As you write the recommendation report, you must carefully develop several sections: the introduction  conclusions  and recommendation rationale sections.

Writing the Introduction

After you have gathered the data and nterpreteu it, you must develop an

Writing the Method of Gathering Information State your method of gathering information. As explained in Chapter 5, the four major methods  of gathering data are observing, testing, interviewing, and reading. Stating your methodology not only gives credit where it is due but also lends authority to data and thus to your report. . In the introduction, a general statement of your method of investigate. on is generally sufficient: “Data for this report were gathered from sales  literature supplied by BMI Corporation and Data 100 Corporation.”

Writing the Scope Statement In the scope statement, name the criteria you used to judge the data. You can explain their source or their rankings here, especially if the same reasons apply to all of them. Name the criteria in the order in which they appear in your report. If you have included a particular criterion because data are unavailable or unreliable state this omission in the section on scope so that your readers know you have not overlooked that criterion.

Explaining the Problem To explain the problem, you need to define its nature and discuss its history, its significance, who assigned you to write the report, and what your position in the corporation or organization is. There is no formula for writing this important section. Remember that as the person who has investigated the problem, you know more than your readers. You may have found that the problem is more complex than it first seemed. Possibly your investigation has shown that a particular aspect of the problem requires special emphasis. In any case, readers should know all aspects of the problem so that they will accept your


The following informal introduction effectively orients the reader to the problem and to the method of investigating it.

Date: A~ril 27, 1987
To: Nicholas Ryal’l
From: Holly Maas
Subject: Recommendation for purchase of an ink jet printing system This memo is in response to your request for a recommendation concerning the purchase of an ink jet writing system. The purpose of this memo is to review two ink jet printing systems and to recommend the best system in terms of the criteria that have been established. The two systems being reviewed are the Thomas system and the Encoder ~stem. I have interviewed several vendors, read their literature, and observed each machine in operation, I recommend the Encoder system. As described in my memo of April 10, 1987, the following criteria have been established and are listed in descending order of importance: 1. Ability to print a readable bar code.
2. Printing features
3. Capacity
4. Cost
lost Inc.’s current method of putting information on shipping ,cartons is with printed labels. This method is time·consuming, costly, and inefficient. Frequently a carton has the wrong.

information on it. Management has decided that an ink jet printing system will solve these problems because it is automated and easier to control.  279 The remainder of this memo will cover the following: conclusions Preview from research, recommendation of a system, and discussion of the systems ‘and how each met the criteria.

Writing the Conclusions Section

Your conclusions section should summarize the most significant in formation about each criterion covered in the report. One or two sentences about · each criterion is usually sufficient to prepare the reader for your recommendation. Writers of recommendation and feasibility reports almost always place these sections in the front of the report, right after. the introduction (informal) or the summary (formal). Remember, readers want to know the essential information quickly.

Each system has been compared to the four criteria with the following results:

  1. Both systems have the ability print a readable bar code;
    however, the Thomas system requires an extra expenditure for this capability.
  2. The Encoder system meets both of the requirements concerning printing speed and automatic adjustment the Thomas system meets neither of them.
    Beth systems satisfy the capacity requirements.
  3. The Thomas system meets the cost requirement; the Encoder system does not.

Writing the’Recommendations/Rationale Section

Carefully written reports build steadily toward the recommendation, often reducing it to a formality. For short reports like the samples presented . here, one to four sentences should suffice. for complex reports, involving many aspects ofa problem, a longer paragraph, or even several paragraphs, may be necessary. As with the conclusions section, place this important section at the beginning of the report


I recommend that lost, Inc., purchase the Encoder ink jet printing system. This system meets the three top priority criteria. It exceeds the cost criteria by $1,000. Implementation Basic recommendation of the Thomas system would cause a line slowdown, resting  in a decrease in productivity. This is indefeasible, and justifies speeding an additional $1,000 for the Encoder system.

Writing the Discussion Section

As was mentioned above organize the discussion section by criteria, from most to least important. Each criterion should have an introduction, a body discussing each alternative, and a conclusion. Here is part of the discussion section from the recommendation report on ink jet printers.


Bar Coding
The bar code, which is printed on a carton and used for inventory control, contains information about the product and is read by a scanning  In order to be read by the scanner, the code must be  in a clear. consistent, and accurate manner, Any ink jet printing system purchased by lost, Inc., mus: have the capacity to print a readable bar  code. Management has given this criterion highest priority  nice readability of the code is of utmost importance in . inventory control.

Thomas System. The basic Thomas system does not have the ability to print a bar code. However, an option can be added to the system, at an additional cost of $700, to print  bar codes  Encoder System. As shown in Table 1, the basic Encoder has the ability to print a readable bar code. This is part of the system, and it requires  additional investment.
Conclusion Both systems have the ability to prat a readable bar code; however, the Thomas system requires an additional expenditure for this capability

Printing Capability oi an ink Jet Printing System


‘Note: This as an op!ion at an extra cost of $700.

Printing Features
Printing features are a system’s speed capabilities. The two most important printing Features for lost, Inc., are printing speed and automatic speed adjustment. Printing speed is  the rate, measured In feet per minute (fpm) at which the system can clearly print information on a carton. This is important because we have an average line speed of i50 feet per minute. Therefore, we need a system that can print at least 150 fpm. Automatic speed adjustment allows the system to sense the line speed autocratically and to print accordingly. This is a desired feature because when a speed variation  occurs on the line, an operator does not have to be present to make a manual adjustment. Management has given this criterion second-highest priority,

Thomas System, As Table 2 shows, the Thomas system has a maximum printing speed of This speed is less than  acceptable rate of speed that we need. This system does not have an automatic speed adjustment feature . Thus an operator would have to be present at all times to monitor line speeds and make necessary . adjustments.

Encoder System system has a maximum printing speed of 200 f pm. This speed exceeds you you current line speed of 150 f pm. The system has an automatic speed adjustment feature (see Table 2).  because it saves time and reduces the frequency cf illegible printing on cartons. . Conclusion. The Encoder system meets both of our requirements for’printing speed and automatic adjustment; the Thomas. system meets neither of them.

Printing Features of Ink Jet Printing Systems



 Recommendation reports choose between at. least two alternatives using some previously established criteria. feasibility reports investigate one option and decide yes or no. Both types make recommendations after considering criteria. A criterion has three parts:’ a name, a standard, and a rank.

As in most kinds of reports, writers use visual aids, often constructed before they write the section, to convey important information. The informal recommendation report has two parts: The introduction usually includes a summary and the major recommendations. The body discusses each alternative in terms of each criterion, ranked according to importance. The usual organization of the body is from most to least important criterion. The formal recommendation report has many or all the elements of a ‘formal report.


A recommendation report follows. Note the different elements and formats that apply in this situation.

Date: December 17,1989
To: David Jackson
From: Karl Jerde, Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Subject: Purchase Recommendation for CNC Punch Press
The purpose of this report is to recommend the computer numerical control
(CNC) machine that Tri-State Manufacturing should purchase. After comparing
many different machines, I narrowed my choice down to two: Wardell Magnum
XQF and Williamson Model 150B. Todetermine which machine I should recommend,
I evaluated them using the following criteria in ranked order:
1. Machine capacity
2. Machine capabilities
3. Cost

I recommend that Tri-State Manufacturing purchase Wardell Magnum XQF, definitely the best machine for our business. First, this machine has the capacity necessary to eliminate our high subcontracting labor bill. Second, the capabilities of this machine are outstanding. Compared to the Williamson Model 150B, the Magnum XQF has greater accuracy, faster table speed, and more tonnage. Third, the cost of the Magnum XQF is within our allocated budget.

As you requested last month, I researched the problems with our current out dated numerical control (NC) machine. This research clearly pointed out that production demands have stretched beyond our NC’s capacity. The result is a high amount of sub contracting to outside vendors, which is very expensive. Because this
situation is unacceptable, I have chosen increased capacity as the most important criterion in recommending a new CNC.  Outlining engineer identified the specific capabilities that the new machine must have, Upon his advice, I ranked capabilities as the second criterion. . The third criterion is cost. Management has allocated $400,000 to purchase  the machine. The remainder of this report will compare both machines to these three criteria.

Machine Capacity
A new CNC must be able to punch the biggest sheet metal sizes used in the assembly of our final product. To do this, the following sub criteria must be met: 1. Maximum material thickness – punching a 3-in.- diam hole through .250-in. thick mild steel
2. Maximum work piece dimensions – punching work pieces up to 48 in. x 60 in,
Magnum XOF. A big hydraulic mechanism and larger table size allow the Magnum XQF to meet these sub criteria easily. lt has the capacity to punch .375 in.-thick mild steel. It also has the capacity to punch work pieces up to 60 in. x 72 in. Model 150B. The punching capacity of the Model 1508 is restricted by a smaller hydraulic mechanism. It can punch a 3-in,-diam hole, but only through
.187-in -thick mild steel. The table size of the Model 1508 is large enough to punch work pieces up to 48 in. x 60 in., just meeting the second subscription. The Magnum XQF has the capacity needed to punch all of our biggest sheet metal sizes.

Machine Capabilities

Capabilities of the new machine must meet our Tooling Engineer’s specified criteria. His criteria are:

 1. Accuracy – material movement on the x/y table shall be a minimum of ±.005 i,l. on hole centers 2. Linear table speed – minimum table speed must be more than 1000.

3. Tonnage – the punching tonnage shall meet or exceed 20 tons.

 4. Tool load tools shall have the ability, to be reloaded into 3 turret that will automatic feed tools into the machine punching head

5. Indexing punch head – the punching head of the machine shall have the ability to index 3600 in both directions .

6. Laser/plasma capabilities – the machine shall have the designed-incapability
to add laser or plasma cutting The following table compares these criteria in both machines. It is important to notice the outstanding accuracy and speed of the magnum XQF (see Table 1).

Machine Capabilities Comparison


Magnum XOF. The Magnum XQF has the highest accuracy of any CNC punch press on the market, resulting in reduced scrap and better quality pacts. The oHier criteria, such as table speed, tool loading, and indexing punch head, add to the .overall speed of the machine  Its faster setup and production speeds will reduce VlG total production time and increase our sheet metal department’s efficiency. The laser or plasma capabilities of this machine will allow us to grow with increasing production demands. . .

 Model 1508. Although the Model 150B meets the criteria it falls short in two-areas: it lacks automatic tool loading and. an indexing punch head. Both are needed to obtain maximum production efficiency. Conclusion. The Magnum XdF meets or exceeds our tooling engineer’scriteria. Cost The cost the machine must net exceed $400,000, Including freight and installation, insurance during transit, programming equipment, and tooling.

Magnum XOF. The total cost of the Magnum XQF CNC punch press IS $378,450. The following is a breakdown of this price.


Recommendation Report (continued)

Model 1508. The Model 1508 CNC punch press has a total cost of $362,900, The following ‘is a breakdown of this Price


Conclusion. Both CNC rnachmes meet the third criterion, The Model 150B is $15,550 cheaper, but it does not have the capacity or capabilities of the Magnum XQF.


Edit the following sections from a feasibility report. The problem is whether or not to sell sterling silver jewelry in a boutique. The report is written by a store manager to a district manager. The four criteria are cost, competition, quality of vendor, and profit. If your instructor requires it, write an informal introduction and summary:

Survey Used. To complete the survey I used Uribe’s Store in Nisswa, Minnesota, where I had 50 surveys by the register for customers to fill out as they  paid for their merchandise. I had help from the other employees in asking customers if they would .please take a few minutes to fill out the survey.

Results. The results of the survey show that 49% of the customers are girls and women ages 15-20. At least 56% of the customers purchase gold jewelry (14 carat or other). To my surprise, even though the majority of the customers wear gold colored jewelry, 47% feel that Uribe’s should carry st&rling . silver jewelry. I discovered that those wanting the silver jewlery were at least 25 years or older. A frequent comment or.suggestion was that customers felt that U’ribe’s should carry  silver.  even has a list of people to call whenever they start carrying sterling silver. Customers are asking for it all the time.

Cost. The cost for Uribe’s to buy sterling silver is minimal when compared to what we can sell it at. In the trade, the initial markup for sterling silver is 500%. Stores can make 5 times the amount of what they paid for it. The actual cost of . sterling silver, per piece of jewelry, is from $2.99 to $7.50. (Refer to Figure 2.)

Competition. By selling sterling sliver, Uribe’s could increase its competitive position significantly. In fact, we could take some of the jewelry business away from other higher-priced jewelers such as Larkin.Jewelers and Anderson Jewelers. Much of the 14 carat gold jewelry that Uribe’s carries right now is similar to that whlcb.Larkln and Anderson carry. By selling sterling silver jewelry, we can capture roore qf the market. Because Uribe’s is a low-priced jewelry store, we have the slime quality but can sell it at a lower price. We buy it at a lower price
and therefore can sell it at a lower price.

Line of Merchandising. At this time we purchase most of our 14 carat gold jewelry from the Cupid Company. Julie Nelson, who used to be regional Manager fpr Uribe’s’, is now a Sales Representative for the Cupid Company. I feel  we should purchase our sterling silver from the Cupid Company for two reasons:Julie has had experience with Uribe’s and knows what kind of merchandise sells the best, and also, we have had great success with selling Cupid’s merchandise. In order to be consistent with the different types of jewelry that we carry in 14 carat gold, I feel we should carry earrings, necklaces, and bracelets in sterling silver. Profit. The average markup in Uribe’s is only 365%. To give you a better idea of just how much Uribe’s can make by selling sterling silver, take.a look at Figure 2 and see the difference in the cost and retail of each of the three lines of stringing silver that we should carry.


Cost versus Retail Price

You can see the actual dollar markup that Uribe’s can make by buying and selling the three lines of sterling silver. For example, 6-mm ball earrings were purchased by Uribe’s at a cost of $1.90. The markup dollar amount is $5.05 (365%),so the earrings are sold to the customer at a price of $6.95. I; is evident that by carrying sterling silver we can greatly increase our sales.

 Display and Promotion. If we do decide to carry sterling silver, we should carefully display and promote it. I feel that the sterling silver should be displayed right alongshore the 14 carat gold jewelry. We.should keep the higher priced jewelry in the same location. Presently, the 14 carat gold jewelry is displayed in a jewelry case at the register; therefore the sterling silver should also be kept in
this case. This way the customer knows that it is sterling silver and not an imltatlon.
When we do carry sterling silver we should put signs up in the store to advertise
that sterling silver has arrived at Uribe’s. This will draw more customers into .
the store just to see what Uribe’s has to offer.

Sale Price. It is also important to determine a sale price for sterling silver. Keeping in mind Uribe’s restrictions on sale merchandise, we could offer 15% o~ sterling silver jewelry and still make a profit. For example, if we sold a 16″ sterling silver chain at 15% off, the price would be $.10.95 retail- $1.64 discount = $9.31. We are still making a $6.31 profit ·on a 16″ chain. 2. Decide which display booth to purchase for advertising at a trade show. The budget for the project is $35~O.Booths must be at least 8 feet high but no higher than 10 feet. Redo Table 1, below so that a reader can easily gmsp the comparison. The writer is the person who, takes the booth to the trade show; the reader is the department supervisor. Write an informal report to justify your decision. You might have to select more criteria than cost.

Cost Comparison of Two,Booths

Portable Display Bystem, Walkart, 8′ x 10′ unit, with structure and case; price includes cost of seaming with Velcro, flameproofing, and art preparation of camera.
One pair of wing panels, 2′ x 10′ with pair of scrolls and case. Price Includes background clour of scroll, but no graphics or prints. Freight charge Total cost
Portaole Display System Walk””, 8 A 8′ unit, with structure and case; price Includes cost af seaming with velcro,  flameproofing, and art preparation of camera.One pair of wing panels, 2′ x 8: wiih one pair of scrolls and case. Price Includes background color of scroll, but no graphics or prints. Freight charge Total cost

3. Redo Table 2, below. Then write’ a formal report section in which you conclude that installing the conveyor system better fulfills the cost criterion.

marcus Annu4’C,osts for Using Each Method


because the fry pan can act as a food warmer-server. Food cooked on the griddle is often served cold. The tilting fry pan will help conserve labor by increasing the “peed of food preparation, eliminating heavy lifting, and reducing the amount of
pot  and pans washed. The fry pan increases the worker’s speed in preparing food because it provides for a one-step preparation of menu items. The fry pan eliminates heavy lifting because the gear tilting mechanism enables the workers to simply tilt the pan and pour either excess grease out or various foods into serving bowls. The fry pan reduces the use of pots and pans and, therefore, their washing because many items are prepared directly in the pan:  4. Compare the outline report (chapter 11, p. 38) of the CNC punch press  o the actual report on pp. 286-287. In which situations would you prefer to receive the outline; in which would you prefer the report?


1. Assume that you are working for a local firm and have been asked to evaluate two kinds, brands, or models of equipment. Select a limited topic, (for instance, two specific models of ten-inch table saws, the mace and Decker model 123 vs. the Craftsman model ABC) and evaluate the alternatives in detail. Write a report recommending that one of the alternatives be purchased to solve a problem. Both alternatives should be workable; your report must recommend the one that will work better. Gather data about the alternatives just as you will when working in industry  sales literature, dealers, your own experience, and the ex experience others who have worked with the equipment. Select maximum of four criteria by which to. judge the alternatives, and use a minimum of one table in the report. Aim your report at someone not familiar with the equipment.


In planning such a report, you must consider the audience, devise criteria for r  your recommendations, employ visual aids, select an   principle, arid f0110w the usual form

Consider the Audience
Many different people with varying degrees of knowledge (a multiple  dience) read these reports. A recommendation almost always travels up the organizational hierarchy to a group – a committee or board – that makes the decision. These people mayor may not know much about the topic or the criteria used as the basis for the recommendation. Usually, however, most readers will know a lot about at least one aspect of. the report – the part that affects them or their department. They will read the.  report from their own point of view: The personnel manager will look. closely at how the recommendation affects workers; the safety manager will judge the effect on safety, and so on. All readers will be concerned about cost. To satisfy all such concerns, the writer must present a report that allows readers to find and feel comfortable about the information they need.

Devise Criteria
To make data meaningful, you must analyze or evaluate them according to criteria. Selecting logical criteria is crucial to the entire recommendation report because you will make your recommendation based on those criteria.

The The Elements of a Criterion

 A criterion’has three elements  a standard, and a rank. The. name of the criterion identifies some area relevant-to the situation, for example, “cost.” The standard is a statement that establishes a limit on a criterion. Consider two very different standards that are possible for cost:

  1. The cost of the water heater will not exceed $500.
  2. The cheapest water heater will be purchased.

The different standards influence the final decision. In the example above, if the second standard is in effect, the writer cannot recommend a machine that costs more, even if it has more desirable features. The rank of the criterion is its weight in the decision relative to the ether criteria. “Cost” is often first, but it might be last, depending on the situation.

As a writer of recommendations, you must identify all three elements. Criteria vary according to ‘the type .of problem. There is no formula for selecting them, so you have to use your professional expertise and the information you have about needs and alternatives in the situation. In some situations, a group or person will have set up all the criteria in rank  order. In that case, all you have to do is show how the relevant data from ‘the alternatives fit the criteria

Sample Situations

Suppose you are a social worker who has to recommend a group home in which to place a client. Since this is a routine situation for you, your Human Services Division has compiled a list of  criteria and standards. Some of these are Cost may not exceed the client’s in come. The ratio of staff to residents should be below five to one. Basic independent living ·skills should be taught. Recreational facilities should be available. As these are the usual or expected criteria in this situation, you use them
to evaluate the. available group homes before placing the client. Or say you are asked to choose a machine – a computerized robot for  an educational program If you are familiar with the program and with this kind of machinery, you  use your understanding of both to generate a list of criteria that includes Features Noise level

Use Visual AidS

Although you might employ many kinds of visuals  maps of demographic statistics, drawings of key features, flow charts for procedures you will most commonly use tables and graphs. With these visuals, you can”present complicated information easily, for example, cost or comparison of features. For many sections in your report, you will construct the table or figure first, and then write Hie section. The point of the section will be to explain the data in the table or figure Visual aids help overcome the problem of multiple audiences. Consider’ ng a visual with each section
in your report.  In the following. example’, the author first collected the data, then
made the visual  aids, and then wrote’the section.


Our department has sufficient funds to cover either piece of equipment, Cost is the second most important criterion in closing between the Bock Robot and the Rough BoiY4000 ZNZ Mill. Both companies also offer 10% educational discounts on the final price vf any purchase. Bock Grammatical The robot comes with all the features needeo for operation. The final cost of the Bock is $1,467.90 less than that of the Rough Boy 4000 ZNZ  Mill. (See Table 1.)Rough Boy 4000 ZNZ Mill. The ZNZ Mill has extra’ costs in addition to the base price of the machine. The extra costs are a result of extra equipment and installation costs required for operation of the machine.Conclusion. The Bock Grammatical Robot meets the cost criterion better than the Rough Boy ZNZ Mill because it is $1,467.90 cheaper

A Comparison of Costs·


Select an Organizational Principle’ and Follow the Usual Formal
As you plan your report, you must choose a format, an organizational principle for the entire report, and an organizational principle for each section  Choose a Format The format you select will determine how many elements you include. You might use an informal format with one level of heads, or you might choose a formal format, complete with.title page, list of illustrations, summary, and chapter divisions. Your decision will the pend on the situation. If the audience is a small group that is fa.n.liar with .

the situation, an informal report  will probably do. If your audience is more distant from you and the situation, a formal format is preferable. If you use an informal format, you need an introduction and summary, as explained in . The body will  remain basically the same. With format, you need to provide the entire range of elements described  in detail in  If you select a formal format, the following outline

will suffice for almost any recommendation or feasibility report,


.A. (If necessarily a section may be devoted to .additional background
and introductory information.) .
B. Presentation and in protection data for the first criterion
C. Presentation and interpretation of data for the second criterion
D. Some for any additional criteria.

Appendix Organize thee Discussion by Criteria The discussion of a good feasibility report is organized according to criteria, with each criterion receiving a major heading Your goal is to present comparable data so readers can evaluate it easily. Such an arrangement, while not easy to write, is much easier  read and understand.

Follow the Usual Form for Writing Recommendation Reports In  the discussion of your report, each section deals with one criterion and evaluates the alternatives in terms of that criterion, Each of these sections should contain three parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In the introduction, define the criterion and discuss its standard, rank, “and source, if necessary. If you discuss the last three somewhere else in the report, do not repeat the In the body explain the relevant facts about each alternative in terms of the criterion; and in the conclusion state the judgment you have made as a result of applying this criterion to tae facts, You will find sample annotated sections on pp, 278-279,

Recommendation and Feasibility Reports

Recommendation and Feasibility Reports


Professionals· in all areas make recommendations  Someone must choose between alternatives, must say “choose A” or “choose B.” The A or B can be anything: which type of investment to make, which machine to purchase, whether to make a part or buy it, whether to have a· sale or not, whether to relocate a department or not. The person who makes a choice makes a recommendation based on criteria, standards
against which the alternative·s are judged. For professionals, these choices often take the form of recommendation reports, reports. While both types present a solution after alter- .natives are investigated, the two reports are slightly different. Recommendation reports choose between two dear alternatives: this distributor or that distributor, this brand of computer or that brand of computer. Feasibility reports investigate one option and decide yes or no: Should the client start a health club or not? Should the company market this product or not?Recommendation reports tend to be shorter than feasibility reports. While· the recommendation of a brand of computer might take eight pages, proving the feasibility of starting a small business might take sixty pages. Because the two types of report function in the same way – both make a recommendation after considering criteria – they are treated together in this chapter .