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Case Studies by Anne-Marie Carrick

65 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes how a loss-making ferry company was brought back to financial health, modernised and recapitalised in less than two years, amidst a context of political pressure, stakeholder hostility and a €600 million fine from the European Union. The Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée (SNCM) was sinking under the weight of French blockades and belligerent unions. Ferries were hijacked and a million people took to the streets to protest against potential job losses, disrupting passenger services to/from Corsica at the peak of the summer season. In May 2014, Guillaume de Feydeau was appointed CEO to devise a turnaround plan to save the former state-owned company from bankruptcy. The new management team not only had to master the political and social intricacies of the situation, but time was of the essence: the majority shareholder wanted out and cash was running dangerously low.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case focuses on: • How to develop a turnaround plan. • How to analyse stakeholders’ positions. • How to navigate through a politically sensitive environment. Key takeaway: • Aligning all stakeholders around a common objective is vital to succeed with a turnaround plan, as well as ensuring on-going, open and transparent communication.

Keywords:
Turnaround, Restructuring, Bankruptcy, Nationalisation, Trade Unions, Corsica, Local Government, European Commission/union, Privatization, State Aid, Eu Regulation

published: 28 Jun 2019

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Abstract:
In the non-alcoholic beverage industry, barriers to entry are low as production is relatively easy. Although thousands of new drinks flood the market each year, the non-alcoholic segment provides fertile ground for innovative start-ups. In a mass-market dominated by big players, branding is key. Martin Donald Murray created waterdropR a small cube made up of natural aromas, superfood extracts and vitamins that is added to water, to provide a healthy drinking option. He builds the business on a lean budget, but knows that branding will determine the success of his innovation. Since the cubes can easily be sold online, Martin tests the brand on the Austrian market through trial and error. The fact that packaging is 100% recyclable and eliminates plastic bottles (cutting CO2 emissions dramatically) adds an environmentally-friendly dimension. The case follows Martin from the ‘lightbulb moment’ (on a flight with limited drinks options) to the point where his small team is readying to launch what he believes will be a game-changer in the non-alcoholic beverage industry: a microdrink that makes drinking water more appealing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1) Brand identity and positioning for start-ups: How to… a) Build a strong brand identity with limited resources. b) Leverage market trends and customer intelligence as a start-up. c) Position the brand in the market compared to competitors. 2) The importance of sustainability in today’s world a) Could sustainability be a key point of differentiation in the beverage industry? b) What should a sustainable product look like? c) Should the brand positioning just focus on this aspect? 3) Digital marketing and branding: How to… a) Build a brand across channels with a small budget. b) Create content that is engaging for key target segments. c) Leverage word-of-mouth and community marketing using social media, gamification and mobile strategies. 4) Customer-centric strategies: How to… a) Challenge incumbents by leveraging agile and customer-centric strategies. b) Leverage consumer insights and research for new product ideas at low cost. c) Integrate seamless omni-channel strategies in the early stages of a start-up. 5) Entrepreneurship challenges a) Brand or product – which is more important? b) Where should start-ups invest their resources? c) What advantages (or disadvantages) do start-ups have over incumbents when entering an established industry? 6) International brand extension: a) How to grow brands internationally with limited resources b) How much ‘brand deviation’ can one afford?

Keywords:
Microdrink, Food and Beverage, Digital Disruption, Sutainability, Lean Management, Agile, Entrepreneurship, Brand Identity, Digital Marketing, Digital Branding, Customer Centricity, Health

published: 02 May 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Digital transformations require foundations. Placing advanced technologies on top of poor organizational structures and processes is not likely to work. Digital transformation may involve long-term strategic and organizational development to create a solid foundation that can properly absorb and develop digital initiatives. The case describes the Italian insurance company Generali Italia’s digital journey, from integrating its fragmented offering to transforming the company based on three pillars: discipline, simplicity and focus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To understand the wider work that may be required as part of digital transformation.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Digital Transformation, Organization Culture, Retooling / Training, Insurance

published: 22 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Computer industry, Retail
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
On 15 May 2001, the first Apple retail store was opened to the public at Tysons Corner, Virginia, and the same day a second store was opened in Glendale, California. With retail branded experiences virtually unknown in the industry at the time, the decision to launch the Apple retail programme was greeted with scepticism. However, within the first week they welcomed 7,700 visitors, with sales of almost $600,000 – testimony to its undoubtable success – and went on to roll out another 24 stores. Fifteen years on, there are over 450 Apple stores globally, with higher sales per square foot – $5009 – than any other retail location in the United States. Even today, people still wonder what made them so successful and how it can be replicated. Having successfully designed a brand-defining experience for Apple retail that created immense value, Eight Inc. had to decide how this level of success could be replicated for other potential clients. The case describes the relationship between Apple and Eight Inc., who were initially hired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to work on first the MacWorld tradeshows. It traces the steps in the process, from establishing the case to each minute detail in the design process. The case describes how the team built not just a store but a breakthrough branded customer experience.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To introduce and analyse a framework to design branded experiences. The case shows how designing a (retail) branded experience is different from designing a space or designing a service, and supersedes the latter. It also shows the business value that can be created through branded experiences. 2. The role of brand values in guiding the design principles for all the elements that contribute to the user experience. Understanding what those brand values are and how they are perceived by the target user is crucial in the design process. 3. A branded experience is the engagement of the user with the brand through the products/services, communication messages, the staff (and other users) behaviours, and the physical (and digital) space. The management of the experience design process requires an approach that combines modular and integrative principles. While the design of products/services, communication, behaviours and space are typically done separately by different disciplines, the integration of all these elements must be considered throughout the process so that they combine to create a holistic experience. The design of the Apple retail stores was not just an example of a good experience design, it was a breakthrough in the computer, technology and retail space. This provides a rich context to discuss the key success factors behind creating an outstanding branded user experience. One was the level of deep and detailed involvement of top-level management throughout the process, critical in defining the brand values that guided the rest of the design process and enabling the team to push the boundaries.

Keywords:
Innovation, Design, Retail, Experience Design, Computing Industry, Organizational Transformation

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published: 28 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
Case A focuses on the history of Embraer, which has grown to become one of Brazil’s most successful enterprises and the world’s number four global aviation company. After tripling in size from 2000 to 2007, its business succumbed to the global financial crisis. Embraer launched an internal programme for business excellence, resulting in the development of executive jets. Following the success of the ER jet, it continues to diversify its offerings and expand globally. In October 2017, rivals Airbus and Bombardier Inc. announced a partnership for the C Series programme – single-aisle aircraft ranging from 100 to 150 seats. This hailed a new chapter in the industry, which will be marked by competition from other emerging markets, notably China.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Explore the origins and global strategy of one of the most important companies in an emerging market (Brazil); discuss the importance of clusters and global innovation.

Keywords:
Aviation, Tactical Transport Aircraft, Brazil, Bombardier, Scaling, Innovation, Flying Taxi, Regional Jets, Boeing, Airbus, Clusters, Emerging Markets, Uber

published: 23 Jan 2019

  • Topic: Operations
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The case discusses supply chain risk management: how to leverage the structure of a supply network to assess its resilience, focusing on the consequences of disruption rather than the causes, as is traditionally done. The proposed framework, presented in a 2014 HBR paper by Simchi-Levi, Schmidt and Wei, describes how a consultant, Ann Van Delft, applies this framework when assessing the supply chain risk for her client a large telco internet service provider. Telco had recently experienced several outages due to equipment malfunctioning and a shortage of spare parts, resulting in the loss of some customers to its competitors. Ann was hired to deal with these issues as senior management felt the outages were damaging Telco’s brand, and would deter new customers.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Apply the framework proposed by Simchi-Levi, Schmidt, and Wei (HBR, 2014) to assess the resilience of a supply network to potential disruptions. . Shift the focus of risk management strategies away from the potential causes of disruption to their consequences. . Improve students’ quantitative skills by generating managerial insight from a large data set.

Keywords:
Supply Chain Risk Management, Time to Survive, Time to Recover, Network Analysis, Quantitative Analysis

published: 30 Nov 2018

  • Topic: Operations
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
At the end of 2017, Disney announced it would acquire the majority of 21st Century Fox’s assets including its movie studio, TV production company, cable channels and regional sports networks. If approved, the deal would give Disney the scale and content to develop its own streaming service by 2019, when its contract with Netflix expired. The rise of streaming had contributed to the steady decline of cable-TV, DVD sales and cinema attendance in the US. The case discusses the transformation of the media landscape with the growth of digital. Was Disney’s apparent move away from “content is king” – its strategy since 1923 – recognition of the importance of distribution channels in the digital age?

Pedagogical Objectives:
. To understand the impact of digitalization on the restructuring of information chains . To assess the attractiveness of technology & operations strategies: vertical integration, horizontal dominance . To assess the importance of globalization in service industries, especially content management

Keywords:
Competitive Positioning, Industry Analysis, Information Chain, Distribution Channels, Content Management, Platforms, Service Management, Digital Transformation, Media and Entertainment, Streaming Services, Vertical Integration, Entertainment, Horizontal Dominance, Disney

published: 29 Oct 2018

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The case explores the possible acquisition by McKinsey &Company of design company LUNAR in response to the new directions management consulting is taking. As of 2014, a new internal unit included ‘McKinsey implementation’ and ‘digital labs’, which explored new opportunities for the Firm and soon became major growth vectors for the consultancy. Targeting new capabilities and expertise, senior leadership asks the heads of the Product Development Practice (PDP) to “shoot big” if an opportunity arises. Design is one such capability, but how should they bring it on board: A partnership with an existing design company? An outright acquisition? Or by developing organically, hiring designers to work within the company? Ultimately, the acquisition option is chosen as a way to secure proven design talent, a brand, a portfolio, infrastructure and culture. A team within the PDP pitch a proposal to acquire a design company to the McKinsey advisory board, which gives the green light for a pilot test. McKinsey&Company asks LUNAR to host a workshop (for the redesign of a storage cabinet for laptop computers) and is more than impressed with the result. Discussions to acquire the design firm begin, but strategic, organizational and operational issues must be ironed out first. Students are required to assess whether the acquisition option will succeed, whether there is a better route (with respective advantages and disadvantages), and what organizational levers can be used to optimize LUNAR’s integration.

Pedagogical Objectives:
a) The strategic reasoning behind building a firm’s capabilities through an acquisition. How to add new organizational capabilities via an acquisition, what form the acquisition should take, and the advantages/disadvantages involved. b) Using organizational levers (e.g. defining career plans) to structure the new firm’s integration. How best to integrate the new capabilities – in this case design – from the acquired company into the established organization.

Keywords:
Knowledge Services, Design Thinking, Organizational Capabilities, Innovation, Design Capabilities, Creativity, Creative Organizations, Mckinsey, Lunar

published: 04 May 2018

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Abstract:
The case describes how Spanish entrepreneurs Daniel González de Vega and Javier Arroyo founded Smartick with the aim of tackling the poor level of math education in their native Spain. Smartick is a self-financed enterprise that combines social impact with profitability. The two entrepreneurs are up against stiff competition, notably from the education giant Khan Academy, who not only has major financial backing but also offers its service free of charge. After two years of developing and testing a mix of the leading offline methods and state-of-the-art web-based technologies, Smartick is ready to make a big push into the after-school math learning space. Javier and Daniel are mulling over three options for their long-term marketing strategy. They are looking to segment the market and find the right segment to implement the strong brand positioning necessary to impact Spain’s math education culture and society. The three options are to focus on B2B through schools, a combination of B2B and B2C, and a B2C-only approach. They must also decide on a pricing model and a communication strategy.

Pedagogical Objectives:
After the case discussion, students should be able to: - understand the value of a differentiated product, even in the presence of a popular free alternative, - apply a segmentation-targeting-positioning approach to online education specifically, and to any other market or category, - recommend a pricing strategy to match the overall strategy of the company.

Keywords:
Edtech, Online Education, Branding, Marketing, Social Impact, Pricing Models, E-Learning, Entrepreneurship, Segmentation, Targeting, Brand Positioning, Software-As-Service, Brand Identity, Customer Centricity

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published: 23 Mar 2018

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Abstract:
The Swiss company TAG Heuer, maker of luxury watches, is part of the LVMH group (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton). In 2015, CEO Jean-Claude Biver is deciding whether to launch its first-ever fully connected Swiss watch, manufactured in partnership with Google and Intel. Entering this new market presents an unprecedented challenge: making a watch based on a technology (microprocessors) that the Swiss have not mastered. Is TAG Heuer ready to compete in the digital space - and potentially without the traditional 'Swiss Made' label? Case B takes up the story following the successful launch of the TAG Heuer connected watch. Sales are beyond all expectations for the luxury Swiss watchmaker and its partners Intel and Google. There are a few surprises too – the consumers are older than they expected and the watches sell out far quicker than anticipated – hence the company runs into some supply chain issues.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To learn how a nation achieves international success in a specific industry and how multinational corporations enable the emergence of clusters and benefit from them. In particular, how the Swiss luxury watch industry (in particular TAG Heuer) reacted and dealt with the challenge from connected watches such as the Apple Watch. Four key issues are addressed: 1. The importance of the 'Swiss Made' label for this market. 2. How to make a connected watch 'eternal' in the spirit of traditional mechanical watches. 3. How TAG Heuer prepared for a profound digital transformation by learning from the technology cluster in Silicon Valley (locating a team of engineers there and managing the partnership with Google and Intel). 4. How a company dealt with digital disruption in a conservative industry – Swiss watchmaking. 5. How multinationals identify technology in other clusters – “technology scouting” - and set up relevant processes.

Keywords:
Watches, Luxury, Wearables, Connected Watches, Digital Transformation, Google, Intel, Clusters, Jean-Claude Biver, Global Strategy, Digital Disruption, Apple Watch, Swissmade, Silicon Valley, Switzerland

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