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Essay Example on Stationery Industry

7 pages
1716 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
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Presently, Germany's stationery industry is ideally positioned in the global market. Trade Association of Office Supplies revealed that stationery industry yields a staggering 14.8 billion per annum which is equal to the 182 amount spent by an individual annually. Out of that 182, approximately 35 is spent on drawing and writing materials. Germany ranks second among the European countries in terms of spending on stationary items. This is supported by the fact that above 70% of major stationery players had experienced a significant increase in sales in the year 2015.

According to Verband der PBS-Markenindustrie, an association of Germany stationery brands, the stationery industry grew by 3.5% between 2014 and 2015 in the light of business turnover. Thanks to the increasing domestic demands as well as export demands that grew by 2.5% and 5% respectively. US market generates the most revenue for German Stationery Industry. According to forecasts, by 2024 the global market of office supplies will exceed 234 billion dollars. This will be caused by an increase in literacy, an increase in the number of students in schools, a favorable demography, and a growing business activity.

Market growth is also due to the high demand for skilled labor and an increasing number of primary and secondary education institutions; which indicates an increase in the number of corporate offices and offices in the home and the subsequent increase in consumption markers, files, folders, diaries, folders, organizers and writing tools (Mphela and Kuruba 2014)

Germany is globally renowned for its Made-in-Germany stationery items and it has faced different trends in this sector. Due to their positive brand image, German stationery brands enjoy a large market share in comparison to its rivals. However, the industry produces different products with different challenges and developments. Products such as document folders are facing a declining trend due to the rise of digitalization. On the contrary, in 2015, products such as paper and paper related products like writing instruments and office supplies have seen a significant growth by 5%. Furthermore, an unexpected development came, people started to shift towards creative works like drawing material and paintings which caused a high demand for stationery products and led to increase in sales of these products while somewhat countering the digitalization factor. We can predict that this trend will continue in 2016.

Another trend that has been observed in the stationery market in Germany is the increased retailers who are selling stationery products. Today, the number of sellers of stationery products has increased considerably with many hypermarkets and supermarkets selling different stationery products. there are even two leading pharmacy chains in Germany that are selling stationery products (Franze and Sim, 2016). These different stores have however been seen to be targeting people looking for mass-market products as opposed to those looking for professional and premium products.

Task 2

In the table above, it can be seen clearly that the spending per capita is highest in Switzerland, however, the lowest is observed in Slovakia considering the continent of Europe. Also, from the above graph, it can be understood clearly that the spending per capital of Germany (35.2) is far more than that of Italy (18.6). Austria, France and Slovenia remains in-between with 35, 28.3 and 20.4 respectively.

Task 3


Product item 2015 Sales () 2016 Sales () 2017 Sales ()

printer cartridges 25000 26000 22000

general office supplies 25000 27000 23000

low-cost printers 15000 18000 18000

office furniture 25000 25000 27000

Shredders 25000 29000 29000

paper-based supplies 25000 27000 27000

writing/drawing materials 25000 30000 32000

Total Sales 165000 182000 178000

A calculation template is presented in Appendix. In the above chart, it can be seen that the sales of printer cartridges, general office supplies, low-cost printers, office furniture, shredders and paper-based supplies were maximum in 2016, while the writing/drawing material has highest sales in the year of 2017, i.e., 32000 euros.


Considering the sales of 2016 of office stationeries, it can be seen in the above figure that the highest sales have been observed to be of writing/drawing materials and that of shredders, which consists of 16% of the total sales. However, low-cost printers serve about 10% of the total sales having office furniture and printer cartridges at 14%, and paper-based and general office supplies at 15%.

From the figure above, it is seen that in 2017, the lowest contribution was again of low-cost printers which was about 10% of the total sales and writing/drawing material, having the highest amount of sales, contributing to about 18% of the total sales (32000 Euros).


The graph above shows that the total sales recorded by Duque over the years from 2015 to 2017. The results indicate that the sales levels increased linearly over the years. The gradient shows that an increase in the period by one year will lead to an increase in the total sales value by 6500.


The figure above shows the expected sales revenue for the years 2018 and 2019, assuming that the same sales trends persist. The projected sales revenues are 188,000 and 194,500 for 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Task 4


1 3 3 3 3

2 3 3 3 2

3 4 4 4 2

4 4 3 4 1

5 2 3 2 2

6 4 4 4 2

7 4 3 4 2

8 4 3 4 2

9 2 3 2 2

10 4 3 4 1

11 4 3 4 2

12 4 3 4 2

13 4 3 4 2

14 4 3 4 1

15 2 3 2 2

16 4 3 4 2

17 4 4 4 2

18 3 3 3 3

19 4 3 4 2

20 3 3 2 2

Mean 3.5 3.15 3.45 1.95

SD 0.760886 0.366348 0.825578 0.510418

This task provides the mean and standard deviation of Customer Service, Quality, Sales Staff and Price Value. As per the above chart, the Standard Deviation for Customer Service, Quality, Sales Staff and Price Value are 0.76, 0.366, 0.825 and 0.510 respectively. While the Mean of Customer Service, Quality, Sales Staff and Price Value was 3.5, 3.15, 3.45 and 1.95.

Should I expand my business to Belgium & Germany?

Pros Score/10 Cons Score/10

Larger Target Market 8 More existing competitors in those markets 4

Increase in profitability 5 Employee turnover 7

Higher production 9 Lower Quality 4

Increased visibility of the companys brand 7 Cultural differences 5

Reduced vulnerability to changing trends 8 Increased financial risks 5

Total Pros 37 Total Cons 25

Average Pros 7.4 Average Cons 5

Task 4 (B)

To survive in international markets, it is necessary to have an overall understanding of the international standards of quality. Once an organization is certified by the International Organization of Standards (ISO), it is evident that the organization will be renowned in the market and bigger organizations prefer working with such companies. For paper-related stationeries, the ISO ICS 85.080 is necessary to be considered.

Task 5

The monthly cost of a 30-year repayment mortgage of 200,000 with a rate of 10% p.a. The payment for every month is 9694.1124.

n= 30

PV= 200,000

r= 10%

amount= P (1 + r)^ t

amount= 3489880.5

monthly payment= 9694.1124

The monthly payment for the loan when the interest is charged on a monthly basis is calculated using the Ms. Excel PMT function. The monthly amount is equal to 1755.14.

n= 360

PV= 200,000

r= 1%

PMT $1,755.14

Task 6

Ho: mean = 240

H1: mean 240

The Z test;

Calculated Z = (sample mean value being tested)/ standard error

Z = (230 240) / 43 = -0.2326

From the Z tables, the computed Z value is -1.645

The Z(calculated) -0.2326 is greater than the Z(computed) -1.645. Therefore, we reject the null hypothesis and conclude that the mean is not equal to 240.

Task 7 (a)

Responses to Questionnaires

Duque has been receiving disappointing results in their questionnaires for various reasons. First, they send them as email attachments to their respondents in December. This is not the right period to send them out because December is a holiday period and many people are either relaxing or extremely busy. This, in turn, may make the people fill in the questionnaires in a hurry in a bid to get back to their activities.

The questionnaires also do not have titles. Consequently, this will make people begin answering the inquiries without knowing what they are asking about beforehand. This may then make them to answer just for the sake of filling them in because they do not have an inclination to answer due to the lack of a title.

Additionally, the final question in the questionnaire is an open-ended question. However, the questionnaire contains very minimal space for answering that question. As a result, people may poorly answer the question because that space is not enough for them to give their suggestions.

The questionnaire also merely contains the questions alone. It does not include any more information on why the respondents need to fill in the questionnaires or any assurance that their answers will be confidential. This may, therefore, make the respondents fill them in just for the sake because they do not know the importance of the exercise. Moreover, they may not want to provide their personal views because they do not know if their answers may be used against them.

The questions contained in the questionnaire are mainly focused on how the business can increase its revenue, but they do not properly address how the respondents needs can be better catered for. This may, therefore, make the respondents feel that the business does not have their best interest at heart and they may thus not have the drive to fill in the questionnaires with the correct answers.

The questions are also not logically arranged in the questionnaire. Questionnaire questions should be organized from the general questions to more specific questions. This questionnaire, however, contains questions that are not arranged in any logical form. The questions are also too few to be used in making a final decision by the organization. The questionnaires contain only seven questions. These are therefore not enough to be used in making a proper conclusion that genuinely reflects the situation on the ground. The final question is also open-ended which may attract very many different answers and therefore lead to confusion during data analysis on which solution needs to be implemented. Instead of the open-ended question, the questionnaire should have contained a range of answers to establish which solution is favored by the most respondents.

Finally, the questionnaires do not contain a message to thank the respondents for taking their time to participate in filling in the questionnaires. This hence makes the respondents feel that their efforts are invalidated which in turn makes them lose the morale to fill in the questionnaires thereby leading to answers that are not well thought out.

Task 8

The report was prepared with the help of extensive primary research (through interviews, surveys, and observations by experienced analysts) and secondary research (which includes paid sources, specialized journals and sectoral database organizations). The report also shows the complete qualitative and quantitative assessment by analyzing the data collected from industry analysts and market participants at the key points of the industry value chain. The results of this study are intended to give a complete picture of a stable market in Germany, which can be used by different sellers/brands, rather than establishing a relationship between the variables. Data and conclusions regarding consumer surveys, retailer surveys, and expert opinions are presented in the form of diagrams and graphs. The results shed light on how different brands have p...

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