Recent Submissions

  • Customer churn prediction using machine learning and customer lifetime value analysis at Eurotel

    Stouthuysen, Kristof; Verdonck, Tim; Van der Schraelen, Lennert; Decorte, Thomas; Brié, Bjarne (2021)
    Every CFO should invest in getting to know the organisation’s customers. After all, building long-term and valuable customer relationships is an important driver of value creation. This case study explores how machine learning and predictive analytics can be used to develop a deeper understanding of customer behaviour and to enhance customer profitability. The case study consists of two parts: part A, customer churn prediction using machine learning, and part B, customer lifetime value analysis. In part A, the focus is on using machine learning to predict customer churn at Eurotel, a Belgian telecommunications start-up. The participants will learn how to pre-process raw customer data and will use different modelling techniques to predict customer churn. Furthermore, they will learn how to select the right model based on business relevance and performance. In part B, the participants will use the insights derived in the first part to analyse the customer lifetime value of the different Eurotel customers. This will serve as input for a marketing analysis. The goal is to determine which customer and product segments of Eurotel are most valuable and to strategically select the right marketing campaigns to target those segments. The participants will learn how to implement a customer lifetime value analysis and how the resulting information can be used to design an effective marketing campaign. The participants will also learn how they can implement the analysis in python.
  • Machine learning to predict the net promotor score and improve patient experience

    Stouthuysen, Kristof; Willems, Emma; Heyvaert, Carl-Erik; Distelmans, Tineke (2021)
    Net Promotor Score (NPS) is a simple yet prominent indicator for customer satisfaction that is widely used in organizations. An in-depth analysis of the NPS and its drivers can provide organizations with highly valuable insights into their current deficiencies and strengths. CFO’s, for example, can use this metric to develop a strategy map. This case study explores the use of machine learning to perform an NPS key driver analysis at IndyCare, an Indian hospital group. The aim is to develop a model that predicts whether patients are promotors, detractors or passive customers for the hospital, and to assess feature importance of the models. The participants will also learn how to address a specific problem encountered when using NPS status as a target variable. In particular, the difference in scaling between the features and the target variable causes a low statistical fit of the various models. This problem is addressed by adding an additional feature to the model which considers subgroups of patients with common scoring patterns. Next to the analysis on the level of the hospital group, the participants will also go more into detail in this case study. More specifically, they will examine whether different patient groups have other drivers for their NPS. For this purpose, the participants will also explore unsupervised learning by making use of clustering techniques.
  • Kaffee kostuum: A dilemma in retail financials

    Boute, Robert; Van Mieghem, Jan (2020)
    John Dong, the founder and CEO of Kaffee Kostuum, was puzzled. He had executed his business plan down to the smallest detail. His company had realized tremendous growth in only five years, topping his target of €1 million1 in revenue by the end of this fiscal year. But somehow, his business was more cash-intensive than expected. The return on sales was less than 6%. Dong examined, once more, the options provided by a team of summer intern MBA students and wondered how to proceed.
  • IT strategy for growth at Fagron

    Viaene, Stijn; De Coninck, Ben (2020)
    The case takes us back to March 2010, when Fagron - a multinational pharmaceutical company focusing on speciality pharma - underwent a strategic transformation to turn the company into a worldwide, scalable organisation. In the case, we follow the newly-appointed Chief Information Officer, Rene Clavaux, who had been asked to lead the Information Management department. As a non-traditional, innovation-driven IT professional, Rene was put in charge of a department that had always been viewed as subordinate to the rest of the organisation. At the Executive Committee meeting of March 2010, he was expected to outline a clear IT strategy to support Fagron's growth, starting with a clear mission statement for the IM department.
  • Fluvius looking forward: Investigating the lifecycle of renewable energy technologies

    Andersen, Stephen; Samii, Behzad (2020)
    Renewable energy is only as sustainable as the technology that harvests it, and decisions around sustainable technology infrastructure need to be made with this in consideration. For example, a wind turbine's blade can be made of a reinforced carbon composite that cannot be recycled; an electric vehicle (EV) battery contains lithium - a finite, highly demanded resource with a heavy environmental cost in mining and manufacture; insulation used in medium to high voltage transmission often uses sulphur hexafluoride, which has a greenhouse gas equivalency 23 500 times greater than carbon dioxide; and many advanced electronics required rare earth elements (REEs), which have an uncertain, dynamic global supply chain. This teaching case and note is designed to be taught in Operations Management or Technology Management courses. The goal is to generate discussions focusing on the challenges that stakeholders encounter in adapting to the dynamic renewable energy landscape, and enable effective, nuanced decisions that go beyond purchasing and electrical output.
  • Upgrade estate: winning with sustainability

    Verweire, Kurt (2020)
    Upgrade Estate is a successful company in the Belgian student housing market. Although student housing is perceived to be a commodity market, the company has been able to differentiate itself from the competition with a very unique concept. The case outlines how Upgrade Estate has been able to grow in this market and what the company has done to achieve a market leader. It illustrates well how a company can build a successful strategy based on the principles of customer intimacy, and what it takes to implement that strategy well. The Management Team is, however, wondering how to grow the company beyond its existing core. There are several growth options available and the key question is which one(s) to pursue?
  • Trouble on the shop floor

    Jordaan, Barney; Cillié, Gawie (2020)
    This case emanates from an MBA technical report submitted to the University of Stellenbosch Business School. The case is based on actual events that transpired at a company in the fruit industry in South Africa in 2015, which involved a breakdown in wage negotiations between the company and a trade union that resulted in violent industrial action that caused major damage to company property and to what had been a fairly good working relationship between the company and the union. The case is suitable for general use in other countries with a tradition of collective bargaining and where freedom of association and the right to strike exists. The case is suitable for students at honours or masters level in conflict studies, dispute resolution, employment relations, human resource management and negotiation. A violent strike erupted after failed wage negotiations. It laid bare deep divisions between African and non-African employees and between permanent employees and those appointed as temporary employees only. It also revealed the mindsets of people on both sides of the conflict, as well as several errors made by management in the manner in which they viewed the role of the union and failed to build strong relations with employees on the shop floor. Students will be able to: - Critique the approach to collective bargaining of both the company and the union in the case and suggest alternative approaches. - Identify the steps the company could take to both deal with the aftermath of the strike and develop preventive measures for the future. - Advise the company on a series of questions it needs advice on. The case is supported with a teaching note, discussion questions and suggested responses to those as well as verbatim transcripts from interviews conducted with managers and others for purposes of a research project after the strike had ended. The case contains important lessons about the complexities of managing employment relations in complex environments.
  • Digi-Tec: The VC investor exit decision

    Paeleman, Ine; Manigart, Sophie; Slagmulder, Regine (2019)
    Digi-Tec was a growing ICT firm and achieved growth both organically and through mergers and acquisitions (M&As). The large number of shareholders had divergent goals and visions for the future. In order to ensure further growth, two main shareholders searched for an external investor to buy out the others and thereby align and strengthen its governance. In 2011 the Spain-based private equity firm SRIC invested in Digi-Tec. This case documents the interactions between the external investor and the management. An exit opportunity arose much earlier than expected. The investment manager is faced with the question whether it is optimal to exit already after three years, or rather to stay on board for some more years as initially planned.
  • RTE: Financing electricity transmission investments in a regulated environment

    Roodhooft, Filip; Hadush, Samson Yemane; Meeus, Leonardo; Momber, Ilan (2019)
    Leading up to 2013, Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE), a French transmission operator (TSO), was the largest TSO in Europe’s electricity network. Like all European TSOs, RTE was subject to regulatory regimes. At the end of 2013, RTE was operating under a revenue cap, which required that it seek the regulator’s approval before making capital investments. The company was poised to undertake an ambitious investment program in 2014 to replace aging assets. However, the potential for regulatory changes, the need for the regulator’s approval, and the long depreciation life of the assets made planning difficult. RTE needed to develop a financial planning model that would help it decide whether to make the investment and how to prepare for possible regulatory uncertainties.
  • Eandis: Financing the rollout of smart meters in a regulated environment

    Roodhooft, Filip; Momber, Ilan; Meeus, Leonardo; Hadush, Samson Yemane (2019)
    n 2014, Eandis System Operator CVBA (Eandis), a low- and medium-voltage power distribution system operator (DSO) in Belgium, had an ambitious plan for investing in a smart metering infrastructure, but the regulatory context was uncertain. The company had been operating in a regulated monopoly characterized by a cost-plus pricing regime. The regime allowed the company to recover its costs through the tariffs it charged grid users for access to the electricity distribution network. In recent years, the regime had motivated the company to invest in infrastructure; however, the cost-plus regime was about to be replaced by a new type of regulation based on incentives and the DSO's performance. Under the new regulation, DSOs could propose investments to the regulator, who then approved the investments based on a cost-benefit analysis. In this context, Eandis must decide whether to continue with its plan to invest in smart metering and, if so, how to structure the investment to appeal to the equity investors.
  • Event identification and demand management at Fluvius

    Varganova, Olga; Samii, Behzad (2019)
    As a Distribution System Operator (DSO) in the Flemish Region of Belgium, Fluvius plays a role of strategic importance. With the growing energy demand and proliferation of new energy technology, DSOs require significantly more resilience to withstand upcoming disruptions. The energy system-wide approach towards building resilience aims to develop monitoring and prevention procedures. Smart meter data analytics opens a new avenue for the use of event management, enabling decision-makers to detect anomalous events in real-time and respond within a short time frame. Although some events strike either immediately or after a short warning, other events are anticipated well in advance. It is suggested that the danger of growing peak consumption will be combatted with demand management tools, which involve the consumer's engagement and more efficient use of technology. On the one hand, opting for dynamic pricing can leverage the consumer's potential to change consumption behaviour and decrease the harmful spike peak for the power infrastructure. On the other hand, electricity storage can decrease congestion in the power grids and support more active adoption of renewable technology. The systematic approach towards disruptions can build Fluvius' resilience, so that the organisation can bounce back with low impact on performance.
  • Sustaining Customer Centricity at Châteauform

    Verweire, Kurt; Debruyne, Marion; Leleux, Benoît; Schmidheiny, Stephan (2014)
  • Alliander: Power to the people (C)

    Debruyne, Marion; Meeus, Leonardo; Hadush, Samson Yemane (2017)
    This is part of a case series. The aim of this three part teaching case is to stimulate discussion on how companies can adopt new business models to survive sector-wide transitions by taking the perspective of energy network companies which often operate under a highly regulated environment.
  • Alliander: Power to the people (B)

    Debruyne, Marion; Meeus, Leonardo; Hadush, Samson Yemane (2017)
    This is part of a case series. The aim of this three part teaching case is to stimulate discussion on how companies can adopt new business models to survive sector-wide transitions by taking the perspective of energy network companies which often operate under a highly regulated environment.
  • Toon: Eneco's smart platform for selling less energy to the home

    Steve, Muylle; Niraj, Dawar (2018)
    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.
  • KBC's digital transformation: a cultural and people change (B)

    Verweire, Kurt; Viaene, Stijn; De Prins, Peter (2017)
    This is part of a case series. We follow Erik Luts, the responsible for Direct Channels at KBC Belgium. Together with Daniel Falque, CEO of KBC Belgium, and Johan Lema, Senior General Manager Customer Support Retail & Businesses, he has been working to get KBC ready for the digital age. They are leading an organisation-wide transformation to an omni-channel and customer-centric bank and insurance group, relying on new approaches to digitisation. Although the company has made significant progress with the execution of its strategy, there are still significant hurdles to be taken. One of the major hurdles is gaining acceptance of the strategy in the branches, still the main channel of the bank in Belgium.
  • Food@home (A): strategic use of budgets

    Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip (2018)
    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.

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