College of Business & Economics

Cases & Sponsors

Weekly cases for the Associate competition are provided by sponsoring businesses from across the region. These companies pose real questions and challenges to which they can apply the candidates’ findings and recommendations. Cases have included planning round table events, organizing the consolidation of office space and developing a marketing plan. Participating companies have included AOL, Inc., Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), Baltimore Magazine, Enterprise, Target, Von Paris Moving & Storage and many more.

2014 Cases

Case 5
Wallmonkeys

Overview:Wall Monkeys logo
Wallmonkeys is a manufacturer and purveyor of high quality print-on-demand wall
decals that are removable, reusable, and can be ordered in a variety of sizes and
specifications. Customers can choose from the world’s largest library of images or can print custom decals from their personal collections. All Wallmonkeys orders are received, processed in-house, printed in the U.S. and delivered within 48 hours.
Automated infrastructure allows Wallmonkeys to seamlessly move content to Wallmonkeys.com, Amazon.com, Buy.com, Ebay.com, Google Shopping and all other
Comparison Shopping Engines. The same program handles pricing changes, product
descriptions, and commission reporting to partners.

Issue:
Wallmonkeys is capable of handling more volume in its business and has the ability to
scale as needed without much difficulty or expense. The equipment is in place to move
into other streams of revenue by increasing offerings to its consumer base and
developing a new consumer through the release of additional products. Wallmonkeys can produce and sell canvas prints, coffee mugs, posters, or a variety of other products that fit within the print-on-demand model. While there may be room in the marketplace for multiple new offerings, Wallmonkeys would like to identify and explore some new products to either add to Wallmonkeys.com or build a new website and offer products that are custom but not exactly complimentary to wall decals (e.g. coffee mugs). Wallmonkeys is specifically looking to identify a new print-on-demand product(s) that would be supported by its current infrastructure (or something close to it). The product should:
1. Have a defined and calculable consumer base
2. Be needed in the marketplace or provide a premium product in a generic or niche
category
3. Be lightweight, non-fragile, nonperishable, of manageable size and inexpensive
to ship
a. This will exclude products that require lamination
4. Retail for $20 - $150*
5. Have profit margins of 50%
*Suggested price, but not a hard rule

Winning Submission:
There is a real life element here. Wallmonkeys will invest up to $50,000 to help execute
the best idea presented provided that it works within the terms of the brief.

Additional Considerations:
• Wallmonkeys’ library has over 20 million images from the most respected, sought after, and diverse photo services available, including Getty Images, National Geographic, Corbis Images, and Fotolia.
• Wallmonkeys uses a material more durable than vinyl and woven with fabric to create a product that is higher quality than the competition, and can be moved multiple times without losing adhesive strength, leaving any residue or harming walls.
• Wallmonkeys utilizes both cutting edge technology/software and real time customer service agents, trained for live one-on-one support. This is one of the hallmarks of the company that sets it apart from the competition.
• Wallmonkeys decals are printed using Roland XR-640 printers. Product ideas are not required to utilize this machine, but it may be useful information nonetheless.
• It’s important to note that Wallmonkeys’ software can cater to a particular segment of its catalogue of images. As a result, Wallmonkeys can be simultaneously niche and mainstream. New ideas do not have to make use of all 20 million library images as long as the product meets the demands of a significant niche consumer (e.g. animal lovers or fine art enthusiasts).

 

Case 4
CARCHEX

CARCHEX is a leading provider of Automotive Carchex logoProtection Services for consumers. A decade-long commitment to protecting automotive consumers and providing exceptional customer service has translated into an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau and as the preferred partner to the most trusted names in the automotive industry, including master mechanic Pat Goss of TV’s MotorWeek, and Carfax, CARCHEX has established its credibility as a gold standard in vehicle protection.  CARCHEX’s auto warranty, insurance and financing business use a “compete” model to insure customers receive the best warranty coverage and/or auto insurance at the lowest price or in the case of auto financing receive the best rate and term available to that consumer. 

The Case:
CARCHEX is moving to the Hunt Valley Towne Centre in early March 2014 and is looking for recommendations on how to promote what it believes is a faster, better, and smarter way to shop for the automotive services it provides. The goal is to create a unique consultative experience for consumers by having them sit down with a specialist to quickly provide the customer quotes for any or all of the services offered. Think about this experience as an alternative to the many hours most people spend at the car dealership, when in reality that experience shouldn’t take longer than fifteen minutes. 

The main business challenge is how does CARCHEX effectively spread the word that CARCHEX is now in a new retail location?  How do they convey to consumers that CARCHEX is more than just an auto inspection and auto warranty business?  Secondly, how does CARCHEX encourage consumers to walk in for a free no-obligation quote for products? 

Deliverables

  • Provide recommendations for promoting the new retail location at The Hunt Valley Towne Centre, i.e. what can CARCHEX do to create buzz and increase walk-in traffic?
  • Create an appropriate marketing message and provide a strategy for promoting CARCHEX'S new products and services, i.e. local marketing, online, etc.
  • How can CARCHEX convey to consumers that CARCHEX offers more than just auto inspection and auto warranty products?

 

Case 3
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Greater Maryland

Challenge:BBB logo
BBB Greater Maryland has three stakeholders: Consumers (customers or clients), Accredited Businesses (ABs), and general business community (prospective ABs). BBB operates under the assumption that today’s millennial (defined as 16-35 years of age) is less aware of BBB and related services than their parents/grandparents, therefore, are low consumers of the product. As with any business growth plan, BBB must be identified by younger populations as a reliable and trustworthy source of information specific to pre-purchase decisions for consumers, resolution services for displeased customers, and informational resource for tracking scams and fraud. Failure to become relevant to this population could result in the worst case scenario in the demise of the BBB business by the next generation, but short-term, is a “missed opportunity” for increased revenue (accreditation of businesses relevant to Millennial).

Opportunity:
BBB Greater Maryland is seeking consulting services for specific and effective strategies to increase BBB’s perceived relevance and actual consumer use by millennials. These strategies, which could be executed though interns, are to be within a $10,000 marketing budget. They should be “replicable” by other BBBs or within other communities of the target population, and cannot include website redesign or creation of mobile application. The end result of the consultant presentation will be 90 percent focused on strategies to increase awareness of BBB Greater Maryland within the target population. The balance of the proposal or presentation (10 percent) will identify recommendations that BBB could offer to the business community on how to engage millennial generation as potential customers.

 

Case 2
Target

Knowing that customers want fresh food is not theTarget logo same as knowing how to align the category with a company’s long-standing brand. With a brand position as an upscale discounter of high-quality, on-trend merchandise, Target Corporation faced several challenges when trying to align meat and potatoes with fashion and design.

The phrase Grocery Tech had inhabited Target Senior Vice President—Grocery Annette Miller’s mind like a mantra since the day she was charged to grow the company’s grocery business. Her long experience with food sales’ notoriously low margins—at least when compared with designer clothing—convinced her that she needed an ongoing strategy to identify shoppers’ needs and reduce costs.

The Case Question
What should Target invest in so that guests think of Target first when it comes to food?
1. Advertising
2. Online/Mobile sales of Grocery
3. Promotional pricing

Answer which strategy Target should pursue and why?

Case 1
Berry Plastics
Berry Plastics logo

The Baltimore plant of Berry Plastics currently utilizes an off-site warehouse facility (Duke) comprised of 183,000 square feet. A significant portion of the space (62,730 square foot) is dedicated to raw material storage and storage of finished goods for one its largest customers. The current warehouse space must be redesigned for optimal utilization to eliminate current space constraints and open up additional space for manufacturing capacity.

Project Objective: Maximize the “cube” (space) at the warehouse that currently stores raw materials and two finished products to optimize storage space and efficient product flow. Teams are assigned to analyze the case and develop cost effective solutions within the following parameters:

1. The three product types have different storage requirements (height, weight, stacking constraints).
2. Current Warehouse equipment allows for stacking/reaching up to 18 feet high (to bottom of pallet) without the addition/cost of new forklift equipment.
3. Additional racking will be required (new or used) and may differ depending on the product type.
4. Any capital expense required must meet a 1-2 year payback (ROI – return on investment)
5. Stacking and Warehouse optimization must be safe, ensure product integrity, efficient product flow and support FIFO methodology.

Submit a case

Submit a Case

Does your company or business have an issue or idea it wants to explore but needs extra resources to do it? We're now accepting case ideas for the 2014 competition. Submit your idea to
Lisa Michocki, lmichocki@towson.edu.

College of Business & Economics

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