XCG THE EXCELLENT CONSULTING GROUP Communication from Art Epance: Welcome to this project. ABC Company and Whole Foods Market expect us to provide them with top-notch advice on how to integrate Whole Foods into ABC Company.Work on analyzing ABC Company and analyzing Whole Foods Market. Review as much information as you can on the Whole Foods Market website, particularly that in the “Investor Relations” section. At a minimum, review the following materials in preparation for your report/analysis: Required Reading Reuters Company Profile: Whole Foods Market. Retrieved on November 7, 2012 from: https://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=WFM.O (be sure that you do not rely on this document as your primary source of information, but be sure that you have synthesized information from multiple sources). Retrieved on November 7, 2012 from: https://tainted-ink.net/archives/102. Thompson, A. (2015, Sep. 16). Whole Foods Markets generic & intensive growth strategies. Retrieved from https://panmore.com/whole-foods-market-generic-strategy-intensive-growth-strategies (again, do not rely on this document as a primary source of information, but be sure that you have synthesized information from multiple sources). Whole Foods Market website: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ Retrieved on November 7, 2012. Whole Foods Market (about the company) Whole Foods Market Retrieved on November 7, 2012 from: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info. Whole Foods Market – Annual Stakeholders Report, 2011. Retrieved on November 7, 2012 from: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info/investor-relations/annual-reports. Review Case Analysis since it is so important in this final course. The purpose of a Case is to show that you have thought critically about the subject matter that you are learning and to make an argument for a Claim about the specific situation in the Case Assignment. Stephen Toulmin has developed an Argument Methodology that is very useful in Making a Case. To review Case Analysis and Toulmin’s Argument Methodology, go to Making a Case page. Case Assignment First, you need to do a strategic analysis of Whole Foods Market. The executives want us to provide an independent, objective view of Whole Foods Market’s current strategic position, including full information of Whole Foods Market’s mission, vision and values. They want to identify its current set of strategic goals, and a critical assessment of the competition and the competitive environment (remote and operating environments). Also, they want to see the opportunities and threats Whole Foods is presently facing, and they need a general idea of the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Whole Foods Market and ABC Company want to know if we think they should make any strategic changes or continue with the status quo. Synthesize everything you have learned, provide a final recommendation, and justify your reasoning. Keys to the Assignment: Do diligent research on Whole Foods Market. I have included links to various websites above. As an MBA, you must perform additional research to find information on competition and general trends for opportunities and threats. For the competitive analysis, identify a minimum of three of the top competitive companies and their best-selling services or products – and justify why each is a viable competitor. Your report should be thorough, and follow closely the outline that I have given you. The final section is the most important one. Use excellent logic and sharp argumentation skills to make your case. The report must be 5-7 pages minimum and no more than 10 pages. Assignment Expectations Your paper will be evaluated on the following seven points: Precision – Does the paper address the question(s) or task(s)? Breadth – Is the full breadth of the subject, that is, the Keys to the Assignment, addressed? Depth – Does the paper address the topic in sufficient depth and include the background reading and other background resources as references? Critical thinking – Is the subject thought about critically, that is, accurately, logically, relevantly, and precisely? Clarity – Is the writing clear and are the concepts articulated properly? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the questions or are points conveyed through excessive use of quotations? Organization – Is the paper well written? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are headings included in all papers longer than two pages? Referencing (citations and references) – Does the paper include citations and quotation marks where appropriate? Are the references from the background readings and assignment present and properly cited? Are all the references listed in the bibliography present and referred to via citation? TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS Optimize your research time: Get an overview of the Case Assignments so you know what information you will be looking for when you do research. As you do research for Case 1, you can also be finding information and data for the other cases, too. Continue this strategy as you do research for the next case and the next, etc. The more information you have about the chosen company, the better you will get to know it. The better you get to know it, the better your analysis will be. You may use a simple diagram to highlight important factors. However, do not use the diagram in lieu of valuable analysis (or to take up valuable writing space). It should be in addition to your 5-7 pages of analysis. Just because you have written the minimum five pages does not mean that you have adequately covered the topic. Err on the side of writing more rather than less. Choose the data you use carefully. Is it relevant and important? Include a cover page and reference page, in addition to the 5-10 pages of analysis described above. Include section headings within the paper. Cite and reference all sources that you use in your work, including those that you paraphrase. This means include citations and quotation marks for direct quotes of more than five words, and citations for that information which you have “borrowed” or paraphrased from other sources. Follow guidelines for well-written papers. INTERNET RESEARCH TIPS Search for articles in the business and trade press that give an independent view of the company; you do not want to depend solely on corporate information. Check the financial websites such as Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Morningstar, Dunn & Bradstreet, and Standard and Poor’s, as well as IBISWorld (https://clients1.ibisworld.com/) for reports by industry and financial analysts. Wiki’s and blogs are good ways to get an “inside” look and helpful for evaluating corporate culture/climate.