AWA 15

The following appeared in a report presented for discussion at a meeting of the directors of a company that manufactures parts for heavy machinery.

“The falling revenues that the company is experiencing coincide with delays in manufacturing. These delays, in turn, are due in large part to poor planning in purchasing metals. Consider further that the manager of the department that handles purchasing of raw materials has an excellent background in general business, psychology, and sociology, but knows little about the properties of metals. The company should, therefore, move the purchasing manager to the sales department and bring in a scientist from the research division to be manager of the purchasing department.”

The argument in the report presented for discussion at a meeting of directors of a company that manufactures parts of heavy machinery is unconvincing because its conclusion depends on several unsubstantiated assumptions of laying the blame on the purchasing department and its current manager. Each of the following areas merit further explanation before it can be given any degree of credibility of its conclusion of the transfer of the purchasing department manager and replacing him with a scientist from the research division.

Firstly, the report does not highlight any data to show that the purchasing department is solely responsible for the delays in the manufacturing. In such a light, one cannot ignore the possibility of the other factors. For example, even though the orders were properly placed, the company may have been delaying the payments, due to which the vendor might not supplying the metals at the right time. Additionally, adequate transport facilities might not have been provided, resulting in the delays.

Secondly, questioning purchasing manager’s experience in general business, psychology and sociology with the delays in the purchasing department cannot be established unless concrete evidence is being provided for the relationship of the experience with the performance of the manager resulting in the delay of purchasing of the metals.

Lastly, a scientist from the research division may be the best candidate to judge the properties and qualities of the good metals but there is no guarantee that he can check the delays in the purchasing department. If the experience of a general business manager is put into question, then one cannot ignore the possibility of the same with the scientist. Further, scientist’s experience needs to be further analyzed to the requirements of the position as mere knowledge of metals cannot help in planning the purchase of metals on time.

Due to the many holes in the reasoning in the arguments of the report, it is difficult to take the arguments seriously. Unless further evidence surface in each of the areas discussed above, the given premises are insufficient proof that the conclusion drawn is viable.

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