Breeder’s Own Pet Foods, Inc
An Approach To Case Write Ups
1. Your write ups should be concise and logical.
2. They should be examples of proper English usage.
3. They should always be written with a professional tone of voice.
4. As a rule, avoid slang, cutesy phrases, and clichés.
5. You may assume the role of an insider (employee) or an outsider (consultant). That will affect your use of the personal pronoun, but not the quality of your analysis.
6. PLEASE Do not refer to “The Case” as in “…it says in the case…” You are inside the case.
7. Start with a brief cover memo. This should provide an overview of what’s inside, and a very brief (one or two sentences) preview of your recommendation. There are plenty of Memo Templates available. Use one. This is good practice for your careers. The Memo page will not count toward the document page limit that I set.
8. The Analysis Document (Items in Bold Type are Recommended (Strongly) Headings.
a. A Title. Top Center. Bold Caps or Small Caps.
b. Situation Overview (Or Analysis)
i. Briefly describe the situation in which the organization finds itself.
ii. Clearly identify the issues/problems to be solved
iii. Do not simply rehash case facts/history. That is not analysis, it’s summarizing a plot, like a 5th grade book report.
c. Proposed Solutions
i. Briefly, list the solutions being proposed.
ii. State your recommendation, again briefly
d. Evaluation of Alternatives
i. Analyze the pros and cons of alternative solutions (including yours) using qualitative and quantitative information and marketing principles/insights.
i. Reiterate your recommendation.
ii. Discuss why your solution is the best alternative. (Even if it isn’t perfect…yoou aren’t likely to find one that is perfect.).
iii. Make not of possible issues that might arise and respond to them.
i. Here is where you include additional information…tables, graphs, spreadsheets that support your analysis.
9. Properly cite your sources (APA or MLA)
a. This is important. It indicates good scholarship and will help to identify you to colleagues and superiors as someone who is prepared and has done their homework.
b. You do not have to cite” the case” except for direct quotes.
c. Tables and graphs should be relevant, understandable and they should make a point. Don’t include them just for show. That’s amateurish. If they are in the text or the appendix, they should be used somehow in the analysis.
You will complete four formal written case analyses. Your case brief will cover:
1. A brief summary of the situation/marketplace conditions that lead to…
2. Your assessment of the central issue/problem to be solved
3. A thorough analysis of the qualitative and quantitative pros and cons of alternative solutions.
4. Your recommendation for action.
5. Support, i.e. why your recommendation is feasible and preferable.
6. Supporting graphics/tables etc.
7. I will assign the formal case write-ups at least 1 week prior to their due dates.
8. For each written case analysis, I will issue an information sheet and a grading rubric. So you will always know what is expected of you. Pay attention to the rubric and the information sheet so that you don’t lose points unnecessarily.
9. These written case briefs are formal versions of the case notes you should be preparing for class discussion each week.
10. Formal case briefs must include a cover memo, and be typed using Arial 10 or /Times New Roman 12, with 1.5 line spacing. Case write ups must be typed, using 1.5 line spacing and a Cover Memo.
11. You will typically have a maximum page limit for the text. Your writing will, therefore, need to be concise. Appendices containing support material (graphs, tables, etc.) will not count toward the maximum.
CRITICAL THINKING MEANS:
• Analysis: This is more than a review and recitation of case facts. Rather, you will employ case facts as a springboard to insights and reasonable inferences in your problem solving exercise.
• Evaluation: The objective assessment of the qualitative and quantitative support that underlies various solutions being proposed and a recognition of assumptions; both reasonable and unreasonable; both those of characters in the case and your own.
• Integration: Making connections within the material you are analyzing, and between the case and outside material such as the text readings.
• Insight: Deriving logical inferences regarding what the facts mean, and their implications for solving the problem at hand.
• Problem Solving: Offering reasonable solutions, and thinking through the logical implications of the solutions you offer, e.g., what they will cost, what impact they will have on brand strategy, profits etc. You have the capability of looking at your own conclusions and assumptions from an objective (third party) perspective.
Rarely does a case have only one possible solution. There are, however, usually solutions that just won’t work.
The cases we will examine contain both qualitative and quantitative data. You’ll be required to incorporate appropriate and accurate marketing math into your analysis. The numbers need to be accurate, and they need to be presented in a useful manner. Just copying a table or a graph from the case and dropping it into the appendix without any specific and analytical tie-in to your case write up does not constitute quantitative analysis. Tables and graphs must be understandable, clearly and properly labeled, and relevant.
A WORD OF CAUTION
1. A set of tables, graphs, etc., in the absence of the numbers and what they mean in the document text says one does not know what s/he is doing…or worse. Therefore, no credit for the “analysis” will be given.
2. A presentation of data in the text without an accompanying set of relevant tables, spreadsheets, graphs says one does not know what s/he is doing…or worse. Therefore no credit will be given for the “analysis.”