Business Decision Making Techniques Term Paper
Business Decision Analysis
Business decision analysis is an organized, observed and measurable approach that addresses important choice used by a business. The business especially, the construction industry is faced with multiple challenges that require various techniques in decision making (Morris, Schindehutte & Allen 2015, p. 729). For instance, the construction industry requires both small and large construction business to employ tools of management, operations analysis, marketing, investment return to profit and other strategic decision making concepts in order to identify the problems and make an analysis of the solutions in the business.
This illustrates that a business will encounter problems in its path to survival in the economy. Drucker (2018) in his book, ‘The effective executive’ has mentioned that efficiency is doing things right while he defines effectiveness as doing the right things (Brotman, Liberi & Wasylyshyn 2018, p.40). The construction industry in being effective will require the executive or major decision makers of the business to identify and evaluate the problems in the business.
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This is used in business problem model as a tool for decision making. Identifying the problems in the business will enable the business to get to the next phase where the management will have identified the opportunities that present themselves through the problem. Business opportunity model addresses the function that the business will be doing the right thing in order to survive and thrive in the market.
Decision analysis, therefore, utilizes a variety of tool to evaluate and analyzes relevant information that aids in the decision making the process. The principle behind decision analysis is to utilize aspects of business psychology, effective and efficient management strategies, training and economics of the business that is all the opportunities and returns to scale presented by the decision being made. Business decision analysis is, therefore, used to access decisions that are made in considerations of multiple variables with possible outcomes in the business (Drucker 2018). The usefulness of business decision analysis tool is in decisions related to risk management, investments and strategic business decisions. Otherwise, more sophisticated computer analysis tools are used to develop aids in the decision analysis process.
Business Problems as Decision-Making Models
Formulating business problems follows three steps. First, the business identifies the problems or shortcomings encountered in its operations. The business makes an analysis of the factors and resources of production it has and how effective they are in running an efficient business (Morris et al 2015, p. 730). The second step involved in business problem model is to identify the consequences and effects of the shortcomings. The business undertakes an analysis of the challenges that are encountered and both the short and long-term effect of the shortcomings. The final step in business problem formulation is to define the business problem based on the cause and its center. The business in the steps of identifying the problem has to take a critical analysis of all its operations and resource utilization. For instance, the productivity of its labor and the return on other resources used such as technology over other means of production.
Steps of the Problem Identification Model
The problem-solving model is used to address many challenges in the business or industry as it arises. As such, there are a lot of approaches that are used to identify and classify the problem whole effective management decision-making abilities (Ahn & Chang 2014, p. 412). The models follow the following steps in identifying to solving the problem. These include;
Defining the Problem
Once the business has diagnosed a problem they move to proper identification and classification of the problem. Once the industry has a grasp of the problem at hand they move to the deeper context of identifying the symptoms of the problem. Its implications to the business and finally how important it is for the business to solve the problem (Brotman et al 2018, p.40). The business uses approaches such as performance index and brainstorming to identify the problem.
Determining the Root Cause of the Problem
As the problem has been diagnosed a temporary definition is given to the problem. The concerned people will then proceed to identify the root cause of the problem to be sure of the problem. Several tools are used and this includes, a Pareto analysis, affinity and fishbone diagrams to classify the root of the problem. The business then identifies the root of the entire problem in the business (Morris et al 2015, p. 730).
Developing Alternative Solutions to the Problem
The business once it has classified the problem based on the root cause, the next approach is to develop several solutions termed as alternative solutions to the problems. The business identifies as many solutions as possible to the problem (Drucker 2018). Then identifies the relations it has to the root cause of the problem, once this has been satisfied the business then links the solutions to provide better solutions to the problem. At this stage, the business process is not focused on identifying one solution rather in eliminating the least effective solutions.
Selecting a Solution
The business rounds off the solutions and selects the best based on its feasibility to the business operations. The solution utilized is chosen by how many are in favor of the solution and the best fit in solving business problems. The feasibility test done is to determine the risk management of the decision, cost-effectiveness, ability to deliver the solution in a stipulated timeframe and ability to adapt to changes in future and the benefits it will provide the organization.
Implementing the Solution
Once the solution has been identified the business then determines several factors and stakeholders that will implement the solution and ensure the decision has been affected in the organization. As such, the business establishes; the project manager that oversees the project and decisions as affected, stakeholder and necessary people needed to affect the solution. For example, professional trainers and motivational approaches in ensuring the business decision are effective (Ahn & Chang 2014, p. 412). Establishing a time frame that will help the business identify the time to start and the changes to expect as the project runs. Additionally, time frames help to determine the risk and management approach in dealing with the changes as the decision is being affected.
Evaluation of the Solution
This is established to determine the result of the decision to operations of the business. The business runs an evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the decision and the solution attained. This is done by checking the milestones achieved how the solution has contained all the costs and the result of the solution.
Effecting Decisions through Problem Identification
Problems are otherwise defined by Drucker (2018) as opportunities that are waiting in disguise. The business can choose to overturn its problems into opportunities through a strategic decision that will transform the business. This has been researched by Morris et al (2015, p. 730) and mentions that a methodological approach in problem identification can be used to develop a long-term solution strategy that will make the industry unique and profitable. The solutions that are affected by problem identification can be used to satisfy the business management, employees and customers. As such the decision-making process is based on the three factors. The business has to operate in ways that are effective in utilizing all its resources. However, this does not mean that the business has to overload the workforce. The business will then form strategies that are used to manage the different talents they have, for instance, in training the employees the business will form an effective workforce. Grouping the workforce based on their talents and abilities will help the business to reduce costs of operations. As such, the business will have used problem identification model to satisfy the Adam Smith model of cost-effective and differentiation. The result of the decisions made is reduced cost in production that is shared with the customers. As such, problem identification is used by the business as a decision-making tool that predicts or utilizes problems as future opportunities.
Business Opportunity Model
Business opportunity model is a framework used by a business to identify and create value with business operations. The model extracts and identifies the potential of an organization and provides a path for success and a way of overcoming challenges to be encountered by the business. The model, therefore, takes the considerations of fundamental assumptions on the venture and the key steps and advantages of the new venture. For example, the business model may identify an opportunity in targeting a specific market or consumers. Makes all the assumptions and methods of overcoming the challenges presented and then makes a judgment and prediction of the revenue stream that will arise as a result of utilizing the key resources (Brotman et al 2018, p.40).
Business opportunity model is the central control and factor in business growth as such it determines the direction a business should take and the methods the business will use to get there. It focuses the strategic planners to understand and provide insights on new markets and ventures for the new products being strategized (Drucker 2018). The model helps to direct business behavior and direction that are to be adopted as a business culture. The strategy aims at making all the possible considerations into the advantages optimization of the business plan. Therefore, business opportunity models pay close attention to the business plan, strategic decision making and ways of achieving the business plan. As such, it primarily is the method where the business identifies an opportunity makes possible considerations and plans to achieve the stated goals.
Construction Decision Model Proposal
The construction industry faces a lot of challenges any other business and industry in the market. Therefore, it is appropriate for the business to develop and adopt a business problem identification model as a way of influencing decisions made by the business. The business model is strategic to the business as it is clear that there is an already existing market and the business will not require penetrating techniques to acquire the market. The industry requires the managers to form strategies that will help to give an upper hand in competition and product differentiation to the competition in the market.
Business Problem Identification Model Example in the Construction Industry
Every construction project comes with its own challenges and risk. Therefore, it requires that all the possible shortcomings are accounted for and possible solutions generated to counter the challenges. Managing risks and other problems can be hard but careful planning and execution of solutions can be helpful to mitigate the problems. Adam and Smith Construction Company is established as a house construction business, however, they are faced with challenges of risk management in their construction projects. Determining the shortcomings of the business required the business to identify the possible problems and identify the roots of the problem (Ahn & Chang 2014, p. 412). This led them to identify the problem and hence made the conclusion of an alternative to the problem and the solution to be used in managing the risks. The risks encountered with Adam and Smith company results in the company losing valuable resources such as labor and time to run more operations as such leading to more costs and loss of potential markets.
The example above illustrates the use of a business problem identification model as a tool that influences management decisions and providing solutions that form opportunities for trade and more chances of growth (Drucker 2018). The business encounters with risks include risks in; managing and changing orders, safety hazards and work accidents and injuries, increases in material costs, labor shortages, unproductive labor, damages and theft of equipment, unknown site conditions, poorly contracts and poor project management.
Alternate Solutions to the Problem
This gives the business more opportunities in managing the risks and avoiding extra costs as such leads to more profits. The methods and techniques employed include; avoiding the risk, the department concerned with contracts is vested with the powers to identify properly written and specified contract. This will avoid unnecessary risks encounter with the business. Additionally, the business can use the transfer of risks to manage their risks. For example, as the business has identified risks in changing material costs they can identify a supplier and make a contract (Brotman et al 2018, p.40). This will enable them to utilize a standard price for the materials and resources being used in the business. Mitigating the risk allows the business to carefully plan and eliminate the risks they are dealing with. For instance, they should try not to overcommit the available resources. They can hire more workers to complete their projects effectively; they can rent more equipment to facilitate the process of quicker and efficient services to their clients.
They are an evaluative technique used to track down the business strategic changes such as; financial effectiveness and revenue generation. The performance matrices help the business to make a comparison of the difference and effectiveness of the strategies used by the business. It helps to check the performance of the solution and decision being undertaken by the business (Ahn & Chang 2014, p. 412). For example, through the use of statistical analysis of the number of sales, projects completed and the costs incurred will give the business a performance rating as compared to the previous years.
Key Performance Index
They indicate the perspectives of different stakeholders such as customers and the employees to the new strategies used by the business (Morris et al 2015, p. 730). It serves to show the organization how effective their decisions are serving business health and status.
They help the business to check the performance of different resource capacity as compared to the traditional models they were using. For example, the new technology can mix ten metric tons of concrete in a day while previously the business was able to make five metric tons a day.
They indicate the effectiveness of the new business solution by the business. The business seeks to identify how much in quantity of business operation is effective.
Role of Decision-Making Techniques
The techniques of decision making are useful in determining the profitability of the business and the new strategies that they can employ in making their business more profitable or competitive in the economy. For instance, the business may employ the opportunity model to identify the new market or make their product more competitive in the market by using problem identification model (Ahn & Chang 2014, p. 412). The business influences its decisions based on a strategy that bests suits the business such as strategies that utilizes all the resources, it is cost-efficient and more innovative. This helps the business to increase its product and service delivery while making the business more competitive.
Decision-making techniques help the business to forecast on the prevailing market conditions and how they can take advantage of the situation that is projected. For instance, it is forecasted that in the next twenty years the population will have increased by 30 percent. This will increase pressure to the housing and as such it creates an opportunity that the business can utilize in creating a new opportunity of selling mortgages as a construction company (Brotman et al 2018, p.40). Once the business identifies the opportunities they make strategies and solution of optimizing their resources such as training their employees to be effective and reducing the costs making their products readily available and cheap in the market.
Analysis of Decision-Making Techniques
The business in order to understand and predict the market so as to utilize all its resources effectively they use regression analysis to analyze the market and the condition present. Linear programming is technically an analysis of two variables on a determinant of the other. The business determinant factor is the market while the business operations are changed to suit the variable in the market.
Regression analysis that is used to show the factors in the market as compared to the factors in the business. As such, it helps to predict, forecast and determine the markets conditions. This concept allows the business management to make all the possible strategies and identify an effective solution to use in their operations.
Construction Industrial Review
NAICS Definition of the Industrial Sector
Construction industry involves various operating entities that are related to economic activities of repairing, construction, engineering processes, land developing, land survey, and renovation. According to NAICS (2012), entities within the construction industry can operate as individual firms or through joint ventures. For individuals who chose to develop construction projects on their own, they can either finance the whole project on their accounts or subcontract other constructing companies to facilitate completion of the project.
There are three major subdivisions in the construction industry. The subsectors are civil engineering, actual construction of establishments and buildings and specialty contractors of trade. The three subdivisions are differentiated by the specific labor skills required, the type of equipment required and other economic correctives unique in each of the three subsectors.
Under the construction of buildings and establishments, there are two more subdivisions including the residential and non-residential industries. According to NAICS (2012), residential building classification encompasses firms that are involved in construction activities such as renovation, establishment or remodeling of houses. In particular, these houses are specifically designed for family use not for commercial purposes. Example of residential construction includes construction of cottages, single-room houses, or apartments. In the residential construction industry, the trade contractor has three primary roles (NAICS, 2012). Firstly, the contractor is in charge of all the specialized construction works such as the purchase of construction materials. Secondly, the contractor is given the role of leasing on behalf of the owner the residential establishments and lastly connects the project owner with manufactures.
The other category under the construction industry is the Non-residential construction industry. The non-residential sector is exclusively concerned with the construction of commercial, industrial, and institutional apartments that are leased on instalments (NAICS, 2012). Major players involved in this industry include the general contractors, designers, engineers, architects, non-residential operative builders and the management firm supervising the construction works.
Structure construction and industrial establishments under the non-residential category are meant for commercial purposes. NAICS (2012) do not however classify warehouses as part of the non-residential construction sector albeit it being used at a commercial store. The reason why warehouses are not classified under the non-residential sector is that they are inherent characteristics that are associated with the non-residential sector that lacks in warehouse construction such as warehouses do not use general contractors during their establishment.
Recent Economic History of the Non-residential Construction Sector
The non-residential industry is a major economic industry in Global. The sector has absorbed approximately 1.2 million employees both men and women. The industry has experienced significant progress that has seen approximately 7.1% of the population working in the sector.
Historically in Global, employment within the construction sector has been increasingly more sensitive to the vicissitudes of the economy. During the global financial recession of 2008 and 2009, the overall rate of employment in the country went down by 1.7% (Letad, 2017). The construction industry experienced a 5.7% decrease in the employment rate. Later in 2015, economy demonstrated signs of economic improvement by the overall employment rate growing by 1.4%. Employment in the construction industry advanced by 5%.
The construction industry is a major income earner and a significant contributor to the economy. In 2014, the construction industry in Global including non-residential, residential, repair, engineering and other services used in the construction industry accounted for approximately 7.6% of the gross domestic product. The 7.6% GDP contribution was equivalent to $80 billion (The Current State of Global’s Construction Industry, 2018). From the year 2010 to 2017, the construction industry recorded a 43.7% increase in the GDP while the other industries in general recorded an increase of 20.4%.
The value of construction permits within the industry has gone up. In 2009, the construction permits had gone down by 13.1% due to the prevailing economic recession during the 2008-2009 financial years. In 2014, the value of construction permits significantly rose to $80.7 billion signifying an 18.7% increase (ReportBuyer, 2017). In particular, the non-residential house permits gained value by 25.2% from 2009 to 2015 reaching a value of $50.4. This figure accounted for approximately 56.7% of all the construction permits.
Global’s construction industry has experienced reduced investments in the non-residential sector. The cumulative investment in the non-residential sector in 2017 was $38.2 a 2% drop from the 2014 non-residential investment. Specifically, industrial buildings experienced a drop of 3.6%; government buildings experienced an increase of 4.3%, commercial establishment recorded a fall of 2.5% while institutional buildings improved by 3%.
Economic Review of the Sector in the Past Three Years
In 2017, economic activities in the non-residential sector were weak in Global. The cumulative investment starts in this industry reduced by 5.3% in the 2017 financial year. This was a worrying economic trend because the years 2015 and 2016 consecutively had equally experienced a 10.1% and 23.1% decline (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2019). In general, the three-year economic slump experienced in the construction industry left Global with approximately 35% below its 2014 economic peak.
By contrast, non-residential industry in Global experienced an increase in economic statistics. In 2017, there was a 26.1% in industrial growth and related investments. The increase was followed by a 32.5% decline that the industry experienced in 2016. Industries directly related to the non-residential construction sector also experienced annual economic growth of more than 100% (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2019). For example, the construction industry and mining industry who are the leading suppliers of construction materials experienced 102% and 105% growth respectively.
The contribution of Non-residential Industry to GDP
In 2017, Global experienced an estimated 3% growth in its GDP. This was an increase from the previous 2016 financial year by 1.4%. GDP in 2017 especially in the first two financial quarters experienced an annual growth rate of 4% but slowed in the third quarter by 2.3% (Global GDP From Construction, 2019). The employment industry in Global is particularly stable as discussed earlier. The market has accommodated and created jobs for over 60% of the total population with a 5% increase in the past 14 months. The market has also recorded an increase in employee’s wages.
Statistics in Figure 2 below represents the basic prices for the construction industry and the relationship with the country’s GDP between the years 2010 and 2017. In 2017, albeit an overall decline in the industrial economic statistics, the year still recorded a higher 123 dollar in GDP compared to 2016 and 2015 (Global GDP From Construction, 2019). The financial year 2017 also recorded a decline in GDP contribution compared to the 2014 industrial peak that contributed 128 dollars.
Principle Economic Issues Relating to the Construction Industry and Solutions
All economic sectors have challenges and opportunities that they can potentially tap within the market with the intention of improving productivity. The construction industry in Global has experienced significant challenges in its pursuit to improve production processes. Nonetheless, there are equally substantial opportunities and solutions that the industry can use in solving in solving the prevailing industrial challenges.
A critical economic issue affecting construction industry is the vicious production cycle. The construction industry in Global is extensively cynical. It is often perceived and described through the vicious production cycle. When the industry experience downturns, constriction and other related firms who had invested both innovation and capital are usually vulnerable to the potential losses (Jones, 2018). During the downturn economic times, the constriction is mainly reluctant to invest in new purchases, advanced construction processes, and new technologies that would otherwise revolutionize the industry and make it better. In solving this challenge, the government should heavily invest in technology through setting aside a significant amount of its budget purposed at specifically improving levels of technological input within the construction industry.
Secondly, labor market in Global is also experiencing challenges of an increasingly aging population as well as lack of skill diversity. In five years, approximately 0.25 million employees in Global will be of retirement age (Jones, 2018). This implies that the construction industry is faced with the challenge of attracting and retaining a different generation of employees. In pushing for productivity gains, the construction industry should ensure that it has focused on the economics side associated with labor.
The construction industry has in the past experienced labor shortages, especially during economic downturns. In 2009, the industry lost approximately 1 million employees. While a significant population has struggled to get their employment back into the construction industry after pre-recession, the industry must integrate strong measures and policies in ensuring that employment is not distracted (Jones, 2018). The industry is also not attracting innovative and talented employees, yet the demand is high. A significant number of companies are experiencing trouble finding qualified employees. Appropriate and strategic recruiting measures should be adopted in filtering qualified employees from the rest.
Thirdly, the construction industry is experiencing stagnant levels of production. Compared to other industrial sectors in Global such as the agricultural sector, the construction industry has experienced insignificant growth especially in its levels of production over the last decade (Chen et al., 2017). This is a troubling economic challenge especially now that the industry is even growing more complex. Poor production in the industry is attributed to inadequate planning, poor communication strategies between construction stakeholders on various projects and lack of industrial collaboration.
Another economic challenge facing the industry is slow adoption to technology. The construction industry has undergone a significantly low rate of technological adoption. Project owners and firms within this industry underinvest in technology albeit the existing general knowledge on technological contribution in different industrial sectors. As shown in figure 3 below, construction industry is yet to fully integrate technological input in its processes compared to other countries.
Employee safety is a critical challenge facing the industry. The construction industry is increasingly becoming complex. When issues of safety are not considered associated risks keep plaguing construction processes. Compared to other industries, the construction industry has a higher number of deaths.
Lastly, there are stiff government policies and regulations that challenge effectiveness within the industry. For example, increase in taxation. In solving this challenge, the government should recognize the economic input and GDP contributed by the construction industry (Safa et al., 2015). With such considerations, the government can offer flexible and friendly policies that do not seem manipulative to the industry players..
Construction industry is global manufacturing industries. While the initial manufacturing machines used in the construction and construction industries are still being used today, the global industry has experienced a technological advancement shift in recent years . Leader producers in the construction and construction industries are pursuing the creation of a technological advancement that will avert increased counterfeiting of their cloth-line brands. If this technology is accomplished, it will be impossible for other brand manufactures to duplicate valued pieces. Contemporary and future technological advancements in the United States are critical determinants to the success of the construction and construction global industries.
The construction industry is one of the largest industry globally because it has a variety of materials ranging from high-end fashion clothes to air filters in our houses. The industry has therefore incorporated millions of people through employment. The future of the construction industry will be affected by manufacturing, retail, and virtual merchandising, distribution and inventory as well as product design. In product design, technological advancement is quickly automating the fashion design. Construction industries like Nike are increasingly using technology in extensively comprehending their customers in a more better and comprehensive way better than it was before. The data collection efforts will undoubtedly grow over time in the construction industries, becoming more sophisticated. This will result to the use of artificial intelligence in shaping different approaches by brands particularly in the development and designing stages, therefore, predicting consumer’s needs regarding the clothes they want to purchase next in the market.
The future of the construction industry in manufacturing will ensure that the fashion industry is fast as this will establish a gratification perception on the consumers. High-end fashion brands will gain a competitive advantage in beating traditional labels. Since the manufacturing stage will encompass a real-time capability by consumers to discover what are the newest consumer brands, it will become possible for fashion brands to push for even wider brand varieties.
The last three decades have experienced abrupt technological advancement used in both the construction and construction industries in the manufacture of sporting clothes. The original machines used in the industry has seen extensive evolution. Foster (2016) explains that the contemporary machines are more efficient and fast. Previously, employees within these industries use manual labor in production; this has changed since computerized programs integrated with explanatory skill powers are used in production. While the employee presence within the industry has been negatively affected by incorporation of these machines as they have taken the roles previously taken by humans, the efficiency and output are worth the investment. For example, the construction industry in the USA experienced a 30% drop by 2003 in the number of employees.
The construction industry has experienced a vast expansion of technological input. These technological advances include the use of knitting machines in manufacture. The knitting machines used in the manufacture of construction s create materials that are knitted in large material swaths. Different from the old machines that used to create long strips; these newly advanced technologies loops and sew the materials together to produce construction s.
Pleating and laser printing are also technological advancement used in the manufacture of construction s. For the pleating machines, they have eliminated the presence of laborers who used to execute manual pleating. A pleating machine solely does the printing work. On the other hand, the laser machine is similar to the printing machine used to print papers. For these construction machines, they are used to input or draw laser printing on the construction s. They also create more complex designs for the construction s.
Lastly, nanotechnology and 3-D printers are used in the manufacture of sports construction s. The 3-D printers are mainly found in high community construction companies. For example, manufacturing companies are inventing ways to integrate 3-D technologies to manufacture shoes that are highly innovative. Tech-innovators are also increasingly advancing their knowledge to ensure that the 3-D printers will produce construction s that are more resilient and thinner (Foster, 2016). Nanotechnology is a recent technological innovation mainly in the pilot stage by different clothe manufacturing companies. The construction industry is looking forward to utilizing this technology in establishing clothes that are more scientific. For example, sports construction s that are water-repellent, fire-repellent, and self-cleaning. Nanotechnology advancements will see the construction industry use fewer energy thresholds in production that subsequently will help in the sustenance of the environment.
In the present day, the use of technology in the construction industry has made fashion brands seem more traceable and increase their transparency in the industry. Once the construction industries distribute their products into the market, it has become possible to track the inventory. Technological management tools are used in tracking and keeping records of the products sold.
Construction brands are increasingly using scanners, a combination of sensors, as well as a cloud-based software that is used in maintaining and monitoring the sales. Construction stores are also applying the use of subscription boxes in helping their brand increase product sale. Lastly, construction brands are increasingly using pop-up shops in the distribution of their products.
In conclusion, the initial focus in the construction and construction industry was exclusively on the production of end products. Until lately, the company has shifted its focus to technology and technology. The capability of the USA to manufacture new machines as well as advance their technologies provides the manufactures in the construction industry a larger market share that subsequently increases their productivity.
Economic Outlook of the Sector
Global construction industry in the past five years has recorded a weak performance. Regardless, the future outlook in the construction industry has remained positive. In 2018, the last two years, Global construction industry experienced increased spending in the last six consecutive quarters in both the residential and non-residential industries (The Current State of Construction Industry, 2018). Progress on other institutional and government projects have raised confidence within the industry and created a sense of optimism for the industrial vital players.
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