(MSIA Class 2013)
The experience of GSCMI 2013 case competition
The most rewarding experience I had during the year was to participate in the 2013 GSCMI case competition. Not only because my team ended up in the third place or I won the Runner-up award but also because of the experience I earned during the process.
The first challenge I faced was to form a team for the competition. By the time I decided to register many of the teams have been already formed and some potential participants did not want to enroll for the event because of the strong competition they would have to face. There were teams who had won previous competitions or had been abroad participating in international case contests such as the Denmark case competition.
The case was very difficult. It was about a start-up company in India and we had to assess the best solution to achieve operational efficiencies as well as expanding its operations in the Ice Cream Indian market. Finding a technical recommendation was complicated but even more complicated was to develop a clear and simple recommendation that we will have to explain to industry leaders.
Consequently, we decided to approach the case using the consulting method. In other words, we decided to prepare a simple presentation including our findings, a clear definition of the problem, and a straightforward feasible solution to improve the inventory policy. All the technical and detailed spreadsheets were left as appendixes so that we can review them if the jury (clients) wants it. In sum, we viewed ourselves as if we were a team who had to present a solution to the company’s executive team. There was no room for difficult, elaborated, and complicated explanations. Just a simple “what, how, when, and where”
Finally, we presented the case solution to the industry leaders. Since the moment we arrived, we connected with them when we linked the business definition stated by the owner of the company, the problem at hand, and our recommended solution. They liked the fact that we explained a clear solution and that every time they asked for additional explanations or alternatives, we were able to provide a feasible options based on our analysis and potential further research. For instance, we provided a solution for the inventory policy; however, when they asked about an alternative marketing approach, we provided high-level recommendations based on our understanding of the situation and on assumptions that we would have to research later on.
In sum, the case competition was an extraordinary “Hands-on” experienced where we were able to put in practice our technical and soft skills as well as our understanding on how a team should approach to a board of directors in any given company.