PLE originally produced lawnmowers, but a significant portion of sales volume over recent years has come from the growing small-tractor market. As we noted in Module 2, PLE sells its products worldwide, with sales regions including North America, South America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.
Three years ago a new region was opened to serve China, where a booming market for small tractors has been established. PLE has always emphasized quality and considers the quality it builds into its products as its primary selling point. In the past 2 years, PLE has also emphasized the ease of use of their products.
Before digging into the details of operations, Elizabeth Burke wants to gain an overview of PLE’s overall business performance and market position by examining the information provided in the database.
Specifically, she is asking you to construct appropriate charts for the data in the following worksheets and summarize your conclusions from the analysis of these charts.
- Dealer Satisfaction
- End-User Satisfaction
- Mower Unit Sales
- Tractor Unit Sales
- On-Time Delivery
- Defects after Delivery
- Response Time
As noted in the case in Module 2, the supply chain worksheets provide cost data associated with logistics between existing plants and customers as well as proposed new plants.
Ms. Burke wants you to extract the records associated with the unit shipping costs of proposed plant locations and compare the costs of existing locations against those of the proposed locations using quartiles.
Propose a monthly dashboard of the most important business information that Ms. Burke can use on a routine basis as data are updated. Create one using the most recent data. Your dashboard should not consist of more than 6–8 charts, which should fit comfortably on one screen.
Write a formal report summarizing your results for all four parts of this case.
Elizabeth Burke wants some detailed statistical information about much of the data in the PLE database. In particular, she wants to know the following:
- the mean satisfaction ratings and standard deviations by year and region in the worksheets Dealer Satisfaction and End-User Satisfaction
- a descriptive statistical summary of the 2012 customer survey data
- how the response times differ in each quarter of the worksheet Response Time
- how defects after delivery (worksheet Defects after Delivery) have changed over these 5 years
- how sales of mowers and tractors compare with industry totals and how strongly monthly product sales are correlated with industry sales
Perform these analyses and summarize your results in a written report to Ms. Burke.