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Case Studies by Anne-Marie Carrick

60 case studies

by Publication Date
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.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

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. Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

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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published: 23 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Digital transformation
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
The case presents the “leapfrogging” opportunities for Latin America brought by the digital revolution and innovation. It examines the region’s economic and commercial achievements made possible by the huge penetration of mobile vs fixed broadband. In addition, digital transformation is helping to address social issues such as financial exclusion, unemployment and healthcare. Also, by improving transparency in the system, digital has the potential to reduce corruption, one of the biggest obstacles to doing business in Latin America.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This study provides an overview of the leapfrogging opportunities that digital transformation offers Latin America as well as the challenges to be overcome for it to deliver on the promises of the digital revolution. It can serve either as a complementary case to the Stefanini case package, or as a standalone piece for instructors teaching about digital challenges and opportunities in Latin America.

Keywords:
Digital Distruption, Emerging Markets, Blockchain, Latin America, Fintech, Ehealth, Ecommerce, Smart City, Leapfrogging, Technolatinas, Digital Revolution, Digital Transformation

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published: 26 Feb 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Digital transformation
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
The case presents the “leapfrogging” opportunities for Latin America brought by the digital revolution and innovation. It examines the region’s economic and commercial achievements made possible by the huge penetration of mobile vs fixed broadband. In addition, digital transformation is helping to address social issues such as financial exclusion, unemployment and healthcare. Also, by improving transparency in the system, digital has the potential to reduce corruption, one of the biggest obstacles to doing business in Latin America.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This study provides an overview of the leapfrogging opportunities that digital transformation offers Latin America as well as the challenges to be overcome for it to deliver on the promises of the digital revolution. It can serve either as a complementary case to the Stefanini case package, or as a standalone piece for instructors teaching about digital challenges and opportunities in Latin America.

Keywords:
Digital Distruption, Emerging Markets, Blockchain, Latin America, Fintech, Ehealth, Ecommerce, Smart City, Leapfrogging, Technolatinas, Digital Revolution, Digital Transformation

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published: 30 Oct 2017

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Information technology
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Thirty years after being founded by CEO Marco Stefanini, Stefanini is one of the largest providers of ICT services in Latin America. Unlike most Brazilian (and Latin American) companies, Stefanini has focused on international markets for many years. As a truly global company with presence in 41 countries it is one of the most globalized companies in Brazil, with 21, 200 employees and over US$800 million in revenues. In 2017, Stefanini is helping many companies with their digital transformation/journey, while at the same time being transformed itself as traditional sources of revenue diminish/disappear. Hence digital is both a great opportunity (in terms of new business) but also a challenge. How Stefanini will transform itself? What avenues to growth exist, and what alternatives in terms of new business models, new geographies, acquisitions?

Pedagogical Objectives:
Discuss how a Latin American company became a global player in the ICT sector, and how it is helping companies worldwide with their digital journeys as well as being transformed itself.

Keywords:
Digital Transformation, Internationalization, Information Technology, Global Strategy, Emerging Markets, Brazil, Outsourcing

Related:

published: 25 Sep 2017

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Abstract:
Read a related Knowledge article " Brazil’s X Factor " by Felipe Monteiro.

This is a condensed version of the cases EBX Group (A): Eike Batista and the X-Factor/EBX Group (B): Autopsy of a failure. It describes the boom and bust of the EBX Group and its founder, Eike Batista. The first part traces the history of the Brazilian conglomerate from its origins as a small gold-mining operation in the early 1980s to 2012 when it has become a diversified national and global player in multiple industries. It examines Batista’s personal drive, motivations and choices, and how these influenced the strategy deployed by the company. Known for his huge ‘risk appetite’, Batista had an extraordinary ability to exploit gaps in the market when starting new businesses. The second part of the case recounts the “historic” downfall of the ‘X Empire’ which was of a magnitude and speed never seen before in the history. Batista’s personal net worth of US$30 billion – making him the seventh wealthiest person in the world and the richest in Brazil – had plummeted to US$200 million as debts piled up and the stock price went into freefall. In January 2014, Bloomberg reported that Batista had “a negative net worth”.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates and explains the following: 1. The assets and liabilities of one of the world’s largest emerging markets – Brazil. 2. The concept of ‘institutional voids’ in emerging markets, and how companies both overcome and capitalize on these to create distinct value. 3. How business groups are formed and add value in emerging markets. 4. The challenges of making the transition from an entrepreneurial business to an operational one. 5. The concept of organizational ambidexterity – how firms need to be both entrepreneurial and innovative as well as operationally efficient – the ability to both exploit and explore. 6. Diseconomies of time compression

Keywords:
Mining, Oil & Gas, Diversified Conglomerates, Emerging Markets, Brazil, Institutional Voids, Entrepreneurship, South America

Prizes won:
- Winner of the EFMD Case Writing Competition 2017 in the Category “Latin American Business Cases”

Related:

published: 31 Aug 2017

  • 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

published: 24 Jul 2017

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Industrial manufacturing
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case describes General Electric’s transformation from an industrial manufacturer to an industrial analytics giant. It opens in 2009 when CEO Jeff Immelt decides that GE, a hardware maker, needs to be more capable in software. The narrative traces his early efforts to consolidate and coordinate software capabilities in a central unit (GE Software Center) headed by Bill Ruh in Silicon Valley. It documents the realization of the potential for big data and analytics for customers to which GE has sold industrial equipment for decades. Opportunities related to ‘predictive maintenance’ seem attractive given the significant economic costs of unplanned maintenance and repair for GE customers. Equipment optimization through analytics also has potential to increase their margins, especially for those that face increased competition and lack pricing power. As GE roars down the runway to becoming the leading player in the digitization of industry,the question is can it reach the critical speed to break free of the tarmac and sustain flight?

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case examines the general market for and growth of industrial analytics and what in Europe is called Industrie 4.0 (or the fourth industrial revolution) - as well as what it requires in terms of both financial and human capital investment. It invites participants to assess some of the early moves of arguably one of the biggest first-movers in the game, and through this analysis gain an enhanced idea of what actions directly impact digitization’s success. Since GE’s journey has only just begun, they are asked to contemplate how to get started in industrial analytics, and then how to sustain success.

Keywords:
Industrial Internet, Internet of Things, Smart Factory, Digital Transformation, Analytics, Industrial Manufacturing

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