Information Technology FAQs

Click on a link below to access that FAQ (frequently-asked question) topic.


Information Technology Billings Interpretation
One-Time Costs With Information Technology Options
Profitability of Demand Drivers
Service Center Statistics Report and Unfilled Orders
Unfilled Orders and Retailer Inventory




Information Technology Billings Interpretation

“Why are we being charged for Information Technology on the Corporate P&L Statement? We're not currently using any information technology options.”

As described in the LINKS participant's manual, Information Technology billings include the $1,000 per output-page charge for financial reports as well as the charges associated with any Information Technology options.

Page count is only known after the Word doc output file is generated, which occurs after the current-rount financials are calculated. So, Information Technology costs for the current round are reported on the following round's financial reports.

revised 10/23/2017
[000095.html]
listed under "Financial and Operating Reports"
listed under "Information Technology"





One-Time Costs With Information Technology Options

“Some information technology options have initial one-time (setup) costs that occur when an option is first activated. If we activate such information technology options occasionally, turning them "off" in subsequent simulation rounds, and then turn them "on" in later simulation rounds, do we have to pay the one-time (setup) costs each time we turn "on" such an information technology option?”

Yes, you are correct. Such one-time (setup) costs are always charged when such an information technology option is activated for the "first time." "First time" means that the option is "on" in this simulation round but was "off" in the previous simulation round. Of course, if you continuously order such information technology options with one-time (setup) costs, only the on-going (per simulation round) costs accrue after the initial simulation round in which the information technology option is activated.

revised 04/18/2001
[000115.html]





Profitability of Demand Drivers

“What can we do to assess the relative importance and potential profitability of all of the elements that drive our firm's demand?”
Please view the following video which provides advice for your LINKS team about assessing the profitability of the wide range of potential demand drivers that might affect your LINKS business.

revised 05/04/2018
[000264.html]
listed under “Advice”
listed under “Financial and Operating Reports”
listed under “Generate Demand”
listed under “Information Technology”
listed under ”Marketing”
listed under "Service"





Service Center Statistics Report and Unfilled Orders

“Our firm had unfilled orders this quarter but there are no calls to our call center being reported in the Service Center Statistics Report. Why is that?”

The Service Center Statistics Report includes counts of call center contacts. These alternative performance metrics (alternative to financial, operating, and CSR activities) reflect standing/performance of the firm in the marketplace, but perhaps with lags.

Even though the firm had unfilled orders this quarter, there might not be any specific calls to the call center about unfilled orders. Perhaps there will be follow-up calls to the call center next quarter from still-interested customers who didn't purchase a competitor's service when they encountered an unfilled-orders situation, even if there are no actual unfilled orders next quarter. Or, perhaps customers don't ever contact the call center about unfilled orders ... perhaps customers just "go away" (to competitors).

revised 03/24/2009
[000228.html]
listed under "Financial and Operating Reports"
listed under "Information Technology"





Unfilled Orders and Retailer Inventory

“We have unfilled orders for one of our products in channel #1 but channel #1 does have some inventory of our product (i.e., retailers aren’t stocked-out). What’s going on? If we have unfilled orders as a manufacturer, shouldn’t the retailers in channel #1 be stocked-out?”

If you look more carefully at the Retail Pipeline Report, you’ll notice that the beginning inventory in the retail channel is a lot higher than the ending inventory. (And, yes, the ending inventory is positive.) The ending inventory in the retail pipeline is a lot lower than desired (compare it to the beginning inventory level). Thus, channel #1 apparently wanted to purchase more from your firm (the manufacturer) but you (the manufacturer) couldn't provide it. Thus, the manufacturer observes unfilled orders even though there's some inventory available in the retail channel. But, this ending inventory is less than the retailers ideally want. Remember, retailers buy set-top boxes from manufacturers to sell to final customers but also to maintain some targeted level of inventory in the channel to service their (retailers’) final end-user customers.

revised 04/19/2005
[000215.html]
listed under "Definitions"
listed under "Information Technology"
listed under "Manufacturing"




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