Downton Instruments Ltd is a company which specialises in the precision instrument market for the gas industry. Unless you are very lucky, this is unlikely to be an industry that you know very much about, so let’s try to simplify it!
The company has three divisions:
Division 1: Testing and calibration of portable gas detection equipment and breathing apparatus
Gas detection equipment is likely to mean small handheld gas detectors. Breathing apparatus means gas masks. It is a good idea to do an internet search for these two terms so that you can picture these items. These items need to be regularly tested and calibrated to ensure that they are working properly. In division 1, Downton Instruments are providing a service by performing these tests.
Division 2: Refurbishment and sale of gas instruments
In division 2, it would appear that the company is acquiring second-hand gas equipment and refurbishing it ready for re-sale. This is likely to involve repairing any defects and testing that the equipment is working correctly prior to sale.
Division 3: Sale of new products related to the gas industry
In division 3, the company is selling goods. These are new products relating to the gas industry. It seems unlikely from the scenario that the company manufactures these products themselves. It is more likely that they buy them from a manufacturer and sell them on to their customers.
The scenario talks about the three divisional directors adopting their own strategies for taking their area of the business forward without considering the business as a whole, resulting in customers feeling like they are dealing with three different companies. The staff morale has also suffered, with poor employee engagement and varying levels of satisfaction across the business divisions.
As this unit focuses on internal systems and controls, I would expect the assessment to tell us more about the processes that are in place within the divisions and how they operate. You may need to consider how their systems could be improved so that the three divisions can work better together.
The scenario also talks about future development opportunities for the business, so you may need to consider if any new systems or procedures will be required to make these possible.
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