Case Studies

  • Employing Consumer IT in Operations Photo

    Employing Consumer IT in Operations

    Thomas Sammer, A. Back, Hans Brechbühl
    Length: 19 pages
    Publication date: 2014
    Case#: 6-0038

    In 2012, the Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) evaluated various computer devices to provide their 3,000 train drivers with a 'companion' that gives them access to the operational instructions necessary for trip preparation and driving the train according to schedule. The requirements for the new solution were that it should decrease the running costs of the existing laptop-based solution by 75% and increase or at least maintain user satisfaction, mobility, display quality etc. The technology evaluation indicated that the best option for meeting these requirements would be the Apple iPad. While the evaluation presented in the case is technology-focused, the proposal still needs to be presented to a committee of members from different departments that have different points of view on the problem, the proposed solution and the associated implications. The assignment questions require students to widen the scope and discuss the implications from the various perspectives. Students will develop an understanding of the importance of not only assessing technological aspects, but also of organisational, legal, user, and support aspects. By considering the different perspectives, students additionally discuss different types of usage policies, including the 'bring your own device' / BYOD strategy, and the future implications of introducing a consumer device to an organisation. 

    Click here to order this case.

    Published by the University of St Gallen (2013)

    Preview Copy in PDF Format

    Topics: Consumerization of IT, Information Technology, Mobile

    Industry:

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Norwegian Cruise Line Photo

    Norwegian Cruise Line

    David P. Sibley T'13, M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 20 pages
    Publication date: 2013
    Case#: 6-0037

    After five years of profitable growth, Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, rang the NASDAQ bell on Norwegian's first day of trading. Under Sheehan's leadership, Norwegian had experienced a dramatic turnaround, largely due to his efforts to help the organization deliver on the promise of Freestyle. Allowing guests the freedom to choose between many different dining and entertainment venues, Freestyle was an industry first and an immense operational challenge. When first introduced, the execution of the game-changing strategy failed with guests waiting in long-lines for poor quality food. A veteran of private equity turnarounds, Sheehan systematically integrated technology and process improvement to build an organization that could deliver Freestyle cruising. This case allows students to explore the challenges of aligning marketing and operations strategies and the competitive advantage that can be achieved through such integration.

    Preview Copy in PDF Format
    Preview Copy in Spanish PDF

    Topics: Marketing, Operations, Strategy

    Industry: Transporation

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • XOJET Photo

    XOJET

    Jordan S. Esten T’12, M. Eric Johnson, Joseph M. Hall
    Length: 17 Pages
    Publication date: 2013
    Case#: 6-0036

    Blair LaCorte T90 glanced out the window as his Virgin American flight approached San Francisco International Airport, and thought about the challenges facing XOJET and the private aviation industry as a whole. With demand up 50% YOY they needed every jet they owned. It was October, 2011, and LaCorte had been CEO of XOJET for two years, during which time his team had grappled with difficulties both short and long term that faced the private aviation industry. Their analysis had determined that the industry wasn’t just in a cyclical downturn, but faced structural challenges that would require XOJET to alter its strategy.

    Preview Copy in PDF Format

    Topics: Operations, Strategy

    Industry: Transporation

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Sotera Wireless Photo

    Sotera Wireless

    Johnny Kaye T'12, Ron Adner, M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 19 Pages
    Publication date: 2012
    Case#: 6-0035

    ViSi Mobile’s potential for value creation was clear to many and the complete system was now ready for sale.  But success would require cooperation, investment, and operational changes across a range of actors in the healthcare ecosystem.  Development was successfully completed.  The challenge now was to develop a deployment strategy that would safeguard long-term success in the market.

    Preview Copy in PDF Format

    Topics: Mobile, Operations, Strategy

    Industry: Communications

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Groupon Photo

    Groupon

    Cassie Young T'11, M. Eric Johnson, John Marshall T'92
    Length: 14 pages
    Publication date: 2011
    Case#: 6-0034

    On track to exceed two billion dollars in revenue in 2011 in its third full year of business, Groupon and its latest daily deals were news the business media could not resist. From the local corner bakery to national retailers such as Gap, sizzling offers were projected to triple Groupon’s 50 million subscribers by the end of the year. But while the limelight remained focused on the headline “feature” deals, Groupon was quietly testing new models to expand this core platform. This case considers how those new models would fit with its operations and marketing strategy.

    Preview copy in PDF Format
    Spanish Translation

    Topics: Marketing, Operations

    Industry: Internet, Retail

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Mattel, Inc: The Lead Paint Recall Photo

    Mattel, Inc: The Lead Paint Recall

    M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 19 pages
    Publication date: 2010
    Case#: 6-0033

    Supply chains face many risks, from material flow disruption and quality failures to information security. In some cases those risk come from suppliers in other cases they come from downstream partners. For example, in 2010, Toyota faced global criticism over its handling of a recall related to sticking accelerator pedals. Likewise, in 2007 product safety problems led many toy makers to recall products during the holiday season. Mattel, the world’s largest toymaker with years of experience working in China, found itself in the middle of very negative global publicity. This case inquires as to what went so wrong?

    Preview copy in PDF Format

    Topics: Information Technology, Supply Chain

    Industry: Toys/Video Games

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Digital Communication at Dell Photo

    Digital Communication at Dell

    Jennifer M. Farrelly T'09
    Length: 22 pages
    Publication date: 2009
    Case#: 6-0032

    Every second two new blogs are created, seven PCs are sold, 2.2 million emails are sent, 520 links are clicked, 1,157 videos are viewed on YouTube, 31,000 text messages are sent. With the explosive growth of social media, society and corporations are embracing this phenomenon as much more than a passing trend. This case focuses on computer manufacturer Dell Inc.'s social media strategy and how it has successfully integrated digital communications into every aspect of its business model. Case readers are put in the shoes of Bob Pearson, VP of Dell's "Conversations & Communities" team, who is tasked with developing Dell's social media strategy. After a rocky start with social media--including an actively blogged service crisis termed "Dell Hell"--Pearson is challenged with not only creating a department and strategy from scratch, but with developing internal buy-in and skill sets needed to get Dell started with Web 2.0. Pearson faced important decisions including how to structure the internal team,what guidelines to set for blogging and social media participation, and how to measure success. The Dell case focuses on how new social media technology is changing not only corporate communication but also business functions such as product development, customer service, marketing, and customer engagement. It offers many valuable lessons for both students and business professionals as they continue to join the Internet age. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (866K)

    Topics: Marketing, Product Development, Sales, Social Media

    Industry: Computer

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Hulu, To Be Or Not To Be Photo

    Hulu, To Be Or Not To Be

    Rama Oruganti T'09, Alva H. Taylor
    Length: 24 pages
    Publication date: 2009
    Case#: 6-0030

    Los Angeles-based Hulu.com had finished 2008 with impressive growth in both viewership and market visibility. The video portal startup, established in 2007 with the backing of NBC Universal and News Corp., had 227 million video views and had become the sixth most-visited online video web site. Popular media had taken notice and prominently featured the company. Even the harshest Hulu skeptics, like Michael Arrington of the popular TechCrunch blog, acknowledged its success. But Jason Kilar, the CEO, was cautious about the future. This case examines the explosive growth of Internet TV and potential for significant change in a well established industry. 

    *Teaching Note Unavailable; Please Request Supplemental Readings Below via "Request Teaching Note"*

    Preview copy in PDF format (128K)

    Topics: Product Development, Services

    Industry: Media

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Enhancing Service at Southwest Airlines Photo

    Enhancing Service at Southwest Airlines

    M. Eric Johnson, Joseph M. Hall
    Length: 14 pages
    Publication date: 2009
    Case#: 6-0031

    Scarcely five years at the helm of Southwest Airlines, CEO Gary Kelly was navigating the high-flying airline through the downturn of 2009. By focusing on simplicity and keeping costs low, Southwest had posted profits in every year for over three decades and had grown to be the fifth largest U.S. carrier. Kelly was faced with maintaining those low costs while readying the airline for growth when passengers returned. Looking to enhance its value proposition, he was considering a number of service refinements including satellite- based WiFi Internet, more extensive wine and coffee service, and even new international alliances with foreign carriers. In each case, the offering would be scrutinized to see if it fit within the Southwest strategy and its legendary operating model. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (701K)
    "Reframing Your Business Equation," Strategy + Business, 2009
    Enhancing Service at Southwest Case (in Mandarin)

    Topics: Services

    Industry: Transporation

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Technology and Quality at Steinway Photo

    Technology and Quality at Steinway

    M. Eric Johnson, Joseph M. Hall, Ashley Martin-Golis T'08, David Pyke
    Length: 20 pages
    Publication date: 2009
    Case#: 6-0023

    For almost two centuries, Steinway & Sons set the standard for excellence in piano manufacture. This case articulates the Steinway definition of quality, how they achieved that quality, and contrasts their quality with its mass produced competitors. More importantly, this case explores the role and impact of technology on quality, showing how Steinway used new product offerings to enhance its distribution strategy and control its quality image.

    Preview copy in PDF format (879K)

    Topics: Manufacturing, Supply Chain

    Industry: Musical Instruments

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Nolej Studios: Growing a Creativity- Based Company Photo

    Nolej Studios: Growing a Creativity- Based Company

    Ashley Martin T'08
    Length: 27 pages
    Publication date: 2008
    Case#: 6-0028

    Nolej focuses on providing dynamic websites, brand identities, and unique interactive demos primarily for clients targeting a young adult, urban, hip demographic. The company develops cross-platform marketing and advertising that engages the audience and generates visibility for their clients' products and services. When a new client approached Nolej for help in developing and marketing a new product for the toy industry -- a product area new to the company -- Crawford knew that taking on this potentially lucrative project would push the company out of its comfort zone. Saying "yes" meant the company would have to quickly expand its creative team by outsourcing tasks and integrating technical vendors. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (563K)

    Topics: Innovation, Marketing

    Industry: Advertising

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Information Risk Analysis at Jefford’s Photo

    Information Risk Analysis at Jefford’s

    Hans Brechbühl, Chris Dunning, Stephen G. Powell
    Length: 8 pages
    Publication date: 2008
    Case#: 6-0029

    Jefford's faces several information security threats and must decide which risks to mitigate and at what cost. Headquartered in the U.S., Jefford's, a fictitious Fortune 500 company, is growing rapidly with much of the expansion coming in emerging markets. They face numerous risk management decisions, including how to mitigate problems with stolen/lost laptops, malware, fraudulent website transactions and protection of personally identifiable employee data. This case can serve as a good basis for a discussion on information security and risk management approaches. In Part B, the case provides detailed data on which to do a cost/benefit analysis, and with the help of the teaching note, creates a robust Monte Carlo simulation using Excel and Crystal Ball or similar software. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (128K)

    Topics: Information Technology, Product Development, Services

    Industry: Electronic Controls

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Social Media and the Burger King Brand Photo

    Social Media and the Burger King Brand

    Andrew Schneller T'06, John Marshall T'92
    Length: 27 pages
    Publication date: 2007
    Case#: 6-0025

    With profits decreasing and franchisees unhappy, Burger King needed to take dramatic action and redefine how it was perceived by customers. Instead of traditional advertising, the company created Burger King-related content intended to entertain consumers, give the brand social currency, and create a sense of mystery. The firm chose inexpensive, non-traditional media channels such as internet micro-sites and social networking sites to reach target consumers. This case study examines how the use of digital communication, media channels, and Web 2.0 have changed the way firms can build their brands. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (627K)

    Topics: Marketing

    Industry: Fast Food

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • NetHope: Collaborating for the Future of Relief and Development Photo

    NetHope: Collaborating for the Future of Relief and Development

    Benjamin Farmer T'07, M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 20 pages
    Publication date: 2007
    Case#: 6-0026

    Most disasters occur in developing countries, often in remote areas lacking infrastructure, such as roads, reliable power grids, and telephony. As such, international relief agencies desperately need effective information communication technology. NetHope's mission was to collaboratively address technology challenges facing relief agencies, and to build shared infrastructure to enable humanitarian supply chains. This case examines the challenges newly appointed NetHope CEO Bill Brindley faced as he worked to build the collaboration and trust needed to take NetHope to the next level. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (598K)

    Topics: Information Technology, Supply Chain

    Industry: Humanitarian Relief

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Strengthening the Distribution Channel at Steinway Photo

    Strengthening the Distribution Channel at Steinway

    Robert Batt T'06, M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 22 pages
    Publication date: 2007
    Case#: 6-0027

    Few brands enjoy the quality image of Steinway & Sons. For nearly two centuries, Steinway's pianos have set the world standard in product excellence. While quality has also been the cornerstone of Steinway's manufacturing and marketing strategy, its channel strategy was less well-aligned. What were the strengths and weaknesses of Steinway's distribution network? This case examines the integration of operations and marketing strategies. It describes how Steinway used channel consolidation and new product offerings to enhance its distribution strategy and control its quality image. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (563K)

    Topics: Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain

    Industry: Musical Instruments

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Aligning the Supply Chain Photo

    Aligning the Supply Chain

    Laura R. Kopczak, M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 17 pages
    Publication date: 2006
    Case#: 6-0024

    Align Technology, makers of the highly successful orthodontic treatment Invisalign, was in the midst of a transition from a start-up venture to an established firm. With customer orders stepping up, Align outlined a multi-million dollar IT investment for a new execution system that would address the growing complexity of managing its multi-country operations. This case study examines the challenges of manufacturing a mass customization product and the business case behind Align's investment in a new enterprise information system to automate its supply chain. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (490K)

    Topics: Manufacturing, Services, Supply Chain

    Industry: Medical Devices

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • The Day McDonald’s Blinked Photo

    The Day McDonald’s Blinked

    M. Eric Johnson, David F. Pyke, Anita Warren
    Length: 16 pages
    Publication date: 2006
    Case#: 1-0049

    The 50-year battle between fast food giants McDonald's and Burger King had been waged around two competing concepts. McDonald's aimed to be the world's best quick service restaurant experience, providing quality, service, and value. Meanwhile, Burger King based its strategy around customer satisfaction through flexibility. When McDonald's launched the "Made for You" campaign, it was a direct challenge to Burger King's long-standing strategy. 

    Preview copy in PDF format (277K)
    Preview copy in Mandarin, in PDF format (632K)

    Topics: Services

    Industry: Fast Food

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Biogen-Idec: Growing a Customer-Focused Supply Chain Photo

    Biogen-Idec: Growing a Customer-Focused Supply Chain

    M. Eric Johnson, Julia Kidd Winterson T'04
    Length: 19 pages
    Publication date: 2005
    Case#: 6-0022

    Biogen CEO Jim Mullen was taking the biotech firm from a research-focused business model to a more customer-centric enterprise. This case looks at his plan for a significant IT investment in a new customer relationship management (CRM) system to support more patient interaction in the company's call center, improve the flow of medication to patients, and provide better access to account information for its increasingly international and mobile sales force.

    Preview copy in PDF format (536K)

    Topics: Innovation, Marketing, Supply Chain

    Industry: Biotechnology

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Victoria’s Secret Photo

    Victoria’s Secret

    Kathleen L. Biro Theodore Durbin T'02
    Length: 11 pages
    Publication date: 2004
    Case#: 6-0014

    Amid some of the toughest retail conditions in years, Victoria's Secret announced a gain of 9% in first half-year 2002 sales and 30% in operating income. However, market growth was slowing down: profit margins for the VS's Direct division, which focused on catalogues and the Internet sales, had been declining over the past several years.

    Preview copy in PDF format (1184K)

    Topics: Innovation, Marketing

    Industry: Apparel

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study

  • Papirius: Office Depot Is Coming Photo

    Papirius: Office Depot Is Coming

    M. Eric Johnson, Daniel R. Justicz T'00, Jay A. Altizer T'00
    Length: 18 pages
    Publication date: 2004
    Case#: 6-0016

    In 2001, Petr Sykora and Jan Cerny, founders of the Czech-based office supply distributor Papirius, began to formulate their potential responses to Office Depot's impending entrance into the Czech market. Should they enter adjacent countries, expand their online presence, or acquire domestic competitors to gain market share?

    Preview copy in PDF format (1375K)

    Topics: Supply Chain

    Industry: Office Supplies

    Request Teaching Note (if available), for professors only | Order a Copy of this Case Study


Page 1 of 3 pages

Ordering Reprints

Browse our Case Catalog

Requests for reprint permission refer to copies you plan to make yourself from the clean case file we will email you, following payment. There is a fee per copy, set by Tuck's Fiscal Services.

Once your request has been confirmed and your fee arranged, please call with your credit card information or make checks payable to Dartmouth College and mail to:

Fiscal Services
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
100 Tuck Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
1.603.646.0187

All the cases and teaching materials listed are copyrighted by the Trustees of Dartmouth College.

All rights reserved.

Browse Entire Site by Topic


Case Studies by Topic

Case Studies by Industry

Case Studies by Date