In preparing for our seminars on the OCR F297 Case Study, Claire Baker – who writes our F297 analysis and delivers the seminars – has identified some more questions for your students to consider on the Verdant Ghar Ltd Case Study.  These are in addition to the 26 questions already put forward on p.62-63 of APT’s Analysis of the F297 Case Study, published last December.   These additional questions are outlined below together with any pages in the APT analysis that contain information relevant to each question. 

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of creating monthly cost and profit centre budgets to ensure VGL’s liquidity stays within an acceptable range (lines 40-41). (see p.23-29 of APT Analysis)
  2. Discuss the appropriateness of scrutinising activity ratios to ensure VGL uses its precious cash to maximum effect (lines 41-42). (see p.29-32 of APT Analysis)
  3. Recommend and justify a strategy which could enable VGL to improve its profitability / gross profit margins / net profit margins [18] Note: ROCE calculations are on p.7 of APT Analysis; Gross profit margin was 34.88% in 2014 and 49.09% in 2015; Net profit margin was 4.65% in 2014 and 14.55% in 2015.  Profitability can be increased by either increasing revenue at a greater rate than costs, and / or costs falling at a greater rate than revenue.  There are numerous references to profit and profitability throughout the APT analysis and a wide range of strategies students could consider in relation to this question.  In a question requiring students to ‘recommend and justify a strategy’ they are advised to pick one strategy and fully justify it using evidence from the case study.
  4. Discuss how greater environmental awareness / legislation / taxes caused by media and customer pressure   might affect the …strategic direction of VGL. …achievement of VGL’s 2017 objectives. …success of VGL. (some info on p.35, 38 of APT Analysis)
  5. Should VGL extend the training given by the shift supervisors to include ‘why’ the task is important by reference to VGL’s Four Pillars (lines 79-85, Appendix 1)? Justify your view. [18] (p.45-50 of APT Analysis)
  6. Recommend and justify a strategy to minimise sub-standard or contaminated product. [18] (p.41-52 of APT Analysis)
  7. Recommend and justify a strategy which might enable VGL to gain at least two additional local authority contracts. [18] (some info on p.17 of APT Analysis)
  8. Michael is keen to extend the training given by the shift supervisors (lines 79-85). Discuss how VGL might effectively manage this change if Michael’s ideas were to be adopted. [18] Note:  Kurt Lewin’s 3-step process is a simple structure for students to use and refer to here. There could be also be a ‘management of change’ question on the possible diversification into textiles.
  9. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks for VGL of its policy to sell most of its products on international spot markets. (See p.16, 20-21 of APT Analysis)
  10. Evaluate the methods used by VGL to attract, motivate and retain staff (lines 71-75). (p.41-45 of APT Analysis)
  11. Discuss how Phoebe’s business philosophy / VGL’s Four Pillars (Appendix 1) may impact on the strategic behaviour of VGL / strategic decision making within VGL. (some info on p.48-9 of APT Analysis)
  12. Discuss the need for a constant review of market & environmental circumstances within VGL. Note: there are lots of reasons why this is important for VGL which concern the external, uncontrollable factors that can affect the business’s success eg the threat of new entrants at any time due to the ‘financial attractiveness’ of the market, the impact of exchange rates on the revenue VGL receives for the processed, recycled products sold on international spot markets.   
  13. To what extent might different stakeholders consider VGL to be efficiently run?  Justify your view. (see p.7, 26, 29-32 of APT Analysis)
  14. Evaluate how different stakeholder groups might view Phoebe’s business philosophy / VGL’s Four Pillars (Appendix 1). (some info on p.12, 48-49 of APT Analysis) 

If you haven’t yet purchased our F297 analysis, this is one of our best-selling resources.  It is published shortly after the case study is released to centres and provides a highly comprehensive, in-depth discussion of all the issues raised in the case study.  To purchase this resource, or for further information, including feedback from centres click here:
There are also a few days left for our seminars – held at your centre – on the F297 case study.  These are increasingly becoming known as ‘grade changers’: they focus on exam skills – in particular, how to demonstrate Level 3 and 4 responses to a range of likely questions arising from this year’s case study.  
“…. so much advice on exam techniques and sample answers … so many areas covered and a wealth of activities from the additional seminar resource pack (not the initial analysis pack) that pupils can continue to use outside the session.  Pupils found the session helpful and that Claire explained the content of the seminar in a clear, concise way and were able to easily grasp the points she was making.  I would recommend the sessions to anyone who is experienced or in experienced.”

(Karenjit Ghag, Wood Green Academy, April 2016) 

If you are interested in holding a seminar at your Centre,  email us with a summary of your requirements including: 

  • subject (ie F297 and / or F293) 
  • length of seminar required (eg 2, 3 or 4 hours)
  • number of students involved
  • and if two or more seminars are required whether they are to be held on the same day. 

Request a Quote:
by email to by phone 01952 540877  by fax 01952 541230