Sumerians were the first culture to quit hunting and gathering food and begin cultivation. Like many other inventions that Sumerian culture gave to the world, they also contributed in farming and food. Sumerian food consisted mainly of barley.

The raw material of most of Sumerian food was barley, barley cakes and barley paste were accompaniments of all major meals. Wheat and millet were other raw materials used in Sumerian food. Farming yielded vegetables and fruits, chickpeas, lentils, beans, onion, garlic, leeks, cucumbers, cress, mustard and fresh green lettuce was all part of the early Sumerian food. Sumerians were the first culture to settle down and leave the earlier nomad lifestyle. With settlement they began domesticating animals for food and labor. Goat’s milk and meat, eggs, pig; wild fowl, deer and venison were an integral part of the Sumerian’s food as well.

Everyday Sumerian food was probably barley cakes with onions and beans washed down with barley ale. Fish that swarmed in the rivers of Mesopotamia were a major food source too. Over fifty different types of fish are mentioned in the early texts dating before 2300 BC and the fried fish vendors had a thriving trade in the city of Ur. Food stalls also sold onions, cucumbers, freshly grilled goat, mutton and pork. Meat was more popular and common in big cities as compared to sparsely populated towns as they would spoil in the heat. Cattle were only slaughtered for consumption when they were nearly at the end of their working lives.

Information about Sumerian food can be gathered from archaeology and written records on cuneiform tablets. These sources also indicated the importance of barley and wheat cakes as the staple diet together with grain and legume soups, onion, leeks, garlic and melon. Besides farmed vegetables, Sumerian food also included fruits. These were apples, fig and grapes. Several culinary herbs and honey and cheese, butter and vegetable oil have also been mentioned in later Sumerian food records. Sumerians drank beer often and sometimes wine too. Preservation of foodstuff had also been evolved with meats being salted and fruits conserved in honey. Various other fruits including apples were dried to preserve them and a fermented cause is also mentioned in the Akkadian texts.

Rice and corn was unknown in ancient Mesopotamia, thus barley and its flour was the staple Sumerian food. Their bread was coarse, flat and unleavened, though an expensive version was made out of finer flour. Pieces of this bread were found in the tomb of Queen Puabi of Ur, left there for sustenance in afterlife. Breads were enhanced with butter, milk and cheese, sesame seeds and even fruits and their juices. Later records show truffles being made as well. With the advent of irrigation canals lush fruit and vegetable farms with fruits like mulberries, pears, plum, cherries and pomegranates were found in abundance. The most important food crop in southern Mesopotamia was the date palm. Goats, cows and ewe were domesticated for milk; geese and ducks for eggs and some 50 varieties of fish were a staple Sumerian food. Meats were cooked by roasting, boiling, barbecuing or broiling and preserved by drying, smoking or salting. 

What is a skater? A skater is anyone that loves the feeling of freedom they get when skating. Skaters come in all ages with all types of personalities. It can be the boy next door or the punk rocker down the street. It can be the nerd that never leaves his computer except for skating or the group of Goth kids that live in town.

Skaters love the feeling they get when they do an incredible jump perfect every time. They love the thrill of pushing themselves beyond their limits and climbing new heights and reaching new goals.

What types of skaters are there?

There are several different types of skaters and each type requires different equipment. The most common type of skater is the roller skater. This group includes kids and adults of all ages. Usually this type of skating is done at a skating rink and they either wear roller skates or inline skates. You can also purchase outdoor skates that you can wear anywhere.

Another popular type of skater is the ice skater. Ice skating is done by many just for fun in ice rinks located all over the world. However, it is also many professional ice skaters that perform in competitions for metals. Some of these have become quite famous. The performance that a figure skater provides is amazing and takes years of practice and patients. These skaters are to be greatly admired.

Skateboarders are another type of skater that has grown in popularity over the years. Skateboarders make up a unique group of people that love to have fun and spend time together. This type of skating requires skill and a desire for excitement.

Are there stereotypes about skaters?

The answer is yes. Unfortunately, there are many people that have the wrong idea about the skater lifestyle. This is especially true when it comes to skateboarders. Due to the fact that many of them roam the city streets and other areas searching for a place to ride others look at them in a negative way. They describe these skaters as dropouts and trouble makers. Many believe they are throwing away their life and that they have no respect for the law. Others look at them as being dirty and don’t want them in their neighborhood.

However, this is not normally the case. Most skateboarders are good, educated honest people that just enjoy having a lot of fun and socializing with others that enjoy the same things. They love the thrill of skating and take pride in what they do. They spend many hours practicing and learning new tricks and many skateboarders become extremely famous for their abilities as well.

If you are looking to sell real estate in Jamaica, you can do so by attending the Real Estate Salesman’s Course #100H that is offered at the University of Technology, Jamaica. After passing the course, you are required to go through a few background checks to ensure you don’t have any skeletons in your closet. The final step is an interview with the Jamaica Real Estate Board to get final approval for you to become a Sales Agent.

Salesman’s Course #100H

This course is four weeks full time at the Faculty of the Built Environment, University of Technology, Jamaica. It offers material that is necessary for you to become an efficient agent in the local market, because what you don’t know can hurt you. You will be trained to handle transactions for Jamaica Properties such as Sales, Rentals and Leases.

Background Checks

The nature of the industry involves huge monetary transactions and in such a field you might find persons of a dishonest nature. In order to protect persons and their assets from thing like fraud, a background check is done on each applicant for a license approval, one of these checks is a police report.

The Interview With The Board

After gathering all the documents from your background check, you should submit these documents and attend an interview with an officer from the real estate board that puts the final stamp of approval on you application to become a sales agent in Jamaica.

Start Selling

After you have passed the exams and checks to practice in Jamaica legally, in most cases you must be employed to a licensed Dealer in Jamaica. There are some exceptions where persons can sell properties without being licensed but you should check the Jamaica real estate Act for the conditions.

 

You don’t have to be a real estate expert to have heard of release agreements. A release is one of the most common types of contracts in the world of law. They are used to allow a company to use someone’s image for commercial use. However, a real estate release agreement isn’t quite the same thing. In most cases, releases are used by prospective buyers to release the seller from the mortgage or liens they have on a property so that the property is debt free. The form is extremely short and is often only one page when presented. Let’s take a look at a typical contract requiring a seller to obtain release of mortgage on a property.

The first part of the contract clearly outlines the date that this agreement is being signed, the names of both parties involved in the transfer of the property as well as any spouses of the members involved in the agreement. The second part of the agreement outlines the terms and conditions that the property in question is under. It goes over how much debt the property has attached to it and whether the property has a mortgage debt or a lien debt associated with it. It also outlines the purchase price of the property and how that purchase price can now be used to pay off any and all debt associated with the property. This type of form is used mostly to ensure that the seller will eliminate all debt from a piece of property when the sale is complete as agreed upon in the original sale agreement. Some people consider this form to be a bit redundant, but you can never be too careful when it comes to legal wrangling and property.

The final part of the agreement only requires the signer to include their names, the amount of the total debt still present on the property and finally, the amount that is being paid off. Much of the contract will simply be pre-typed text, often a template, that outlines the seller’s responsibilities once the sale is finalized.

If the buyer and seller of the property agree beforehand, a real estate release agreement isn’t necessary. It could be part of the original sale agreement that the buyer is responsible for paying off any existing debt on the property and not the responsibility of the seller. Since every legal agreement is different and many of them have their own unique provisions, some real estate release agreements can vary considerably from the one outlined here.

In conclusion, the real estate release agreement is a safeguard instituted by the buyer to ensure that a piece of property that has debt associated with it is paid off in full with the money gained during the sale by the seller so that when the final transfer of the property is finalized, it is debt free. It is vital that this agreement be included if you are buying property that has debt attached to it.

 

There have been many changes in fitness over the past 30 years. It’s human nature to reminisce about times past. That’s great but lets not forget that things change as well. This is certainly true in the area of health and fitness. “If you do what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten” is true, but what if the situation changes? Then what used to work is no longer a viable and effect way to get the results that we want. In this article I will outline seven items that have changed over the past 30 or so years that affect the way we view health, fitness, exercise and what is considered “best”. Let’s look at some of these changes in Fitness.

1. Activity level

This change in fitness is pretty obvious. We just don’t move around as much as we used to 30 years ago.

Currently, the average sedentary person living in an urban setting takes 900-3000 steps a day. Uh… that’s a puny number! In the journal of sports medicine existing literature was pulled together to set a general guideline of what a good number of steps per day would be

The author Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke translated different physical activity into steps-per-day equivalents. A rate of fewer than 5,000 is classified as sedentary, 5,000 to 7,499 is low active, 7,500 to 9,999 is somewhat active 10,000 or more is active and 12,500 or more is very active. So what does 900 make us? Close to dead! But its not hard to imagine. Get up from, take elevator to car park, drive car, take elevator to office, sit down, order fast food, reverse the process to go home and go back to bed. Just to note, 1km is about 1300 steps.

Its gotten to the point where we have to purposely inconvenience ourselves to get our activity level up. Here are some suggestions (that actually show us how pathetic our average activity levels have become).

Park at the far end of the car park and walk to your building Instead of dropping the kids off in front of the school, park a couple of streets before it and walk them the rest of the way… 10,000 is actually considered a LOW estimate for children.

Go round the shopping centre or supermarket in a random. With today’s super malls, this is a big thing!

Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator (well if you work on the 50th floor, maybe climb halfway to start)

Give the dog an extra 5 minutes on his walk (we need it even more than him)

Stop emailing colleagues in the same office, instead go over and talk to them (shockingly effective considering how much email we send each day!… great for team building as well)

Go for a walk during your lunch break, walk to get your lunch or to find somewhere to eat your lunch

Get up and do something, run up and down the stairs for example during TV ads (no excuses here!)

Walk to the corner shop instead of driving or popping in on your way home

Walk to friends houses instead of driving

Take public transport and walk from the train station

Dr. David Bassett studied an Amish community to see what things were like in the past. These guys have no cars, no electricity and do hard manual labor to put food on the table. Its like time travel to the past. They eat 3 large meals a day with lots of meat, vegetables and natural starches like potatoes.

The 98 Amish adults Bassett surveyed wore pedometers for a week. The men averaged 18,000 steps a day. The women took an average of 14,000 steps.

The men spent about 10 hours a week doing heavy work like plowing, shoeing horses, tossing hay bales, and digging. The women spent about 3.5 hours a week at heavy chores. Men spent 55 hours a week in moderate activity; women reported 45 hours a week of moderate chores like gardening and doing laundry. Wow that’s a lot of manual labor. Get a pedometer (its only like 20 bucks) and see how you fare.

2. Fat Percentages and Obesity

Activity level leads us right on to this point about obesity. The scary obesity rate is one of the most obvious changes in fitness.

The obesity rate among the participants in the study of the Amish population was 4 percent, as determined by body mass index, or BMI. The current obesity rate among the urban populations is 30% or more. OK the obesity percentages are a scary thing because obesity is already in the “VERY high risk of a lot of bad ways to die” category. There is still the overweight category (obviously fat but not hitting the medically obese range) to consider. These people are at a high risk already!

The total percentages of overweight + obese are really wild… hitting close to 70% in some cities. Compare this to the average in the 1980s. 10-15% obesity in most cities. It rose to the mid 20% in 1995 and its now at an all time high.

3. Diet

OK linked to point no.2 is of course diet. This is another obvious change in fitness. Its very simple actually. We now eat more refined foods (white bread, sugar, rice, flour, noodles). In the body these give pretty much the same response – FAT storage. The only time we should eat these items is immediately after hard training. As we can tell from point no.1, not much of any training is going on. But lots of eating is!

We also eat less fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. We eat more snacks like chips and cookies (which are also refined despite what advertisers claim).

These changes in fitness are made more troubling because even natural foods today are not as good for us as they used to be. Current farming methods make vitamin and mineral content in fruits and vegetables drop about 10-40% depending on the mineral. Corn fed meats don’t give us as good an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio as we used to get from grass fed and free range animals. (that means not so many healthy fatty acids for us)

And of course, we are also simply consuming more calories. The Amish people in the study in point no.1 ate about 3600 calories/day for men and 2100 calories/day for women. Many sedentary people consume this much and more! How? Well a fully “featured” gourmet coffee from coffee bean or Starbucks can add up to 500 calories in an instant of caffeine folly.

That’s 2 hours of walking for an average sized lady.

Just remember, calorie quality counts as well. 2000 calories of vegetables, meat and healthy fats is infinitely better than 2000 calories from french fries. Its close to impossible to get fat on the first, and nearly impossible not to get fat with the second.

I like this car analogy. If you had a 2million dollar dream car, would you put low grade or high grade petrol into it? High grade of course! Then why do some people put low grade filth into their bodies which are so much more important than the car we drive?

4. Games children play

The average child who grows up in an urban environment is a motor-skill weakling. As a hobby, I coach youth basketball. In our talent scouting, I have kids do a very simple drill of dribbling in and out and around cones. There are so many kids who can’t do it and some who I think might fall down if asked to RUN around the cones without the ball! This is in contrast to the past where kids ran around, chased each other, played physical games and sports of all kinds, where the playground was the center of fun for young kids. This lack of activity not only causes a change in fitness for the child in his/her youth, but has a profound long term effect as well.

Of course this change in fitness is a result of a combination of possible factors.

Parents who only consider academic success to be worth striving for, who only give a child recognition and praise when they do well in academic subjects.

An education system who also values book knowledge above other things and takes away physical education classes to put more academic lessons in.

Poorly taught PE lessons that don’t help a child develop motor skills in the key early years Busy double-income families where fathers are not free to play with their children (or don’t care enough to… money isn’t everything dads)

The maddening computer game addiction situation where virtual life is more important than real life. I believe this is the reason for all the empty basketball courts in my neighbourhood. It used to be that teams lined up to play there. Now only people my age (late 20s to 30s) play. No young kids are there any more.

But actually, so what? The issue is that if kids stink at sport and physical activity, the well known psychological factor of “competence” comes is. Simply put, in general, we do what we are good at. If our next generation is poor at sport and physical activity, they are even less likely to do any of it! Which combined with items 1 to 3, make for a deadly health crisis for many countries. Obesity costs the UK 7.4 billion in national health care per year! If we don’t help our kids, that’s only going to grow to be a bigger and bigger burden for everybody.

5. Social Support

This is a more subtle change in fitness. People are communal animals. We stick with things because there is a supportive community behind us. Even drug and alcoholism rehab centers recognise this. We all need social support. But social links are getting weaker. And no, Friendster and MySpace links don’t make up for it.

In a more connected but less close world (I know so many people who are only comfortable behind a computer screen and not in front of a real person) there is less social support than in the past (extended families, communal living, strong friendships within a neighbourhood etc) and its hard to stick with something which requires dedication and sacrifice like an exercise program. I’m not a sociologist but I do believe there is a reason that exercise classes do better in terms of membership than individualized training. Most of them certainly are not as effective as great individual coaching. But the social factor does come in when sustaining a lifestyle change is involved.

6. Free Time

This subtle change in fitness is pretty clear. We just have less time that we “own”. Bosses, social, family and other commitments make free time a very precious commodity and it adds difficulty to the fact that time is our only non renewable resource. When we choose to exercise or spend time cooking to keep a healthy lifestyle, we are competing with movies, games, TV and other things for free time. We know that exercise is good for us, but it not only has to be good for us, it has to be BETTER in our minds than the latest episode of desperate housewives, or the latest computer game. That’s the issue. We need to prioritize long term health over temporary fun.

7. Training methods

OK here is where we are doing well. 30 years ago the aerobics craze took the western world by storm. Its not a very good training method both in terms of results, and in terms of results per unit of time. Add that to the fact that we have such minimal time to train, we can’t afford to train in a sub-optimal way. We know a lot more now. Fortunately for us, there are good methods that smart coaches use to improve training efficiency and get RESULTS even with less training time. Some of these include smartly designed resistance training programs, interval training and good assessment techniques to determine individual needs. If you have a coach like that in your corner, you can turn back the clock and avoid becoming one of the ever growing statistic of people who’s health is headed in the wrong direction. Stay fit and strong and good luck!

If you’ve been involved with online marketing for any length of time, you’re probably at least relatively familiar with the terms “article marketing” and “bum marketing.” If you’re not, don’t fret. This article will explain these two things for you. They’re actually really simple concepts to grasp, so it won’t take long for you to learn them. Then, we will discuss their current effectiveness (or lack thereof) as an internet marketer’s business model.

What Is Article Marketing?

Quite simply, article marketing is the process of writing simple articles and submitting them to websites known as “article directories.” Such directories include sites like EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, and GoArticles. At the end of each article you submit, you are able to include links back to your website (or landing page), where you make your offer.

What Is Bum Marketing?

“Bum Marketing” is a term that was coined a few years back by a top internet marketer named Travis Sago. It is essentially the same as article marketing, but incorporates the use of all types of free social media sites, commonly known as “web 2.0 properties.” In addition to the article directories, bum marketers will be submitting their articles to sites such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com, and the “big daddy” of the bum marketing world, Squidoo.

How Effective Are These Business Models?

The truth is, both bum marketing and straight article directory marketing were once incredibly powerful business models. All sorts of folks were making healthy online incomes using one or both of these methods. Unfortunately, if you fast-forward to a few Google updates later, the story changes dramatically.

You see, the name of the game in the world of free online marketing is to get your content ranked high in the organic results of the search engines, especially Google. And articles submitted to article directories and web 2.0 sites used to consistently rank on the first page of the engines, sending droves of free traffic to these articles, which would in turn send lots of great targeted leads to the marketer’s offer pages.

Sadly, this is no longer the case.

Today, self-hosted websites get the lion’s share of search engine love. This is not to say that article marketing and bum marketing techniques don’t still have their place. They most assuredly do. But their primary role has shifted dramatically.

Instead of using these particular strategies to send direct traffic to your money sites, it is now far more advisable to use both the article directories and web 2.0 sites to gain valuable, in-content, anchor text backlinks pointing to your self-hosted web pages in an effort to get these pages themselves ranking in Google and other search engines.

 

In case one didn’t know it, the actions taken on a contract are all tied to the “execution” date, also known as the “date of final acceptance” (Texas Association of REALTORS┬« (TAR) form 1601, pg.7). This means that all addendums or agreements with specified time limits must be met within the time specified on a calendar day basis with day one beginning the day after the executed date.

The most important time frame that the home buyer or home seller should keep in mind is the option period, if one has been negotiated. For simplicity sake, let’s use a hypothetical contract signed by all parties and executed on December 31st with a ten day option period. This means that day one of the option period begins on January 1st and ends at midnight on January 10th. This option period is often used for inspections of a property, insurance quotes, and repair negotiations. Once this hurdle is jumped, appraisal and survey follow to complete the closing process.

When dealing with home owner’s association documents, surveys, and third party financing approvals, the same rule applies. If the addendums specify a certain number of days, one must be sure to comply with the deadlines or be in default – which is never a good thing.

Remember, the clock starts ticking on the date of final acceptance, also known as the execution date or the effective date. Professional REALTORS® should always be aware of time constraints within your contract, and need to remind you of the date as a buyer or seller. If not, be sure to ask your REALTOR® what the time frame is.

 

The advancement in technology has certainly had a major effect on the lives of many. This world is becoming a global village and distances no longer a problem. Communications and mass information is just a few clicks away; thanks to the computer related technology, more specifically the utility of internet, which is a part of the information technology.

Social networking websites and chat related applications are now presenting quite a number of advantages to the users. They reduce distances between the users and help them connect with relatives and friends from all over the world. The aim of any social networking site is to make the application and utility user friendly.

With the technological changes and new developments occurring every day, internet users no longer have to face the problems online that they had to face lately due to technical glitches, which resulted in frustration. Now the users no longer have to rummage through heaps of messages to access a particular conversation or read at hyperactive speeds just to keep in touch with the discussion on hand. The systems have become more streamlined and responsive and thus more convenient to the users.

This constant and rapid change in web technology has opened many windows of opportunity for both the users and the developers. The users now have more options to switch to and the developers have to work to develop newer, better, efficient and easy to use portals.

In its early days, E-commerce existed simply as a form of facilitation for commercial and financial transactions. It is one of the few things that have changed with the passage of time. This historic turning of e-commerce occurred about three decades ago.

Technologies such as electronic data exchange and electronic funds transfer have been introduced and they had a revolutionary effect because these allowed the businesses to communicate the commercial documents such as the basics of purchase orders and invoices via electronic network systems securely. The growth of telephonic banking services, credit card transactions and automated teller machines has added a new dimension to e-commerce. There are still innumerable aspects of business and other related issues that are growing as per the users need and the information technology is providing a highly efficient and secure platform to them.

Electronic payment systems have become the engine for almost all online transactions. The major electronic payment systems that govern current online transactions are credit card processing systems and electronic payment gateways. The electronic payment gateways are the companies that facilitate financial transactions online by authenticating credit cards and online bank accounts authorizing certain transactions. They basically form the virtual connectivity between merchant’s website and the credit card companies; this sure reduces the hassle of long bank queues and offer purchasing options when ever and where ever any one pleases to have these while utilizing the splendors of computer technology.

The information technology has come a long way and is ever evolving. It has truly made the world a global village.

Communication is always one of the most important and vital strategic areas of an organization’s success. You can have the best or most innovative products or services, but if your internal and external communications are weak, then the demand for your products or services raises a personal flag of concern. When communicating the value of your products or services, you want to focus on how they will benefit your clients.

When planning your strategy for Integrated Marketing Communication or IMC, you want to have dialogue with your customers by inviting interaction through the coordinated efforts of content, timing and delivery of your products or services. By ensuring direction, clarity, consistency, timing and appearance of your messages, conveyed to your targeted audience, these factors will help avoid any confusion about the benefits of your brand, through the connection of instant product recognition.

When looking at your marketing mix, you’re examining price, distribution, advertising and promotion, along with customer service. Integrated marketing communication is part of that marketing mix included in your marketing plan. IMC strategies define your target audience, establishes objectives and budgets, analyzes any social, competitive, cultural or technological issues, and conducts research to evaluate the effectiveness of your promotional strategies.

If companies are ethically planning, communicating, and following industry guidelines, they will most likely earn the trust of their customers and target audience. There are five basic tools of integrated marketing communication:

1. Advertising:

This tool can get your messages to large audiences efficiently through such avenues as radio, TV, Magazines, Newspapers (ROP), Internet, Billboards and other mobile technological communication devices. This method can efficiently reach a large number of consumers, although the costs may be somewhat expensive.

2. Sales Promotion:

This tool is used through coupons, contests, samples, premiums, demonstrations, displays or incentives. It is used to accelerate short-term sales, by building brand awareness and encouraging repeat buying.

3. Public Relations:

This integrated marketing communications tool is initiated through public appearances, news/press releases or event sponsorships, to build trust and goodwill by presenting the product, company or person in a positive light.

4. Direct Marketing:

This tool will utilized email, mail, catalogs, encourage direct responses to radio and TV, in order to reach targeted audiences to increase sales and test new products and alternate marketing tactics.

5. Personal Selling:

Setting sales appointments and meetings, home parties, making presentations and any type of one-to-one communication, to reach your customers and strengthen your relationship with your clients, initiate this IMC tool.

Decisions linking the overall objectives and strategies during the marketing planning phases help to evaluate and fine-tune the specific activities of integrated marketing communication. Before selecting an IMC tool, marketing, product and brand managers must look at social, competitive, legal, regulatory, ethics, cultural and technological considerations. One thing you want to avoid when activating the tools of integrated marketing communication is reaching inappropriate audiences and causing controversy. That could be damaging when trying to build brand awareness and encourage consumer spending with your company. When marketing managers examine the beliefs, emotions and behavior of their targeted audience towards their brand, they can influence their beliefs to achieve product awareness, by attracting attention to their promotional campaigns.

Introduction to the Topic

Australia is one of only a few countries with the capabilities to design cars from scratch and manufacture in significant volumes. Car sales in Australia are also an important factor of the Australian Automotive Industry and the Australian Economy in total.

The Australian Auto Industry (A.A.I. in short) can be divided into two interrelated sectors, the Production ( Manufacturing) sector and the Car Sales (or Import-Sales) sector, both equally important for the total performance of the A.A.I. On one hand, the Manufacturing sector refers to the market conditions under which Australian Manufacturing businesses compete, by producing vehicles and related products, with the main aim of maximizing profits. On the other hand, the Sales sector refers to the market conditions under which car representative sale businesses compete, by the sale of cars and related products, having the same aim with businesses within sector one.

It is very important to state the distinction between these two sectors within the A.A.I., as we will be talking about two different market structures, business strategies, competition conditions, e.t.c. In order to analyse these market structures it would be appropriate to develop two economic models, one for each A.A.I. sector.

1.1-Analyzing the Manufacturing Sector

There is only one market structure that can best describe the market conditions in the Manufacturing sector if A.A.I., this is Oligopoly. As there are only two organizations that produce cars in Australia, and these are Ford and Holden, the competition methods and pricing strategies are based between these two organizations. The following economic model shall help define the competition and economic conditions for the Australian Automotive Manufacturing market.

The first important characteristic of Oligopoly that needs to be stated is that prices between competitors tend to be “sticky”, which means that they change less frequently than any other market structure. This statement will be explained in more detail later on, when we will be developing the Game-Theory model, as it is a very important concept of competition. The second most important characteristic is that when prices do change, firms are likely to change their pricing policies together. These two characteristics can boost up competition within the market. Firms will either try to match rivals’ price changes or ignore them. This is depended on the Game-Theory that is explained bellow.

However, the recent market conditions for the Australian Automotive Industry and the actions of the Australian Government have worsen the competition conditions and possible pricing options available for firms in the market. The production and maintenance costs for a manufacturing business in Australia are already high and rising, mostly due to lack of economic resources and advance of technology. That is, as Holden and Ford try to compete each other, given that prices tend to be “sticky”, they are forced to focus on technological advantage and marketing. Both of these business sectors produce high costs. Furthermore, the Australian government has made it clear that is unwilling to further subsidize automotive organizations in the market. All these factors stated above produce a negative effect on the competitiveness of both firms. In other words, rising costs alongside with decreased revenue push firms in experiencing lower and decreasing levels of profitability.

Profitability and the level of competitiveness are highly interrelated in an oligopolistic market structure, being the two most important factors, alongside with product differentiation, in the competition policies that the firms follow. When we say that the level of competitiveness of a firm is very low, we mean that the firm cannot react effectively to any price changes or competition changes or even changes in production costs. This may leave the firm depended on its’ competitor’s pricing and competition actions, not being able to affect the market competitiveness at all. The firm is then exposed to external danger and can be pushed out of the market, or even worse to shut production and declare bankrupt.

1.2- The Game-Theory Model for Oligopoly

The Game Theory model is used to explain the pricing and competition policies of firms in an oligopolistic market structure. Furthermore, it can show the few different competition policies based on pricing that the two firms can follow, that is High and Low as stated above. All firms in this market structure follow a Game-Theory model, although it is surely more detailed than our example, in the process of trying to forecast competitors’ pricing and competition movements and also keep track of the competition levels in the market and market share. But how does this happen?

For example, let’s say that there are four different fields, each divided in half. These fields represent the pricing strategies that Holden and Ford may use in the process of competing each other. Field A and C represent a High-Pricing policy for Holden, while fields A and B represent a High-Pricing policy for Ford. Lastly, fields B and D represent a Low-Pricing policy for Holden, while fields C and D represent a Low-Pricing policy for Ford. When both firms decide to follow a High-Pricing policy they share a profit of, let’s say, $12 million. If Holden decided to move to a Low-Pricing policy it will experience a maximum of $15 million profit, while Ford’s profitability will fall to $6 million. The exact opposite may also occur, while if both firms decided to follow a Low-Pricing policy they would realize a maximum of $8 million of profit.

What we can identify from the above example is that firms in an oligopolistic competitive market rarely change their pricing policies because this may produce a negative effect on their profitability levels. However, Holden and Ford, being the only two firms in the Australian Automotive Industry, they will focus on competing through product differentiation and marketing. That is, they will try to compete by differentiating their products, for example by producing vehicles with different features, or even base their production on technological advantage. Marketing plays an important role here, as it is the main tool that delivers and connects the customer with product. For example, if Holden introduces a new driving technology that improves driving experience and safety and produces this technology alongside with a newly designed vehicle, it is quite likely that Holden will effectively differentiate its newly designed vehicle from a relative vehicle of Ford and lure more customers in the store. Holden may also use marketing techniques to deliver this technology to the public, in the form of knowledge; hence try to boost sales without changing its pricing policy. However, it is important to state that this new technology may produce higher production costs, if not evaluated properly; hence Holden can only rely in increasing its market share to gain greater profitability. The sales part, however, will be analyzed in more extend within the next chapter of this report.

The Game-Theory is not just a theory for the Automotive Industry in Australia, it’s a fact. It shows us that auto manufacturers in Australia have based their competition strategies on all the factors stated above and as much as they possibly can on pricing strategies. They may advertise that they have low prices, but in fact their prices are very stable. If we have a close look at Holden’s or Ford’s websites, we will identify that there is a huge variety of products and each firm competes in that. However, the new market conditions stated before have greatly changed the way auto manufacturers think of the future and this in turn may change their pricing and competition policies, or even determine their existence in the market.

2.1- Analyzing the Import/Sales Sector

While the auto manufacturers are considered to be operating in an oligopolistic market structure, importing and selling vehicles or relative products is a different story. The import and sale of vehicles is the second and equally important business sector of the Australian Automotive Industry. There are many different car selling businesses and we shall only consider first-hand sales, as second-hand sales in general are not included in economics and more specifically in GDP measurements. To enter the industry hard at all as there are not many barriers to entry, however someone who is interested needs to consider of the high costs in setting up an automotive dealership. All businesses in this market are mostly based on product differentiation to compete and while prices are not “sticky”, pricing competition is set up by the market mechanism and tends not to be considered a regular phenomenon. Lastly, cost analysis and cost management play a very important role. All of the above characteristics refer to the Monopolistic Competition Market Structure. In this market structure we will focus on two phases, the short-run phase and the long-run phase, each with different competition characteristics and outcomes.

An important factor that we need to state here is that when the costs of developing a vehicle in the manufacturing sector rise, then the cost for selling the vehicle for a dealership may rise as well. This is always depended of course on if the vehicle was produced in Australia and if it was produced overseas, under what economic conditions was it produced. Price might be “sticky” for manufacturers, however prices will change much easier in this sector if needs be. Here firms will change their pricing policies if costs either rise or fall and this is always depended on the market mechanism. The amount of competitiveness along with the amount of price elasticity of demand will depend on how many rivals the monopolistic competitive firm will have to face.

In such market the following situation is very common, a situation that helps us distinct between short-run and long-run:

Stage One

In this stage the firm experiences economic profits. However, this fact will draw new firms in the market causing the profits to be competed away.

Stage Two

The economic losses indicated in this stage will cause many firms to exit the market, as they cannot keep selling under these market conditions.

Stage Three

In the final stage, the market clears-up, or reaches equilibrium point. As all firms that needed to exit the market have done so, the market mechanism comes to the point where no economic profits/losses are realized by the firms. This is the point where the market is most stable.

Studying the situation above we can identify one very important fact for any monopolistic competitive firm in the Australian Automotive Industry/ Sales sector. That is that in this market structure, in the long run, firms will realize only normal profits and the market mechanism will eventually reach an equilibrium point. Hence, in the long-run firms will compete mostly through product differentiation. However, in the short run firms may experience economic profits or losses and this is what causes firms to enter or exit the market and “shows” firms how to compete and when to apply pricing competition policies.

Conclusion

The Australian Automotive Industry may be experiencing rough market conditions, mostly because there is no more government support; however competition and profit maximization is still possible. Thinking of moving overseas is not always a good option for the manufacturing businesses, as the Australian Economy needs the manufacturing sector, as it represents a reasonably big part of GDP.

Market competition conditions are well defined for every manufacturer or car dealership, hence any business in the market ought to use the available to them competition strategies and achieve higher market share and profitability level or stabilize its profitability levels. Either way, these are the main goals for almost every profit-motivated business in any market type under any market structure. However, every business ought to define the market structure that is operating in, so that it can then clearly define its goals, strategies and policies. The market mechanism is in all cases responsible for all the above strategies and most of the cases responsible for setting up pricing policies or indicating pricing and marketing strategies.