6econ006w: forecasting for managers coursework (100%) hbat: | business economics

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HBAT (Hair, Block, Anderson and Tatham Company) sells paper products to two market segments: the newsprint industry and the magazine industry. Further, these paper products are sold to these market segments, either directly to the customer or indirectly through a broker. HBAT wanted to develop a better understanding of both the characteristics of its customers and the relationships between their perceptions of HBAT, and their actions towards HBAT (e.g., satisfaction and likelihood to recommend). From this understanding of its customers, HBAT will be in a good position to develop its Forecasting plan for the next year.

To develop this level of understanding of its situation, a survey of existing customers of HBAT was conducted through an established marketing research firm. Three types of information were collected in a survey of 200 purchasing managers from firms buying from HBAT. A first type of data reflects the characteristics of the respondent and includes information such as the size of the customer and length of the purchase relationship. The second type of information was perceptions of HBAT’s performance on 13 attributes. These attributes (developed through focus groups, a pre-test, and used in previous studies) are considered to be the most influential in the selection of suppliers in the paper industry. The third type of information relates to purchase outcomes and business relationships (e.g., satisfaction with HBAT and whether the firm would consider a strategic alliance / partnership with HBAT).

The data are available in the HBAT DATA.xls file on Blackboard and a definition of each variable and an explanation of its coding are given in Appendix 1. Please assume the sample of 200 respondents is representative of HBAT’s customers.

In addition, management at HBAT have provided you with sales data from 2010 to 2018 on a monthly basis. Please see Table 1;

Table 1. HBAT sales (in £000s)

Month

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

January

139.7

165.1

177.8

228.6

266.7

431.8

381

431.8

495.3

February

114.3

177.8

203.2

254

317.5

457.2

406.4

444.5

533.4

March

101.6

177.8

228.6

266.7

368.3

457.2

431.8

495.3

635

April

152.4

203.2

279.4

342.9

431.8

482.6

457.2

533.4

673.1

May

215.9

241.3

317.5

355.6

457.2

533.4

495.3

558.8

749.3

June

228.6

279.4

330.2

406.4

571.5

622.3

584.2

647.7

812.8

July

215.9

292.1

368.3

444.5

546.1

660.4

609.6

673.1

800.1

August

190.5

317.5

355.6

431.8

482.6

520.7

558.8

660.4

736.6

September

177.8

203.2

241.3

330.2

431.8

508

508

609.6

685.8

October

139.7

177.8

215.9

330.2

406.4

482.6

495.3

584.2

635

November

139.7

165.1

215.9

304.8

393.7

457.2

444.5

520.7

622.3

December

152.4

177.8

203.2

292.1

406.4

431.8

419.1

482.6

622.3

The Tasks

Please write a report, of no more than 3,000 words, to the management of HBAT addressing the following issues:

Part (a) -Forecasting comparison practice

·  Describe the historical data on HBAT sales, including a discussion of the general direction of sales and any seasonal tendencies that might be occurring.

·  Choose, giving your justification, which time series forecasting techniques are appropriate for producing forecasts with this data set. Compare the models based on ex post forecasts. Use your chosen forecasting model to generate forecasts for each of the months in year 2019.

·  Discuss how these forecasts might be integrated into the planning operations and policy required by management at HBAT.  

Part (b) -Regression Analysis

·  Develop model/s to predict satisfaction from the perceptions of the performance variables. What are the most influentialperformance variables?

·  Make a recommendation to HBAT that enhances their understanding of their customers so that the management can develop its marketing plan that will feed into their Forecasting Plan for the next year.

The Report and supporting appendices, if any, should be combined into one document, which must be submitted 

by 13:00 on 28th April 2021 via Blackboard only. It will automatically be scanned through a text matching system (designed to check for possible plagiarism). YOU MUST include the title of the report and word count on the first page of your assignment.

1Adapted from Hair, Joseph F. Jr., William C. Black, Barry J. Babin, and Rolph E. Anderson, Multivariate Data Analysis,

International Edition, 7th Edition, Pearson Higher Education.

APPENDIX 1

Questionnaire Details

Customer Characteristics

The five characteristics of the responding firms reflect the basic characteristics and their business relationship with HBAT. The five variables are as follows:

Variable

Name

Definition

Coding

X1

Customer Duration

Length of time a particular customer has been buying from HBAT

1 = Less than 1 year;

2 = Between 1 and 5 years;

3 = Longer than 5 years

X2

Customer Type

Type of industry that purchases HBAT’s paper products

0 = Magazine;

1 = Newsprint

X3

Customer Size

Based on number of employees

0 = Small firm, < 500 employees; 

1 = Large firm, ≥ 500 employees

X4

Customer Region

Customer location

0 = EU;

1 = Outside EU

X5

Distribution System

Sales and services are provided through this distribution system

0 = Indirectly through a broker; 1 = Directly through salesforce

Perceptions of HBAT’s Performance

Each of these variables was measured on a graphic rating scale, where a ten-centimetre line was drawn between the endpoints, labelled “Poor” and “Excellent”. Respondents indicated their perceptions by placing a mark anywhere on the line. The mark was then measured and the distance from zero (in centimetres) was recorded. The result was a scale ranging from zero to ten, rounded to a single decimal place. The thirteen attributes rated by each respondent are as follows:

Variable

Name

Definition

X6

Product Quality

Perceived level of quality of HBAT’s paper products

X7

E-Commerce Activities/Website

Overall image of HBAT’s website, especially its user-friendliness

X8

Technical Support

Extent to which technical support is offered to help solve product/service issues

X9

Complaint Resolution

Extent to which any complaints are resolved in a timely and complete manner

X10

Advertising

Perceptions of HBAT’s advertising campaign in all types of media

X11

Product Line

Depth and breadth of HBAT’s product line to meet customer needs

X12

Salesforce Image

Overall image of HBAT’s salesforce

X13

Competitive Pricing

Extent to which HBAT offers competitive prices

X14

Warranty & Claims

Extent to which HBAT stands behind its product/service warranties and claims

X15

New Products

Extent to which HBAT develops and sells new products

X16

Ordering & Billing

Perception that ordering and billing is handled efficiently and correctly

X17

Price Flexibility

Perceived willingness of HBAT sales representatives to negotiate price on purchases of paper products

X18

Delivery Speed

Amount of time it takes to deliver the paper products once an order has been confirmed

Purchase Outcomes & Relationship

The first four variables below are measured on a graphic rating scale, where a ten-centimetre line was drawn between the endpoints, labelled as indicated in the coding column. Respondents indicated their perceptions by placing a mark anywhere on the line. The mark was then measured and the distance from zero (in centimetres) was recorded. The result was a scale ranging from zero to ten, rounded to a single decimal place. Five specific measures were obtained that reflected the outcomes of the respondent’s purchase relationships with HBAT. These measures include:

Variable

Name

Definition

Coding

X19

Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction with past purchases from HBAT

0 – 10 graphic scale, where ‘0’ indicates “Not at All” and ‘10’ indicates “Completely Satisfied”

X20

Likely to Recommend

Likelihood of recommending HBAT to other firms as a supplier of paper products

0 – 10 graphic scale, where ‘0’ indicates “Not at All Likely” and ‘10’ indicates “Definitely”

X21

Likely to Purchase

Likelihood of purchasing paper products from HBAT in the future

0 – 10 graphic scale, where ‘0’ indicates “Not at All Likely” and ‘10’ indicates “Definitely”

X22

Purchase Level

Percentage of the responding firm’s paper needs purchased from HBAT

Measured on a 100-point percentage scale

X23

Consider Strategic Alliance

Extent to which the customer/respondent perceives his or her firm would engage in strategic alliance/partnership with HBAT

0 = No, would not consider; 1 = Yes, would consider