This is part of a case series. Food@Home is a Belgian online consumer food brand specialised in the home delivery of boxes containing recipes and ingredients. In two years, Food@Home created a new market and became the market leader. While at the end of 2015, Food@Home reported a negative operating income margin of 30%, the goal for 2016 was to was to break-even. To achieve this goal, Food@Home needed to upscale sufficiently and further successfully execute its strategy. To help with the execution and management of that strategy, John C, the financial director of Food@Home, needed to develop a budget. The CEO of Food@Home, Charles M, asked John to present an operating income and cash budget for the year ahead.
This is part of a case series. The Food@Home (B) case presents all the information available to Charles, the CEO, to evaluate the performance of Food@Home in 2016. It involves analysing the difference in original budgeted and actual financial results, including the profit impact of various sources of strategic profitability, and preparing a comprehensive reconciliation of actual and planned operating profit.
The case study is set at the end of the year 2014. At that time, Truvo, a traditional yellow pages industry player in Belgium, has already made a number of important steps in its transition from a print directory company to a digital marketing agency for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Different strategic options have been explored, implemented and / or abandoned, illustrating the continuous approach to the company's strategic transformation. In 2014, Truvo's management had to decide on two important next steps in the company's transformation: 1) Should Truvo further accelerate the full exit from print business? 2) Should Truvo extend its digital marketing offering by creating a full-service agency targeting larger clients? In addition to a reflection on Truvo's transformation journey overall, these two concrete questions offer an opportunity to expose students and executives to the difficulty of strategy making when a company needs to radically rethink its existing business model in a context of rapid but also uncertain market developments.
Eneco Group, the second largest utility company in the Netherlands, launched a smart thermostat, Toon, that served as a platform for energy management services. Toon quickly became the gold standard for smart homes in the Netherlands. In January 2017, top management needed to discuss the strategic priorities to keep Toon’s lead and hold off the competition.
At the end of 2012, the chief information officer (CIO) at UCB, a global pharmaceutical company based in Brussels, started to implement analytics as a service. Between 2012 and 2016, he put this vision into practice, introducing agile sprints and proving the competence of analytics within the organization, and at the beginning of 2016, he felt the company was ready to upgrade its analytics capability. As he prepared to meet with UCB’s chief executive officer in March 2016, the CIO considered how to advise the board as the organization worked to make an impact with analytics and big data against the backdrop of digital turbulence in its strategic environment. How could UCB balance empowerment and bottom-up experimentation with enterprise focus and control? What was the best location for analytics roles and responsibilities within the organization?
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