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Case Studies by Luk Van Wassenhove

114 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 25 Jan 2011

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Humanitarian/Non-profit
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
On May 27th, 2006, a devastating earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Java. The Indonesian Red Cross, Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI), set up a relief operation in the province of Yogyakarta. The NGO already had extensive experience in disaster relief, having battled a volcanic eruption two months earlier as well as two tsunamis during the preceding year. This operation, however, was slightly different. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), of which PMI was a member, had just decentralized its supply chain for disaster relief by setting up three regional logistics units (RLU) in strategic locations across the globe. PMI’s relief operation in Yogyakarta was the first of the IFRC’s national societies to benefit from the support provided by the new RLU in Kuala Lumpur. The case looks back over ten years, tracing the substantial changes that supply chain decentralisation incurred at the organizational level, and the challenges thrown up by the process of establishing the RLUs. It is the final part of a series of three case studies on the reorganization of the IFRC supply chain

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective of this case study is to portray a practical application of supply chain principles in the humanitarian sector, through the implementation of the decentralized supply chain at the IFRC. In particular, it becomes clear through this case study that an alignment between organizational readiness and the adoption of basic logistics components was a prerequisite for implementing the new supply chain model at the IFRC.

Keywords:
Humanitarian, Logistics, Red Cross, Ifrc, Supply Chain, Decentralization, Organizational Change, Regional Logistics Units, Yogyakarta, Earthquake

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2010 EFMD Case Writing Competition Award, Supply Chain Management Category

published: 28 Jun 2010

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Farm management services; Industrial instruments
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This case tells the story of successful corporate entrepreneurship bringing sustainable value innovation to agribusiness. It recounts the history of EADS-Astrium, subsidiary Infoterra and the development of a new product-service called Farmstar to help farmers reduce costs and increase yields. The case describes the creation of uncontested market space through the successful development of an innovative product that increases private benefits (profits) on adoption. Farmstar also generates public benefits (lowers pollution) by reducing the negative externalities of intensive agriculture. The process of simultaneously increasing public and private benefits through productivity increase and cost reduction is known as sustainable value innovation (SVI).

Pedagogical Objectives:
Describing the quest to achieve SVI, the case demonstrates the importance of i) identifying and assessing reliable trends across geographies and traditional industrial sectors when defining long-term strategic objectives; and ii) nurturing effective operational partnerships that span the technology life cycle of research, development and commercialisation.

Keywords:
Corporate Entrepreneurship, Precision Agriculture, Agribusiness, Remote Sensing, Cooperatives, Induced Innovation, Eco-Efficiency, Sustainable Value Innovation

Prizes won:
- Runner Up of 2010 oikos Case Writing Competition, Corporate Sustainability Category

published: 28 Jun 2010

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Advertising
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Velib' is a station bicycle system in which rented bicycles can be picked up in one station and returned to a different one, and is an initiative of the mayor of Paris in partnership with JCDecaux, the giant advertising company. The system has been an instant success, with 50 million users in its first two years of operations. But Velib' is costly to build and maintain raising questions about it long-term viability

Pedagogical Objectives:
By applying the case, teachers are able to: (i) explore the basic features of Velib', the self-service biking system in operation in paris since 2007; (ii) expose students to the counter-intuitive ownership of the system, and the history of the public-private partnership between the Municipality of Paris and JCDecaux; (iii) provoque students to think about the business rationale of the system, and; (vi) confront the business rationale (private profits) with the logic of sustainable mobility (public benefits).

Keywords:
Urban Furniture, Station Bicycles, Public-Private Partnerships, Advertising Industry, Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Value Innovation, Blue Ocean Strategy, Sustainability Strategies

published: 25 Mar 2010

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Cement Production
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This case describes carbon cap-and-trade regulation and the principle carbon emissions drivers within HeidelbergCement and the cement industry. This leads to the focal decisions in the case regarding technology choice, product specification and plant locations. Further complexities arise due to international competition and uncertainties associated with the evolving carbon market.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case links emerging issues on carbon regulation and climate change to operations management and supply chain design. Students will develop the ability to weigh carbon-leveraged investments of a strategic nature such as technology choice, product design and the off-shoring of production capacity in an important global industry, cement.

Keywords:
Carbon Regulation, Cap-And-Trade, Carbon Footprint, Cement Industry, Sustainable Operations, Technology Choice, Carbon Emissions, Sustainability

published: 30 Sep 2009

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Automobile
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Denmark-based Kjaer Group had supplied vehicles and services to humanitarian fleets since 1977. In 2005, in an effort to differentiate their value proposition from that of other suppliers to the sector, they devised an integral fleet management solution, thereby moving from a product to a service based offering (servicising) for their customers. This case looks at the key issues involved in making such a transition in an atypical context. Challenges for Kjaer Group included: pinpointing humanitarian organisations’ real needs, identifying who within the client organisations had decision-making authority to implement the solution, and overcoming the traditional suspicion felt by humanitarians towards the private sector.

Pedagogical Objectives:
a) To demonstrate how servicising can be a valuable option for a firm faced with saturation of their core market (Sawhney, Balasubramanian, Krishnan, 2004) b) To highlight the difficulties involved in accurately assessing the needs of the humanitarian sector c) To explore the main customer-related challenges as the firm makes the transition from a product to a service based offering d) To examine the challenges in securing the uptake of a new concept (servicising) by a known but unfamiliar sector.

Keywords:
Servicising, Fleet Management, Humanitarian Operations, Humanitarian/private Sector Collaboration, Decision Making

published: 30 Sep 2009

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Automotive Industry
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
In 2007, Shai Agassi raised $200 million to launch Better Place. By deploying a network of charge spots, switch stations and systems that optimised the use of electric vehicles (EV), the company had the potential to become a major player in the transport industry. To succeed, however, it had to overcome major implementation challenges, among them the need to achieve a minimum level of standardisation for the interface between vehicles and the recharging grid, and the continuous need to finance its market expansion.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows students to explore: - How an innovative business model has the potential to create new market space and reduce environmental impacts - The emergence of cross-industry reconfigurations for a low-carbon economy - The commercial risks of sustainability-driven business in the realm of transportation.

Keywords:
Business Models, Auto Industry, Entrepreneuship, Sustainable Value Innovation, Blue Ocean Strategy, Sustainability Strategy

published: 30 Sep 2009

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Public sector, NGO, International Organizations
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
This case describes the relief supply chain in the initial 72 hours following a large-scale natural disaster. Taking the earthquake in Armenia as an example, we use the Fritz Institute Framework, published in 2005, to draw a parallel between two response systems: the Colombian government response and the National Society of the Red Cross, part of the Red Cross Movement based in Geneva.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The main objective of this case is to show the complexity of relief operations during the response to large-scale disasters using a supply chain approach. It also shows the effect of problems with coordination and information dissemination on relief operations during the first week of response after the quake.

Keywords:
Humanitarian Logistics, Disaster Management, Disaster Response, Relief Chain, Supply Chain Management

published: 30 Jun 2009

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Conglomerate (Holding company)
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
In 2004, Hayleys PLC, a leading Sri Lanka multinational with operations in diverse sectors, decided to unite all its separate environmental and social initiatives into a single corporate responsibility effort. The programme build on strong corporate values and in certain sectors was immediately successful, enabling the firm to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders (unions and customers). Nonetheless, the question of the long-term economic viability of the effort remained.

Pedagogical Objectives:
How can one use company values to federate disparate initiatives into a single, strong corporate responsibility programme at the heart of corporate strategy? How can managers determine the economic viability of a successful CSR programme? What are the reputational implications of success or failure, and their effects on corporate strategy?

Keywords:
Csr, Csr and Strategy, Economics of Csr, Stakeholder Relations, Ethics, Corporate Values, Corporate Reputation

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2009 EFMD Award, Corporate Social Responsibility Category

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