Royal Mail Case Study


Team projects: Case report submissions due by 2:00pm Fri Sep 13 (Royal case), Fri Oct 25 (Michelin case). All cases should be analyzed using the following Standard Case Study Method, which is also called the Harvard Case Study Method:

  1. Description of situation & relevant facts – For example, what are the objectives of the organization involved? Identify any restrictions. State at least four relevant or important facts. Briefly describe the current situation in which the firm is involved. This step is the shortest step in the Harvard Case Method.
  2. Problem definition – The problem is best explained as the gap between the actual state of affairs and the desired state affairs. In other words, the problem is not poor net profits, the problem is the gap between current net profit and the desired net profit. The problem is often best stated as a question. For example, how do I close the gap between the current 1% net profit margin and the desired 4% net profit margin? The solution you select in step 4 should answer the problem stated in step 2.
  3. Alternatives – For example, state three – four possible alternative plans or solutions that will help the firm solve its problem(s). You may have short-range and long-range alternative courses of action. In the business world there is typically more than one way to solve a problem. Financial considerations often dictate several different possible alternatives. One or more of the alternatives listed in step 3 will become your solution in step 4.
  4. Solution – YOUR RECOMMENDATION. First, give your solution(s), then give factual justification and/or logical reasoning in support of your recommended solution(s). Explain how your solution is effective and/or efficient.
  5. Implementation of solution & Evaluation of progress – How do you plan to actually solve the problem? Give details in your explanation of your solution. For example, you may have a short-term and long-term solution. Are the desired and the actual solution now the same? How will you evaluate progress over time toward reaching the desired solution?

Detailed expectations & requirements for the case reports are found in the Rubrics posted on the Blackboard course site. Both case reports should be single spaced and 5-6 pages max, excl. listing references, endnotes & appendix. Use Word-standard top, bottom, and side margins, 11-point Arial font. You must cite references for all facts, conclusions, analysis, logic, and/or quotations that come from 3rd party/others.
4 You may either use ‘endnotes’ by listing at the end of your paper (not included in the 5-6 pages limit) the full citation incl. the name of the author and/or publication and date within the text (e.g., [Hitt et al 2013]) or formal ‘raised number’ footnotes plus a formal bibliography listing all sources. You may find it helpful to put tables, graphs, maps, etc., into an appendix, which is not part of the 5-6 pages limit either.
Please name your case report Sec00#_Team#_Case name_submission date.docx. For example, if you are in Sec002, Team 1, you submit the Royal case on Sep 13th, then name your case report as ‘Sec002_Team1_Royal case_091319.docx’. Please include page numbers in your report in the lower right hand corner.

Royal case – Grading rubric & Expectations

  1. (10%) Proper format, spelling (avoid typos!), grammar Case study write-ups shall not exceed 5-6 single-spaced pages. Case write-up follows the Harvard Case Study Method. See syllabus for further guidance.
  2. (20%) Describe the situation & relevant facts For example, what are the objectives of the organization involved? State at least four relevant or important facts. Also, briefly describe the current situation in which the firm is involved. It will be helpful to examine the context of the assignment. While the case raises sales-related questions, the case is embedded within the organizational buyer behavior chapter. Did the students/team properly classify the buying situation(s) experienced by Mary Jones, and link the buying situations to Royal’s products/services? Did the students/team draw meaningful implications from these classifications?
  3. (20%) Did the students/team identify the correct problem that demands a solution? Again, while the case raises sales-related questions, the case is embedded within the organizational buyer behavior chapter.
    • Hint: Things may not be as they appear on the surface. Think about how you deal with unwanted salespeople, and whether you are forthright with reasons for not purchasing. What are the motivations for each person given the positions they hold and roles they play?
    • Hint: People naturally seek to preserve their source of income i.e., defend their jobs.
  4. (20% ) Did the students/team state at least 3-4 distinct possible alternative plans or solutions that will help the firm solve its problem(s)? Are the potential solutions feasible in light of the facts, situation, and problem statement? In the instances where the case does not provide enough information, did the students/teams list and support (i.e., logically rationalize) necessary assumptions? Were any key facts omitted?
  5. (20%) Did the students/team identify their chosen single solution? Is it the optimal solution? Does the solution adequately address the problem? Was the analysis of alternatives appropriate and sufficiently thorough to substantiate the students’/team’s selection? What are the weaknesses & strengths of the solution? Did the students/team explain how the solution is effective and/or efficient? Did the students/team discuss the pros & cons of each alternative solution and explain how they arrived at their decision? Were any key facts omitted?
  6. (10%) Did the students/team explain the implementation & evaluation of their solution? How do they plan to actually solve the problem? Were sufficient details provided about how to measure progress over time?

• Use this rubric
. • All cases must be analyzed and organized using the Harvard Case Study Method. See syllabus which corresponds to sections 2-6 of the first page of this rubric.
• Apply the relevant content from the textbook (chapter 2) to the case. Apply relevant content from the lecture to the case
. • Each team member to read the case multiple times before meeting in teams for the first time.
• Each team member contributes equally (time, content, quality). Attend team meetings. Schedule is an outcome of setting priorities. Integrate individual inputs into a coherent product. Schedule team meetings early to avoid letting important things become urgent (Eisenhower matrix).
• Challenge each team member to contribute adequately & effectively, if necessary.
• Start the case early so that you have time to ask questions if needed.
• Write in proper grammar while using correct spelling. Avoid casual language.

• Write a ‘short letter’ by using the allotted space (5-6 pages max) judiciously. This will likely require several reviews of the [pre]final product in order to prioritize the content. For example, you may need to reconsider dedicating an entire page to describing the situation & relevant facts. Instead, it may be more prudent to save that space in order to elaborate on explaining the alternatives and justifying your chosen solution.

• In the problem statement, explicitly mention why Jones cannot sell the CCC. These reasons should tie into content from chapter 2 (which does not cover sales). For example, you may think Jones needs additional sales training. This might be correct, however do look for systemic/underlying root causes. Identify objection(s) that reoccur across prospects (and what does not). For example, you may, as an alternative, suggest that Jones needs to update her customer contact list. However, this issue only applied to one situation – and it’s a sales-centric issue (i.e., not the topic of chapter 2). It won’t solve Jones’ real, underlying problem.

Sample Solution