Finance Discussion #3
A payday loan is a small, unsecured, short-term loan ranging from $100 to $1,000 (depending on the state). Borrowers simply write a personal post-dated check for the amount they want to borrow. A flat fee of $15 for every $100 borrowed is usually charged. The fees on such loans can equate to an annual interest rate of over 390%. Some argue this is an outrageous rate. On the other hand, the costs of these loans can be less expensive than the other costs the borrowed funds are being used to avoid. For example, the $15 fee might be used to get $100 to avoid a $30 check overdraft charge, a $40 late credit card payment fee, or a $90 charge to reconnect electricity service, which will be disconnected without the money to make the electric payment.
A manager at a payday loan and check cashing business defends his company’s business practice as simply “charging what the market will bear.” “After all,” says the manager, “we don’t force people to come in the door.”
How would you respond to this ethical defense of the payday-advance business?
Quality Improvement and Management
Case Study Assignment
Case Study 3.1: Building the Better Mouse
© 2008 Victor E. Sower, Ph.D., C.Q.E.
You are sitting in on a meeting with the Acme Corp. new product development team. The team is comprised entirely of design engineers and is meeting in the engineering conference room. The team leader is the Chief Design Engineer, Michael Carroll, who invited you to sit in today.
Michael addresses the team. “We’ve been tasked with designing a new mouse to sell with the next generation of personal computers. We have six months to have working prototypes ready to present to marketing and three months after that to have the new mouse in production. It’s a very aggressive schedule—we have no time to waste. Let’s start by brainstorming ideas for the mouse. Please be as innovative as possible.” Michael stepped to the white board prepared to write all of the ideas that emerged from the meeting.
Ideas began to surface:
“Why does a mouse have to have only 2 buttons and a scroller? Why not add an additional button for the thumb that can be programmed to serve as a function key?”
“Why not make the mouse available in many colors rather than just the drab black, grey, and off-white?”
“Why not send power to the mouse using RF rather than using a battery?”
“Why do we need a mouse anyway? Why not implant a chip into users’ index fingers?”
“Let’s make the mouse a glove. Just move your fingers to move the cursor.”
As the ideas were offered, Michael wrote them on the white board. After about 30 minutes the flow of ideas had about stopped. There were a total of 28 ideas generated. Michael divided them loosely into categories: electrical; physical; functional. He asked the team to divide themselves into three groups along functional lines and each group to select a category to develop further. “Please pay particular attention to technical feasibility and manufacturing costs when you evaluate the ideas. Let’s plan to meet again in two weeks with each group giving a report on their ideas. We’ll try to narrow the ideas down and start rough prototyping the most promising ideas.”
After the meeting, Michael asked you for comments about the process he is using to design the new mouse. What comments and suggestions would you make to Michael?
Answer the following questions for Case Study 3.1. Ensure to use a word doc and provide leading paragraphs with each question. Properly cite using APA formatting.
1. What is the role of a facilitator in this type of meeting?
2. Describe some of the key tools that a facilitator can use to gain group alignment.
3. Why do you think the room was filled with only Design Engineers? What should
be done about this situation?
4. Describe some of the tools that would allow this group to gain a better
understanding of what the customer would want. How could this group use this
information to build a better computer mouse? Why is this important?
5. Ensure to use a word doc and provide leading paragraphs with each question.
6. Properly cite using APA formatting.