Advice on how best to approach this problem

2021
New answer on May 14, 2021
4 Answers
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Hayley asked on May 12, 2021

Company XY have just announced they are going to start their own freight rail service running between City A and City B. Give a 10min presentation of a strategy to minimise the impact on our business. This might include:

Process we would undertake to assess/quantify the risk

Immediate actions we could take

What changes to our freight offering we might make to other customers

Process we would follow to build a new strategy with this new competitor in the market

(edited)

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 14, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Written case interviews are indeed becoming very fashionable nowadays as a way to interview!

Remember that the skillset tested is the same than in the "usual" cases, hence, all the practice you may have done totally plays in your favor.

One important point to add is the need to be very 80-20, structured and to the point, since the prep time is very short, so we need discipline with the analysis to have enaugh time to prep the communication strategy.

In line with what other people have already commented, there are many many entries in thsi same Q&A regarding written cases, hence, I would recommend you to look with the keywords "written case"

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Hayley on May 15, 2021

Thank you Clara, I appreciate your response

Hayley on May 15, 2021

Thank you Clara, I appreciate your response

Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 12, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi Hayley, happy to share Travel and Logistics cases if helpful. Feel free to text me

Best,
Antonello

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Hayley on May 15, 2021

Thank you Antonello, I appreciate your response

Hayley on May 15, 2021

Thank you Antonello, I appreciate your response

Anonymous A replied on May 12, 2021

Hi,

It is a good case. Even though we need more context and information about the client and the business, I elaborated this framework.

1- Understand the market

A- Market size in terms of tons of cargo to transport and projected growth of this market to check if there is enough demand

B- Analyze the customers and their needs (retailers, manufacturers, utilities -> segmentation) , you might need this information later if you want to acquire new customers

C- Analyze current competitors and their market share to better understand our positioning and our competitive advantage vs competitors

2- Evaluate the impact of this new entrant:

Herein you can do a matrix to compare between our client and the new entrant (try to quantify). I would compare them based on:

Pricing strategy and level : how does our client charge the service ? Is it tons-based pricing? Wagon-based? Contract-based? What about the new entrant ? Is he going to price cheaper ?

Offerings: What does our client offer as a service? Rail service only or rail + distribution to the warehouse of his customers? Speed of service ? (look for competitive advantages and compare it with the new entrant)

Clients: who are the clients ? Is it possible to retain these clients ? is the new entrant targeting our clients ?

Distribution: How does our client vs new entrant sell their service ? Online ? tenders ? How would our client find other ways to sell his service ?

Marketing : compare strategies of marketing

This part will enable you to discover to which extent the new entrant is threating our client’s business. Based on this you can find out what strategy to adopt to remain competitive.

3- Find out the strategy:

A- Block this new entrant by creating entry barriers:

increase for instance penalties if a client switches to this new entrant, block access to suppliers of wagons etc, lobbying to create legal barriers if the new entrant is a foreign operator for instance

B- Protect our clients:

try to retain our clients by offering discounts on the price or offer new services (for instance more rapid transport, comprehensive insurance in case if the freight is damaged …)

C- Acquire new clients :

Strong advertising, target niche clients, new routes etc

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Hayley on May 15, 2021

Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 12, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Hayley,

You're asking us to do your entire written case for you. I'm sorry but this isn't how it works!

The best us coaches can do, outside of an actual coaching session, is give you the general outline. For this case, it's clearly 1) Analyzing key impacts to the business against a framework (I think Revenues and Costs makes sense here), 2) Proposing solutions against this framework 3) Working out what those solutions look like in terms of added costs, implementation, etc.

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Hayley on May 15, 2021

Thank you Ian I appreciate your response!

Hayley on May 15, 2021

Thank you Ian I appreciate your response!

Clara gave the best answer

Clara

Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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