## Assignment : Operations Decision

Imagine that you work for the maker of a leading brand of low-calorie, frozen microwavable food that estimates the following demand equation for its product using data from 26 supermarkets around the country for the month of April.

Using the regression results and the other computations from Assignment 1, determine the market structure in which the low-calorie frozen, microwavable food company operates.

The following is a regression equation. Standard errors are in parentheses for the demand for widgets.

QD = – 5200 – 42P + 20PX + 5.2I + .20A + .25M

(2.002) (17.5) (6.2) (2.5) (0.09) (0.21)

R2 = 0.55 n = 26 F = 4.88

Your supervisor has asked you to compute the elasticities for each independent variable. Assume the following values for the independent variables:

Q = Quantity demanded of 3-pack units

P (in cents) = Price of the product = 500 cents per 3-pack unit

PX (in cents) = Price of leading competitor’s product = 600 cents per 3-pack unit

I (in dollars) = Per capita income of the standard metropolitan statistical area (SMSA) in which the supermarkets are located = $5,500

A (in dollars) = Monthly advertising expenditures = $10,000

M = Number of microwave ovens sold in the SMSA in which the supermarkets are located = 5,000

Use the Internet to research two (2) of the leading competitors in the low-calorie frozen, microwavable food industry, and take note of their pricing strategies, profitability, and their relationships within the industry (worldwide).

**1**.Outline a plan that will assess the effectiveness of the market structure for the company’s operations. Note: In Assignment 1, the assumption was that the market structure [or selling environment] was perfectly competitive and that the equilibrium price was to be determined by setting QD equal to QS. You are now aware of recent changes in the selling environment that suggest an imperfectly competitive market where your firm now has substantial market power in setting its own “optimal” price.

**2**.Given that business operations have changed from the market structure specified in the original scenario in Assignment 1, determine two (2) likely factors that might have caused the change. Predict the primary manner in which this change would likely impact business operations in the new market environment.

**3.**Analyse the major short run and long cost functions for the low-calorie, frozen microwaveable food company given the cost functions below. Suggest substantive ways in which the low-calorie food company may use this information in order to make decisions in both the short-run and the long-run.

TC = 160,000,000 + 100Q + 0.0063212Q2

VC = 100Q + 0.0063212Q2

MC= 100 + 0.0126424Q

**4.**Determine the possible circumstances under which the company should discontinue operations. Suggest key actions that management should take in order to confront these circumstances. Provide a rationale for your response.

(Hint: Your firm’s price must cover average variable costs in the short run and average total costs in the long run to continue operations.)

**5.**Suggest one (1) pricing policy that will enable your low-calorie, frozen microwavable food company to maximise profits. Provide a rationale for your suggestion.

(Hints:

- In Assignment 1, you determined your firm’s market demand equation. Now you need to find the inverse demand equation. Having found that, find the Total Revenue function for your firm (TR is P x Q). From your firm’s Total Revenue function, then find your Marginal Revenue (MR) function.
- Use the profit maximisation rule MR = MC to determine your optimal price and optimal output level now that you have market power. Compare these values with the values you generated in Assignment 1. Determine whether your price higher is or lower.)

**6.**Outline a plan, based on the information provided in the scenario, which the company could use in order to evaluate its financial performance. Consider all the key drivers of performance, such as company profit or loss for both the short term and long term, and the fundamental manner in which each factor influences managerial decisions.

(Hints:

- Calculate profit in the short run by using the price and output levels you generated in part 5. Optional: You may want to compare this to what profit would have been in Assignment 1 using the cost function provided here.
- Calculate profit in the long run by using the output level you generated in part 5 and cost data in part 3 and assuming that the selling environment will likely be very competitive. Determine why this would be a valid assumption.)

**7.**Recommend two (2) actions that the company could take in order to improve its profitability and deliver more value to its stakeholders. Outline, in brief, a plan to implement your recommendations.

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