Tuesday, November 10, 2009

McKinsey 2nd Round Case #3



  1. Thanks for sharing. In terms of creativity, I think in the first question, it is possible to come up with some ideas. For example, weather may be an issue? Has weather been warmer recently? Less snow? Maybe you already mentioned it...

    Again, thanks for sharing.

  2. Who did you interview with? I had the same case from an Australian guy. I talked about global warming, demographic shifts away from the snowbelt, eco-tourism, increasing number of substitute 'adrenaline' sports, and safety concerns. I also thought that the technology could be getting better, requiring less frequent replacement. Also, eBay meaning that second hand snowmobiles probably get sold more often rather than getting dumped. Also talked about lowering trade barriers with Japan and Europe, allowing more foreign snowmobiles into the country, cost pressures from Indian and Chinese competitors, distributors selling off stock, the economic downturn. I think there was heaps of opportunity to be creative (he obviously thought so too because I was asked to come back for the next round). Maybe you are just being bitter!?

  3. Wow, someone from McKinsey contacted you and asked you to pull the cases off the site?

    I, personally, would have not complied. They don't have any leverage on you anymore.

  4. It's not about leverage...it's about respecting others requests. I don't have anything against McKinsey. They were helpful to me and I am glad to comply with their requests.

  5. 11/10 10:01-post: Thanks for the insight. I did mention a few things like general economic climate, alternative forms of entertainment, changing personal preferences, competition from other snowmobile manufacturers...it sounds like what you did was go one layer deeper on a decision tree and mention very specific things. I made some of these comments when I was asked to describe factors that could influence sales and didn't want to give too much detail on any one factor as I had a number of larger categories to move through. It sounds like you had a opportunity to spill out ideas...perhaps I should have created the space to do that, but didn't. I was trying to think on a high level when discussing factors and didn't ever really have another part of the case where "brainstorming" or coming up with very specific reasons seemed like a natural progression...I am learning that one change I could have made was to make sure I had a chance to interject an additional layer of detail.

    It is always a tough call for me when to give too much detail about a specific thought as too much detail can often distract from the larger picture...especially when you are just setting up a general hypothesis.

    Additionally, adding in a lot of hypothetical or guesses as to what could be causing a trend adds a lot of unnecessary speculation...you could hypothesize that a company had a rat problem and rats kept destroying machinery and preventing production and that would be creative, but distract from some the initial set of broader analysis that are necessary before drilling down on a specific hypothesis.

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