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Case Study Prompt

Our client is a large industrial conglomerate that has $60-70 million in annual revenues and is extremely profitable. They have engaged BCG to examine one of their business units that is underperforming. The unit manufactures and distributes street sweepers (zamboni/lawnmower – like machines that a person would ride and which uses two large rotating brushes to sweep up the street as it moves by) and has been doing so for 20 years. While never a standout division, until recently it had always been profitable. 4-5 years ago the profit margins started to fall and it is currently just above breakeven.

Management of the conglomerate had made a decision 2 years ago that they did not want to invest in new features for their product lines and has the approach that they don’t want to invest significant amounts of capital now (unless they can be convinced otherwise).

Analyze the unit’s performance and recommend to the management of the conglomerate what should be done. Tell me some of the areas you’d consider looking into here knowing that we only have a few weeks to finish this engagement.

Case Overview

Start your consulting case practice by reading through the case study intro. Your job in this case is to dig into a profitability issue for an industrial conglomerate. The client has an under-performing business unit, barely breaking even. Your task? Find out why profits are down, and recommend a solution to the client.

Use the Profitability Framework to help build a structure to solve the case. However, don’t try to force-fit the case into a framework. Build a custom structure for the case problem that gives you the best chance at solving it.

Preparing for a first round case interview? This is good consulting case practice for that. There is 1 math exhibit to be interpreted within the case study.

BCG Interview Tips

In this case, make sure that your structure is air-tight, and that you verbalize every part of your process. You don’t need to focus as much on getting the “right” answer, but on how you got to the answer.

BCG is looking for candidates that are structured and are able to clearly communicate that structure.

Make the most of this consulting case practice by doing a quick assessment after you finish the case. What is 1 key area that you can grow in in your next case?

For consulting case practice with an expert, consider booking a 1-hour session with a coach.

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