Application: National, State, and Community Asset Mapping

Prepare a written analysis of the case to hand in before the start of Week 11 class.

Each student will individually prepare a formal report in Executive Summary Format that will analyze the company’s current situation and make recommendations for the future. This exercise deliberately builds on, and requires you to apply the concepts and frameworks learned in the course and build your case analysis in a systematic, thorough and rigorous way.

You should take the role of an outside strategy consultant, hired by the Board of Directors to assess their company’s performance, and to provide a recommendation for future strategic action: what one thing should Airborne Express do to strengthen its competitive position and overall performance?

Your focus should be on effectively articulating your analysis and conclusion to a senior management audience. Your analysis write-up should be a maximum of 5 pages in length, single spaced (12 point font, 1” margins). This does not include tables, charts, or appendices, which are strongly encouraged to support your analysis. You should make extensive use of appendices to provide exhibits that support your analyses and draw on tools and frameworks from the course. Your appendices do not count toward your 5-page limit.

This is an individual assignment. As such, it should represent only your own work. You are not permitted to discuss the assignment with other people in or out of our class. The highest standards of academic honesty and integrity are expected on this assignment. Please abide by the Simmons College honor code as posted in the student handbook.

General Guidelines:

DO NOT go outside of the case for information. Your assignment is to help the company make smart decisions related to their business, given the information available to them in the case. Base your case analysis on the facts that are contained in the case – do not use your own experiential knowledge as a consumer or from your previous work experience or information from the Internet to explain or defend your analysis.

You should use some or all analytical tools we have learned thus far in the course to structure your analysis.

Grading Rubric:

The grading rubric will include the following categories:

1) Situation Analysis: Your thoughtfulness and thoroughness in quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing the situation,

2.) Key Issues Development: Your recognition and clarity of the key issues, problems, or decisions inherent in the case and an analysis of the root causes of those issues,

3.) Solution Generation: The creativity and the breadth of alternative actions/solutions you consider,

4.) Decision Analysis: The rigor and depth of quantitative and qualitative analysis you use to establish criteria for choosing among alternatives and to assemble evidence in support of your recommended actions,

5.) Decision: The appropriateness of your recommended action given the facts of the case;

6) Written Presentation: The persuasiveness and clarity of the presentation of your supporting arguments.

Content Guidelines:

I expect to see the following sections in your Executive Summary:

• Situation Analysis

• Key Issues Development

• Strategic Recommendations and Rationale

• Conclusions

• Appendices

Below is a detailed outline of what should be included in each section of the paper.


In this assignment, approximately two-thirds of your written summary should focus on a thorough strategic situation analysis of the company. Specifically, you should draw on pulling together a coherent written summary of the analyses you developed through applying tools and concepts from this course. Do not just repeat facts from the case without adding some value to them by assessing, examining, or combining them to draw conclusions and derive insights or findings; individual case facts are the basis of the analysis and should be used selectively as examples to illustrate the points you make.

Specifically, in developing your analysis, you should utilize theories and core concepts from Chapters 1-6 of the textbook plus your coursepack readings applied to Airborne Express, its industry, and its competitors in order to develop the necessary components for a comprehensive analysis of the external and internal environments facing the company.

Your paper should include one or more of the following appendices to support your analysis of the situation. In general, appendices are good places to present data and analyze it, while the text of your executive summary is a good place to summarize and pull out the strategic implications of your analysis. In your executive summary, you should reference the appropriate appendix to

support your analysis.

1. Four-Box Business Model Analysis

2. External Analysis –Porter’s Five Forces analysis

3. External Analysis -Competitor Analysis

4. Internal Analysis-Resource and Capabilities analysis

5. SWOT Analysis


This crucial section specifies the most important key issues or problem areas that the company faces (usually 3-5 will emerge) and the root causes of these problems. These are NOT recommendations, or potential strategies. They are not questions. They ARE synthesis statements, representing important areas of concern or action that emerge from your situation analysis, and that you will be addressing in your recommendations. In other words, what are the issues that are potential barriers to future viability/growth that your company will need to address to be successful in the future? Remember that this section bridges the Analysis and the Recommendations, so is very important: make sure it is clear and logical. This section should include the following appendix to support your key issues development.

 Analysis of the Root Causes on each of the Key Issues using Ishikawa Diagrams or The 5 Why’s Method


This section contains the strategic alternatives considered and your ultimate recommendations. In this course, you should focus primarily on big picture strategic level recommendations and not specific tactics. Your alternatives considered and ultimate recommendation should directly address at least one of the key issues described in the previous section. Be sure that your recommendation is directly linked and relevant to key issue(s). Also be sure to identify risks associated with your recommendation and any important considerations for implementation.

To develop this this section, you should be conducting steps 3-9 of the analytical decision making process to identify your options and develop your recommendation. You don’t need to develop appendices on all 9 steps but you do need to include all three of the following appendices to support your development of strategic options and your ultimate recommendation.

1. A list of strategic options considered with a brief description of each

2. Decision Weighted model analysis with criteria (with explanation), weights (with explanation), and ratings (with explanation) for each option

3. Risk/reward analysis with clear explanations


This section should summarize your report and end with a compelling restatement of your recommendation.


Here you will attach your tables, charts, graphs, and other appendices. Each appendix should be numbered, should add value (not just length), and should be relevant to your analysis or recommendation outlined in the Executive Summary. Use your space wisely and do not spend time repeating data from the case – turn the data in the case into information and strategic implications by doing analysis! Please do not spend time recreating exhibits provided in the case; assume that the management team to whom you are addressing your executive summary already has these exhibits in hand.

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