The following appeared in a memorandum from the business department of the Apogee Company.

“When the Apogee Company had all its operations in one location, it was more profitable than it is today. Therefore, the Apogee Company should close down its field offices and conduct all its operations from a single location. Such centralization would improve profitability by cutting costs and helping the company maintain better supervision of all employees.”

Discuss how well reasoned… etc.

In this argument the author concludes that the Apogee Company should close down field offices and conduct all its operations from a single, centralized location because the company had been more profitable in the past when all its operations were in one location. For a couple of reasons, this argument is not very convincing.

First, the author assumes that centralization would improve profitability by cutting costs and streamlining supervision of employees. This assumption is never supported with any data or projections. Moreover, the assumption fails to take into account cost increases and inefficiency that could result from centralization. For instance, company representatives would have to travel to do business in areas formerly served by a field office, creating travel costs and loss of critical time. In short, this assumption must be supported with a thorough cost-benefit analysis of centralization versus other possible cost-cutting and/or profit-enhancing strategies.

Second, the only reason offered by the author is the claim that Apogee was more profitable when it had operated from a single, centralized location. But is centralization the only difference relevant to greater past profitability? It is entirely possible that management has become lax regarding any number of factors that can affect the bottom line such as inferior products, careless product pricing, inefficient production, poor employee expense account monitoring, ineffective advertising, sloppy buying policies and other wasteful spending. Unless the author can rule out other factors relevant to diminishing profits, this argument commits the fallacy of assuming that just because one event (decreasing profits) follows another (decentralization), the second event has been caused by the first.

In conclusion, this is a weak argument. To strengthen the conclusion that Apogee should close field offices and centralize, this author must provide a thorough cost-benefit analysis of available alternatives and rule out factors other than decentralization that might be affecting current profits negatively.

Peer Review: on a scale of 1-6, how would you rate this essay? Please post your ratings in the comments below!

One Response to “Argument Essay – Apogee Company”

Manu says:

The argument talks about Apogee Company, which is not making as much profit as it used to make when it had all its operations at one place.
The speaker goes on and recommends that the company should shut down all its field offices and operate from a single location.
The speaker believes that this move will ensure more profits by cutting costs and help the company maintain better supervision of its employees.

The above argument omits some important concerns that must be addressed to substatiate the claims made by the speaker.

Firstly, the speaker does not mention why the company decided to operate from different locations.One of the possible reasons could be that the company could not
accommodate increasing number of employees and had to open up new offices at avaibale locations.

Secondly, the speaker does not bring to light the reasons why the company is not making as much profit as before. It could be because of the increase in market
competition resulting in division of market share. Another reason could be the prevailing market conditions

Thirdly, the speaker barely mentions the advantages of centralizations but doesnot make any effort to prove it. Had he supported the claims with examples, the argument
would have been stronger.

In summary, the argument has a lot of open ends and leaves out several key issues and therefore,is not sound or persuasive.
In order to make the above argument through and
convincing the speaker has to take the above mentioned factors into consideration.

Leave a Reply