University Temasek Polytechnic (TP)
Subject Business Development and Implementation

Forum Discussion 1:

Business developers track emerging trends and new markets as well as propose new strategic partnerships. In doing so, they would need to know that differences in political, economic, and legal systems have a considerable impact on the benefits, costs, and risks of doing business in countries around the world. Hence, business developers would need to assess the ease of doing business in these countries. The World Bank Doing Business Indicators measures the extent of business regulations in 190 economies around the world.

Explain the following:

  • Compile and compare the latest rankings of France, India, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Brazil in terms of how easily contracts are enforced, the ease of starting a business, and protection accorded to investors. Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business on a scale of 1-190.
  • Choose ONE indicator you observe the greatest variation from one country to the next. Explain your answer with examples and/or evidence.

Forum Discussion 2:

Differences in the external environment present both opportunities and threats for business. Companies recognize the importance of the general (external) environment of a country because many environmental factors have indirect or delayed effects on them and the industries that they reside in. They conduct an environmental analysis to better understand the business environment.

A useful technique is to begin the process using a checklist, often called a PEST analysis. The acronym PEST stands for Political-Legal, Economic, Social and Technological forces. The purpose of this external country analysis gives the company an understanding of the attractiveness of the industry in which it competes and the type of risks it faces.

Business developers in global settings need to be sensitive to these differences and identify specific ways in which the external environment of that nation could support or threaten the company’s business model.

Explain the following:

  • Choose ONE foreign country and explain how the political, economic, and legal systems of countries differ between Singapore and the foreign country.
  • Explain the substantial differences among societies arising from cultural differences and describe the differences in culture.

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Forum Discussion 3:

In its early days, Apple produced its products in the U.S. However, by 2004, the company had largely turned to foreign manufacturing, reaching its peak with the iPhone, which Apple first introduced in 2007. About 90 percent of iPhone’s components are manufactured abroad with final assembly taking place in China by Foxconn, Apple’s major subcontractor.

Despite its reliance on foreign manufacturing, Apple has maintained important activities at home, including product design and marketing. The key factors Apple cites for its decision to assemble the iPhone in China include the ability of its Chinese subcontractors to respond very quickly to changes in production requests from Apple; the ease to hire engineers there; and the clustering together of factories in China. While labor costs are much lower in China, Apple executives point out that this is not the main driver of location decisions given that labor costs account for a very small proportion of the total value of Apple’s products.

Explain the following:

  • Apple’s decision to outsource assembly to China creates value and competitive advantage to the business. Discuss TWO benefits to Apple for outsourcing the assembly of the iPhone to foreign countries, and particularly China?
  • Reflect on the role of China in global operations management after the covid-19 cris? Explain your reasoning.

Forum Discussion 4:

A bank is planning to purchase a new PC-based computer system. The bank has $50 million in assets versus 125 locations.

Explain the following:

  • Why is it important for the business developer to properly identify the decision-maker in a buying center? In this scenario, identify the likely decision-maker of the bank.
  • The number of stakeholders that participate in a buying center is usually 3-12. In cross-cultural buying situations, the number of participants can reach 30. Why is it so for the latter?
  • What actions can a sales manager propose, other than lowering the price, to increase value for the customer?
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