IMA Educational Case Journal
Volume 1, Issue 4
Northlake Bookstore: Benchmarking for Performance Evaluation
Hugh Grove, Tristy Hillestad, Lisa M. Victoravich
Wendy Wiley, the Bookstore Manager at Northlake University, needs to prepare a benchmarking analysis report for her upcoming presentation to her supervisor regarding the performance of the bookstore. For the first time in Wendy’s seven years as Bookstore Manager, fall sales and profits had decreased from the prior year. She found that the sales decrease was due to both students’ additional usage of online textbook vendors and professors’ increased usage of online textbook publishers. Based on the benchmarking analysis, Wendy needs to recommend corrective actions. Assuming the role of Wendy, students are introduced to benchmarking analysis and use it to identify performance gaps, determine appropriate comparison points by considering organizational goals and objectives, and, based upon the analysis, make appropriate recommendations.
Keywords: balanced scorecard, performance measurement, and benchmarking.
Creating a Lean Enterprise: The Case of the Lebanon Gasket Company
Peter Brewer, Frances Kennedy
This case tells the story of the transition of a traditionally managed manufacturing facility to a lean facility. It describes the difficulties using volume-based standard costing methods to manage a plant that is trying not to produce excess volume. The case prompts discussion on traditional income statement reporting versus value stream costing, product-related decisions, capacity analysis, and performance measurement alignment with strategy.
Keywords: lean manufacturing, lean accounting, performance measurement, and strategic alignment.
Nypro Inc. is a complex and lengthy integrative case that involves operational, control-related, strategic, structural, and performance-related issues. The array of problems is interrelated such that a systems solution approach is necessary. The instructor can lead a discussion for each of the challenges, and conclude with a total firm solution. The central focus is implementing strategy. The case questions address the total firm, especially Nypro’s primary problems. The teaching guide is more granular, allowing the instructor to walk the student through the thinking process necessary for an integrative solution. Depending on the instructor’s intentions and the nature of the course, the instructor may emphasize all or part of the problem set. The questions at the end of the case work well with an executive audience and the questions in the teaching guide work well with MBA students.
Nypro is a real company based in Clinton, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Its robust website (www.nypro.com) provides an excellent background and insight into the company’s culture.
Keywords: performance measurement, strategy implementation, gaining strategic alignment, changing strategy, and changing measurements.
Activity-Based Management in Shell Gabon
Shahid Ansari, Jan Bell
During the 1990’s, world events, such as Russia’s increased oil production and Asia’s economic meltdown, caused excess oil supply and low world prices. This case reports actual efforts by Shell Gabon (SG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell (RDS), a major Dutch oil company, to control its costs during that time period in order to obtain necessary funding for capital expenditures.
By 1996, most of the oil on land in SG’s region was depleted, and the number of barrels produced had decreased without a corresponding reduction in operating costs. Accordingly, the unit operating cost per barrel (UOC) increased. SG needed capital development funds from RDS to expand off shore operations. However, in its peer comparison, SG had one of the highest UOC and was told that they had a low priority for new capital expenditures. Faced with the prospect of decreasing output and increasing UOC, SG used activity based analysis and management to manage cost.
While the Case has seven listed requirements, there are three which should be noted. Requirement 2 requires the computation of the cost of activities in the IT Department; requirement 3 deals with appropriate performance measures and requirements 5 and 6 deal with benchmarking. These requirements will be of interest to readers, especially since the case is unusual – it is set in the oil industry and deals with a service department.
Keywords: ABM, administrative services, oil industry, cost management, and benchmarking.