Assignment Front Sheet

Qualification

Unit Number and Title

Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma Business /
Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma Business
Student Name

Y-601-0564 / Unit 1 / Business Environment

Assessor name

TOM FARNSWORTH

Date of Issue

Completion date

Submitted on

28th October 2014

19th December
2014

19th December 2014

Assignment title

Learning outcome

1

Understand the
organizational
purposes of
businesses

Unit 1: Business Environment

Assessment
criteria

In this assessment you will have the opportunity to
present evidence that shows you are able to

Task
No.

1.1

Identify the purposes of different types of
organization
Describe the extent to which an organization
meets the objectives of different
stakeholders
Explain
the
responsibilities
of
an
organization and strategies employed to
meet them
Explain how economic systems attempt to
allocate resources effectively
Assess the impact of fiscal and monetary
policy on business organizations and their
activities
Evaluate the impact of competition policy
and other regulatory mechanisms on the
activities of a selected organization
Explain how market structures determine
the pricing and output decisions of
businesses
Illustrate the way in which market forces
shape organizational responses using a
range of examples
Judge how the business and cultural

1(a)

1.2

1.3

2

3

Student No.

Understand the
nature of the
national
environment in
which businesses
operate

2.1

Understand the
behaviour of
organizations in
their market
environment

3.1

2.2

2.3

3.2

3.3

Evidence
(Page
no)

1(d)

1(e)

1(b)
2(b)

3(b)

2(c)

1(c)

2(d)
1

4

Be able to assess
4.1
the significance of
global factors
4.2
that shape
national business 4.3
activities

environments shape the behaviour of a
selected organization
Discuss the significance of international
trade to UK business organizations
Analyse the impact of global factors on UK
business organizations
Evaluate the impact of policies of the
European Union on UK business
organizations

3(a)
2(a)
3(c)

Learner declaration
I certify that the work submitted for this assignment is my own and research sources are fully
acknowledged.

Student Signature:

Date:

2

In addition to the above PASS criteria, this assignment gives you the opportunity to submit evidence in order to achieve the following MERIT and
DISTINCTION grades.
Grade Descriptor

Indicative characteristic/s

Contextualisation

M1 Identify and apply
strategies to find
appropriate solutions

Effective judgements have been made:
Complex problems with more than one variable have been explored

Rankings of contextual factors are well justified with respect to the companies and their
circumstances (Tasks 1d, 2a, 2b - exceptionally good work in one or two tasks may
compensate).

M2 Select/Design and
apply appropriate
methods/techniques

A range of sources of information has been used
AND

Information from the case study and at least one of the specified web resources has been
used in support of valid arguments

Complex information/data has been synthesized and processed

Synthesis of complex contextual information is used to support valid arguments (Tasks 2
and 3 – exceptionally good work in either task may compensate).

The appropriate structure and approach has been used

Detailed and rigorous application of the IPO model to Premier Foods and Vodafone, with a
range of relevant input and output factors identified (Task 1a)

M3 Present and
communicate appropriate
findings

Detailed and relevant PESTEL analysis of the global environment of Premier Foods, with at
least three factors identified in each category (Task 2a)
D1 Use critical reflection to
evaluate own work and
justify valid conclusions

Conclusions have been arrived at through synthesis of ideas and
have been justified

Exceptional sophistication in argument, for example by assessing the interaction of
contextual factors themselves (eg the relationship between macroeconomic factors – any
Tasks)

D2 Take responsibility for
managing and organising
activities

Autonomy/independence has been demonstrated

Additional relevant sources of information have been used effectively to support arguments
and referenced correctly (any Tasks)

D3 Demonstrate
convergent/lateral and
creative thinking

Ideas have been generated and decisions taken: ANY OF
•self-evaluation has taken place / •convergent and lateral thinking
have been applied
•problems have been solved / •innovation and creative thought
have been applied / •receptiveness to new ideas is evident
•effective thinking has taken place in unfamiliar contexts.

Evaluation of conclusions based on strengths and weaknesses of data about the business
environment (evaluation of source, collection method etc – any Tasks)
OR
Appropriate recommendations made for improvement of analysis techniques or business
models (any Tasks)

3

Assignment Brief
Unit Number and title

Y-601-0546 / Unit 1 / Business Environment

Qualification

Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma Business /
Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma Business

Start Date

28th October 2014

Deadline

19th December 2014

Assessor

Tom Farnsworth

Assignment title

Unit 1: Business Environment

Purpose of this assignment
The purpose of this assignment is to explore the immediate, general and international/global
environment of UK companies. In order to do this, you are presented with some factual case
study material below. The case study concerns two UK PLCs – Premier Foods, a fast-moving
consumer goods (FMCG) corporation behind many of the UK’s recognizable food brands; and
Vodafone Group, a multinational telecommunications corporation. You will be required to
answer specific questions about these corporations, their relationship, and their relationship to
their environment. This will give you the opportunity to apply in practice many of the techniques
for environmental appraisal that we have covered in class, including (but not limited to) PESTEL
and IPO analysis.
While you are given many of the facts you will need about these two companies and their
environment in the case study below, you are encouraged to seek further information from the
following sources:
Company websites:
http://www.premierfoods.co.uk/
http://www.vodafone.co.uk/
Business environment websites:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/index.html
http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.eubusiness.com/topics/eulaw/summaries
This list is not exhaustive and there are many other sources of information which you may wish
to investigate.
Your assignment is split into three sections, all of which contain several questions. The overall
word limit for the assignment is 3,000.

4

Premier Foods PLC is a food company headquartered in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and listed on
the UK stock exchange (PFD.L). The company is one of Britain's largest branded food
producers. It is possible to find cakes, convenience meals, ready-made cooking sauces,
desserts, flavourings and seasonings made by Premier Foods in nearly every British kitchen. In
economic terms, Premier Foods belongs to the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector of
the UK economy.

Figure 1. Some of the recognizable UK brands owned by Premier Foods.

The Grocery division of Premier Foods is by far its largest, and it includes both branded and
non-branded products in five core categories: cakes, flavourings and seasonings, desserts,
cooking sauces, and accompaniments/easy eating.
Premier Foods refers to the core of its business as its ‘Power Brands’ - these are the brands
which the company regards as having the highest strategic growth potential. These brands
include: Ambrosia custard and rice pudding; Batchelors soups; pasta, rice and noodles; Bisto
and OXO stocks and gravies; the Sharwoods and Loyd Grossman cooking sauces range; and
Mr. Kipling cakes. In addition, Premier Foods designates some of its brands as ‘support brands’
– these include: Angel Delight whipped dessert, Atora suet, Be-Ro flour, Bird’s custard,
Homepride cooking sauces, Lyons cakes, Marvel powdered milk, McDougalls home baking
range, Paxo stuffing mixes, Saxa salt, and Smash instant potato.
While Premier Foods operates primarily as a manufacturer of food brands that it owns, the
company also has a long-standing licence with US-based Mondelez PLC to produce Cadbury
branded cake products. In April 2014, Premier Foods reached an agreement with The Gores
Group, a private investment firm, to operate its bread business as a stand-alone joint venture,
trading as Hovis Ltd. This agreement has helped to release new investment to upgrade the
operational infrastructure of the bread business, and also to reinvigorate the Hovis bread brand.
Premier Foods retains a 49% equity stake in Hovis Ltd.
Premier Foods lists its current strategic priorities as:
• Building lasting relationships with consumers through understanding their needs and shopping
preferences
• Creating brands people love through investing in quality, innovation and marketing
• Striving to be a preferred partner with all of our customers, whichever channel they serve
• Significantly lowering our costs by reducing complexity in our business
• Developing a winning team culture amongst our people as we grow the Company
• Ensuring we deliver sustainability in everything we do.
(Premier Foods, 2014).

5

Figure 2. Strategic priorities for Premier Foods (Premier Foods, 2014)

Figure 3. Five-year share price and trade volume for Premier Foods (PFD.L). Source: LSE.co.uk

6

Over the last 10 years, Premier Foods has expanded, acquiring several new brands and
businesses. In 2014, the directors of the company felt that it had started to become a victim of
its own success, and it was decided that the strategic focus of the business should shift from
expansion and acquisition to consolidation and efficiency, cutting costs and boosting marketing
support. As a large organization with several different sites throughout the UK, efficient
communications were seen as a major priority. 'Communication and collaboration are a vital part
of our future' said Mark Vickery, Group Information Systems and Change Director. Until 2014,
Premier Foods had separate suppliers for its fixed, mobile, and wireless Internet communication
systems. In total, the company had seven different telecommunications suppliers across its
businesses, which impacted on cost and management time. The plan was to consolidate this to
a single supplier, cutting costs and creating a strategic partnership in the process.
Premier Foods selected Vodafone as its exclusive provider of integrated communications.
Vodafone Group PLC is a British telecommunications company headquartered in London with
its registered office in Newbury, Berkshire and a listing on the London stock exchange (VOD.L).
It is the world's second-largest mobile telecommunications company measured by both
customer base and 2013 revenue, with 434 million subscribers around the world as of March
2014. Unlike Premier Foods, Vodafone is a truly multinational enterprise, owning and operating
networks in 21 different countries, with partner networks in over 40 additional countries. Its
Global Enterprise Division provides telecoms and IT services to corporate clients in over 65
countries.
Vickery estimates that the Vodafone solution will deliver telecommunications cost savings of
between 20 and 25% to Premier Foods. The savings come from balancing charges across the
mobile and fixed telecommunications networks, streamlining the supply chain, and reducing the
costs of management and billing. 'It's one supplier with which to collaborate’ says Vickery.
From an infrastructure perspective, having one supplier makes it easier to integrate new
acquisitions, dispose of other parts of the business or to deal with unplanned market changes.
For example, in April 2014 Premier Foods reached an agreement with The Gores Group, a
private investment firm, to operate its bread business as a stand-alone joint venture trading as
Hovis Limited. The new technology contributed to a smooth transition. As the Premier Foods
group supports its various brands into the future, this ‘Ready Business’ mentality will be vital.

7

Task 1: The immediate/contextual environment (LO 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 3.2, M1,M3,D1,D2,D3)
You are a management consultant hired by Vodafone. Your task is to assess the main risks and
benefits involved in a five-year partnership with Premier Foods. In order to do this, you need to
understand more about what your new client does, and what its immediate business
environment is like.
(a) Produce separate input-process-output (IPO) analyses for Premier Foods and for Vodafone.
(1.1)
(b) Considering inputs, which of the two companies would be more likely to thrive in a centrallyplanned economy and which in a market economy? (2.1)
(c) Considering the output side of Premier Foods, is the company’s customer environment more
or less uncertain than ten years ago? Why? (3.2)
(d) Identify the stakeholders in Premier Foods’ business, and plot them on a power/interest grid.
(1.2)
(e) How well is Premier Foods currently discharging its responsibilities to its different
stakeholders? (1.3)
(Max 1,250 words)

Task 2: The general business environment (LO 2.2, 3.1, 3.3, 4.2, M1,M2,M3,D1,D2,D3)
Having gained a clearer idea of Premier Foods’ immediate business environment, you now
need to turn your attention to the general environment and how it might affect your new client.
(a) Focusing purely on the global environment, produce a PESTEL analysis of Premier Foods’
business environment. Within each category, rank the different environmental factors according
to importance, and justify your rankings (4.2).
Now focusing purely on the national environment:
(b) Consider exactly how the following macroeconomic factors affect Premier Foods’ business:
unemployment rate, CPI inflation, RPI inflation, exchange rates, interest rate. Rank them in
order of importance, and justify your rankings. (2.2)
(c) What are the social and cultural factors affecting consumers which lie behind Premier Foods’
decision to split its business into ‘Power Brands’ and ‘support brands’? (3.1)
(d) Is Premier Foods’ current strategy to stop growing its business by buying up other
businesses, and to concentrate instead on consolidation and organic growth, the right one?
(3.3)
(Max 1,000 words)

8

Task 3: The international legal and regulatory environment (LO 2.3, 4.1, 4.3, M2, D1,D2,
D3)
As you are finalizing your report, you receive news that the UK government has announced an
immediate referendum on EU membership, with polls showing a 62% majority in favour of
leaving the EU entirely (British exit, or ‘Brexit’).
(a) Will this be good or bad news for Premier Foods in terms of the company’s inputs? What
about its outputs? Refer to your IPO analysis in Task 1 (a) (4.1)
(b) Which of our two companies, Premier Foods and Vodafone, might have more to lose by the
UK being outside of the European Economic Area (EEA)? (2.3)
(c) Which of our two companies, Premier Foods and Vodafone, might have more to lose by the
UK being outside of a common regulatory framework for business? (4.3)
(Max 750 words)

Evidence
Checklist
Task 1

Summary of evidence

Evidence presented

Task 2

Answers to questions 2(a) through 2(d)
given (maximum 1,000 words).

Task 3

Answers to questions 3(a) through 2(c)
given (maximum 750 words).

Additional
information

In-text referencing and
supplied (Harvard system)

Answers to questions 1(a) through 1(e)
given (maximum 1,250 words).

bibliography

Important
 Plagiarism, collusion and non-compliance with assessment regulations are offences
under the awarding body regulations and where suspected will be thoroughly
investigated under official procedures.
 Penalties may be imposed depending on the severity of the offence, as per the
awarding body guidance.
 Appropriate citations of source documents are essential when presenting
written/word processed work and it is crucial that you quote the books,
journals, websites etc. that you used whilst you carried out desk research.

9

Additional guideline to students
Qualification

Pearson
Diploma
Pearson
Diploma

Unit Number
and title
Student Name

BTEC Level 5 HND
Business /
BTEC Level 4 HNC
Business

Assessor
Name

Tom Farnsworth

Y 601-0546 / Unit 1 / Business Environment
Student No.

Assignment
part

Learning
outcome

To achieve the criteria the evidence must
show that the student is able to:

1 (a)

1.1

Produce two IPO diagrams (one for Premier Foods, one
for Vodafone) with transformed and transforming inputs,
processes, and outputs correctly labelled

1 (b)

2.1

Explain the relative advantages and disadvantages of
central planning vs. market economies for Premier Foods
and Vodafone

1 (c)

3.2

Identify reasons conducing towards and away from
stability in the demand side of Premier Foods’ market

1 (d)

1.2

Produce a matrix with power and interest axes showing
the identity of Premier Foods’ stakeholders

1 (e)

1.3

Discuss the responsibilities of Premier Foods to its
stakeholders, and how these are being discharged

2 (a)

4.2

Produce a balanced PESTEL analysis of Premier Foods’
global environment. At least two factors required per
PESTEL category.

2 (b)

2.2

Evaluate the relative importance of unemployment, CPI
and RPI inflation, exchange rates and interest rate to
Premier Foods’ business

2 (c)

3.1

Identify social and cultural consumer factors behind
Premier Foods’ categorization of its brands into Power
Brands and supporting brands

2 (d)

3.3

Identify and explain demand side factors behind Premier
Foods’ recent change to a consolidation strategy

3 (a)

4.1

Evaluate the supply and demand side impacts on Premier
Foods of the UK leaving the EU

3 (b)

2.3

Evaluate the relative impact (good and bad) on Premier
Foods and Vodafone of the UK leaving the European
Economic Area

Achieved?
(tick)

10

3 (c)

Evaluate the relative impact (good and bad) on Premier
Foods and Vodafone of the UK leaving the EU regulatory
framework

4.3

Achievement Summary
Qualification

Unit Number
and title
Student Name

Criteria
Reference
LO1
1.1
1.2
1.3

LO2
2.1
2.2
2.3

LO3
3.1
3.2
3.3

LO4
4.1
4.2
4.3

Pearson
Diploma
Pearson
Diploma

BTEC Level 5 HND
Business /
BTEC Level 4 HNC
Business

Assessor
Name

Tom Farnsworth

Y 601-0546 / Unit 1 / Business Environment
Student No.

To achieve the criteria the evidence must show that the
student is able to:

Achieved?
(tick)

Identify the purposes of different types of organization
Describe the extent to which an organization meets the objectives
of different stakeholders
Explain the responsibilities of an organization and strategies
employed to meet them

Explain how economic systems attempt to allocate resources
effectively
Assess the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on business
organizations and their activities
Evaluate the impact of competition policy and other regulatory
mechanisms on the activities of a selected organization

Explain how market structures determine the pricing and output
decisions of businesses
Illustrate the way in which market forces shape organizational
responses using a range of examples
Judge how the business and cultural environments shape the
behaviour of a selected organization

Discuss the significance of international trade to UK business
organizations
Analyse the impact of global factors on UK business organizations
Evaluate the impact of policies of the European Union on UK
business organizations

11

Grade Descriptor

Achieved?
(tick)

Grade descriptor

M1 Indentify and apply
strategies to find appropriate
solutions

D1 Use critical reflection to
evaluate own work and justify
valid conclusions

M2 Select/Design and apply
appropriate
methods/techniques

D2 Take responsibility for
managing and organising
activities

M3 Present and
communicate appropriate
findings

D3 Demonstrate
convergent/lateral and
creative thinking

Achieved?
(tick)

12

Assignment Feedback

Formative Feedback: Assessor to Student

Action Plan

Summative feedback

13

Feedback: Student to Assessor

Assessor
Signature

Date

Student
Signature

Date

14

Related Interests