The most meaningful quote that reflects the significance of the current work is, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (Austin and Joseph 3). The quote means that all the financially stable men must have wives or female companions and the significance of the quote is that it elaborates the primary theme of marriage in the novel and its summary. Mr. Bennet is the character of importance in this section and his personality is shown as a sulking individual preoccupied with some thoughts and he complicates his character because he does not want to explicitly say what bothers him. The selected scene that helps the reader to see or feel what is happening according to the authors’ description is when Elizabeth had to walk for several miles under bad weather to tend to her sister. Austin and Joseph note that Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley considered it almost incredible (23). This description allows the reader to conceive the atmosphere or environment that Elizabeth passed as undesirable although she was forced to because she had to tend to her sister.
The presented conflict is when Mr. and Mrs. Bennet argue about which of their daughters should meet Mr. Bingley. Mr. Bennet believes that any of his daughters should meet the gentleman while Mrs. Bingley suggests that only Elizabeth was the appropriate person to meet him. The conflict could have been avoided if Mr. and Mrs. Bennet allowed their daughters to make independent decisions on their preferred suitors. The author uses the symbolism of “a swelling stream that has natural importance although lacks artificial appearance” when Elizabeth meets Darcy. The symbolism helps in asserting the importance of man-to-woman relations in the novel as well as the significance of marriage.
Austen, Jane, and Joseph Pearce. Pride and Prejudice. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2008. Print.
432 Lucre Street
Tecate, CA 91980
December 17, 2018
The Internal Revenue Service has the mandate of tax collection and resolution of fraudulent or erroneous tax filings. The IRS received and cashed the cheque for the extension request on April 28 although the agency issued a fine of $2,900 for an alleged late filing for the extension request. A review of the status of the check from the state of California shows that the client had sent a check with the extension request thirteen days before the IRS cashed the same. The IRS fined the client although it could not produce the requested envelope for the extension request that had the postmark.
Does the law allow the IRS to attach Robert’s bank account for the late filing penalties under the current conditions?
The IRS should not attach the client’s bank account for automatic deductions following the agency’s acknowledgment of receiving and cashing the check for the tax returns on April 28. No deductions are allowed and Denero should file Form 843 for refunds.
Under Form 843(c), individuals can request or claim refunds on additions to tax, penalties, or interests for one of the three reasons indicated on line 5a of the schedule. The three reasons for refunds as identified in Form 843(5a) include assessed interests due to delays or errors by the IRS, addition to tax or penalties that resulted from erroneous written advice from IRS, and reasonable causes accepted under the law. The accepted deadline for filing tax returns through a paper check mailed and direct deposit sent was April 16 and IRS Tax Form 4868 allows individuals to file for extension requests on or before April 15 without incurring fines for late filing. Dinero submitted his extension request on the 15th day as per the IRS regulations. Moreover, the client sent a $10,000 check with the extension request and the state of California confirmed cashing the client’s check on the 16th day. Thus, the IRS inability to produce the extension request envelope and claims of cashing the check on the 28th day is a failure on the agency’s part and should not lead to additional fines on a taxpayer.
Actions to Be Taken
Engage a tax attorney
File Form 843 demanding for a refund of $2,900
Sue the IRS for wrongful penalties
Twelve Angry Men
I feel that the vote of innocence or guilt in the murder case against the boy started to turn when the eighth juror produced an identical knife to the alleged killing weapon. Initially, most of the jurors believed that the vote would be unanimous, and they could be heard saying that the verdict would be easy to make. However, the situation changed when the eighth juror decided to vote “not guilty” in contrast to his peers. The other jurors attempted to explain their “guilty verdict” from the first vote although the eighth juror faulted most of their arguments. The mood changed when the tenth juror suggested that children from slums were delinquents, and this aspect led to a near confrontation with the fifth juror. The tenth juror also argued with the first juror over the management of the meeting. After producing the identical knife, the eighth juror tried to convince his peers that the accused boy could be innocent, and his explanations helped in changing the mind of the ninth juror. The subsequent arguments among the jurors eventually led to a final verdict of “not guilty” from the deliberations.
In my views, the vote of innocence or guilt in the film begun to change when the jurors started arguing and fighting amongst themselves after the eighth juror had suggested that the boy could be innocent. The other jurors had expected a unanimous deliberation following the eighth juror’s decision to abstain from the second vote. However, the ninth juror also decided to vote “not guilty” after hearing the explanations from the eighth juror, and he resolved that he needed to listen to further arguments. I feel that the disagreements between the fifth and tenth juror could have influenced the former’s decision to vote “not guilty” in the third voting.
THE FIRST MAIL THAT THIS CON USED TO SEND ME WORK WITH A VALUE OF OVER $500 WAS DENNIS MUMBI.
Supply Chain Effects of Implementing Blockchain Technologies for Logistics
The aim of the current paper is to discuss the supply chain impacts of adopting blockchain technologies in logistics using the technological capabilities of blockchain in addressing the challenges faced in logistics. The successful adoption of various cryptocurrencies as modes of payment has led to an increased interest in the application of the blockchain technology in the global logistics industry due to the increased security of transactions presented by blockchain. Moreover, a number of organizations have incorporated the blockchain technology in their operations in an effort to enhance operational efficiencies and consistency in achieving quality services and quality products as described in this paper. However, analysts contend that more opportunities exist in the application of the blockchain technology in supply chain management activities with increased credibility and transparency, enhanced transaction security, faster and automated payment of transited goods, and enhanced tracking as some of the potential benefits of the technology. Thus, the current paper offers a brief background on blockchain and its working mechanisms as well as analyzing some of the current effects of the technology on supply chains and potential opportunities for its application in the logistics industry.
Keywords: Blockchain technology, Bitcoin, logistics, supply chain management
Supply chain management primarily focuses on the effective management of the distribution of information, goods, and services to reduce risks and enhance performance. However, the increased payments, the quantity of shared information, the magnitude of distribution networks, and geographical extents have increased the complications in managing contemporary supply chains effectively. Such challenges in the global economy have necessitated increased cooperation between organizations involved in logistics to improve their operational efficiencies and enhance the overall supply chain performance (Soosay & Hyland, 2015). Such collaboration is necessary for improving service levels, reducing operational costs, and increasing the response to changes in the international logistics industry (Tsou, 2013). Logistics experts suggest that the adoption of the blockchain technologies in the industry have the capacity to address some of the challenges faced by its stakeholders due to the far-reaching impacts such as changing supply chain activities and company cultures among others (Staples et al., 2017). Swan (2017) argues that the blockchain technologies offer secured transaction platforms through decentralized ledgers while reducing the roles of third-parties in the completion of transactions. Moreover, Kshetri (2018) insists that the adoption of the blockchain technologies in contemporary supply chain management helps in addressing the trust concerns raised in traditional systems. According to Nowinski & Kozma (2017) suggests that the organizations in the logistics industry have several opportunities from implementing blockchain in their operations. Some of these opportunities and their impacts are elaborated in this paper.
Blockchain’s Working Mechanisms
According to Heutger & Kuckelhaus (2017), blockchain refers to a technological system that features a distributed ledger with a capacity to permanently and securely record all the completed transactions between organizations or individuals. The three important features of the blockchain technology include decentralization, verification, and immutability. The blockchain technologies allow entities to share databases without the involvement of third parties and changing the supply chains into distributed systems rather than centralized or decentralized systems in traditional supply chain models. Nakasumi (2017) observes that this has the effect of increasing business-to-business (B2B) information sharing by freeing data from the centralized storage systems. The blockchain technologies work by securing the transaction details through the use of cryptographic methods thereby eliminating the risks of data losses (Pilkington, 2016). Staples et al. (2017) categorize the blockchains as private, consortium, and public based on their members’ levels of participation and operation.
Transactions recorded in blockchain’s digital ledger is shared within a peer-to-peer network while all members retain local copies of the completed contracts, and this helps in preventing manipulation of the data by unauthorized entities. The verification of the system is affirmed because the members of the peer-to-peer network use cryptographic keys before transacting with business partners and entities without the private keys cannot initiate any transactions on the secured system. Moreover, the efforts to modify local transaction data retroactively are impossible because it requires the manual alteration of all the local transaction details recorded in each member’s device in addition to changing the cryptographic hash of each block in the entire chain. Blockchain systems automatically record transaction details and allow access similar and verified information with increased transparency levels due to the number of nodes in the peer-to-peer networks. The immutability of the transaction records stored in the blockchain systems helps in addressing the data security and trust concerns raised by stakeholders in the logistics industry during their supply chain management operations. Nonetheless, the implementation of the blockchain technologies in the logistics industry remains low due to issues such as regulatory uncertainties and limited throughput because of low acceptance by industry stakeholders.
The Adoption of Blockchain Technology
The concept of distributed computing is not new as it has existed for about three decades following its advent in the early 1990s (Heutger & Kuckelhaus, 2017). According to Pilkington (2016), the initial reason for advancing the idea of distributed computing systems was to prevent double-spending although concerns over anonymity and low compatibility reduced its adoption in supply chain management. Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with pioneering the blockchain technology to decentralize digital ledgers and operate them anonymously. The original application of the blockchain technology involved supporting the digital Bitcoin cryptocurrency although the increased recognition of the opportunities for the application of Bitcoin in facilitating international payments occurred during 2015. Nonetheless, analysts contend that the organizations in the logistics industry have lagged behind in adopting the technology despite the number of opportunities presented by the technology. An example of a potential benefit of the blockchain technology in contemporary organizations is the development of a computer programming language that facilitates the creation of smart contracts that allow the automated payment of invoices following the delivery of shipments and self-paying systems that release shareholders’ dividends when their profits reach specified limits.
Current Effects of the Blockchain Technology on Supply Chains
a. Strengthening of International Business Agreements
The current global supply chains are characterized by increasing levels of complexity and competitiveness. As such, the managers in logistics organizations constantly attempt to increase their organizational responsiveness and efficiency through the adoption of new technologies and collaborations. Some of the identified challenges associated with visibility, security, and transparency of various activities throughout the supply chains and transportation operations in traditional supply chain systems. Moreover, Dobrovnik, Herold, Furst, & Kummer (2018) argue that tracking financial records remains a vital activity in logistics operations due to the importance of such information in planning activities and evaluation of organizational performance. Crosby et al. (2016) suggest that the expansion of cellular connectivity and the Internet are some of the factors that could hasten the deployment of blockchain technologies. Furthermore, Bitcoin’s stability, reliability, and security have demonstrated the ability of blockchain technologies in addressing the shortcomings of traditional systems. For instance, the blockchain technologies prevent the manipulation of stored information in decentralized databases and this helps in enhancing the security and validity of stored data.
Business organizations understand the importance of abiding by binding agreements when transacting with their international partners, and some of the consequences of breaching such agreements include incurring financial losses and damaging of reputations. One of the current effects of the implementation of the blockchain technologies in supply chain management is that it has enabled organizations and their suppliers to form binding contracts on established peer-to-peer networks. As Moreira, Ferreira, & Zimmermann (2018) point out, an example of a blockchain application is the smart contract that automatically records and executes transactions over shared networks. Another effect of the blockchain technologies on the contemporary supply chains is that it has changed how businesses agree on the stored transaction data in their networks. For instance, a successfully completed transaction must meet specified conditions before being automatically executed and this information is stored in the decentralized database for future reference.
b. Facilitation of International Payments
The adoption of the blockchain technologies has created new methods of payment for a number of companies and their clients. Some of the renowned companies that already accept payments in cryptocurrencies include Microsoft, McDonald’s, Tomcar, Tesla, and Dish Network among others. The ability of entities to engage in the global transfer of funds through blockchains without relying on traditional banking systems is important in contemporary organizations because it has increased the convenience for organizations that have globalized supply chains. Moreover, the adoption of the cryptocurrencies in payment has the advantage of reducing transaction costs and this is important in international supply chains. For instance, Tomcar – an Australian automaker – has adopted Bitcoin as its primary currency for paying its global suppliers and this helps in ensuring that the company does not incur additional costs and easing its international transactions. The company uses the CoinJar payment gateway in receiving payments to ensure that its overseas customers would not have concerns over high fees charged on credit cards as well as the changes in exchange rates. The move is significant because it reduces the transaction fees from 5% to about 0.03% when the international customers used the cryptocurrency instead of credit cards (Marr, 2018). Moreover, opting to use the stable and secure cryptocurrencies helps in reducing the costs of acquiring vehicle parts to Tomcar from international the international suppliers and this reduces the costs Tomcar vehicles thus increasing the company’s sales volumes. Other notable companies that use cryptocurrencies in facilitating international payments include Baidu and Bitfash.
c. Enhanced Monitoring on Quality
Another important effect of adopting the blockchain technologies is that it has increased the ability of contemporary to monitor the quality of their goods during different stages in the production process. Companies in the food business require solid records that would assist them in tracing various ingredients or products from their sources. Moreover, the increased customer awareness of food production practices and the demand for ethically sourced ingredients has led to a shift in food production practices. Consequently, a number of companies have adopted the use of the blockchain technologies in their supply chains to help in enhancing accountability and ensuring consistency in quality. For example, Walmart has adopted blockchain as a method of keeping track of the quality of various meat products such as beef and pork acquired from its suppliers in China. The company uses the blockchain technology in ensuring that it maintains all the processing, storage, and sell-by-dates of all pieces of meat used by Walmart. The transparency that results from using blockchain technologies helps in ensuring that the customers understand that they are dealing with firms that support sustainable production, environmental stewardship, avoid genetically modified organisms, and oppose animal brutality. The technology also helps in determining the accurate sources of food contaminations and identifying the appropriate remedial measures. Other notable companies that use the blockchain technologies for the same purpose include Dole, Tyson, Nestle, and Unilever among others.
d. Quality Assurance of Goods
The adoption of the blockchain technologies in the contemporary supply chains has also had a positive effect through the increased quality assurance of goods. Tracking and the maintenance of data are particularly important in businesses in the mining sector due to the high prices of quality minerals in the international markets. Various organizations adopt different strategies to eliminate the risks of purchasing fake or forged prized minerals such as diamonds and gold from their suppliers. The blockchain technology has been cited by stakeholders in mining as a method of overcoming such malpractices and ensuring that the customers receive quality products. For example, BHP Billiton – a leading mining company – has adopted the blockchain technology in its operations to enhance its ability to collect and store data from its international suppliers in all stages of the mining process. Moreover, the BHP Billiton considers the blockchain technologies as critical in enhancing the company’s interactions with global partners.
De Beers, a large South African Diamond producing company, also applies the technology in tracking the mined diamond stones from their points of origin to the point where the polished products are sold to its customers. The use of the blockchain technology, in this case, helps in ensuring that De Beers avoids dealing in diamonds sourced from conflict zones (commonly referred to as “blood” or “conflict diamonds”) while ensuring that its clients receive genuine products. Another application of the blockchain technology in the logistics industry is the monitoring of specific vehicles in an organization’s fleet. The logistics companies can use the technology in verifying the data on each vehicle’s previous performance as well as their maintenance histories.
e. Creation of New Investment Opportunities in the Logistics Industry
Another positive effect of adopting the blockchain technologies is that it has created investment opportunities to a number of entrepreneurs and startup supply chain businesses. For example, Cloud Logistics has invested in expanding the adoption of blockchain by offering various supply chain solutions based on the technology to reduce costs and enhance efficiencies to organizations in the supply chain industry. Experts in the logistics business suggest that the number of vendors offering the supply chain solutions based on the blockchain technologies will increase in the future following the demand for novel solutions to the logistics challenges encountered by multinational companies. Additionally, established freighters such as Maersk have already adopted the blockchain technologies to assist them in effectively tracking the movement of containers and goods through secure and authenticated data. Maersk acknowledges that using traditional methods of recording and storing important information based on application programming interfaces and electronic data interchanges are unreliable due to the risks of their manipulations by unscrupulous entities.
Expected Future Effects of the Blockchain Technologies on Supply Chains
a. Smart Contracts
One of the projected future benefits of implementing blockchain technologies in supply chain management is the automation of transactions through the “smart contracts” application. Gerard (2017) describes the smart contracts as self-executing agreements written in codes and binding between sellers and buyers on the contract terms distributed and stored in a decentralized blockchain network. The smart contracts facilitate the completion of contractual agreements and transactions anonymously while the need for the involvement of external enforcement mechanisms, legal systems, or central authorities. According to Swan (2015), the automation of the transactions conducted through the “smart contract” application will help in eliminating the ambiguities associated with executing contracts through go-betweens as well as removing reliance on external dependencies. Thus, the smart contract technology is expected to simplify the process of storing transaction data of exchanged assets in addition to the automated execution of stored transactions in digital ledgers through various computer programs. Iyer & Dannen (2018) observe the smart contracts created through the Bitcoin blockchain technology use relatively simplified computer languages while blockchain such as Litecoin and Ethereum use the advanced “Turing complete” computer language.
Another potential effect of the smart contracts is that it will help in enhancing the performance and efficiency of contracts as well as enhancing negotiation processes. Kakavand, De Serves, & Chilton (2016) argue that the main purpose of using smart contracts is reducing contracting costs and securing the contractual processes. Among the most significant benefits of the blockchain technologies identified in the smart contracts application is the facilitation of transactions considered trustless. The primary features of the trustless transactions include their ability to be bilaterally enforced, monitored, and validated over peer-to-peer networks. Additionally, organizations have the opportunity to enhance the approval process by the network members through the integration of multiple digital signatures in smart contracts. The blockchain technologies can help in creating systems that would be used in monitoring and asserting the validity of the contracts based on real-world data. The smart contracts may also be used in conducting financial transactions due to the unique characteristics that increase the suitability of smart contracts in such activities. For example, the smart contracts would automatically terminate in situations of counterparty defaults and this would help in reducing the time spent in auditing the transactions between different organizations in the logistics industry. Consequently, adopting the “smart contract” application would help in lowering the costs of transactions for logistics businesses in the future (Kakavand, De Serves, & Chilton, 2016).
The adoption of the smart contract in supply chain management as a substitute for traditional legal contracts remains low despite the potential benefits of adopting the technology in contemporary logistics businesses. The low uptake of the technology partly results from the ongoing discourse on the practicality and suitability implementing smart contracts created through the blockchain technologies as alternatives to legal contracts. Another barrier to the adoption of smart contracts in existing businesses in the logistics industry results from the diversity of the computer languages or programs used in creating smart contracts. Logistics experts observe that the computational complexities involved in the blockchain technologies create challenges in many organizations due to the need to restructure operations and upgrade existing technologies within the organizations. Industry stakeholders contend that smart contracts and other blockchain technologies will help in revolutionizing the logistics operations in the future by increasing the speed at which transactions are completed as well as reducing the transactional costs.
b. Clearance and Settlement of International Contracts
The adoption of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum created using the blockchain technologies as alternative forms of payment to the traditional methods of payment and fiat monies remains in its early stages. Nonetheless, financial experts observe that the digital currencies have the potential of altering the modes of payment in the future as well as changing the norms in a wide variety of industries including logistics and supply chain management. Currently, the banking industry has the responsibility of clearing financial assets and settling most of the business transactions. However, this leads to delays in completing international transactions due to the bureaucratic processes involved in different countries. For example, Peters & Panayi (2016) point out that advanced markets such as Japan, Canada, and the U.S. settle international transactions after three days while countries such as South Korea, Hong Kong, and the European Union have reduced their settlement durations to two days. This implies that logistics companies in the less advanced countries have longer settlement cycles that could last several days or weeks.
Such lags in completing the payment of contracts is a serious concern in supply chain management because it leads to increased warehousing costs and increases the risks of product damage or expiry during storage. Furthermore, the delays that exist between the delivery of goods and settlement of their payments in traditional systems increase liquidity-related risks and credit-related risks to the logistics companies. Kakavand, De Serves, & Chilton (2016) argue that adopting the blockchain technologies has the potential of enhancing the efficiencies in clearing and settling international trades, and this has significant benefits to the logistics industry. For example, the traditional clearance systems in international trade involve several partners such as a central counterparty that acts as the middleman and the clearing members in the standardized central clearance. Such as system creates the settlement risks that arise when one part of the transaction remains uncompleted after the other due to the decision by one party to rescind their involvement in the contract. Another risk associated with the traditional clearance system is the counterparty risk that arises when the clearing members fail to maintain specified minimum levels of capital indicated by the central counterparty (Kakavand, De Serves, & Chilton, 2017).
Reducing the durations in the clearance and settlement cycles can help in addressing the settlement and counterparty risks thereby reducing the capital requirements for the clearing members and enhancing the efficiency of completing international transactions. Organizations in the logistics business can also benefit from hastened clearance and settlement of international trade contracts by lowering the purchaser default risks that also results in reduced counterparty risks. The implementation of the blockchain technologies in international logistics will help in enhancing the clearance and settlement procedures by introducing disintermediation and decentralization in the process. For instance, the technology can allow clearing members to create a distributed clearinghouse and remove the involvement of the central counterparty in the process. The removal of the third parties causes the international to become bilateral although the smart contract conditions will mitigate the management risks. Thus, one of the expected effects of implementing the blockchain technologies in future clearance and settlement activities in international logistics will help in creating a continuous settlement process and eliminate delays. Moreover, the future supply chains will benefit from adopting blockchain through the reduction of back-office expense because the technology will automatically monitor activities such as collateral management, compliance, and reporting.
As such, the supporters of blockchain insist that there are numerous opportunities for the technology to revolutionize the payment methods during international commerce and logistics operations. For example, the blockchain technologies have the ability to speed up the payments and avoiding the influence of currency exchange rates and inflation on the payments. However, business organizations in the logistics industry continue to express their apprehension in implementing the technology in their operations due to various fears. One of the raised concerns is the issue of anonymity that is a major characteristic of the blockchain technologies. Blockchain allows real-world entities to engage in various transactions without revealing their identities through the use of cryptographic keys. An example is the Bitcoin that allows individuals to use pseudonyms when identifying themselves online and this raises the risks of financial malpractices as well as a number of unethical practices.
The Interpol has previously pointed out how criminals conduct illegal activities such as illegal trades in weapons and drugs over the darknet and use the Bitcoins as their primary mode of payments. Several international regulations such as the Counter-Terrorism Financing and Anti-Money Laundering policies attempt to curtail such activities globally. Another major problem that inhibits the implementation of the blockchain technologies is the concern over the loss of privacy and confidentiality during the integration of personal data in various blockchain-based systems to conform to the Counter-Terrorism Financing and Anti-Money Laundering requirements. Differences in the application of IT in supply chains, differences in organizational objectives, and power differences also prevent many organizations from implementing blockchain in their operations (Ralston, Richey, & Grawe, 2017). Consequently, the adoption of blockchain technologies in international commerce continues to face significant challenges that reduce its appeal to organizations in the logistics industry.
Summary and Conclusions
The current study’s objective was to identify some of the effects of implementing the blockchain technologies in the logistics industry as part of the international supply chain management. The paper also reviews some of the current and future impacts of blockchain on supply chains in addition to identifying some of the barriers to its implementation. Supply chain management’s main focus is the effective management of the flow of goods and services to mitigate the risks of losses. Nonetheless, the numbers of payments, the quantity of shared information, and extent of distribution networks have made logistics a complicated operation in contemporary logistics organizations. As such, the industry stakeholders have pointed out the importance of introducing innovative solutions that would address some of the barriers to efficiency in modern supply chain management. Some of the most significant challenges affecting current supply chains include inadequate transparency, low trust levels, and delayed payments among others. Staples et al. (2017) suggest that the successful use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum have demonstrated the capacity of blockchain technologies to revolutionize financial systems. This can lead to changes in payment preferences during international trade and logistics.
Industry stakeholders acknowledge the blockchain technology as a significant emergent technology that can change the logistics business by enhancing firms’ operational efficiencies as well as reducing transaction costs during the international supply chain management activities. The idea behind the blockchain technology is not new as Heutger & Kuckelhaus (2017) point out that it has been in existence for more than two decades. However, the blockchain technologies gained widespread recognition following the successful implementation of the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as modes of payment since 2010. The current study reveals some of the potential benefits associated with implementing the blockchain technologies in the global supply chain management activities and logistics operations. Among the identified benefits of adopting the technology is the elimination of the involvement of third parties in mediating transactions and this helps in addressing the problems associated with trust issues between trading partners in transnational commerce. The blockchain technologies also have the capacity to hasten the completion of business agreements between international partners.
One of the strengths of the blockchain technologies is that they offer secure platforms for conducting international transactions among multiple entities through digital decentralized ledgers in addition to eliminating the role of third-party mediators. Most of the contemporary organizations consider this an important quality because engaging the third-parties in the transactions increases the amount of bureaucratic process in the logistics operations. Bureaucracy is a common feature of traditional payment methods and this often leads to unnecessary disruptions and delays in the supply chain. For example, Peters & Panayi (2016) note that the settlement cycles in completing international transactions last about three days in advanced markets such as Japan, Canada, and the U.S. while South Korea, Hong Kong, and the European Union take two days to complete similar transactions. Such delays have significant and cascading effects on the supply chains and could lead to increased operational costs to organizations in the logistics industry.
Experts in international trade suggest that the adoption of the blockchain technology in transnational commerce will be a game changer by increasing trust levels among trading partners, speeding up the completion of transactions, and increasing transparency in logistics operations. The blockchain technologies also have the capacity to simplify the storage and exchange of important data of completed transactions and exchanged goods. Thus, businesses in the international logistics industry should consider implementing blockchain-based applications such as “smart contracts” to automate the completion of business agreements (Asharaf & Adash, 2017). Experience from using Bitcoin and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies have demonstrated their stability and security during international transactions. Consequently, the supply chain managers should consider using the blockchain technologies in their operations to protect their organizations from problems associated with issues such as currency fluctuations, exchange rates, and inflation.
Nonetheless, the uptake of the blockchain technologies in the logistics industry remains considerably low due to the number of impediments that must be addressed before the technology is widely approved by the logistics companies. The anonymity of the blockchain technologies prevents authorities from reviewing the users’ activities, and this provides opportunities for criminals and fraudsters to conduct illegal activities without being detected. However, the resistance against the adoption of blockchain technology is a temporary phenomenon that will change in the future. Thus, organizations in the logistics business should review their objections against the blockchain technologies to sustain their long-term competitiveness in international logistics.
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Iyer, K., & Dannen, C. (2018). Building games with Ethereum smart contracts: Intermediate projects for solidity developers. Berkeley, CA: Apress.
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Re: Order #274898795
Yolanda Organic Skin Care and Beauty Store Business Plan
Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store in a new cosmetics and beauty product outlet that operates on a hybrid business model that consists of a brick-and-mortar store as well as an online presence to increase the firm’s distribution channels. The company offers a range of products that include women’s personal grooming products, perfumes, fragrance, shoes and apparel, and cosmetic products. The company currently seeks recurring investments from interested parties to aid in growing the brand and increasing its competitiveness. The current business plan elaborates Yolanda’s value proposition, market, financial forecasts, and market segmentation strategies.
To establish Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store as a leading brand with a commitment to offering accessories and quality skin care products to our customers. The company will achieve this through the adoption of creative marketing strategies, expanded distribution networks, and research. The company will also use a consumer catalog, website, and brick-and-mortar establishments in its operations. We believe that adopting the multichannel strategy is necessary for marketing skin care and beauty products due to the level of competition from established and emerging brands in the market.
Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store is a New York-based corporation that is fully owned by Yolanda Smiths who founded the company in 2016 as a small start-up that offered hair products. The company has expanded the range of its products over its last two years of existence to include skin care products, cosmetics, shoes, fragrances, baby care products, and nail care products among others. According to Dayan and Lambros, the target customers for the organic beauty products show enthusiasm in purchasing the cosmetic items although most individuals propose that the prices of such products are reduced and their availability in the market increased (19). Thus, Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store focuses on selling organic cosmetic products that lack chemical compounds or synthetic fragrances that could cause adverse allergic reactions to the company’s customers.
Currently, the company employs seven employees in its stores while the top management consists of three members who include Ms. Yolanda Smiths, Francis McCall, and Samantha Jefferson. The combined experience of the top management in the retail, skin care, and beauty industry is twenty-three years, and this is vital to the growth and sustained competitiveness of the company. The company intends to rent a 1,200 cubic meter space to establish a new store that will provide an expanded range of products and increase the number of employees working in the company from seven to twenty-one. Opening the new store is part of the company’s long-term growth strategy and expansion effort to increase Yolanda’s presence in the market.
The company will source its skin care and beauty products from established suppliers in California, Germany, and France. The women’s dresses will be produced by Ovino Designers while the children’s apparel will be sourced from Smile Baby, and the two firms have been Yolanda’s traditional suppliers. Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store has a running contractual agreement with Ms. Misty’s the Fashionista for various accessories such as totes, hats, socks, and bags, and Misty’s will supply these products for Yolanda’s new store. Yolanda’s product lines include a beauty store and skin care. Within the beauty store, the company will offer a wide variety of products that include lip balms, eyeliners, eye-shadows, lip gloss, mascara, foundation, fragrance, moisturizer, and makeup among others. The company will also offer a wide variety of designer bags, dresses, and children’s apparels. The skin care line will provide items such as organic body lotions, facial masks and scrubs, organic cleansing creams, and eye makeup removers.
Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store’s pricing strategy aims at positioning the company’s products to the mid-level and low-income earning customers who desire affordable products of high quality. The company’s products also target customers who desire safe organic products that do not have side effects on their bodies. Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store has conducted intensive quality assessment and price comparisons to ensure that all its products have attractive features such as style, affordability, and uniqueness. The company also believes in creating future growth opportunities through the continued research on emerging trends in the organic skin care market.
Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store intends to targets a distinctive market by offering a specialty line of organic products to women and children. A number of cosmetics companies offer organic skin care products of varied price ranges and quality. As such, Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store has engaged in analyzing its targeted customer’s preferences and popular brands that offer the organic skin care products to ensure that the company meets its projected sales volumes and profit margins. The company is also committed to expanding its business by investing in new products and services such as aromatherapy to increase profits and market share. Some of the identified enabling factors for the increase in the demand for organic beauty products include expansion of the e-commerce businesses, expansion of distribution channels, increase in disposable income levels, and increased awareness among customers on the benefits of organic skincare products (Motta and Antonello 345). However, Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store notes that the short durability of organic products and expensiveness of the organic skincare products as some of the challenges facing the company’s efforts to increase its sales.
The company’s primary target includes women and children who reside in urban and suburban areas. Most of the targeted customers are educated in addition to leading active lifestyles and showing increased levels of awareness of social and health issues such as the adverse effects of using beauty products made using inorganic compounds. The new client base has been created due to the emerging trend of health consciousness among customer and insistence on ethically produced goods.
Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store requires an initial capital of $125,000 that will be used in renting, furnishing, and stocking the new store to the company’s standards. Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store expects its sales to grow progressively from its first year to the fourth year as the popularity of its new store increases. The company will use $18,000 to rent the 1,200m3 store for a period of one year and $46,800 in paying 13 employees during the store’s first year in operation. $9,800 will be used in redesigning and furnishing the store to enhance its appeal to the targeted customers while $2,500 will be used in advertising the new store in various platforms. Yolanda Organic Skincare and Beauty Store will use $35,000 in stocking the new store with the organic skincare and beauty products while $10,000 will be used for administrative purposes. The company will keep the remaining $2,900 in its bank account for miscellaneous uses during the four year period while the revenue generated from the sales will be used in restocking the store and paying the employees.
Dayan, Nava, and Lambros Kromidas. Formulating, Packaging, and Marketing of Natural Cosmetic Products. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2011. Print.
Motta, Giovanna, and Antonello Biagini. Fashion Through History: Costumes, Symbols, Communication. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017.