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Acuscan, Inc. Case Study

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AcuScan, Inc. Case Study

Tiffany Dean

GEN 480- Capstone

Bill Barker

December 12, 2005

AcuScan, Inc. Case Study


The University of Phoenix implores the use of Case Studies to provide real world experience to students. The AcuScan, Inc. case study tests the studentsÐŽ¦ critical thinking skills and their ability to evaluate assumptions and soundness of arguments, recognize the difference between logical and emotional responses, identify fallacious analysis and problems, create alternative solutions to the identified problems and select the most optimal solution, and lastly, predict the outcome of the selected solution. Students demonstrate these skills in two-parts, an analysis of the AcuScan company problem and an executive summary for the CEO.

Part One-Analysis

Describe all assumptions seen in any documents provided by each individual.

Kelly Thomas the Senior Engineer of Product Development makes several assumptions. Kelly assumes the modifications proposed by Pat Lambert cannot be completed by August, the programmers will not have time to develop and test the product due to staff reductions from the previous year, and if complete, the product will not meet the previous iScanner quality. Kelly further makes assumptions about Pat including, Pat is not aware of the need for quality control, Pat is inexperienced with the iScanner product and lacks the required technological background, and Pat attempted to undercut Kelly by communicating directly to his staff.

Pat Lambert the new Director of Marketing also makes several assumptions. Pat assumes that the modifications proposed are simple additions to the current iScanner product, such modifications can be complete to some degree by August, being first in the retail market is more important than delivering a complete product, an outside contractor can make the needed modifications in a timely fashion. Pat continues with assumptions that the staff, in disagreeing with her, were not committed to the new product, the new product will save the company, by soliciting more information, I was nit-picking, there is no plan in place to launch new products, and because of KellyÐŽ¦s history with the company, his team is in awe of him.

Cliff OÐŽ¦Conner CEO also makes a few assumptions including; PatÐŽ¦s experience in cereal marketing will prove effective for AcuScan, the budget will afford lauching a new product, and the staff will work together as one team to ensure product development. Chris Martinas Vice President of Product Development assumes with Pat the the new product requires simple modifications to the old product. Chris further assumes that repacking of the current product is a major part of the problem solution, and Pat and Kelly can put aside differences coming together to meet the August deadline.

Explain the arguments made by each staff member.

Kelly Thomas provides several agruments against the proposed Operation Optimize. The first argument is there is not enough time to develop the complete product as proposed because of a reduction in staffing from the previous year and a commitment to service the current product. Kelly also argues that the proposed changes are more complicated than simple modifications and will take time and testing to ensure quality. Lastly, Kelly argues that Pat shows a lack of knowledge of the iScanner product and the technical requirments for quality product development.

Pat Lambert argues that iScanner should be launched in a new market. Pat also argues that for additional money, an outside contractor can complete the product on time. Lastly, Pat argues that Kelly initially stated it is simple to build on existing applications.

Cliff OÐŽ¦Connor argues that all other departments, except for Sales and Marketing, reduce the departmental budget by fifteen percent. Cliff continues with the argument that Pat and Chris will help AcuScan recapture its position as market leader because of its technology. Chris Martinas presents several arguments as well including; AcuScan needs to expand its technology into a new market, the expanison will require minimal funding and simple modifications, and the company must have the product on the market by early 2004 to beat the competion who is planning to enter the market soon after.

Evaluate each argument listed above as sound or unsound and why. Indicate whether they are emotional or logical in nature.

KellyÐŽ¦s arguments are sound and logical. Kelly based his argument regarding the time and work required on experience and knowledge of the product. Kelly also argues to maintain the reputation of the company and his team by only producing a quality product, which is essential to continuuing the market lead. The argument pertaining to PatÐŽ¦s knowledge is also sound as PatÐŽ¦s recommendations are contrary to prior product development history.

PatÐŽ¦s argument for entering a new market is sound and logical, as the current market is increasingly competitive. However, her argument for an outside contractor is unsound and emotional. The company is currently in a budget crisis and cannot afford an outside contractor. In addition, the outside contractor is a quick fix for the conflict with Kelly. Lastly, PatÐŽ¦s argument for simple modifications is based on KellyÐŽ¦s statement that it would be simple to build upon exisiting applications. The statement does not detail that the needed modifications qualify as extensions of existing applications yet, Pat continues to argue that the modifications are simple. This is an emotionally unsound argument.

Cliff OÐŽ¦ConnnorsÐŽ¦ argument to reduce spending in other departments is sound and logical due to the fall in revenues yet, it is unsound to plan new product development on such a limited budget. The argument for creating a new product to put the company back on top is sound and logical, as the first iScanner product was successful. Therefore, ChrisÐŽ¦ argument to expand into a new market is sound and logical for the same reasons. The argument that it will require mininmum funding is logical and sound as the company suffered layoffs last year and is in a current budget crisis. The argument to launch the product before the competition is logical and sound as the companyÐŽ¦s main competitior is developing a similar product as well. The



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