General Dynamics

| October 17, 2020

Question

Research, analysis, and drawing conclusions on a firm operating in the international business environment. A research paper that explores the many strengths and weaknesses a firm encounters in the international business environment.
This paper will be prepared consistent with the current APA Manual and will have a minimum of ten different references (No Wiki’s or Pedia’s). Some of the bibliography and references will most likely come from the firm you have chosen: source documents, e.g., annual reports, and financial statements. As such this reduces the need for peer-reviewed sources. However, peer-reviewed sources are still important and should be listed in the bibliography/reference section(s) and cited in the paper as appropriate.
Requirements

PLEASE INCLUDE SECTION SUBTITLES IN PAPER (SECTION I, SECTION II, ETC)
Section I: This serves as an introduction to the Research Paper. Provide an overview of the research design of the paper. Introduce the various topics that will be addressed in the research paper. Identify the method(s) that will be used to collect the data for the topics and how that data will be evaluated.
Section II: There will be a brief discussion of the firm to include its principle goods and services, market share, geographic locations where it operates, and major competitors.
Section III: Evaluate and discuss the firm’s cost behaviors. The discussion should include the definitions and activities presented in this class. Provide examples of fixed, variable, semi-variable, other costs for the firm.
Section IV: Evaluate and discuss the firm’s possible budget process. The discussion should include who is involved, collections and disbursements, and the ramifications and problems of budgeting in the international business environment.
Section V: Evaluate and discuss how the firm could benefit by analyzing future projects in terms of relevant costs. This discussion should include the firm’s future plans, such as, expansion, consolidation, and downsizing and how relevant costs could be used in the decision making.
Section VI: Summary and conclusion(s). The discussion should provide a brief summary of the previous sections, and the conclusions you have reached.

Answer

General Dynamics

Contents

Section I: Introduction.. 2

Topics of Discussion.. 2

Data Collection Methods and Evaluation.. 3

Section II: Overview of General Dynamics. 3

Principle Goods and Services. 4

Market Share. 6

Locations. 6

Competitors. 7

Section III: General Dynamic’s Cost Behaviors. 8

Section IV: General Dynamic’s Budget Process. 9

Section V: Benefits of Analyzing Future Projects. 11

Section VI: Summary and Conclusion.. 12

References. 14

Section I: Introduction

            Operating in an international business environment offers both advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, firms that seek to expand into the international market to become multinational companies must conduct comprehensive research and analysis of the market so as to determine their entry strategy. Despite the various challenges involved, there are various companies that have excelled in the international market. One such company is General Dynamics that operates globally and has locations in 46 countries (General Dynamics, 2017). General Dynamics is headquartered in Falls Church Virginia and is under the leadership of Phebe Novakovic. The firm has a huge presence in the United States and Europe. It has at least a location in every continent except Africa.

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Topics of Discussion

            This research paper evaluates the business operations of General Dynamics with an aim of establishing how the multinational corporation conducts its operation in an international environment. The company was chosen because of its relative success in the global market in the industry of aerospace and defense. The company is among the largest defense contractors in the world. The researcher paper will begin with a brief discussion of the company that will include its principle goods and services, market share, geographic locations of its operation, and an evaluation of its major competitors. In another section, the evaluation will focus on firm’s cost behaviors with a focus on the variable costs, fixed, semi-variable, and other related costs. The evaluation will also include a discussion of the firm’s possible budget process with a focus on who is involved in the process, collections and disbursements, and the ramifications and problems of budgeting in an international business environment. Finally, the paper will focus on and evaluation and discussion of how the firm can benefit from analyzing future projects in terms of relevant costs with a focus on the future plans of the firm, for example, expansion, consolidation, and downsizing. The area will also focus on how relevant costs can be used in the process of decision making. The identified topics will help in providing a deep insight on the operations of General Dynamics in the international business environment.

Data Collection Methods and Evaluation

            The research process will require the collection of relevant data to assist in evaluation and analysis. Data will be collected through primary and secondary data collection methods. The primary method will involve getting relevant data from the company’s website. The primary data collected will include annual reports and financial statements. The secondary method that will be used will mainly be library research of relevant documents related to general dynamics as well as the industry of operation. The collected materials will then be subjected to document analysis to identify relevant information related to the topics of the research paper. The data collected will be evaluated through quantitative methods.

Section II: Overview of General Dynamics

Global Dynamics is an international and aerospace company that has its headquarters in Falls Church Virginia, and is headed by Phebe Novakovic. It is public company that was founded 1899 by John Philip Holland but became officially incorporated in Delaware in 1952 (General Dynamics, 2017). The company has locations in 46 countries in the world with a huge presence in Europe and North America. According to Fortune 500 magazine (2017), the firm employs a total of 98,800 employees thereby making it one of the largest employers in the industry. The company has also focused on diversity thus created a large community of people who are determined to uphold its ethos. The firm has been more successful due to its culture of continuous improvement. The company has placed a significant budget in research and design thus ensuring that it is at the front of innovative products and systems. Its success has been mainly anchored on its future planning and embrace to change. The company has invested in finding out cost-effective ways of conducting its operations thus ensuring that it produces quality products and services while increasing its profit margins. General Dynamics is currently the fifth largest defense contractor based on the 2016 revenues (Forbes, 2018). General Dynamics, therefore, continues to be among the best global defense contractors with a major focus on aerospace production.

Principle Goods and Services

            General Dynamics operates under business groups with each having independent business units. The model is meant to ensure that each business group has the required flexibility that allows it to fulfill customer functions while remaining agile in terms of innovation and development (General Dynamics, 2017). The business groups include aerospace, combat systems, marine systems, and information systems and technology.

Under the aerospace group the firm has the gulfstream and jet aviation business units that have made it to be at the forefront of the business-jet market. The company has become a global powerhouse as a result of its superior Gulfstream aircraft (General Dynamics, 2017). The firm has also focused on offering industry-leading product service as well as support. The global network facilities that it provides for both aircraft owners and operators have helped it penetrate a large market share in comparison to other competitors in the industry (General Dynamics, 2017). The firm also offers aircraft completion for manufacturers of other original equipment. Under the Gulfstream business unit, the firm is involved in the manufacturing and servicing of technologically advanced business-jet aircrafts. The first Gulfstream business jet was built in 1958 (General Dynamics, 2017). Since then, General Dynamics has increased its number of Gulfstream fleet to include six versions of the business-jet aircraft (General Dynamics, 2017). Apart from manufacturing, the firm also offers completion services that include a wide array of cabin configurations. Under the Jet Aviation business unit, the company offers comprehensive global aviation services that include maintenance, repair, charter, aircraft management, customization, as well as FBO and staffing services (General Dynamics, 2017).

Under the Combat Systems business group, the firm offers services that include designing, manufacturing, as well as modernizing land combat machines. The company is involved in the production of tracked combat vehicles, main battle tanks, light armored vehicles, and a wide range of high performance weapon systems and munitions (General Dynamics, 2017). The business group is divided into four units that include the land systems, European land systems, and ordinance and tactical systems.

The information System and Technology business group is involved in developing, improving, securing the systems of a sophisticated defense, aerospace, and communication products. The company has specialized in large-scale information technology networks and systems that have enabled it to have a global presence. Among the services and products offered by the group include command and control systems, cyber products, secure communication systems, and imagery sensors (General Dynamics, 2017). The business group is divided into two business units that include information technology and mission systems.

The last business group is the Marine Systems that is involved in building complex ships. The business group is involved in designing, building and repairing surface combatants, nuclear-powered submarines, commercial Jones Act ships, and combat-logistics ships (General Dynamics, 2017). The business group has established it reputation by being the United States Navy primary shipbuilder. The group is divided in three units that include electric boat, bath iron works, and NASSCO.

Market Share

            General Dynamics is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world based on the 2016 revenues. This implies that the company has a huge global market for its products and services. According to reports recorded by Statista (2018), General Dynamic’s revenue on aerospace group amounted to around $6.3 billion thus making it one of the market leaders in the industry. According to Forbes magazine (2018), the market value for the firm as of March, 2017 stood at around $56 million thus making it a significant player in the aerospace and defense industry globally.

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Locations

General Dynamics is an American defense contractor, with a majority of its physical factories located in the United States and Europe (General Dynamics, 2017). However, the company also has locations in various other continents that include South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia. The company does not have a location in Africa.  Some of the biggest customers of General Dynamics’ products outside the US include Britain, France, Turkey and a majority of many other countries. Therefore, General Dynamics has a global presence with operations spread all over the geographical locations, which can be accessed. The company’s global presence is one of the most important factors, which have augmented the business advantage models worldwide. The opening of physical locations in various countries has enabled the firm to serve its customers in a more refined way. It has enabled the company to take advantage of diversity thus adding to its innovation. People from different parts of the world are able to contribute to the model of continuous innovation of the firm.

Competitors

            There have been a number of commercial companies that are increasing their operations to include defense work. Therefore, companies such as General Dynamics are forced to change how they conduct their business operations in order to maintain their market share. Defense contractors have been forced to assign a significant part of their budget into marketing to expand their market share. Therefore, General Dynamics faces competition from a number of companies in the industry. Among the top companies in the industry that are competing with General Dynamics include Boeing, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. These companies have revenues above $20 million (Morning Star, 2018). The highest ranking company in the industry is Boeing. However, unlike General Dynamics that focuses specifically in defense work, Boeing also focuses on commercial ventures.  These companies have demonstrable track records after initiating and completing large-scale projects such as the manufacturing of the Boeing commercial airplanes, the F-15, F-16, F-22 and F-35 and SRC Blackbird strategic bomber (D&B Hoovers, 2018). These technologies and their associated airplanes have seen numerous action and successful missions. In addition, these companies have strong financial backgrounds and general business models, which make them highly competitive. As a result, there is a need for General Dynamics to embrace a holistic approach, which will ensure that the company remains profitable and thrives within the highly competitive environment, which the pilot never dies.

Section III: General Dynamic’s Cost Behaviors

The discussion in this section includes the definitions and activities presented in class. Provided examples include fixed, variable, semi-variable, other costs for the firm. Over the duration of the class, various important concepts within the practice of business and practical real-world businesses have been discussed. These ranged from instances of fixed costs, variable costs and semi-variable costs within companies’ management and operational structures. From class discussions, it was determined that fixed costs are usually associated with the total expenditures that a company or business has to meet regardless of its production levels (Ehrenberg & Smith, 2016). For instance, rent was identified as an important fixed cost that the company will have to meet since it always has to meet such costs whether it uses the rented facilities or not. General Dynamics has not rented the factories where it builds most of its products. However, the company has to pay various rates on its properties and other applicable federal taxes which have to be remitted over a specific duration.

Recurrent expenditures are also some of the most important costs that an operational company has to meet. Salaries, for instance, need to be paid. Since the company does not keep firing and hiring new personnel, recurrent expenditures, especially the one involving payment of salaries can easily be classified as fixed costs (General Dynamics, 2017).

On the other hand, varying costs, refer to expenditures, which are tightly dependent on the total output levels (Dudek, 2006), which are being implemented by the companies in question. In the case of General Dynamics, variable costs are almost entirely determined by winning external contracts for manufacturing the various military vehicles. For instance, a country will need to place its order in advance for a given aircraft after which the selected designer embarks on calculating the total costs that should go into such program. Therefore, variable costs within GD will entirely depend on the amount of orders that the company has been presented with at any given time. As a result, variable costs within the company’s business structure might be used as an indicator of the general business process activities that the company is experiencing. In this regard, the higher figure might be indicative of more activity hence more profits for GD as a company (General Dynamics, 2017). Economists will then need to study what could have been the problem cause leading to such event in the first place, hence use it is a study case while analyzing and creating meaningful recommendations for other companies which might have incorporated the same business model.

Section IV: General Dynamic’s Budget Process.

            The discussions in this section included the parties involved in the firm’s business processes, various collections and disbursements, and the ramifications and problems of budgeting in the international business environment.

The international community is one of the most important sources of market and clients for General Dynamics. Though not explicitly stated, one could notice the company engages in a widely comprehensive budgetary framework aimed at giving provisions for both the US internal law requirements and the target market where it hopes to sell various products in the event that they get approved by the necessary laws as legible to be exported to other countries. General Dynamics’s overall budget, therefore, should reflect the following important components within the entire weapon production line.

The business will need to dedicate a given amount of tax as may be regulated by the IRS. All businesses are required to by law to adhere to the guidelines put in place by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Often, the IRS is analogous with taxation and the entire taxation system hence the need to ensure that there is an individual or group of individuals responsible for the paying out the company’s taxes to the correct individuals.

Attending to various recurrent expenditures such, as paying salaries should be one of the very first considerations for creating own practice within the region where they are being addressed. Therefore, the company will need to put a substantial amount of its income into a ‘savings’ project on which writers can accumulate their earnings and then take out a lump sum amount of money wherever they are required to produce such money either for planned or unplanned events.

The defense contractor, just like any other normal operations company within the U.S, needs an opportunity to deal with their properties over the various allowable processes such as allowing auditing processes while they are still being observed by some concerned legal opportunities. Therefore, the company will need to develop a conscience regarding how best to obtain the raw materials, how teach material is utilized and any other existing projections that might be used by the company and its expressivity thereof as a way of increasing sales and the general ‘importance’ of the place where the appropriate action is being put into practice.

As a defense contractor, the company gets involved in training personnel from the client’s end how to use various products that have already been sold. For instance, General Dynamics might want the incorporate some element of ‘after-sale’ services as a means of differentiating the business in its entirety. Countries buying aircraft from such a company might, therefore, want to train their own pilots with the provided test suite, and then create an understanding which can easily be working for various people who are actually getting such dues as may be dictated based on the place where one lives.

Section V: Benefits of Analyzing Future Projects

This section comprises an assessment and discussion the advantages that would accrue to General Dynamics through its adoption and implementation of analyzing imminent developments regarding their applicable costs, comprising the business’s future strategies. Such activities would include the firm’s expansion plans, merging, and downscaling and how appropriate costs could be utilized in the management of the firm. General Dynamics’ management structure might need to consider and implement various futuristic decisions meant to make the experience of working with the company even more satisfying. Currently, the company deals in four important deals which have proved successful in not only maintaining but also promoting the business general work structure. One of the most important considerations that the company might want to consider will include embracing some form of divestment in getting rid of certain components of the manufacturing process as an integral component in ensuring the majority of products resulted in the desired effects/results as ways of promoting efficiency and ease of reinforcing various guidelines meant to increase the company’s profits

As a result, a thorough and well-informed analysis of the future demands will particularly prove instrumental in shaping the manner in which GD plans for the future in order to derive maximum utility for the processes that it has already set in motion as integral success factors in the business’ overall operational paradigm. There is need to take a closer and deeper examination of what competitor businesses are doing as a means of establishing the kind of specialty in which GD is likely to perform best. As a result, the company might decide to either cut off certain operations or acquire new operational protocols as a means of creating a survival model for the future.

Every decision was taken by the company be it to divest, downsize or merger various components of the entire production process will need to take a keen consideration for the cost factor in the entire exercise. For instance, there is need to provide updated arguments that can actually be backed up by a financial statement over a given fiscal year regarding the effects of a given approach as a means of saving on costs (Drake & Fabozzi, 2015). The overall and final decision shall incorporate a well-thought and critically analyzed methodology for promoting a sustainable business process ecosystem capable of maintaining the most productive aspect of the entire business in question. On the other hand, undertaking such decisions will need a comprehensive corporate command structure which can actually quantify the amount of variable effort put into place in order ensure that the resultant business is not only successful but also thrives by exploiting existing opportunities in the market to create a better General Dynamics company.

Section VI: Summary and Conclusion

This discussion provides a brief summary of the past sections of this paper as well as offer deductions reached regarding the management of the firm. General Dynamics is an important defense contractor in the world. The company’s location in the U.S augments the American rhetoric of a superpower capable of not only creating weapons for itself but also open to exporting such arms to different countries. A comprehensive and deep analysis of General Dynamics has shown various aspects of the company’s market position and how such weights have effectively acted as company’s greatest strength in ensuring its success.

General Dynamics’ immediate setting-within the U.S was established as one of the most important factors, which has so far determined the success of the company. In fact, the very success of the business can be attributed to efforts during its inception and worked hard to ensure that the business could be allowed to trade with anyone regardless of their military orientations; as long as it did not affect the American agenda in a given area of jurisdiction (Chang & Doug Witte, 2010).

General Dynamics faces stiff competition from various defense contracting companies which have also been working hard in order to snatch the relatively exclusive and large market presented by various countries who might want to purchase various military hardware. The relatively fair competition, however, has enabled General Dynamic to plan into the future in which it should be integrated into the rest of the system explained. The establishment of a working budget has been identified as one of the most important aspects of General Dynamic’s overall work routing. This paper established the presence and effects of various types of costs, the kind of material that can be put in place to guarantee the continued success in the way that such things work without having to go to back to their designations. This also promised to break my hurt. GD has been working hard to create meaningful business empires depending on the prevailing conditions in order to thrive and make profits.

References

Chang, C. E., & Doug Witte, H. (2010). Performance evaluation of US socially responsible mutual funds: revisiting doing good and doing well. American Journal of Business25(1), 9-24.

D&B Hoovers. (2018). General Dynamics Corporation Company Profile: Competitors, Key Contacts & Financials. Retrieved from http://www.hoovers.com/company-information/cs/company-profile.general_dynamics_corporation.cdfeede267030627.html

Drake, P. O., & Fabozzi, F. J. (2015). Financial statements (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Dudek, M. K. (2006). Stochastic Demands, Fixed Costs, and Time-Varying Solow Residual. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.948679

Ehrenberg, R. G., & Smith, R. S. (2016). Modern labor economics: Theory and public policy. Routledge.

Forbes (2018). America’s Largest Public Companies: 2018 Ranking. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/companies/general-dynamics/

Fortune 500 (2017). Global Dynamic. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/fortune500/general-dynamics/

General Dynamics. (2017). General Dynamics. Retrieved from http://www.gd.com/

Morning Star. (2018). GD: General Dynamics Corp Top Competitors and Peers. Retrieved from http://financials.morningstar.com/competitors/industry-peer.action?t=GD®ion=usa&culture=en-US

Statista (2018). Revenue of General Dynamics in 2017, by major products and services (in million U.S. dollars). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/261145/revenue-of-general-dynamics-by-major-products-and-services/

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