FAQ Version 1.0 Getting Started and Retailing How can I buy goods from the seaport? Set up a purchasing unit and a sale unit in your department store and double-click the line between them to link them together. Select the purchasing unit and click the "Link Supplier" button. Double-click the small "pink" dot on the regional map to select the seaport. Now the products available in the seaport are shown. To buy a product, double-click on its picture. Where should I set up new purchasing and sale units? Select your department store and click on the "Layout" button to show the interior layout of your firm which consists of nine slots. Set up a purchasing unit in one of the slots and set up a sale unit next to it. You can set them up in any two of the nine slots as long as they are next to each other. Why are the goods that I have purchased are not showing up in my department store? It takes a short while for the purchasing unit to move the goods to the sale unit. Also, check your firm's layout to make sure that the purchasing unit is connected to the sale unit. If they are not connected, the goods will not be moved to the sale unit. To link them together, double-click the line between them. Any tips for designing good firm layouts? Learn from computer players. Look at their firm layouts, which are usually well designed. Market Analysis How can I increase the overall rating? The overall rating of a product is calculated based on price, quality, and brand rating. If you decrease your products' prices, their overall rating will increase and more people will buy your products. Quality and brand are also very important, we will tell you how to improve them in the following instructional games. What does the price concern mean? If a product has high price concern, consumers are more sensitive to the price and care less about the quality and brand. Its overall rating is more closely related to theprice. When should I decrease my products' prices? Compare the overall ratings of your products to those of your competitors. If yours are lower than those of your competitors, people prefer the competition and you are losing your market share to them. In this case, you should consider lowering the price. What are local competitors? There are local competitors in each city. Although their firms are not shown in the game map, they do compete directly with you. Keep an eye on their ratings in the product reports and react accordingly. Farming What agricultural products should my farm produce? Only some agricultural products can be sold directly. They are frozen beef, frozen pork, frozen lambs, frozen chickens, and eggs. The others are raw materials for other products. (For example, barley is the raw material for beer.) We will tell you more about that in the next instructional game. How can I be a good farmer? Consult the Manager's Guide for details about the farm's unit info-boxes. You can call up the Manager's Guide on the "Help" menu. Manufacturing What should I do before starting a factory? Before entering a new industry, analyze the status of the industry. Try to find a market with the least competition. The product summary report displays concise information about the competitive status of each product in each city. What's the use of the supply and demand? Examine your product's supply and demand lines. If the supply line (blue) is longer than the demand line (red), the supply of the product is greater than the demand. This implies that the product's profitability might not be fully exploited yet. It has the capacity to meet more demand and generate more revenue. Conversely, if the demand line (red) is longer than the supply line (blue), this indicates that the firm cannot supply enough goods to meet the demand. In this situation, try to lift the supply, because any additional supply turn into sales. How can I be a good factory manager? To run a successful factory, you must understand the meaning of unit info-box indicators on the firm layout plan. Consult the Manager's Guide for the details about the unit info-box. You can call up the Manager's Guid e on the "Help" menu. Brand and Advertising What is brand concern? If you spend the same amount advertising two products, one with high brand concern and another with low brand concern, the overall rating of the former one increases faster. So much data about advertising, I'm confused. Pay attenti on only to the "Rating Points" and "Daily Frequency" and ignore the rest. They are the two most important advertising numbers. They are shown on the info-box of the advertising unit, denoted by the letters "R" and "F", respectively. What are the rating points? The rating points tell the size of a medium's audience.Always try to select a TV station or a newspaper publisher with high rating points. What is the daily frequency? The daily frequency tells now many times a target audience is exposed to an advertisement in a day. If you increase your advertising spending, you get a higher daily frequency. How is brand rating determined? The brand rating of a product is determined by its brand awareness and brand loyalty. Advertising a product increases brand awareness but not brand loyalty. How is brand loyalty determined? Brand loyalty is affected by brand awareness, product quality, and brand scope. Brand awareness and brand loyalty Higher brand awareness means more people will try the product and the rate at which brand loyalty can increase is faster. Product quality and brand loyalty Customers are loyal to a brand only if the brand's products have consistent high quality. Brand scope and brand loyalty If you are exercising a range brand or corporate brand strategy, a brand covers a variety of products. Consumers will doubt your corporation's devotion to that product and will not easily become loyal to the brand. How can I change my brand strategy? To change the brand strategy, call up the "Corporation Detail Report" and go to the "Brand" section. Research and Development What is an R&D team? When you connect R&D units, they become an R&D team. The advancement in technology the team can achieve is higher than the individual units. But you must do that before starting R&D. You won't get any advantage from linking additiona l units to an R&D team that has already started R&D. How can I tell an R&D team to start R&D? When you start a new R&D project, remember to click the "R&D Technology" button of the "leader" unit of the team. The "leader" is the one that has connections to all other R&D units in the team. Selecting a non-le ader unit results in low technology advancement. How do I know when my R&D projects are done? When an R&D project is complete, the "Event Tracker" button appears (on the bottom part of the screen, below the product report button). Press the button to go to the corresponding R&D unit, where you can appl y the R&D result right away. Any good R&D strategy? You can research a product before setting up a factory to manufacture it. With this strategy, you can launch new products with superior quality and seize market share from your competitors. Raw Materials Production Why are mines always losing money? Mines, logging camps, and oil wells are long-term investment. In the beginning, they barely break even. However, as more factories buy raw materials from them, their revenues and profits will increase. Any good strategy for operating a mine? If you set a reasonable price for your raw materials, other corporations will buy them from you. Since competition in the raw material market is much less than in the consumer market, once you have a sizable custom er base, it will give your corporation a constant income source. Stock Market Why should my corporation buy back its own shares? When your corporation buys back its own shares, those shares are taken out of circulation. The total number of shares is reduced and the ownership percentage of the existing shareholders increases. This action can strengthen the ownership of existing shareholders in the corporation and reduce the risk of a hostile takeover. Buying back your corporation's own shares also has a positive effect on the earnings per share, which in turn has a positive effect on the stock price. If a company buys back half its shares and its overall earnings stay the same, the earnings per share double.