Assignment is all about project decision making including the use of both qualitative and quantitative data

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Bramer Corporation’s controller, Mara, was asked to prepare a capital investment analysis for a robot-guided aluminum window machine. This machine would automate the entire window-casing manufacturing line. Mara has just returned from an international seminar on qualitative inputs into the capital investment decision and the value chain. She is eager to incorporate these new ideas into the analysis. In addition to the normal net present value analysis (which produced a significant negative result), Mara factored in figures for customer satisfaction, scrap reduction, reduced inventory needs, and reputation for quality. With the additional information included, the analysis produced a positive result for the investment. Do you think these other factors should be included in Mara’s analysis?



Making decisions in a project involves the evaluation of a project using different method of appraisal including the net present value (NPV). However, every method used has a different set of data to be used in the evaluation whether numerical or non-statistical. Therefore, the work focuses on whether factoring in qualitative data in appraising a project to change the NPV from negative to positive is a viable idea. I think that managers such as Mara should not include qualitative data such as customer satisfaction, reputation for quality, reduced inventory needs, and scrap reduction in the calculation of the NPV. The NPV of a project is calculated using the projected cash flows of the company that has been estimated by the top executives and financial experts. The cash flows consider the time value of money which requires them to be discounted back to their present values (PVs) to determine the NPV (Kamari, et al., 2016). Therefore, the figures which are used in the calculation of the NPV should be measurable and are known as qualitative information.

Hence, the calculation of NPV should only use qualitative data which are the firm’s cash flow statements that have been estimated over a given period of time. Therefore, the inclusion of qualitative data in evaluating the project should not change the value of NPV from negative to positive to imply that the project is now viable. However, qualitative data are also considered in the analysis of a project. The qualitative data are used after the project have been evaluated using the NPV to help managers in their final decision. Sometimes, a project may be considered to be undesirable because of the negative NPV. However, after considering the other benefits that are measurable but cannot be quantified statistically, the managers may decide to accept the project (Hair et al., 2015). The non- measurable factors may include a change in technology, and, also the other factors described above. Therefore, despite the inclusion of the qualitative data projects’ decision making, the values should not be used in the calculation of NPV because NPV only uses projected cash flow statements to analyze an investment.

To sum up, project decision making involves the use of both qualitative and quantitative data. However, there had been confusion on when and how to use the two data. First, numerical data are used in the calculation of the project appraisal technique to be applied such as the net present value. The methods used need values that are measurable such as the projected cash flow statements of a company. However, qualitative data may be used by managers to help in decision making after considering the quantitative data. Therefore, Mara’s decision to include qualitative data in the calculation of NPV to change its value from negative to positive is unrealistic and should not be used. However, the values can be used to help in making a decision about the project after the NPV has been determined.

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