Weekly cases for the Associate competition are provided by sponsoring businesses from across the region. These companies pose real questions and challenges to which they can apply the candidates’ findings and recommendations. Cases have included planning round table events, organizing the consolidation of office space and developing a marketing plan. Participating companies have included AOL, Inc., Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), Baltimore Magazine, Enterprise, Target, Von Paris Moving & Storage and more. The final case each year is provided by the presenting company, which ultimately offers the job for the competition winner.
CARCHEX is a leading provider of Automotive Protection Services for consumers. A decade-long commitment to protecting automotive consumers and providing exceptional customer service has translated into an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau and as the preferred partner to the most trusted names in the automotive industry, including master mechanic Pat Goss of TV’s MotorWeek, and Carfax, CARCHEX has established its credibility as a gold standard in vehicle protection. CARCHEX’s auto warranty, insurance and financing business use a “compete” model to insure customers receive the best warranty coverage and/or auto insurance at the lowest price or in the case of auto financing receive the best rate and term available to that consumer.
CARCHEX is moving to the Hunt Valley Towne Centre in early March 2014 and is looking for recommendations on how to promote what it believes is a faster, better, and smarter way to shop for the automotive services it provides. The goal is to create a unique consultative experience for consumers by having them sit down with a specialist to quickly provide the customer quotes for any or all of the services offered. Think about this experience as an alternative to the many hours most people spend at the car dealership, when in reality that experience shouldn’t take longer than fifteen minutes.
The main business challenge is how does CARCHEX effectively spread the word that CARCHEX is now in a new retail location? How do they convey to consumers that CARCHEX is more than just an auto inspection and auto warranty business? Secondly, how does CARCHEX encourage consumers to walk in for a free no-obligation quote for products?
BBB Greater Maryland has three stakeholders: Consumers (customers or clients), Accredited Businesses (ABs), and general business community (prospective ABs). BBB operates under the assumption that today’s millennial (defined as 16-35 years of age) is less aware of BBB and related services than their parents/grandparents, therefore, are low consumers of the product. As with any business growth plan, BBB must be identified by younger populations as a reliable and trustworthy source of information specific to pre-purchase decisions for consumers, resolution services for displeased customers, and informational resource for tracking scams and fraud. Failure to become relevant to this population could result in the worst case scenario in the demise of the BBB business by the next generation, but short-term, is a “missed opportunity” for increased revenue (accreditation of businesses relevant to Millennial).
BBB Greater Maryland is seeking consulting services for specific and effective strategies to increase BBB’s perceived relevance and actual consumer use by millennials. These strategies, which could be executed though interns, are to be within a $10,000 marketing budget. They should be “replicable” by other BBBs or within other communities of the target population, and cannot include website redesign or creation of mobile application. The end result of the consultant presentation will be 90 percent focused on strategies to increase awareness of BBB Greater Maryland within the target population. The balance of the proposal or presentation (10 percent) will identify recommendations that BBB could offer to the business community on how to engage millennial generation as potential customers.
Knowing that customers want fresh food is not the same as knowing how to align the category with a company’s long-standing brand. With a brand position as an upscale discounter of high-quality, on-trend merchandise, Target Corporation faced several challenges when trying to align meat and potatoes with fashion and design.
The phrase Grocery Tech had inhabited Target Senior Vice President—Grocery Annette Miller’s mind like a mantra since the day she was charged to grow the company’s grocery business. Her long experience with food sales’ notoriously low margins—at least when compared with designer clothing—convinced her that she needed an ongoing strategy to identify shoppers’ needs and reduce costs.
The Case Question
What should Target invest in so that guests think of Target first when it comes to food?
2. Online/Mobile sales of Grocery
3. Promotional pricing
Answer which strategy Target should pursue and why?
The Baltimore plant of Berry Plastics currently utilizes an off-site warehouse facility (Duke) comprised of 183,000 square feet. A significant portion of the space (62,730 square foot) is dedicated to raw material storage and storage of finished goods for one its largest customers. The current warehouse space must be redesigned for optimal utilization to eliminate current space constraints and open up additional space for manufacturing capacity.
Project Objective: Maximize the “cube” (space) at the warehouse that currently stores raw materials and two finished products to optimize storage space and efficient product flow. Teams are assigned to analyze the case and develop cost effective solutions within the following parameters:
1. The three product types have different storage requirements (height, weight, stacking constraints).
2. Current Warehouse equipment allows for stacking/reaching up to 18 feet high (to bottom of pallet) without the addition/cost of new forklift equipment.
3. Additional racking will be required (new or used) and may differ depending on the product type.
4. Any capital expense required must meet a 1-2 year payback (ROI – return on investment)
5. Stacking and Warehouse optimization must be safe, ensure product integrity, efficient product flow and support FIFO methodology.