The CIMA MCS May and August 2021 case study is based around a scenario called Trayyner and in this blog post I will be focusing on the news articles featured in the pre seen materials.
You can find the official MCS May 2021 pre seen materials from CIMA here.
Trayyner is a company that offers executive training courses but before I get stuck into the news articles, it’s worth paying attention to the opening statement on the pre-seen materials in regards to COVID.
COVID-19 Statementtaken from the Trayyner pre seen materials opening page
This pre-seen and the case study in general (while aiming to reflect real life), are set in a context
where the COVID-19 pandemic has not had an impact.
What this tells me is that students have been referring to COVID directly in previous sittings of the case study exams. Perhaps using COVID as a reason why a companies profits have fallen, or extra health and safety measures that need to be considered in light of COVID.
While it’s important to make yourself feel part of the case study scenario, you need to stick to the facts you are presented with in the materials.
It’s tricky, as students are encouraged to refer to real life industry examples to give context, however, it’s clear that students have using the real life situation of COVID to explain and base their recommendations in the case study exams.
Pre Seen Materials: New Articles
The news articles at the end can be loaded with information and some pointers on what you could see on exam day. I’ve examined the first three in detail and shared my thoughts below.
In my opinion, it makes sense to look at the Southland Gazette and Northland Business Daily articles together. The first article in the Northland Business Daily is centered around Parastatals and how their roles are changing.
A parastatal is a company that is owned by the government, but is run by a board of directors – the article points out;
While they may be expected to operate at a profit, they are also expected to operate in the national interest. That could mean that they must cap prices in order to ensure that the needs of domestic and commercial customers are met.
The roles of parastatals are changing in many countries, with a greater emphasis on creating profit and maximising wealth.taken from the pre seen materials page 22
Before I draw any conclusions, let’s have a look at the Southland Gazette article. Here we can find a direct criticism from the government for The Telecommunications Corporation of Southland (TeCoS) attending a training course in a luxury hotel.
The Minister for Telecommunications has criticised the Board of The Telecommunications Corporation of Southland (TeCoS), the parastatal responsible for the provision of telecommunications across Southland, for attending a training session in a luxury hotel in Hopeland.
She queried the cost of this training and asked for a justification of its valuetaken from the pre seen materials page 23
I believe there are positives and negatives hidden in both of these stories.
Let’s start with the positive.
Training Courses Opportunities
We understand that the role of parastatals are changing with a emphasis on creating profit and maximizing wealth. Looking at the courses offered by Trayyner, they only offer two courses for Parastatals; (Board Duties and Internal Audit). So there is an opportunity to either create new courses around creating value, business partnering or stakeholder management for the new skillsets the board of directors at parastatals will need.
Alternatively, there might be existing Trayyner courses that can be marketed to these companies to meet their needs of an evolving skillset.
And now for the glaringly obvious risk.
Luxury Venues Criticised
The second article doesn’t look good.
Despite the fact that TeCoS have defended the training course they have attended, they will be under pressure when thinking about future courses. Think of the MP expenses scandal in the UK, where Government ministers were making excessive claims for their own benefit, while this is not in the same league it’s a similar theme.
The public won’t like the fact these government controlled companies are being wined and dined at luxury hotels for training courses.
This negative press could impact Trayyner and they could see lost business from parastatals.
That said, Trayyner could already be actively thinkin about how to mitigate that risk. Do they offer in-house training to these clients, or perhaps think of a more low key venue for these types of events?
The next news article paints a positive picture for the executive training course industry and Trayyner – a happy story after the muddy waters of the previous one.
The article tells us;
Northland’s Navy has announced that it plans to incorporate budgets and financial planning into the training programmes for all of its senior officers.
“Our officers will still be able to navigate ships and operate their systems, but we have identified a growing need for training in various aspects of management alongside technical specialisms. Ships’ captains frequently have to manage complicated budgets.”taken from the pre seen materials page 24
This can only be good news and more business for Trayyner, in theory, it should be low hanging fruit for Trayyner to take advantage of this news.
Given the specialist nature of the courses and trainers at the disposal of Trayyner, they should be in a position to react quickly to this news and start their sales pitch with the Northland Navy on courses that would meet their requirements.
It’s also really welcome news considering what we are told in the pre-seen materials ‘Marketing Activities’ on page 6.
Trayyner has an extensive client base that is drawn mainly from regions that had developing, economies until relatively recently, but that have transitioned to maturity. Countries in those regions frequently have large numbers of professional people who occupy senior roles within indigenous and parastatal (government-owned) organisations.
It seems that the market that Trayyner operates in is reaching maturity, so another market segment to aim at like the Navy or Armed Forces, whose personnel also need a more rounded skillset that includes financial courses could prove to be very lucrative for Trayyner and their competitors.
CIMA MCS: Astranti Case Study Course
The full Astranti MCS case study course has recently been revamped and contains more resources than ever to help your pass the MCS exam first time.
- Pre seen materials pack (analysis, top 10 issues, industry examples & 30 questions)
- 5 x mock exams with feedback
- Syllabus theory revision series
- Exam technique series
- Ethics and questions packs
- Tutor feedback
- Pass guarantee & money back guarantee
Good Luck with your studies.