Company’s innovation value chain.

Viewing innovation as an end-to-end process rather than focusing on a part allows you to spot both the weakest and the strongest links.
Which Innovation Strategy Is Right for You?
There are many excellent innovation perspectives, as this small sample of published works indicates. The innovation value chain provides a framework for managers to sort out which approaches make the most sense for their companies to adopt.

Rate your company’s innovation value chain. If you want to improve your company’s innovation performance, start with the questionnaire.

For this assignment, complete these steps:

  1. Describe your company’s innovation value chain.
  2. Complete the questionnaire.
  3. Then have 5-10 employees from a cross-section of functions within the company fill out this questionnaire.
  4. Calculate the average score for each activity and focus your attention on the highest one or two numbers—these are your weakest links.
  5. Summarize your findings from the questionnaire and add your reactions to the findings.
  6. Provide three recommendations to address the weakest links.
  7. Explain why your recommendations would be effective.
  8. Comment on the likelihood of being able to apply your recommendations.
    Mechanics: This assignment is to be submitted as an academic essay. You are required to reference the readings and articles that provide evidence of effectiveness for your proposed plan. Give your paper a title, a brief introduction, and a conclusion. Adhere to the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for citation and references. Limit it to 750-1,250 words (3-5 pages) typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1″ margins.

Sample Solution

Retail Innovation

Requirement: Identify one new retail innovation currently in the industry. Using the terms, concepts, and theories learned in this course, write a 7 to 10 page (Arial or Times New Roman 12 pitch font with double-spaced lines).

Research: Additionally, using the APUS Online Library, conduct research and incorporate at least four (4) additional sources other than your readings to support your essay. Use the APA Style to cite your “in-text” references and to list your references on a reference page. A copy of APA Style Examples is located in your Student Course Materials folder. You can view it by clicking on the Course Materials button. Additionally, the APUS Online Library has the APA Style Manual available for your use.

You will need an Adobe Acrobat Reader (Click here for free download) to view the APA Style example At the top of the page, click the Search tab, type in “Free Adobe Reader,” and download the reader.

Your essay will address these items:

A. Who is the retailer and what is the innovation?

B. How is the innovation allowing the retailer to remain competitive?

C. Identify at a minimum one threat and one opportunity with this new innovation.

D. How does this new innovation assist with customer service or customer management?

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Business Law

Choose one or two areas of law from your book that we have covered in the course. YOU MAY NOT SELECT CRIMINAL LAW.
Prepare an overview of that area of law.
Explain contracts law.
Discuss a case or cases from that area of law within your paper to illustrate key areas of the law.

Sample Solution

Darling Ingredients

Take a look at Darling Ingredients most recent 10k part I and part III – link:
Please answer these questions about Darling Ingredients. Where are their facilities located (not headquarters
or office)–facilities they use to make products, etc. What is capacity for each facility (how much can they
process), (capacity may be found here – if it’s a lot of work, just focus on
the recent 10k. Do they disclose the facilities feedstock/ output? If so what are they?, Where do they sell their
products to or where do they get their revenue from? Who is on the leadership team? What is their age, prior
background, etc.

Sample Solution

Starbucks Is “Juicing” Its Earnings

Mini-Case Starbucks Is “Juicing” Its Earnings per Store through Technological Innovations
The choice of a CEO signals potential actions to stakeholders about a firm’s potential actions. Howard Schultz
served as Starbucks CEO for many years; the firm achieved multiple successes during his service. As of April
2017, Schulz became executive chairman of Starbucks’s board while Kevin Johnson, a former CEO of Juniper
Networks and a 16 year veteran of Microsoft, assumed the CEO position for the coffee giant. Johnson’s
background may find him concentrating on the firm’s digital operations, information technology practices and
supply chain operations as a means of increasing Starbucks’s effectiveness and efficiency.
Many brick and mortar stores have experienced decreasing sales in the United States as online traffic has
increased. Interestingly, 2014 Starbucks sales store operations increased 5 percent in the fourth quarter; this 5
percent uptick in revenue came from increased traffic (2 percent from growth in sales and 3 percent in increased
ticket size).
Additional and more sophisticated technology applications may be the driver of this increase in revenues. To
stimulate sales, Starbucks is ramping up its digital tools such as mobile payment platforms. Customers now can
place online orders and pick them up in about 150 Starbucks outlets in the Portland, OR area. Besides
leadership and a focus on technology, Starbucks receives suggestions, ideas, and experimentation from its
employees. Starbucks views its employees, called baristas, as partners who blend, steam, and brew the brand’s
specialty coffee in over 21,000 stores worldwide. Schultz credits the employees as a dominant force in helping it
to build its revenue gains.
To incentivize employees further, Starbucks is among the first companies to provide comprehensive health
benefits and stock option ownership opportunities to part-time employees. Currently, employees have received
more than $1 billion worth of financial gain through the stock option program. An additional benefit for U.S.
employees is the firm’s program that pays 100 percent of workers’ tuition to finish their degrees through Arizona
State University. To date, one thousand workers have enrolled in this program. In mid-2018, Walmart offered
subsidized college tuition to its employees as a means of attracting and retaining talent in a tight labor market.
Walmart’s actions may demonstrate the value of Starbucks’s approach to supporting employees’ efforts to earn a
college degree.
When developing new storefront concepts, Starbucks innovates. For instance, it is testing smaller express stores
in New York City that reduce client wait times. Today, Starbucks emphasizes online payments as a means of
increasing the speed of customer transactions. It now gives Starbucks rewards for mobile payment applications
to its 12 million active users. Interestingly, this puts it ahead of iTunes and American Express Serve with its
Starbucks mobile payment app in terms of the number of users.
To put its innovation on display, Starbucks opened its first “Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.” This is a
15,000 square foot coffee roasting facility and a consumer retail outlet. According to Schultz, it is a retail theater
where “you can watch beans being roasted, talk to master grinders, have your drink brewed in front of you in
multiple ways, lounge in a coffee library, order a selection of gourmet brews and locally prepared foods.” Schultz
calls this store in New York the “Willie Wonka Factory of coffee.” Based on this concept, Starbucks opened small
“reserve” stores inspired by this flagship roastery concept across New York in 2015. To attract customers in the
afternoon, the firm is “rolling out new cold coffee and tea drinks and is introducing happy hour promotions
featuring cold beverages.”
These technological advances and different store offerings are also taking place internationally. For example,
Starbucks is expanding a new store concept in India in smaller towns and suburbs. These new outlets are about
half the size of existing Starbucks cafes in India. In China, Starbucks is opening roughly one store daily and is
rolling out its Roastery and Reserve brands to penetrate the country further.
Sources: D. B Klein, 2018, Here’s how Starbucks plans to conquer China, The Motley Fool,, March
25; J. Jargon, 2018, Starbucks trying to woo afternoon customers, Wall Street Journal,, May 8; S.
Nassauer, 2018, Walmart to pay certain college costs for U.S. store workers, Wall Street Journal,,
May 30; I. Brat & T. Stynes, 2015, Earnings: Starbucks picks a president from technology industry, Wall Street
Journal,, January 23; A. Adamczyk, 2014, The next big caffeine craze? Starbucks testing coldbrewed coffee, Forbes,, August 18; R. Foroohr, 2014, Go inside Starbucks’ wild new “Willie
Wonka Factory of coffee”, Time,, December 8; FRPT-Retail Snapshot, 2014, Starbucks’ strategy
of expansion with profitability: to debut in towns and suburbs with half the size of the new stores, FRPT-Retail 
Snapshot, September 28, 9–10; L. Lorenzetti, 2014, Fortune’s world most admired companies: Starbucks where
innovation is always brewing, Fortune,, October 30; P. Wahba, 2014, Starbucks to offer delivery
in 2015 in some key markets, Fortune,, November 4; V. Wong, 2014, Your boss will love the
new Starbucks delivery service, Bloomberg Businessweek,, November 3.
Case Discussion Questions
What competitive advantage or competitive advantages do you believe Starbucks seeks to establish? What are
the main challenges the firm faces as it tries to maintain the advantage or advantages you identified?
Identify three or four capabilities you believe Starbucks possesses. Of these, are any a core competence? If so,
explain your reasoning.
Starbucks’s mission is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a
time.” What actions do you recommend the firm take to reach this mission?
As Starbucks’s new chief executive officer and strategic leader, what key challenges does Kevin Johnson and his
firm face?

Sample Solution

Methods to assess the quality of simulations.

Suppose you lead a task force that is developing a simulation to provide strategic planning recommendations for property use zoning for a county of 750,000 residents. The zoning board and county commissioners want a simulation that allows them to assess the impact of various zoning decisions based on a variety of dynamic factors, including age, race, education, and income status. Which of the three views discussed would provide the best quality assessment for this type of simulation? How would you ensure the highest level of accuracy with your simulation, and how would you go about determining accuracy?

You must do the following:

1) As indicated above, identify which of the three views discussed in the chapter that would provide the best quality assessment for the situation described above, and explain your decision. How would you ensure the highest level of accuracy with your simulation, and how would you go about determining accuracy?

Sample Solution

Starbucks strategy

Based on your experiences as a coffee consumer, does Starbucks strategy seem to set it apart from rivals?

Does the strategy seem to be keyed to a cost-based advantage, differentiating features, serving the unique needs of a niche, or some combination of these?

What is there about Starbucks’ strategy that can lead to sustainable competitive advantage?

Sample Solution

The concept of franchising

Discuss the concept of franchising and describe the different types of franchises, including the benefits, limitations, and legal aspects of franchising.
Suppose that your best friend is considering purchasing a franchise such as Cousins Maine Lobster. What advice would you give him or her about the right way to go about purchasing a franchise?
What advantages do entrepreneurs who purchase a franchise get? What disadvantages do they encounter?

Sample Solution