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Exaggeration of details beyond reasonable and reasoning for obvious solutions.

Anonymous A asked on Aug 02, 2019 - 1 answer

Just a pretext, I have just started solving cases and hence my doubts may be very basic, please bear with me on this. My apologies in advance. My query is of two parts.

Part 1:
"On an average month, AA needs 3,600 springs. Sometimes the OEM-plant is quicker and produces up to 1,000 cars a day."

This part of the question essentially means,
- Avg usage of springs/day - 180 springs - Therefore, OEM produces 45 cars/day
- Max. usage of springs/day with the conditional "quicker" production of OEM - 4000 springs - 1000 cars

Even for case study purposes, this variation of max. quantity from avg. quantity seems extremely exaggerated (demand variations & production planning may inflict these changes but definitely not due to 'quicker' production). Can we expect such instances in interview cases as well?

Part 2:
Risk given in solution:
"Risks: running out of springs and not delivering them to the OEM plan. Major business threat."

Isn't it justified that we have considered max. lead time possible while calculating the safety stock and this is an inevitable threat that even a business with really good SCM infrastructure might face?

Insights much appreciated.

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Paul
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replied on Aug 05, 2019
Senior Consultant at BCG - 5 years consulting experience|Coached 300+ candidates |Interviewer at BCG | 2nd Session free
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Hi,

Part 1

Remember that consulting cases are essentially a tool to test certain aspect of your personality and have a "quick access" to how your reason. As a result, they are simplified version of real business problem and you can expect simplifications, not "totally-sound" technical assumptions and numbers. Most of the time numbers are also made "simpler" to allow for "on-the-spot" calculation.

Do not worry about this too much, but concentrate on showing business logics - if you really have a business doubt on a number / assumption - point it out to the interviewer, but remember not to appear as a "nerd" of numbers - it is still a case interview...

Part 2

Same as before. Most of the time solutions of consulting cases (especially on casebooks from MBA etc..) represent the whole "logical" spectrum of answers fore each part of the case. Some of them can be somehow "simplistic", but do not worry: they are meant to make you learn how to think logically, being MECE and explore the whole spectrum of the business problem.

Hope this helps.

Paul

Hi Paul, just a follow up on your answer for Part 2 seeking clarification - is it then a preferred practice in case interviews to state the obvious reasoning for obvious solutions, as part of demonstrating one's ability to consider the full spectrum of the business problem? — Kim on Aug 05, 2019

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