is a vending machine a good investment 1

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You work for Winnie Widget, the president of Acme Widget Company. Acme is a small but growing company that has 26 current employees. The company is housed in an old factory building with several other small- and medium-sized companies. The area around Acme is very industrial and there are not many places to eat nearby. A number of employees have asked Ms. Widget to install vending machines in the office. Ms. Widget wants to keep employees happy but also wants to keep costs low. She needs your help. She has asked you to analyze the situation using a spreadsheet and to write up a memo in which you present the options and make a recommendation.


Part 1: Spreadsheet

Begin by consulting the relevant documents in the Project resources, including the employee survey and the brochures from two vending companies. Define the problem as precisely as you can and formulate the question you want to answer. Then, brainstorm possible solutions to the problem.

Next, complete the Spreadsheet in the Project resources to guide your analysis of the problem and possible solutions. Your spreadsheet should include:

  • the number of employees who want each machine.
  • the average purchases per day for those who responded “Yes.”
  • the monthly costs to Acme for each option.
  • the monthly cost for employees for each option.
  • the total monthly cost (Acme cost + employee cost) for each option.

Use the spreadsheet to perform the required calculations. Do not perform calculations yourself (on paper, with a calculator, etc.). Make sure to use the following formulas and functions at least once:

  • SUM
  • PRODUCT or multiplication
  • QUOTIENT or division
  • IF

After you have finished the spreadsheet, answer the following questions, which are included at the bottom of the spreadsheet:

  • Why is it useful to use formulas in this scenario?
  • Which formula did you find most useful or hardest to use, and why?

This spreadsheet will be submitted as one of two deliverables for this Project.

Part 2: Memo

Flesh out the details of your top three solutions that you think you will present in your memo. Note the advantages and drawbacks associated with each solution. Remember there are nonmonetary considerations as well. You can certainly use your own real-world knowledge in coming up with solutions, but be sure to work within the framework of the information provided.

Analyze your top three solutions, and decide which one is best and the key reasons why. Then, write a business memo to Winnie Widget. Your memo should:

  • briefly explain the situation.
  • explain three feasible solutions.
  • identify the best solution and explain why it is best.
  • be written in standard format (see the Business Memo Purpose and Format resource in the Project resources).…
  • use appropriate language for its purpose (see Audience and Purpose resource in the Project resource).
  • be free of spelling and grammar mistakes.…

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