Business Dictionary – V

Vacancy

    A job opening which is offered by a company that wants to hire an employee. An available room in a hotel.

Vacancy Rate

    The percentage of unoccupied rental space or units, e.g hotel rooms, compared to total available rental area at a given time.

Vanity Publishing

    The author pays the publisher.

Valid

    Legally or formally acceptable or binding. Unexpired, e.g. a passport.

Value Added

    1. The difference between the cost of bought-in materials and the eventual selling price of the finished product.

    2. The features that differentiate one product or service from another, and thus create value for the customer. Value added is a customer perception of what makes a product or service desirable over others and worth a higher price. Value added is more difficult to measure without a physical end product, but value can be added to services as well as physical goods, through the process of value engineering.

Value-Added Reseller – VAR.

    A company which purchases a product and modifies or enhances it before reselling it to the consumer. This practice is common in the computer industry.

Value-Adding Intermediary

    A distributor who adds value to a product before selling it to a customer, for example, by installing software or a modem in a computer.

Value Analysis

    A cost reduction and problem-solving technique that analyzes an existing product or service in order to reduce or eliminate any costs that do not contribute to value or performance. Value analysis usually focuses on design issues relating to the function of a product or service, looking at the properties that make it work, or which are USPs.

Value Chain

    The sequence of business activities by which, in the perspective of the end user, value is added to products or services produced by an organization.

Value Engineering

    In manufacturing, a method of producing a product at the lowest price but without sacrificing quality, safety, etc., and at the same time meeting the customers needs.

Valued Policy

    An insurance policy in which the insurer agrees to pay a claim for a specified amount in the event of loss, damage, etc., for items insured, such as works of art.

Value for Customs Purposes Only

    What somebody importing something into the another country declares that it is worth.

Value innovation

    A strategic approach to business growth, involving a shift away from a focus on the existing competition to one of trying to create entirely new markets. Value innovation can be achieved by implementing a focus on innovation and creation of new market possibilities.

Vanilla

    Plain and ordinary without any extras. Basic.

Vapourware

    Term used to describe computer software which is advertised before it has been, and may never be, developed, often to damage sales of a competitor’s product which has already been launched.

Variance

    A measure of the difference between actual performance and forecast, or standard, performance.

VDU

    Visual/Video Display Unit. A computer screen or monitor which displays text and/or pictures.

Vendee

    A person or business who buys goods, property, etc.,

Vendor

    A person or business who sells goods, property, etc.

Venture Management

    The collaboration of various sections within an organization to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, increase innovation, and produce successful new products more quickly. Venture management is used within large organizations to create a small-firm, entrepreneurial atmosphere, releasing innovation and talent from promising employees. It cuts out bureaucracy and bypasses traditional management systems. The collaboration is generally between research and development, corporate planning, marketing, finance, and purchasing functions.

Verbal Contract

    An agreement that is oral and not written down. It remains legally enforceable by the parties who have agreed to it.

Verbal Judo

    The use of voice tone and body language to diffuse a potentially aggressive or violent situation without being confrontational. Described as Tactical Communications, Verbal Judo was developed in 1983 by American literary professor, martial arts expert and later serving policeman, Dr George (‘Doc Rhino’) Thompson, initially for the US police. Verbal Judo has since become a more widely applicable training program for handling conflict for all sectors, alongside the popularity of Thompson’s books, notably Verbal Judo (1993) and the Verbal Judo Institute.

Vertical Disintegration

    A situation in which a company that previously produced parts and materials is now buying them from other suppliers.

Vertical Diversification

    Diversification in which a company moves into a different level of the supply chain, for example, a manufacturing company becoming a retailer.

Vertical Integration

    A situation in which a company acquires one or more of the companies which are involved in the production or distribution processes of its goods/services, for example a brewer which buys a pub chain, or a clothing retailer which buys a knitwear factory.

Vertical Market/Vertical Sector

    Or vertical market sector – Often shortened to ‘vertical’ – this refers to an industrial activity or trade comprising producers, manufacturers, makers, providers and users, etc – basically the supply chain or all the linked purchasers – of the same products/services, for example media, coal production, healthcare, automotive, education, retail, etc.

    Imagine a bar chart in which each vertical bar is an industry; or imagine a series of vertical lines, each one connecting suppliers and customers in a supply chain for a single industry. A sub-section of a vertical market sector, such as car magazines (within the media vertical), or private schools (within education), or shoe-shops (within retail) is typically called a niche or a niche market.

    Often used with the term Horizontal Sector, these two structural ways (vertical and horizontal) of viewing the entire market-place form a matrix. The nature of this matrix and the horizontal and vertical sectors within it mean that every niche (for example office cleaning services, or a manufacturer of nuts and bolts, or dentistry practices, or anything else you might imagine) is both a part of a vertical sector and a horizontal sector.

    The application of ‘vertical’ or ‘horizontal’ terminology depends often on the situation and context, and especially who is selling/marketing what to whom, (or who is acquiring whom). For example a supplier of IT services which is selling to the automotive vertical would refer, again for example, to ‘vertical marketing’; to the ‘vertical market’; the automotive ‘vertical’, etc.

    A supplier of IT services which sells to finance departments across several verticals (i.e., industries, e.g., automotive, media, local government, education, etc) would instead refer to selling or marketing ‘horizontally’ (to different verticals), and having a ‘horizontal’ strategy. And to illustrate the switchable nature of the matrix, an automotive supplier which sells/markets to IT organizations would refer to the IT ‘vertical market’, as would any other seller targeting the IT ‘vertical’.

    (N.B. I have mentioned ‘education’ and ‘local government’ above, which are wholly/largely/partly considered as state/public services activities.)

    Traditionally such sectors are not regarded as involved in marketing or selling, but actually increasingly such ‘providers’ can easily be represented as sellers or marketers or providers of products/services, albeit in a figurative sense.

    As such it is perfectly possible and reasonable to show such sectors as being sellers/providers of products/services to vertical sectors and even to horizontal sectors, should the need arise; and we should expect over time for the nature of horizontal/vertical marketing terminology – and other marketing terminology – to become increasingly widely applicable and inclusive. Every type of organization is both a ‘supplier’ and a ‘customer’ of some sort.)

Vertical Merger

    The amalgamation of two or more organizations from the same supply chain under single ownership, through the direct acquisition by one organization of the net assets or liabilities of the other.

Vested Employee Benefits

    Employee benefits that are not conditional on future employment by the company in question, for example, a pension plan.

Vested Interest

    When an individual, business or group has a special interest in something, such as property, an activity, etc., from which there is a personal or financial gain.

Veto

    Latin for ‘I Forbid’. To vote against. The right to block a law, etc.

Vexatious Litigant

    A person or party who regularly brings unsustainable lawsuits against another party in order to harass or annoy them.

Viable

    1.Capable of being done or working successfully.

    2.Practical. For example, a company looking for a viable alternative to a decision might consider alternatives that would provide a similar
    benefit at a reasonable cost.

Vicarious Liability

    Having legal responsibility for the actions of another, e.g. the liabilty of an organisation for the actions of its employees.

Vigorish

    A slang term, also abbreviated to vig, for the commission or fee charged by a bookmaker or casino on a wager. Also the interest on a loan from a loan shark or unregulated loan provider. The term is Yiddish (Jewish) deriving from the Russian word vyigrysh, meaning winnings.

Virtual Memory

    On a computer, a technique of simulating additional memory by moving data between the computers memory and a hard disk.

Virtual Reality

    An artificial three-dimentional (3-D) image or experience, created by a computer, and which seems real to the person looking at it.

Virtual Team

    A group of employees using information and communications technologies to collaborate from different work bases. Members of a virtual team may work in different parts of the same building or may be scattered across a country or around the world.

Virus

    A computer program with a hidden code, designed to infect a computer without the owners knowledge, and which causes harm to the computer or destroys data, etc.

Vision Statement

    A statement giving a broad, aspirational image of the future that an organization is aiming to achieve.

Vocation

    An occupation for which a person is strongly suited and/or to which they are dedicated.

Vocational

    Relating to an occupation for which a person has undergone special training or has special skills.

Voice-Over

    A presenter or actor in a TV commercial or program who is heard but who is not seen on the screen.

Voice Recognition

    Technology which allows computers, mobile phones, etc., to be operated by being spoken to.

Void

    A contract, agreement, document, etc., which is no longer valid or legal.

Volume Discount

    The discount given to a customer who buys a large quantity of goods.

Volume of Retail Sales

    The amount of trade in goods conducted in the retail sector of an economy in a particular period.

Voluntary Bankruptcy

    A situation in which a debtor voluntary files for bankruptcy because they cannot pay their creditors.

Voluntary Liquidation

    A situation where the owners/directors of a solvent company decide to cease business, sell the company’s assets and pay all the creditors.

Vote Of No Confidence

    A vote which shows that the majority of those voting have lost confidence in something, usually a government.

Vredeling Directive

    A proposal, presented to the European Council of Ministers in 1980, for obligatory information, consultation, and participation of employees at headquarters level in multinational enterprises.