When a case does not give an objective (e.g. breakeven point), how should we make a final recommendation?

BCG Case: Nearshoring - Opportunity study and Business case
New answer on Sep 01, 2020
3 Answers
Anonymous asked on Aug 29, 2020

Not just for this case, but in general. Assuming the interviewee will ask about the objective.

I would have concluded that the final recommendation to our client would be that nearshoring in Poland would feasible with strong savings potential assuming they are willing to have a 2.5 years breakeven period.

Does this work?


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replied on Aug 29, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


Let me first point out a general thing, and then comment on your suggestion.

I. General Remark

A case without an objective can not be solved with a definite anwer. So at the beginning, the objective must be agreed on. Otherwise you can not answer the question clearly. If the interviewer refused to give you an objective (which should never happen in MBB inerviews if interviewers are properly trained!), then you should suggest a sensible objective and seek alignment with the interviewer. Only then you can approach the case in a serious way.

Just as a strategy project without an objecti is simply impossible.

II. Feedback to your suggestion

That being said - your suggested remedy for the final recommendation goes into the right direction. You could say: "If our client is fine with a 2.5 years breakeven timeline, then nearshoring makes sense from a financial perspective." This is what you call a conditional recommendation.

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous on Aug 29, 2020

Thanks Sidi!

Anonymous replied on Aug 30, 2020

Dear Zach,

If you don't clear understanding about the objective then you have to ask it at clarifying questions, otherwise, you can not proceed with a proper soling of the case and final recommendations.


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Content Creator
replied on Sep 01, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hey Zach,

You need to ask! And, when you ask, you can't just say "what is the objective"

You need to probe and come in with a view / options. So, a good way to ask would be: "It sounds like we've had some pretty rapid expansion in the past few years. What is our client looking to achieve by re-focusing on Warsaw? Has expansion perhaps been too fast and they're look for cost savings opportunities and efficiencies here?"

You need to be really clear on what the client is prioritizing or you're stranded out at sea! Are they looking for sales growth, pure profits, cost cutting, market share, beating out competitors, etc.?

If they say "we're looking for you to determine this", then you need to use your understanding of the context, industry, and business to figure out what should be prioritized

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Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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