Trayyner - May Pre-Seen Analysis
Trayyner - May Pre-Seen Analysis
IBTC lecturer, Muzi Sithebe, has broken down the Management Case Study Pre-Seen and highlighted some things you should know when preparing for the May Case Study exam.
Here is what he had to say,
Along each of our academic and professional journeys, we have inevitably come across and benefited from academic support in the form of tuition and tutoring. In our continuous professional development, we have also all probably undertaken numerous courses and training programmes to equip us for the ever-changing environments in which we work. This is the journey that the May/August Management Case Study takes us upon as we step into the role of the Financial Manager for Trayyner, a company that offers executive training courses.
As is reminiscent of recent case studies, Trayyner is a company that is very relatable and thus brings with it a higher expectation of how well we know the pre-seen and the level of responses we provide in the exam. Pre-seen analysis, as always, will be an important part of our preparation and we will discuss some tips to do it effectively later in this article.
Trayyner is an unquoted company offering executive training courses in several international locations. It has a catalogue of both public and bespoke courses and describes itself as creating value through, “understanding the training and status needs of the delegates who participate in the courses.”
These high-level facts give us a bit of perspective as to some of the things that make the business tick and how Trayyner has positioned itself in the market.
Considering the standard of living in its home country and overlaying the perspective from the newspaper articles hinting at training costs being under more scrutiny within parastatals – we get an initial idea of what some of the issues are that Trayyner is likely to face.
The changing ways of work, digital technology and publicly available views from trainers also give us a platform to consider whether Trayyner may need to re-look its business strategy in order to remain competitive in the future. It is however important to note that the pre-seen has expressly mentioned that it is set in a context where COVID has not had an impact, so this should not be a defining part of your paper and responses.
Key Points Worth Noting
Strategy/Business Model – this is an important aspect as it fully articulates how Trayyner has positioned itself in the market and how it has built its brand thus far. Through a period of change whereby we will need to evaluate various strategic options, this lens will be vital in assessing the suitability of the options before us.
Cost Management – a key driver for the success of Trayyner (also evident for Masterkles) is the effective management of costs and putting in place processes that support this. The two organisations enjoy a very healthy profit margin as a result of this and you would find that cost leadership may be a worthwhile strategy to drive sustainability and longevity in the industry.
Product Portfolio – the offerings that Trayyner puts in the market are key to attracting new business and staying relevant, and the addition of new offerings to this product portfolio and methods of delivering the course content may be a discussion point given the changing needs in the industry.
Sources of Finance – in order to fund its future plans, there may be scope to consider listing the organization to gain access to equity finance. The dynamics involved in this decision will need to be well understood and the context appropriate should it be tabled as an option for the future.
Preparation: Unpacking the pre-seen
Having an intimate understanding of the pre-seen material is one of the most critical aspects of doing well in the case study exam, and it is therefore important that we follow a structured approach to doing so. A few considerations that could help you understand Trayyner better are:
SWOT Analysis – this is the fits step in understanding any organization and will give you a baseline to work from in understanding Trayyner's capabilities, limitations and external factors that are likely to impact them in future.
Stakeholder Analysis – the delivery of Trayyner's value proposition requires the collaborative effort of multiple role-players, some of which are instrumental to the offering. Understanding the power and interest dynamics of each of these role players will help identify the key players in Trayyner's world.
Value Chain Analysis – understanding each of the activities that combine in order to deliver the final product/service is the best way to familiarize yourself with what makes the business tick. More important is to evaluate each activity from the lens of (1) How can we add value, and (2) how can we reduce cost in the respective activity. This truly takes us to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of Trayyner.
There is a long list of critical skills and approaches that can help us better prepare for the exam, but there are 2 that are often overlooked and can have the biggest impact on exam performance:
Exam Fitness – being able to remain focused and perform optimally for the full 3 hours. The best way to develop this is through doing 3-hour practice exams under timed, uninterrupted exam conditions and dedicating the full time to it. You will notice that you gradually feel less exhausted after each paper, which tells you that you are getting better at sustaining the same level of focus for longer.
Addressing Blind Spots – we all naturally gravitate towards the parts of the work we are most comfortable with and may neglect the ones which we find difficult. It is important that we address these gaps in knowledge, with particular focus on F2 for those students who may not have a financial accounting background. The F2 related questions are a good opportunity to score well in the paper and reward students who know the topics well, but the F2 material is often not given enough attention by students.
The May/August pre-seen is truly a platform where students can showcase their knowledge and understanding across the 3 pillars as it touches on something so closely related to their CIMA journey. This also creates a higher expectation when it comes to the level of responses provided, so do not underestimate the amount of preparation necessary.
Prepare well, prepare consistently and prepare well in advance – this will set you up for a stellar performance on exam day. Wishing you all the best as you take the next step on your CIMA journey in 2021.