Ex Bain and A.T. Kearney (7 years in consulting) / Now Private Equity / 200+ real cases / Landed all Big 3 offers
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Dear all,

I have been contacted by the "Digital division" of one of the top tier consulting firms.
It seems super interesting what they do, so I have decided to go through the interviews.

I am not very worried about "normal cases" or the "personal experience" questions. However, I am really worried about "Digital cases / Digital transformation cases". After all, this is what they work with and what I will be expected to excel within.

But how do you structure a digital case? Do any of you have any case examples?

E.g. say the problem is: "A company in industry XYZ wants to digitize its DEF department". Where XYZ can be any industry and DEF everything from sales, to supply chain, to developing a new product.

Thanks a lot!!

(edited)

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Jacopo
Expert
replied on 10/18/2017
Ex Bain and A.T. Kearney (7 years in consulting) / Now Private Equity / 200+ real cases / Landed all Big 3 offers

Hi,

As a quick introduction, consulting firms have different approaches and paces when it comes to Digital. They can be categorized into four distinct competitive groups based on the way they approach the digital consulting market:

  • Digital strategy generalists (e.g. Bain, BCG, A.T. Kearney): the capabilities of the firms in this group are skewed more toward the strategic end of the digital consulting spectrum
  • Full-spectrum digital generalists (e.g. McKinsey, Deloitte Digital, EY): Firms in this competitive group approach the market primarily from a generalist perspective. Their capabilities span strategy and execution
  • Full-spectrum digital specialists (e.g. Capgemini Consulting): firms in this group typically fall under one of two categories 1) boutiques focused primarily or exclusively on one particular area of the digital consulting market (e.g. digital customer strategy & experience) or 2) firms that are digital purists/providers that have dedicated themselves to being completely digital in their approach to the larger consulting market
  • Digital execution generalists (e.g. Accenture): all of the firms in the digital execution generalists group have strong technology backgrounds and significant businesses in downstream IT services

When it comes to consultants working in the ‘digital divisions’ of top tier firms (but excluding the more technical staff – e.g. analytic specialists), they work on engagements with colleagues from the generalist offices and all practices within the firm, serving clients across a mix of both technology and non-technology related topics (practically there is no difference from non-digital divisions).

Regarding case interviews, they have the exact same structure of the standard consulting ones. As a matter of fact, Digital divisions use case interviews to assess your problem solving ability (they do not expect candidates to have specific Digital expertise - unless for some experienced candidates). The main difference vs. non-digital interviews is that the case is adjusted to a Digital context (e.g. ‘Your client is an online software provider which provides a software as a service. Their software does website analysis for companies that are doing business online to help them figure out what their customers are doing online, ultimately with a purpose of figuring out how to improve customer conversion. This company had grown fairly well on the past, but this particular year are experiencing a decrease in profitability. The company’s CEO has asked you for help in terms of figuring out how to grow profitability.’

To sum up, you prepare for ‘Digital division’ interviews in the same way you would prepare for any ‘standard’ consulting interview. Needless to say, some basic digital understanding will help you to demonstrate you have a good business sense.

Please feel free to contact me if you want any additional information.

Cheers,
Jacopo

kim replied on 10/18/2017
  • Please feel free to challenge, but could this be one approach:


1: The WHY?

  • Understand why we want to digitalize? Is it to be a market leader or to fast-follow?

2: The WHAT?

  • What is the cost base of what you want to digitalize or the potential new sources of income? What are the processes?
  • Once you know this, try to map/segment them; e.g. across Technology stacks (if you are familiar?), across the value chain, by customers or in some other way that makes sense
  • Then apply 80/20 to find out what you should focus on

3: The HOW?

  • External: Any benchmarks? Best practices? Any cross-industry inspirations?
  • Internal: How much senior support do we have (very important)? what realistic goals can we set? Do we have the internal capabilities?
  • Come up with ideas and potentially evaluate by impact & feasibility

4: Launch and accelerate

  • Likely go for a MVP, secure agile processes and appoint a high-caliber (internal or external) team

5: Scale up

  • Expand experiences, potentially adopt new OPP model, and keep senior team involved

Let me know what you think? I personally see this covering most "Digital transformation" cases.

(edited)

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