Organizing a Business Trip:
A Computer applications project
by Denise Roseland

Read Denise's profile Printable version of the lesson


Suggested Grades: 9-12

Suggested Curriculum Areas: Business, Marketing

Desired Student Outcomes:

  • The student will know or be able to:
    • Research and gather information about textile industry especially silk
    • Research and gather information about Thanjavur, India
    • Use Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint effectively to create a Table of suppliers, compose a memo, mail merge a letter, create Fax coversheet, budget for a trip, present to participants about trip goals, Import Word table into Access

Connection to State Standards for Business Education

  • Written Communication: A.8.1, A.8.5, A.8.10, A.12.1, A.12.2, A.BS.5, A.BS.12 (See also LA B.8.1, B.8.2, C.8.1, D.8.2, B.12.1, F.12.1, F.12.3, F.8.1)
  • Information systems/technology: B.8.3, B.8.4, B.8.6, B.8.7, B.8.8, B.8.9, B.8.10, B.8.12, B.12.1, B.12.4, B.12.10, B.12.12, B.12.13 (See also LA E.4.1, E.8.3)
  • Financial Procedures C.BS.1, C.BS.7
  • International Business G.8.3, G.12.1, G.12.4, G.12.9, G.BS.5, G.BS.8, G.BS.12 (See also SS E.4.14, SS A.4.2, A.4.5)
  • Interpersonal and Leadership Skills J.8.6, J.8.9, J.12.2, J.BS.2 (See also SS E.8.10)

Teacher Resources

    • Lesson Plan
    • Textile Resource Page
    • Silk Photo Slideshow (Powerpoint)
    • UW-Madison Center for South Asia website

Introduction for Students:

You have just been hired to work for Benton Ties as the purchasing agent for the company and you are responsible for purchasing materials to make neckties sold by Benton.

The company has decided to introduce a line of silk neckties made from hand-loomed silk from Thanjavur, India. Thanjavur is located in southern India and is known for beautiful ancient Hindu temples and bronze sculptures. You and your group (which includes Tyler Schofield, a product designer and Shelby Watson, VP of Marketing) are planning a trip to India to visit the silk weavers from May 8 to May 13, 200-. The purpose of the trip is to examine silks and make purchasing decisions.

In this project you will complete tasks necessary for the trip using the following technology resources:

  • Internet
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access

Part One: Internet Research

To prepare for this trip, you need to research silk and gather travel information including information on your destination. The following research suggestions are not inclusive but can act as a guideline to begin. You will eventually prepare a presentation using this information and will need various details gained from the research to complete your travel preparations.

  • Gather enough information about silk to be able to describe why your company has decided to travel around the globe to get THIS silk and why it will make a great necktie.
  • Gather information about the arrangements of travel
    • Airline tickets for the dates you will travel. (airline, flight number, departure time, any layovers and locations of layovers, arrival time, returning flight time and flight number, and arrival at final airport destination)
    • Develop an itinerary for each day of travel. (location, miles traveled, sights, lodging, estimated daily cost)
    • Arrange for lodging in hotels, inns, etc.
    • What is the procedure for obtaining a passport: time for each phase of the paperwork, documents needed, costs, place of processing. Do you ever need a visa for this country?
    • What would you pack to take with you? Be specific as to the number of outfits, shoes, coats, sweaters, hats, first aid, medical information, toiletries, and other miscellaneous “stuff”
  • Collect information about your destination city and country. You might start your search at, or
    • Explore transportation options while you are in the country (automobile, train, boat, bus, etc.). Include cost, mode of transportation, etc.
    • Learn ten important phrases in the language of your country destination and write them out so you remember them, including “You have beautiful children.”
    • What is the host country currency rate?
    • What notable sights can you see when you have a few hours of free time on this trip?
    • Are there business customs or actions you should know about in this area (Try for some details).

Part Two: Memo to Participants

You will write a memo to Shelby Watson, VP of Marketing and Tyler Schofield, Product designer, who will accompany you on this trip to Thanjavur.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Prepare the following memo using standard memo format. Include the following as the body of the memo:

The purchasing department is excited to go to Thanjavur, India to sample and purchase silk for the production of our new silk ties and is pleased you have chosen to accompany us on this trip. We will depart on May 8 and return on May 13, 200-. We are planning to schedule appointments with suppliers on May 10 and 11 and will meet for dinner on May 11 to discuss and review samples we have collected. We will implement any buying decisions on May 12. You are free to sightsee in the evenings except on May 11. Information about arrangements will follow in a few days. Please note our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, when we will review the trip’s itinerary. There will also be a brief presentation giving you an overview of the region, silk and our mission at the same meeting.

  • Save the memo as 2.1memo
  • Print.

Part Three: Create Database of Suppliers

You have decided that the supplier information for the region should be organized using a database. Using Access, create a database for the following supplier information:







Address 2



Postal Code



JhunjhunwalaJ K



GR-395 New Market




700 087



Santhanam Silk



19/1 Camac Street

1 st floor






Brindar Brothers



19 R N Calcutta Rd




700 006



Global Silk



645B Dutta Street







TTIES Overseas



102 Siva Market Road







Kumar Silk



18 Free School Street

4 th floor






Nath Hand Silks



7 Muthu Street








NOTE: Contact names will be added as they are developed.

Create a report that lists all suppliers that the participants can use while they are in Thanjavur. They will work to fill in contact names as they travel. Sort report by Company Name and set for landscape orientation. Name the report: Indian Silk Suppliers.

Print a copy of the report. Close and save the database.

Part Four: Design Company letterhead and Fax Cover page

Design a letterhead for the company to replace the one currently in use. Modify this design to make a Fax cover page also.

Benton Ties 1450 Seventh Avenue v New York , NY 10024
Phone: 212-555-5555 v Fax: 212-555-5556

Part Five: Letter to Suppliers

To introduce your company and to schedule meetings, you will need to write letters to suppliers, which you will send via fax and postal mail. Use the merge letter functions of Microsoft Word to create letters for each supplier.

              • Prepare a merge letter using the text shown below for the main document. Use the letterhead you created in Part four.
              • Open the database and use the table of suppliers as your data source document.
              • Address the letter to the Sales Department.
              • The address in the main document needs to be formatted as below

Sales Department


Address 1 Address 2

City Postal Code


              • Be sure to include the proper mailing notation on the main document (via fax and postal service).
              • Enter the following as text of the letterBenton Ties a small men’s tie company, is located in New York and sells a line of classic ties produced in New York and sold in the United States. During the past five years, our brand name has grown along with our sales. Now we would like to add a line of silk ties made from hand woven Indian silk.

We are very interested in your silk. Our group will be in Thanjavur during the week of May 10 –13 and would like to meet with you to discuss our interest in your products. May we schedule a morning or afternoon meeting with you on one of these days? Please reply at your earliest convenience so that we may arrange a meeting time during our short visit.

We suggest you contact us by e-mail or fax to discuss an appointment time. We are looking forward to meeting with you.

              • Include an appropriate salutation and closing. Use Purchasing Agent as your title.
              • Print one copy of the merged letters.
              • Save file

Part Six: Itinerary

You must create an itinerary so that all participants know the schedule for the trip. Using the information you gathered during your Internet research, prepare a daily itinerary for all parties traveling.


Use the following guidelines:

  1. Design the itinerary on the new letterhead you designed.
  2. Format the Itinerary to include departure and return times.
  3. Save the file; name it Itinerary_silk.
  4. Print one copy.


Part Seven: Develop Travel budget

You will need to create a budget that estimates the cost of the trip. This is necessary to request a cash advance for some expenses from the accounting department.


Use the following guidelines:

  1. Use an Excel spreadsheet to find the total estimated cost of this trip. Include the company logo on the sheet.
  1. The heading on the budget sheet should include the following information:


Dates: May 8-13, 20--

Trip: Thanjavur, India

Purpose: _______________________


  1. Label the columns for your data as follows:

Estimated Expense: This column includes categories of expenses and details about each expense

Per Person: Include individual costs

Subtotal: Multiply by three

Group: Include any shared group costs here

Total: Includes per person total and group costs


  1. The categories and estimated expenses are as follows:
    1. Transportation (per person expense):
      • Airfare round trip: $______________
      • Train fare for all in-country train trips: $50
      • Taxi to and from airport $ 50
      • Taxis for three days around Thanjavur: $80
    1. Lodging (per person expense): Using the information you obtained from your Internet research on hotels, enter the lowest U.S. rate for the high season for the four-night stay.
    2. Meals (per person expense): estimated cost for meals for five days is $250.
    3. Entertainment (Group expense): $500


  1. Add all columns to find the total cost per person and for the group.
  2. Save the budget as India_Budget.
  3. Print one copy.

Part Eight: Prepare presentation

Prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the meeting of participants going on this trip for the next staff meeting.

The presentation should include the following titles:

      • Title slide
      • A slide titled Goals and Objectives that includes the following bullet points:
          • Expand product line to include Indian silk ties
          • The ties should have a classic look
          • Pricing should be competitive
          • Limit the number of manufacturers to four
          • Seek the best quality for affordable prices
      • A slide titled: A Typical Silk Maker
          • Prepare a summary from the silk-maker you met in the enclosed profile.
      • A slide that links to the Itinerary
      • A slide that contains the Excel budget spreadsheet (make sure to Link the documents)
      • A slide that features highlights of Thajavur that you gathered in your are research
      • A summary slide starting with slide 2. Link each item on the summary back to the actual slide.

Enhance the presentation with some of these:

        • Use any design template or background
        • Use relevant clip art or photos
        • Insert a music clip
        • Apply transitions or animation.

Display the handout master.

  1. Insert a header that includes today’s date and the title of the presentation.
  2. Apply an attractive background.

Save the file India_Present.

Print one copy of the presentation as handouts with six slides per page.

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