Experte mit der besten Antwort


98% Empfehlungsrate

350 Meetings

4.995 Q&A Upvotes

319 USD / Coaching

How to ask for profitability segmentation

Carl fragte am 10. Aug 2019 - 3 Antworten


When doing a profitability case, I usually like to find out whether the profitability have changed across segments (Customer segments, product mix) and then go deeper in to the specific "problem segment".

How would you do this, and how would you incorporate the segment part in a framework? Is it okay to just ask "what are the segments of profitability for this client?", to me that sounds a bit generic..

3 Antworten

  • Upvotes
  • Datum aufsteigend
  • Datum absteigend
Beste Antwort
Vlad antwortete am 11. Aug 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
Coaching mit Vlad vereinbaren

98% Empfehlungsrate

350 Meetings

4.995 Q&A Upvotes

319 USD / Coaching


I suggest to do 2 things while solving these types of cases:

1) At the beginning of the case, you should ask the clarifying question: "Could you pls tell me more about the business model and what are the revenue streams?". I suggest to ask this question with any case, even if it is not a profitability type.

Why do you need to know the revenue streams? Because it's one of the most critical pieces in understanding the business model. An example is Oil&Gas with up-, mid- and down- streams that are completely different businesses.

2) While you do your structure and split revenues into price and quantity - add proactively the 3rd box with the "Mix". Thus you show your business sense and demonstrate that you know the most common case traps.

Pls, note that the "mix" can be anything - geography, customer, product, etc.

Good luck!

Anonym antwortete am 11. Aug 2019

Hi Carl,

This is a good approach for the most part, but it's limited (more on that later). In regards to incorporating this into the framework, you need to make it specific to the prompt. Clarifying questions come in really handy here, because you can gauge from what angle to tackle this part(based on industry, objective, etc.).

What I mean is, if you've been told about a clothing company that sells pants, shoes, and shirts, well, it's pretty clear you should break down this problem by product mix, and articulate what products. If you're not told the mix, but it's clear this is a product mix question, then hypothesize/customize in your framework! i.e. "I'd like to look at this by product mix, i.e. pants, shirts, shoes, to see..."

However, your approach is limited for a few reasons:

1) When looking at product mix, you should look at customer segments within the product mix. So "Is X product unprofitable? Is this because of high costs, or are we over/under priced. Importantly, are we targeting the right demographic with our pricing, advertising, placement, etc"

2) There are more segments than just customer and product - if you think this way you will miss the point on different cases

For example:

a) If you have a company that sells commodities (can be an oil company, or maybe a better reference is a nickle mine), well, all of a sudden neither customer nor product mix work do they? In this case, you need to look at commodity prices/trends, and focus on the costs along the value chain. For example. if we're oil and gas, you're probably not looking at customer segments. It might be product mix, but only if you've got a vertically integrated company that sells products upstream, midstream, and downstream (i.e. crude, LNG, petrochemicals, etc). If not, it could be purely a cost-out problem

b) If we're a multi-national company, or a franchise, well, maybe our issues are geographical. If you're a US-wide burger chain, you'd probably want to segment by East Coast, Midwest, South, etc.

There are other examples, but i think you get the point. In summary: Tailor your framework to the prompt: industry, situation, objective, etc.

Felix antwortete am 10. Aug 2019

Hello Carl,

I am fairly new to cases in general, but I have done mostly profitability cases so far. For me there are 2 cases how to handle this,

Case 1: If the case specifies 2 segments, such as urban and suburban stores, you should ask for the difference in revenue/cost/customer behavior in the 2 segments.

Case 2: If the case does not specify any segments, I would explain which item i would like to segment (for example nb units sold decreased) and then ask for the data. (do you have any information what the different segments are for units sold)? There can be so many different segmentations: by region, channel, product, customer, etc. that i think it has very little benefit for the interviewer to let you try every signle segmentation possible.

I hope that helps.

Best, Felix

Verwandte BootCamp-Artikel

Case Studies

The case study is the most important element of the case interview, which you'll have to nail in order to get into strategic consulting. Here you can learn the specific skills and concepts necessary to solve them.

Focusing on The Core: Mock Interviews

It is to practice as many cases as possible - both as interviewee and as interviewee. Here are a couple of guidelines to help you get started

Profitability Case

Learn to crack Profitability Framework Consulting Cases, which are the number 1 reason for real consulting projects and hence are an important case type.

Verwandte Cases

DHL Consulting Case: Bike Shop

40,7 Tsd. mal gelöst
4.3 5 10850
| Bewertung: (4.3 / 5.0)

Sie wurden angestellt, um den Besitzer eines Bike-Shops als Unternehmensberater zu unterstützen. Der Bike-Shop hat einen deutlichen Umsatzrückgang im letzten Jahr erlitten. Nun bittet Sie der Besitzer, die Situation und die Optionen für das weitere Vorgehen zu beurteilen. Er will den Gewinn des ver ... Ganzen Case öffnen

zeb Case: Privatbank Musterstadt

19,8 Tsd. mal gelöst
3.9 5 4985
| Bewertung: (3.9 / 5.0)

Die Privatbank Musterstadt verfügt zum 31. Dezember 2014 über eine Bilanzsumme von ca. €3 Mrd. Die Ende 2010 beschlossene Wachstumsstrategie des Hauses spiegelt sich dabei allerdings stärker auf der Kosten- als auf der Ertragsseite wider. Aggregiert auf die Eigenkapitalrendite als im Haus definiert ... Ganzen Case öffnen


45,8 Tsd. mal gelöst
4.4 5 1823
| Bewertung: (4.4 / 5.0) |

Der Klient ist Customlope, Marktführer bei der Produktion sicherer Briefumschläge in den USA. Diese Umschläge werden von Banken für spezifische Transaktionen wie Einzahlungen von Geld, hohe Transaktionswerte etc. genutzt. Eine neue digitale Technologie, welche eine Abnahme der verkauften Einheiten ... Ganzen Case öffnen


43,5 Tsd. mal gelöst
4.4 5 1482
| Bewertung: (4.4 / 5.0) |

Der Kunde ist ein Kaugummi-Hersteller. Der Geschäftsführer ist in Sorgen, da sein Unternehmen mit einer schrumpfenden Gewinnmarge konfrontiert ist. Bitte finde die Gründe dafür heraus und mache Vorschläge zu Verbesserung. Ganzen Case öffnen

Pharma F&E

39,9 Tsd. mal gelöst
4.4 5 1410
| Bewertung: (4.4 / 5.0) |

Der Klient ist ein Pharmaunternehmen, das besorgt bezüglich der Optimierung ihres F&E Projekt Portfolios ist. Sie möchten, dass wir das Portfolio untersuchen und ihnen dabei helfen, den höchstmöglichen Ertrag aus den kurz- und mittelfristigen Investments zu erwirtschaften (ohne dabei die lange Fris ... Ganzen Case öffnen