran helped establish quality as a management function and proposed a trinity for quality (planning, control, improvement).

  • Independent contractors are workers hired on a contractual basis rather than as employees.

  • Inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. It erodes the purchasing power of money.

  • Knowledge management involves systematically and actively identifying, capturing, organizing, retaining and transferring an organization’s collective expertise.

  • Labor costs must be estimated and accounted for in developing a project management budget.

  • Various leadership styles were discussed including laissez-faire, different roles of managers, and trends toward participative leadership.

  • Motivation theories discussed include those of Maslow (hierarchy of needs), Herzberg (two factors), McGregor (Theory X and Y), and reinforcement theory.

  • Incremental costs refer to additional costs associated with increasing production or undertaking an activity.

  • Project management includes estimating costs, developing a schedule and work breakdown structure, managing risks, and having a project manager lead the team.

  • Marketing includes conducting competitive analysis, developing an integrated marketing communications strategy, positioning and placing products, and creating a strategic marketing plan.

  • Negotiation preparation involves understanding goals and limits, gathering information, and anticipating responses, while effective tactics include asking questions and using objective standards.

  • Quality management involves satisfying customers, continuous improvement, participative leadership, statistical process control, and developing a quality system. It has evolved since pioneers like Shewart, Deming, Juran, and others.

  • Taxes are a key consideration for businesses and include deductions, estimated payments, payroll taxes, sales taxes, and different structures like S corporations.

Here is a summary of the key sections in the book outline:

  • Section I covers topics related to people management, including human resources, organizational behavior, leadership, ethics, and negotiation.

  • Section II focuses on financial topics like accounting, finance, and economics at the international, national, and local levels.

  • Section III is about markets and strategy, with chapters on marketing, competitive analysis, advertising, and communications/presentations.

  • Section IV discusses systems and processes, including project management, management information systems, e-commerce, quality management, and the uses of the World Wide Web.

The book appears to take a comprehensive approach to covering the main subject areas of an MBA, grouped into sections on people management, finance, markets/strategy, and operational systems. The chapter outlines provide a high-level overview of the types of topics addressed in each area.

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About Matheus Puppe