survey master llc Essay

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9-107-061 MARCH 8, 2007 WILLIAM J. BRUNS Survey Masters LLC Natalie Patel and Carlos Lopez met while studying statistics together at Northeastern University in Boston. After graduation Patel had accepted a position with the largest independent marketing research firm in the United States, and Lopez went to work for Progressive Insurance outside Cleveland as an actuary. At their tenth class reunion in 2003 they met again. Each was somewhat unhappy in their current job, and both wanted to return to the Boston area to live. A casual conversation turned to something more serious as they discussed leaving their jobs to start a marketing research survey consultancy in the Boston area. Survey Masters was founded as a partnership…show more content…
Managing Survey Masters Carlos Lopez was the first to raise questions about the future directions for the company. In the early days Survey Masters had been taking on any and all projects that they could find. But now that 2006 had gone as well as it had, he raised with Natalie the question of whether they should begin to be more selective or more directive in the kinds and size of the projects that the company should undertake. Although they had kept careful records of each project from the beginning, they really did not know which projects were most profitable. The records assigned salaries and data collection costs to each project by the phase and kind of work that was done. As a first step in their evaluation, Patel and Lopez met with their accountant, Linda Evans, and raised with her the question about whether large projects or small projects were likely to be more profitable for Survey Masters in the future. Within hours Evans sent the partners two summaries of her estimates of the profitability of each type of project (see Exhibit 2). The cover memo that she had attached described the basis for her analyses. It read in part: I listed all of the projects by project revenue from the largest to the smallest. Without a clear criterion for separating large from small projects, I first used project salaries as the basis for defining the two categories. Our total project salaries for 120 projects in 2006 were $800,000. Half of that amount was spent
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