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STAT1060 : Research Proposal To Support Decision Making

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STAT1060 : Research Proposal To Support Decision Making

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Course Code: STAT1060
University: The University Of Newcastle

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Country: Australia

1. Research the required information FOR THE CASE STUDY – HEAVENLY CHOCOLATES to complete the sections of the report as outlined below. Follow the rubric at the end of this document as a guide to your headings. Use a numbering system for headings and subheadings.
2. Write a research proposal addressing the followinga. A research problem statement and objectivesb. Create Management questions (or Research questions or investigative questions) aimed to resolve or provide information aligned with the case study objectivesc. State the sources of secondary data you would access to begin this research; why?d. State the method of primary research method you would use; why?e. Provide suggestions about how the information gained will be used to address the problem

Strategic decision-making refers to choose the best alternative among various options for the development of the business (Lunenburg, 2011; Pettigrew, 2014). Further, decision-making is one of the important aspects for the management to take decisions and act on the problems. The current report is based on the Heavenly Chocolates that is situated at Hay Market, Sydney is dealing with the products such as premium and dark chocolate pralines (Heavenly Chocolates, 2018). The study is to deal with the stock out issue of the company wherein demand of the product is high but business is unable to meet the same. For this purpose, research will be carried out to uncover potential issues and accordingly form the suitable strategies. In this context, primary and secondary data will be collected with the use of suitable alternative. It would be helpful to understand the issue and accordingly address the same with the application of effective strategies. Also, recommendations have been provided to use the gathered data.  
Problem Statement 
According to the case study, Heavenly Chocolates is facing the problem in meeting the increased demand of the due to production constraint. However, company has an opportunity to increase the sales turnover by retaining the customers for longer time span. This affects the competitive edge of the business because customers are switching towards the next brand which might create threat for long run survival of the business. Owing to this, it is important to look into the issue and resolve the issue related to stock out.
Thus, a company will have to focus on increasing the production capacity for online market and sustain the existing customers along with new buyers. Moreover, a company will prepare new strategies to face the problem of reduction in sales volumes and an effective management of the all online stores.
Research Objectives 

To identify the online effectiveness of selling for the products
To develop strategies to meet the demand of increased sales and maintain future growth
To determine the location for online selling
To identify the benefits of collaboration with foreign markets
To determine the location to open a new store

Sources Of Secondary Data
There are several sources to collect the secondary data such as newspapers, magazines, professional associations and media etc. (Boslaugh, 2007). Additionally, internet and broadcast will also be used for the collection of secondary data. Further, annual reports of the company will also be helpful to collect the data for the findings and more related information (Calantone & Vickery, 2010). Thus, annual reports will provide the authentic data, so the Heavenly Chocolates will prefer the annual reports for the secondary data collection. This reflects that application of suitable sources provides valid and authentic data so as to accomplish the specific aim of the study in an effectual manner. In this way, a company will be able to know about the reasons behind the reduction of sales of online products.  
Advantages of using secondary data sources 

It will be easy for the manager to access the data.
It will provide the complete guidelines to the researcher regarding reasons for the decrease in sales volume.
It will be helpful to save the money, time and efforts to collect the data relate to sales and production.
It will offer a facility to compare the previously collected data with current data (Cooper, Schindler & Sun, 2006).

Disadvantages to using secondary data sources

It will not be easy to believe in the secondary data because the collected data might be unauthentic or inadequate.
Secondary data collected on the basis of environmental variables and variables differ from one location to another. Thus, those same data cannot be used for the further locations.
The collected data might be outdated and it will not provide the correct information regarding the research problem (Vartanian, 2010).

Primary data sources rendered the complete and related information regarding the problem of the business. There are different types of methods that can be used for the collection of primary data including interviews, surveys, questionnaires and focus group etc. (Gill & et al., 2008). However, the use or application of specific method is based on the requirement of the study. On the basis of analysis of the case study of the report, it has been found that interview method will be more suitable because it would provide the in-depth information. Further, production and forecasting manager will also be preferred to collect the other specific information respective sales, profitability and growth of the Heavenly Chocolates (Hox & Boeije, 2005). They will go through interview wherein the will be asked certain questions related to the problem. This would be helpful in getting the detail information related to production and forecasting department so as to address the issue. In this manner, primary data will be helpful to communicate the actual facts of the problem. In the current situation, Heavenly Chocolates will adopt interview method by considering the production and forecasting manager.
Advantages of primary data collection

The company is facing the problem of reduction in online sales and primary data will provide the current, original and relevant information regarding the issues.
Higher reliability will take place in the primary data collection because these are collected by the concern people such as production and forecasting manager.
Primary data will provide the updated information related to sales and customer demand (Gratton & Jones, 2010).

Disadvantages of primary data collection

It will take more time, money and efforts to collect the original data regarding reduction in sales and profitability.
To cover the wide area for the response, it will require the higher number of a researcher to collect the information related to sales and revenue of the Heavenly Chocolates (Burns, Bush & Sinha, 2014).

In order to address the issue related to stock out of the business, collected primary and secondary data will be analyzed with the use of suitable analytical technique like thematic. At this juncture, secondary data would provide information related to the current production capacity through which management of the business can estimate about the exact one whereby increased demand can be met. This would be matched with the primary data outcome extracted from interview of the production and forecasting manager. This collected information will be analyzed in the light of aim and objectives and accordingly valid outcome will be derived. These analyzed information facilitates to address the key issues and increase the worth of online advertisement and sites of the business. This is because company would keep the minimum stock through the specific analysis related to the problem under consideration. At this juncture, thematic analysis will be used under which in-depth analysis will be carried out for the collected data.
Boslaugh, S. (2007). Secondary data sources for public health: A practical guide. Cambridge University Press.
Burns, A. C., Bush, R. F., & Sinha, N. (2014). Marketing research (Vol. 7). Harlow: Pearson.
Calantone, R. J., & Vickery, S. K. (2010). Introduction to the special topic forum: using archival and secondary data sources in supply chain management research. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 46(4), 3-11.
Cooper, D. R., Schindler, P. S., & Sun, J. (2006). Business research methods (Vol. 9). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Gill, P., Stewart, K., Treasure, E., & Chadwick, B. (2008). Methods of data collection in qualitative research: interviews and focus groups. British dental journal, 204(6), 291.
Gratton, C., & Jones, I. (2010). Research methods for sports studies. Routledge.
Heavenly Chocolates (2018) [Online]. Available at: . [Accessed on 26th July 2018].
Hox, J. J., & Boeije, H. R. (2005). Data collection, primary versus secondary.
Lunenburg, F. C. (2011). Decision making in organizations. International journal of management, business, and administration, 15(1), 1-9.
Pettigrew, A. M. (2014). The politics of organizational decision-making. Routledge.
Vartanian, T. P. (2010). Secondary data analysis. Oxford University Press.

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