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Help with case study

 
#1 Help with case study
07/04/2011 22:55

Clueless

Hi All,

I have been given a case study to solve and I have no idea where to get market information/data. I have no experience in this industry and I haven't had much luck with googling hence the request.

The case study is around offering a commercial (b2b) hub to SMEs for running their business. Could anyone please help with information/data around the following?

* How many SMEs are there in UK

* What is their size in terms of employees and revenues

* Which industries (top 10-15) do these SMEs operate in

* What would be their average annual spend in case they happen to join (make use of) the hub

* What would be the most cost effective channels (both direct & indirect) to market this scheme among the SMEs and among the end consumers?

* Currently who are the key players, if any, offering such commercial hubs to SMEs in the UK

* How big is the market for such a proposition

* What features would SMEs look for in the hub if they think of joining it? What is it that such a hub would offer SMEs that they currently don't have?

* What would be the potential revenue streams for the hub provider and the costs associated with setting-up the hub?

* Would the hub provider need any external partner for launching the hub?

* What could be the potential risks & issues in this project from hub provider and SMEs perspectives?

As I am in dire straits, I request for some serious help rather than slating me for my poor language skills or for being lazy. As I have already mentioned, I am almost on the verge of giving up after trying on my own and have turned to this forum as a last resort since there are experienced consultants using this forum. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your help.

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#2 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 11:07

Wowser to Clueless (#1)

I think you have to face facts, that perhaps if you are really so lost on a case study of this nature - given to you in advance, not on the day - then perhaps you are not cut out for this sort of work.

Your list of questions is more or less the entire case study!

There are companies already providing this sort of service - why not start by reviewing their pricing, their service offering, their number of offices, the number of staff in each office. Numbers of SME's, turnover and staff numbers will be available from government officila reports.

But seriously - if you are this lost - do you really want to get the job? You'll just end up getting fired inside the first month.

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#3 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 11:38

Anon Fx to Wowser (#2)

I'm really sorry Clueless, but I agree with Wowser.

What you are being asked to do is something that you will have to do all the time within an MC...

It might be best for you to look into something easier? Maybe start as a junior BA somewhere and work up from there?

Noone is seriously going to have the time to sit here and do the case study for you mate. Wowser and I are just trying to help.

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#4 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 11:46

T OFF to Wowser (#2)

Man Wowser. Whats you problem dude. Have seen your other posts off late as well. You do not seem to have answers. But you do not loose anytime in shooting you gob off. Shut it for a change. Give it some rest.

@ Clueless - Mate i can understand. It gets tricks when a case study is given to you in advance. You tend to think harder.

Here is what you do. Start with assumptions. e.g there are 400,000 SME in the UK. Then divide them into various sector like, Agri, Private, public, construction. You will see you can then google around for more specific answers. You need to step back a bit, think of how will you crack this and stick to your strategy. use commonsense where there is no data available.

For you this will help http://stats.bis.gov.uk/ed/sme/

But i think you are a bit lazy. If this really means a lot to you then get cracking mate. there is a wealth of information there to be mined. Do it.

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#5 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 12:13

Wowser to T OFF (#4)

Hi T OFF

No problem for me if you "loosers" (sic) want to get together and help each other pretend you're living the dream.

I think you'll find you're making a fundamental error. Case studies provided in the middle of interviews are designed to test a consultant's ability to think logically and apply sequential and sensible assumptions under the time pressure of an intereview.

However, when a case study is provided in advance of the interview it is considered incorrect to work on broad assumptions. The intention is to challenge the candidates research capabilities and real/accurate figures will be expected.

Interviewers will also be keen to see excellent and concise PRESENTATION of the findings, and CONCLUSIONS - not just analytical waffle.

Morale of the story? I may be harsh in my feedback, but am correct. You are polite, teamy, supportive, co-operative, but sadly wrong.

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#6 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 12:45

anon to T OFF (#4)

T OFF - you don't sound like someone who would get past many case studies for Big 4 companies

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#7 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 12:52

T OFF to anon (#6)

Lets compete annon

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#8 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 12:55

anon to T OFF (#7)

Fine with me. What do you suggest?

Excel spreadsheets at dawn? Or comparison of CV's and interviews passed?

Oh ... and get my name right. Its anon - one "n" at the end, not two, you dolt.

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#9 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 13:01

T OFF to anon (#8)

anon- with one "n" at the end, not two- What about solving Case study for Clueless? Thhat's where it all started. So don't loose the context you bright egghead.

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#10 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 13:13

Anon Fx to T OFF (#9)

Ha! What a great thread. Please continue as I'm giggling reading it through while eating some lunch.

Next you'll be comparing cars to see whose has the most horse power!

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#11 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 13:31

mac to Anon Fx (#10)

Irrespective of the squabbling above, you are being lazy and, frankly, if you can not google this, you don't stand a chance.

Here:

There were an estimated 4.8 million private sector enterprises in the UK at the start of 2009, an increase of 51,000 (1.1 per cent) since the start of 2008.

These enterprises employed an estimated 22.8 million people, and had an estimated combined annual turnover of £3,200 billion.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) together accounted for 99.9 per cent of all enterprises, 59.8 per cent of private sector employment and 49.0 per cent of private sector turnover.

Turnover in SMEs is estimated at £1,589 billion, £88 billion (5.8 per cent) higher than 2008.

The stock of enterprises, employment and turnover

At the start of 2009, the 4.8 million UK private sector enterprises employed an estimated 22.8 million people, and had an estimated combined annual turnover of £3,200 billion.

Now go and do some work.

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#12 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 13:35

Skeebo to Anon Fx (#10)

Clueless - are you sure you know how to use google?

I wondered how difficult it is to get info on this sector. Googled the words - 'UK SME'. Very first link was the one posted by TOFF, which contains data for last 15years covering your first 3 points and plenty more to help with the problem.

Challenge for you is that the outputs are in Excel - if you dont know how to use Google - are you ok with Excel?

S

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#13 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 13:36

geeza to mac (#11)

in all honesty Clueless, how will you feel if you get through the hiring process and find yourself having to do this sort of thing on your own and in earnest, while under considerably more pressure and scrutiny? I'm not sniping at you and I'm serious here - you should question whether this is a career path which you are going to be happy and successful in

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#14 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 14:28

anon to T OFF (#9)

T OFF

I'm confused! I said that your opinion made you sound like someone that would struggle to pass a BIG4 case study- and you subsequently challenged me to some sort of competition.

Now you see that most other posters agree with wowser's view and suddenly you back off.

Just how chicken are you?

puck,puck,puck,puck

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#15 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 15:03

T OFF to anon (#14)

who's backing off anon- whith -one- n -and- no fun- whatever-

I challanging you to work on this case study. I will do the same Lets then send our solution to some one neutral --not wowser,please, he doesn't even have a job.. maybe, Tony Rstell.

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#16 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 15:04

T OFF to T OFF (#15)

** I am**

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#17 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 15:24

anon to T OFF (#16)

CHALLENGE TO "T OFF"

Oh yeah, I can just imagine how happy Tony would be - spending his weekend marking our homework.

I've got a better idea. There are a number of well respected, regular contributors on this board - Mars A Day, Mr Cool, someguy, billum, rc, etc (sorry if I've missed anyone out)

Here is my public challenge to you. We both spend the weekend doing the challenge - its up to us how much work we put into it, cos its a duel. On Monday we post our response. The regular contributors vote as to which reponse is the better.

You are going DOWN!!!

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#18 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 15:34

T OFF to anon (#17)

I like to give credit where it is due. I like your confidence. GAME ON

@ Clueless -- your problem solved mate. But please make sure you also work on this case study over the weekend. You can not rely on our solution but will give you a good idea how to go about doing things.

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#19 RE: Help with case study
08/04/2011 15:39

someguy to T OFF (#18)

LOL. Honored as I am to be mentioned in such august company, I ain't reviewing any case studies on monday me mateys ;)

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#20 RE: Help with case study
10/04/2011 11:16

ABC to someguy (#19)

I've been waiting for some kind of epiphany moment to make me stop coming on here and reading this drivel. This post has mostly definitely been it.

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#21 RE: Help with case study
10/04/2011 11:53

hmmm to ABC (#20)

Been a long time.

I'm pretty sure that one of either 'T OFF' or 'anon' is probably the same person as 'Clueless'. If so, he has very cleverly managed to get someone to do his case-study for him (and given them incentive to complete it to a high standard).

If that is the case, my man doesn't need to worry about not succeeding in an MC at all - he seems like the kind of guy that will be good at getting things done for him!! (Said in admiration rather than judgement!)

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#22 RE: Help with case study
11/04/2011 10:31

Wowser to hmmm (#21)

Well it looks like T OFF was all talk anyway!

He's either not out of bed yet, or a no-show. No wonder he's "between jobs"

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#23 RE: Help with case study
11/04/2011 12:19

Sultan of Ping to Wowser (#22)

I think bith " T OFF" and "anon" have done a runner.

If "T OFF"was all talk then i am afraid "anon" is no better. Where is he? He is a regular contributor here. He needs to show up, he needs to explain. He can not do this to us...oh my god ( Holmer simpson syndrome is hitting me again..)

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#24 RE: Help with case study
11/04/2011 16:03

T OFF to Wowser (#22)

anon- when are posting your solution mate. I am ready with mine.

I dont want to be in a situation where only i am posting my solution here and allow you and the likes of Wowser to have a go at my abilities. Remember, Wowser has no job. He is a jobless idiot pretending to be an MC.

I was seriously thinking of not posting my solution at all because of comments posted yesterday and today.

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#25 RE: Help with case study
11/04/2011 17:20

Anon to T OFF (#24)

First of all I amnot quite ready to post. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be to research, particularly without access to my company's research facilitates.

T OFF - there is no way you can have completed your work by now. Fair play, if you have them I assume you are McKinsey or Bain employee, or similar quality?

Or are you bluffing? You not ready either!

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#26 RE: Help with case study
11/04/2011 17:23

Mars A Day to T OFF (#24)

Clueless you don't need specific and accurate data - the MC in question is not looking for you to actually do some project work for them rather to demonstrate some reasoning ability and communication skills.

T OFF provides the right approach. Mac provides a solution which would be quite acceptable in any MC interview. But I do question whether MC is the right path for YOU - not because I want to criticise but because I think if even this is causing you anxiety then you are not playing to your strengths and will ultimately find a career in MC frustrating and unrewarding.

I actually don't think you are being lazy - I suspect you came here because you have been trying to work out your approach and failing. There is no disgrace in admitting that MC is not for you. But better to be honest with yourself now, save yourself the hassle and time lost, and go do something which you will enjoy. If you enjoy your work you will almost always be a success in it.

Are you a recent grad or relatively new in your career? A more experience individual would have read the signs and abandoned the venture at these signs of a poor fit.

But maybe you need to learn from experience.

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#27 RE: Help with case study
11/04/2011 23:56

Wowser to Anon (#25)

Looks like anon has blown it. At least he admits it.

T OFF - deadline has come and gone - we all know now that you are a waste of space,

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#28 RE: Help with case study
12/04/2011 11:58

T OFF to Wowser (#27)

Disappointing stuff.

@ Cluleess - Mate I do not know if you still need answers for your case study. If you do then drop me a line with your email address. I will be more than happy to send you my solution. I can not guarantee that you will crack your interview but at least you have something for reference.

@ Wowser - Both of us were supposed to post our responses. I was clear from the begning that I will not post my response if “anon” fails to do that. I hope you understand what respecting one's hard work means. I worked real hard on this case study thinking that it was a healthy challenge. But at the same time i am not ready to post my solution if the other party has failed to bend his back over the "sunny" weekend.

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#29 RE: Help with case study
12/04/2011 12:25

Wowser to T OFF (#28)

Yeah, yeah - "honest headmaster I did do my homework, but I don't want to hand it in unless the other big boys hand theirs in too, otherwise they might laugh at me for making mistakes in my sums"

Fooling no one. Why not just admit that no one has done any work on this and it would be rather sad if they had!

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#30 RE: Help with case study
12/04/2011 13:03

T OFF to Wowser (#29)

OK. You are Mr-Know-It-All. You win, i loose. If that makes you happy.

I am signing off from here.

Thanks for your comments all ( good or bad)

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