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IBM Case Study Interview Intro

MPL is a seven-year old contract-manufacturing firm located in Ithaca, New York.  The founder and President, Shane French, has found a niche in the contract manufacturing space by providing his customers highly customized service, particularly with respect to production schedules and small lot sizes.

Contract manufacturing is, for example, placing microelectronics on printed circuit boards (a.k.a. motherboards) for such components as computers, lasers, and electronic items.  Currently, customers provide MPL with parts inventory, and MPL performs the assembly. French investigated the field and is considering offering turnkey solutions.  

That is, providing ready-made boards for clients (based on customer specifications).  This would require an investment in inventory, but MPL could command a 20% mark-up on parts alone. 

This is how many contract manufacturing firms grow revenues.  Should MPL offer turnkey solutions?

Case Study Overview

In this IBM case study interview, you have been brought in to help your client, a manufacturing firm, to determine whether or not they should offer turnkey solutions for their customers which would require an investment on their part. You will need to dive deep into the industry and market, familiarize yourself with your client and it’s operations and the ramifications of this new venture. What would you do first?

The Market Study Framework is a good first step to solving this case. We highly recommend using it to get started, but don’t stop there. Add your own experience and business acumen to the framework and come up with a solution specific to this case.

This IBM case study interview has a qualitative difficulty of 2 out of 4 and no math exhibits. It will help you get ready for a first round interview.

IBM Interview Tips

What is IBM GBS looking for in it’s candidates? Someone who can see high-level structure and bring unique insights.

Make sure you can see the big picture as you work through this case.

To get the most out of this case, focus on finding one key area you would improve for next time.

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