Case Structure

AirService
New answer on Dec 08, 2019
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 08, 2019

At part IV, the case recommends the interviewee come up with methods to reduce the costs of the take-off trucks, once take-off trucks are found to be the main cost. Why is this necessary at this point? Because I would keep drilling down until I find the underlying problem (i.e. purchasing too many trucks) and then ultimately develop/state my solution once the problem is found.

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Nathaniel
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replied on Dec 08, 2019
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

You are correct in keep drilling down to isolate the core issue before making the recommendation or formulating potential solution.

Since the case is candidate-led, once it is found out that take-off trucks are the main cost driver, disaggregating the sub-elements of these is a necessary step: cost of the truck, gas, drivers.

After probing further on the details of each sub-elements, only then we can determine that the amount of trucks is the underlying issue. Then the only solution required is to address this very specific condition.

There are 2 reasons why I presume the case instructions advise candidates to think through potential solutions for all 3 sub-elements:

  1. When taking the interviewer through the structure, explaining that we think that since take-off trucks comprises of the majority of the cost, one of the sub-element of this particular aspect would be the key issue, then continue to elaborate all 3 sub-elements - it would be preferable if we could briefly explained potential solutions that can be applied if any of these 3 turns out to be the underlying issue before proceeding (this is not an absolute necessary, but might earn you brownie points on flexibilty of logic and broad knowledge base)
  2. This is done to anticipate if the interviewer decides to throw a curve ball by asking what the candidates think of potential solutions for each of the sub-elements - interviewers may sometimes do this in order to test a candidate's resilience as well as and creativity / flexibility in their thinking line.

In either case, it would always be good to put some thoughts on potential solutions in the back of your head every time you disaggregate an element into its sub-elements in search of the underlying issue - in order to guide you in pinpointing the core issue itself as well as anticipating any actions from interviewers to try throwing you out of your rythym.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

Nathan

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Anonymous A on Dec 08, 2019

That helps a lot, thanks!

Nathaniel gave the best answer

Nathaniel

McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge
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