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Topic: Reliance Baking Soda Case

Case Name


Student ID Number

Semester and Year

  1. General Formatting Instructions

You can use this as a template for formatting your cases. Just replace this text with your case analysis.  I grade the cases anonymously, so do not put your name on your case and do not use a cover page.  When you submit your case file, leave the “Text Submission” and the “Add Comments” sections of the submission blank. Do not include a comment such as “Here is my case.” That will just generate an additional page of output.  Also, since the cases are graded anonymously, all of your work must be submitted in one file.  I cannot match multiple files up with one another.

Include your student ID number along with the semester and year on your case.  This allows me to upload all of the cases from the class to a plagiarism detection program at the end of the semester and track any problem cases back to the correct students. Remember that all case work must be completed independently.  You cannot work together on your individual case submissions.

Do not do any outside research about the companies presented in the cases. You are limited to the information that is presented in the cases. Since you are limited to the information presented in the cases, you do not need to include a reference page citing the case or the textbook.

Your case analysis is limited to two pages of single-spaced text. You should use 12 pt. Times Roman font and have 1 inch margins along all sides of the page.  A 12 pt. Times Roman font is large enough for me to read online. Do not try to manipulate the page constraints by changing the font or margins.  If I have to reformat your case to get it into the proper format, there will be a two point penalty.  Also, I will not grade anything beyond two pages of text (except your appendices as noted in the next section).  You need to learn to write concisely. In a business situation, executives will not tolerate verbose writing.

Use commas as thousands separators in your numbers.  For example, a dollar amount should be written like $1,234,567,890 (with commas) rather than 1234567890 (without commas). Also, be sure to indicate if an amount is in dollars, units, or some other metric.

  1. Using Appendices

Your two pages of text can be supplemented with explanations of financial analysis in appendices. Any appendices that you include should contain your own analysis and not just reproductions of exhibits from the cases.

When referencing materials in your appendix, don’t just say “See the appendix for an estimate of the potential market size.” If the supporting materials are not referenced in the text and clearly labeled in the appendices, they do not exist.  It is your responsibility to communicate clearly.  An example of the correct way to reference your appendices is shown in the next paragraph.  Your appendices do not have to be in 12 point font, just make sure that they are easy to read.

Based on the advertising expense recommended by the CEO and the frieght, interest, and depreciation expenses provided by the accounting department, the total fixed costs for the product would be $1,025,000.  The marketing consultant has recommended a price of 8% over the average competitors’ price.  This results in a price of $46.44.  Adjusting last year’s unit variable costs for the changes projected by the accounting department and adding a 5% sales commision results in a unit variable cost of $19.842.  The breakeven point given the proposed changes is 38,537 units or 7.95% marketshare.  See Appendix 1 for an explanation of these calculations. Given the projected marketshare of 12.5%, the proposed changes should be instituted.

  1. Use the Section Headings from the Case Questions

I grade the cases section by section. Break your case write up into sections using the headings noted in the case questions. (You do not need to repeat the case questions in your write-up.)    You need to learn to organize your writing into manageable components. You must leave space after each paragraph and after each section heading like I have done in this example.  Your write-up needs to look professional.  Also, you cannot run all of all of your sentences in a section together into one big paragraph. Each idea that you are trying to communicate needs to go in a new paragraph.  If a paragraph is more than ten lines long, it is too long and needs to be broken up into multiple paragraphs.

  1. Saving and Submitting your Case

Save your case and appendices all in ONE Word file. (The file extension should be “.docx” or “.doc”.) I will only open and grade ONE file. Excel is a great tool to use, but that analysis should be included in your Word file as a table (not a link to your Excel file). After you save your file to Blackboard, open that file to make sure that it will open and print properly. This will ensure that you submit the correct file. After you have previewed your file, be sure to submit that file. Otherwise, I cannot see your work. Do not use embedded headers or footers. These can prevent files from opening during batch processing.

  1. Summary

In summary, make sure that you adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Use this as a template for formatting your cases.
  2. Do not put your name on your case, but include your student ID number.
  3. Your case analysis is limited to two pages of single-spaced text plus appendices.
  4. Use 12 pt. Times Roman font and leave 1 inch margins along all sides of the page.
  5. Break your case write up into sections using the headings noted in the case questions.
  6. Save your case and appendices all in ONE Word file.

Appendix 1: Breakeven Market Share


Fixed Costs

Advertising Expense $550,000 As recommended by the CEO
Freeight Expense $300,000 From case Exhibit 5
Interest Expense $3,000,000 * 0.05 $150,000 Assuming 5% of Machinery Costs from Footnote 4
Depreciation Expense $25,000 From Footnote 5
Total Fixed Costs $1,025,000

Unit selling price will be set at the competitors’ average price (from Exhibit 3) plus 8% as indicated in the case.

Unit Selling Price       =          (( $46.50 + $44.00 + 38.50) / 3 ) * 1.08

=          $46.44

Unit Variable Costs

Materials $12.45 * 1.10 $13.695 10% increase in materials cost over last year
Assembly Labor $4.25 * 0.90 $3.825 10% expected cost savings from new labor contract
Sales Commision $46.44 *0 .05 $2.322 5% as recommended by the sales manager
Unit Variable Costs   $19.842

Fixed Costs

Breakeven      =          ————————————————

Unit Selling Price-Unit Variable Costs


=          ———————          =          38,537 units

$46.44  –  19.842

Breakeven                              Breakeven Units             38,537

Market Share                        =          ———————-   =   ————–   =   7.95%

Industry Demand           485,000

(from Exhibit 7)

customer service software