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Case Study Prompt

Our client is a book publishing and distribution company. Three years ago they started a new division to sell customized textbooks to colleges. The customized textbooks use on-line information that has been digitized to provide information tailored to any course. 

The company uses a direct sales force to sell both their standard textbooks and the new customized textbooks. The new division last year had revenues of $3 MM and a net loss of $5 MM. 

How should the division get its profits to at least break even and what should they do to realize the full potential of the business?

Case Study Overview

Your client, a book publishing company, is experiencing drastic losses in revenue in their newest division. They have come to you to find out how to stop the bleeding and see the full potential of their new product. In this Strategy& interview case study, your job is to familiarize yourself with your client’s operations, dig into their profitability and make a recommendation.

Prepping for a first round Strategy& interview? We recommend using the Profitability Framework to solve this case study, however, the most sought after candidates take the standard frameworks and develop a unique structure that incorporates their business acumen and knowledge.

There are no math exhibits in this case. The qualitative difficulty is 2 out of 4, which makes this a beginner case interview you would typically see in a first round interview.

Strategy& Interview Tips

What does Strategy& look for in its case interview candidates? Creativity and innovative approaches to problem solving.

Make sure you are comfortable working outside basic frameworks and finding unique solutions to problems you may face.

In this case, focus on a couple of things:

  1. Time yourself throughout the case (2min to build structure and 2min to present it; 2min each for a brainstorming question; 2min for final recommendation)
  2. Focus on finding one area you can improve upon for next time.

For out-loud practice with an expert, book an hour with an ex-MBB coach.

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