Recent Submissions

  • Travel retail exclusives supply chain: Strategic alignment and process optimization

    Claeys, Mélanie; Esguerra Morales Natalia, Andrea; Houben, Ellen (2018)
    One of the regions within Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), i.e. Travel Retail (TR), currently exhibits strong growth and aims to further accelerate this growth via a product offering exclusive to this channel, i.e. Travel Retail Exclusives (TREX). Often a TREX is a set or kit of multiple products offered at an attractive price. Due to constraints on the speed-to-market and/or the minimum order quantities TREX cannot be produced via the global supply chain process, hence, TR has installed the local kitting process in which certain steps are eliminated or shortened. However, the process is far from optimal and is characterized by misalignment and miscommunication, (time) inefficiencies and forecast and stock issues. The report, which is dived into six subprojects, elaborates on multiple initiatives which will support this acceleration of TREX. The first two subproject mainly focus on steps prior to the process, i.e. a review of the supply chain model and development of a proper decision-making process. The third and fourth subproject focus on the optimization of the process itself and is divided into a general part and a deep dive in the packaging development of a TREX set. Finally, the remaining subproject elaborate on measures that will occur after the process execution, i.e. performance evaluation and continuous improvement. A review of the currently adopted supply chain model, which adheres to a make-to-stock model, demonstrated the lack of responsiveness and agility to respond to the fast changing behavior of end consumers and increasing customization requirements. In order to reach the strategic goals, TR should introduce multiple supply chain models, which are each specific to a particular product, or in this case TREX, category. By examining multiple supply chain models, four TREX specific supply chain models are identified. Next to the existing make-to-stock model, one make-to-order model and two variations on the assemble-to-order model are proposed. To determine the most appropriate use of each model, a set classification method is installed based on whether a set is pushed onto the market by the Marketing team or created due to a retailer request, which implies a customer pull. As the level of customization strongly depends on the driver behind the TREX set ideation, the following four categories were obtained, i.e. the innovative, beauty trend, medium fast/medium customized and a highly customized set. Furthermore, the packaging complexity drives up lead time and is therefore considered to be the second important criterion for this supply chain based classification. The packaging can be either low, medium or high complexity depending on the packaging components as well as the diversity of products that it will contain. Finally, the time allowed to execute the set will impose limitations on the use of certain supply chain models. The combination of all above described insights result in the set classification into different supply chain models, which links a supply chain model to a specific set category and allows to achieve the requested level of responsiveness. The final four supply chain models will include an innovative, fast, medium fast and highly customized track. However, to deploy the models and run them in parallel, several inhibiting factors are encountered. The report provides multiple options, also part of other subprojects, to resolve these shortcomings and enhance the implementation of the classification. The second subproject formalizes the set execution decision-making process among brands via a decision tree and RACI matrix. The decision tree includes five major analysis and/or checks, i.e. a strategic alignment check, a profitability analysis, a production feasibility analysis, concept revision and priority evaluation. While the decision tree clearly outlines the different steps or checks that need to be performed, the RACI matrix maps out who will be involved in the decision associated to it. The RACI matrix will resolve the lack of decision ownership and create visibility on who to contact for support. The third subproject concerns the optimization of the current local kitting process. First, the current process is outlined and its pain points and hurdles are identified. These pain points have been clustered in three main areas, i.e. misalignment, time inefficiencies and forecasting and stock securing stock issues. Within the fourth subproject, an additional split up is made between internal and external processes. The optimization of the internal processes involves three topics, i.e. the standardization of packaging, the realization of a shortened artwork development and the implementation of late stage differentiation. The first topic is achieved by employing the four variety management strategies, i.e. component families, commonalities, product modules and platforms. In order to curtail the timeline of the artwork development (the second topic) solutions are proposed to standardize via the use of an artwork database, speed up the development by employing a TR dedicated photographer and shorten the waiting time for approval by installing ad hoc calls to request artwork approvals rather than emails. Finally, the report discusses three techniques to enable late stage differentiation (the third topic), i.e. DataLase, direct printing and instant foil printing. The last two techniques are already been examined by the global supply chain department and thus provide the highest probability of being implemented. On the other hand, the external improvements are going to be focused in strengthening the relationship with the existing ELC qualified suppliers. In order to do it, are proposed two initiatives. The first one is a TR supplier database for secondary packaging which is going to contain a list of the most common types of packaging needed to procure in order to complete the TREX, the information of the supplier suggested for each commodity and the person inside ELC that can support in the selection process in case that further information is needed. The second one is a supplier challenge that has as main purpose to build up the relation with the strategic suppliers. This is going to be done in three different stages. At the beginning, are going to be selected the key suppliers that can procure the most relevant secondary packaging commodities. After doing this, a phase of alignment between ELC and the strategic vendors is going to allow to look for actions that improve the lead time without affecting the quality. The second stage will be to leverage economies of scale. The results gotten from the variety management strategies are going to be used as inputs to start developing standardized packaging with the strategic suppliers. The last stage will be to boost innovation via the suppliers. As they are the experts in the packaging industry, the suppliers can be a resource to develop creative solutions to challenges that TR could be facing in this field in the future. The fifth and sixth subprojects are going to allow the review of the TREX. The fifth subproject is the creation of a dashboard that will provide at-a-glance visibility of key supply chain metrics and KPIs to track the performance of the TREX by brand, category, and retailer. The scope of the last subproject will be to enhance continuous improvement. It provides options like the realization of Kaizen events to solve or improve tasks (e.g forecast issues and set classification), initiatives of open innovation to allow people outside the CoE to participate in the streamlining of the packaging, and defined tasks for the CoE team related to continuous improvement.
  • Understanding the van tire market in a fast changing environment: Who’s driving the volumes?!

    Teixeira Bemba, Magalie Tema; Meex, Wouter (2018)
    The project was triggered by the fact that over the past two years Continental Belux has a growing market share, which even outperformed their market share on the car tyre market, within the van tyre segment. Although this is a relatively small market compared to the entire tyre market, the question came how this came to be and how to remain with this high market share. The objectives of this project were: 1. develop a deep understanding of all internal and external parameters influencing our current sales performance in VAN tyres 2. analyse the results of your field survey among our B2B customer base in order to build insights in their way to market VAN tyres. 3. create a roadmap including recommendations on how to further develop and reinforce our VAN tyre sales position in future 4. define a list of KPI's relevant for future sales performance in VAN tyres for each of the distribution channels In order to be able to respond to this question the internal sales data, as well as pool sales information were studied. Furthermore, interviews with both various types of tyre replacement centers (27 in total) and fleets (2 interviews) were conducted. Moreover a trend analysis with regards to parcel delivery (as large fleets of vans are used for this end) and general trends with regards to automotive and van in specific has been done. To define a clear strategy, which is customer intimacy, we used the framework designed by Treacy and Wiersema. In order to put this into concrete actions for Continental Belux the Balanced Scorecard method was used. In order to remain and ultimately increase their market share, several recommendations are proposed and can be summarized as following. Continental Belux should become even more customer intimate as currently is the case by conducting surveys and gathering data on preferences and needs of their customers. Continental Belux should strive to get the desired consistent quality from Continental AG to be able to provide a consistent quality. Moreover, further innovation regarding the EU label and fuel efficiency will help cater for the needs of bigger customers. As a result of the analysis of the above mentioned studied data and trends, the following KPI's have been developed: Customer intimacy Existing customers 1. Low number of complaints in terms of sales 2. Number of surveys conducted with customers regarding needs and quality perception a. 100% of customers every 6 months 3. Provision of monthly updates on back orders 4. Follow up within week on further process regarding a complaint 5. At least one visit per month by a person of Continental Belux to customer's location 6. 20% of customers (within each channel) has a tailor-made profile through an automated system Lost customers 1. Follow-up within a month after not buying according to historical behavior Customers acquisition 1. Monthly update of potential new customers Marketing 1. Yearly update on OE booklet and "Umbereifung" 2. Yearly update on van registrations 3. Yearly forecasting meetings based on OE booklet, Umbereifung and vans registration to allow for better anticipation of future tyres demand Products 1. Provide quarterly updates on range coverage by Continental
  • How semantic searching can improve ROI of pharmaceutical projects

    Louage, Benoit; Blancquaert, Tarquin; Hougen, Trevor (2018)
    As part of our Master in Financial Management program at Vlerick Business School (Belgium) we - Dr. Benoit Louage, Trevor Hougen and Tarquin Blancquaert - had the opportunity to perform an In-Company Project on behalf of ONTOFORCE. ONTOFORCE is a young company developing a data analytics platform for application in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, named DISQOVER. By way of its semantic search technology, the database/platform seeks to maintain all individual forms of research-relevant data under one scalable cloud architecture. Overall, this report highlights the disruptive potential of 'Big Data' and semantic search technology for the pharmaceutical industry. As the latter is currently still experiencing a decline in R&D productivity, several strategies should be investigated in order to improve the drug development processing. Our main objective was to quantify the impact of (linked) data on R&D processes of Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies. More precisely we had to quantify the potential of ONTOFORCE's semantic search platform DISQOVER within R&D processes. Eventually we came up with a valuation model, which calculates the ROI (return on investment) and 'Wins per Day' of the DISQOVER platform towards its users. After conducting extensive research and interviewing many experts within the field, we believe that the model we created is well-thought-out and the assumptions are substantiated by expert opinions and academic literature. In addition, the model is highly flexible, providing the opportunity for users to fill in their own input regarding R&D, financial and market assumptions. In conclusion, the results of this project were positive, quantifiable and derivable, which was especially important considering the original objectives of the project. Considering these results, it is safe to note that the outcomes of quantifying ROI and 'Wins per Day' were attained with supportable assumptions. Our results are clearly reflecting the high potential of the platform. It should be noted that these results are still preliminary outcomes. Further integration of this tool by pharmaceutical companies' R&D projects will allow rendering the model outcomes more accurate as the latter will increasingly provide real company-originated input data (e.g. cycle time reductions). It is noteworthy that during our research we encountered two major future opportunities that would further lift the DISQOVER platform to a higher level. Firstly, there was a clear demand for a platform that starts to learn the user's movements and begins to recommend searches and bring relevant information to the reader through understanding of the searching behaviour. The truly valuable databases such as DISQOVER are those that can, besides allowing the user to search information, also send relevant information to the user based on its searching pattern and interests. In this way the user stays up-to-date at any time and can immediately anticipate on progresses made in the field. Secondly, further insights lent to us are that the ability of the platform to connect institutional knowledge based on clinical trial population would also be key, in order to pre-determine relevant populations for clinical trials, which is very time consuming. Finally, we would like to mention that throughout our project we could at any time rely on the best assistance from Hans Constandt (CEO and founder of ONTOFORCE) and Dr. Filip Pattyn (Scientific Lead at ONTOFORCE), and the knowledge of Walter Van Dyck (Associate Professor and Partner at Vlerick Business School). For this, we are very grateful towards them. Despite some difficulties we came across, we look back on the project as being very challenging and instructive, resulting in a very satisfying final result.
  • The improvement of the matchmaking process of different stakeholders within biotech clusters through semantic data search

    Shi, Shenzhi; Teerlinck, Maxim (2018)
    ONTOFORCE is a fast-growing scale-up that started developing a data integration and visual analytics platform focusing on Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies. As the platform is currently mainly used by researchers in Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies, ONTOFORCE wanted to expand its scope. By creating a platform focused on the corporate side of life science companies, a convenient tool could be created for a broad range of different customer segments. In order to create this new platform, an in-depth analysis of the potential market and their corresponding necessities were required. Obtaining a clear view of the way of working of every single segment as well as understanding the available tools and their use cases were required to obtain insights in the industry. As soon as we had developed market perception, we could determine the specific segments in the market which could be worthwhile to investigate. Soon it became clear that European Biotech clusters are remarkably closed entities, yet, possess extreme valuable information. Even though almost every cluster agree that a close inter-cluster collaboration would be beneficial for both the clusters as well as the members of clusters, few were willing to completely open up their obtained market insights. As a result, this report suggests serving the clusters as a channel to provide ONTOFORCE with the relevant customer profiles. One of the customer segments that originated out of the analysis of the European Biotech clusters, were the investors. More specifically, Venture Capital firms, as these entities play an important role in the financing of early-stage Biotechnology startups. Albeit, we anticipated a tremendous enthusiasm of these investors for the DISQOVER platform, the opinions were rather divided. However, both the literature as our interview results concluded that the Technology and Management team are the most important parameters in the deal assessment of investors. The third customer segment we investigated are the Big Pharmaceutical companies which seem to require the assistance of semantic data search more for their licensing than M&A activities. Consequently, these entities are interested in using the DISQOVER platform only if ONTOFORCE is able to include a comprehensive overview of the competitive landscape. However, this customer segment would be of major importance as they have a lot of resources devoted on research and evaluation which means they would be willing to pay whatever it takes to reduce their research time. Finally, Technology Transfer Offices are another interesting customer segment, as these entities stressed their need for using kind like platforms. However, one needs to take in account that TTOs are generally government funded and consequently mainly have financial constraints. However, including information of TTOs in the platform would be create a major added value for all the different users of the platform. As such, one could argue to reduce the fee TTOs would have to pay for their subscription. To conclude our project, we came up with three main recommendations which could be considered for the further course of creating the new DISQOVER platform. We suggest ONTOFORCE to appear the Biotech clusters as a sales channel in order to reach out to the different customer segments such as Biotech Venture Capitalists, Big Pharmaceutical companies and Tech Transfer Offices. Besides, ONTOFORCE needs to exploit the capabilities of semantic technology in order to create a clear visualization of the competitive landscape within the life science industry. Finally, we recommend utilizing a crowd-sourced data collection technique, which requires the users to create a personal profile, in order to gather clusters' private information.
  • The implementation of online face-to-face learning in the current business model

    Allaert, Laurens; Dhollander, Eric; Durez, Maxime (2018)
  • Spicing up the Rwandan chili industry: From mapping the market to ensuring a sustainable future for smallholder farmers

    Demaerschalk, Emmeline; De Schrijver, Laurence; Moreau, Nicolas (2018)
    Background and aim - Situation - Inclusive Trading Group BV (ITG BV), a Dutch social enterprise, asked to conduct market research for its daughter company Spices Rwanda Ltd. This new venture aims at generating a fair income for smallholder farmers, through the production of bird's eye chili pepper (BEC). In this regard, ITG BV wishes to establish a short value chain as to maximise profits for famers. Problem - The bird's eye chili market forms a niche market with little transparency. As such, it is difficult to identify relevant buyers/partners. This circumstance, combined with an important price drop in the past years, makes it difficult for Spices Rwanda Ltd. to sell their production. In addition, ITG BV seeks sustainable partnerships to cut middlemen and hence shorten the value chain. Aim - The market research first aims at mapping the BEC market, as to identify potential buyers. Second, it explores processing alternatives, certifications, new markets and differentiation opportunities. In turn, these lead to a recommendation on how Spices Rwanda Ltd. should operate in the coming years. Methodology - Data collection - Faced with a lack of secondary data, we apply an explorative approach to map the BEC market. This consists of 1) qualitative in-depth interviews with key players from the spice industry and 2) observations during fieldwork in Rwanda. Data analysis - The analysis first addresses external factors related to the BEC market. We explore its value chain (BEC from field to fork), apply a Five Forces analysis (competitive environment) and finally identify price evolutions and demand. Second, we explore the strengths and weaknesses of Spices Rwanda Ltd. when operating in the BEC sector. A SWOT analysis and internal value chain serve this purpose. Data Strategy - We translate the collected data into a determination matrix. This serves to map all possible strategies for Spices Rwanda Ltd. and extract the five most viable ones. Finally, we present a dynamic action plan for Spices Rwanda Ltd.'s future operations. Results - First, we examine the conventional export of dried BEC to Europe. Our results highlight a niche market, with a yearly estimated volume of 1000 ton worldwide. Consequently, BEC often comprises only a small chunk of an importer's portfolio. Besides, prices in the BEC market are volatile as the supply heavily relies on weather conditions. We estimate the current market price at €3 to €4, and expect it to remain stable due to large stocks in Europe. This implies an even lower demand at the moment. Second, whether or not Spices Rwanda Ltd. should continue its activities in exporting dried BEC to Europe or switch its strategy, depends on the attractiveness of alternative options. To step away from this commodity export, the company could process BEC themselves, obtain certifications or export to different markets. In terms of processing BEC, we deem a partnership with existing producers more fruitful than an own production. Considering certification, our investigation shows they will not provide an important competitive advantage, yet Spice Rwanda Ltd. should obtain HACCP (food safety) and GAP (traceability) as soon as possible, since buyers expect these. Moreover, the element of sustainability appears as "nice to have", rather than "need to have". As it yields little competitive advantage, we do not recommend a Fairtrade or organic label at this stage. Looking at different export destinations in Europe, we singled the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands as potential buyers. In addition, we outline the need for differentiation in the form of an additional cash crop. Here, we advise a pilot project with the Habanero chili, as well as research on other suitable crops. Conclusion - Our dynamic roadmap defines future action points for Spices Rwanda Ltd. On short, medium and long-term. First, the company should maintain its existing BEC production and seek partnerships with local processors. Second, differentiation is required and a new cash crop should be introduced (cf. Habanero). Finally, Spices Rwanda Ltd. should focus on supporting activities (certifications, irrigation systems) to sustain its future operations and remain attractive towards buyers. Combined, these recommendations should help to avoid a commodity export of dried BEC and create new opportunities. In turn, we hope these will lead to a more stable, recurring income for the company's farmers
  • Sourcing in the promotional-wear industry: Assessing the feasibility of production in Central America

    Crede, Christopher; Ruiz Lopez, Diana Carolina (2018)
    The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the textile and apparel industry in Central America and the Caribbean on a country-by-country basis, as well as identify manufacturers that show potential as future garment suppliers for B&C. The report answers two key questions: Firstly, what countries in the region are an attractive destination for promotional wear manufacturing, and secondly, what suppliers could be contacted in the near future for further negotiations. The analysis focused on identifying sourcing opportunities for the 2 primary product categories, or "runners", in the promotional wear garment catalogue of B&C. These are 100% Cotton knit t-shirts, and 100% Cotton knit polo shirts. The analysis focuses on three stages. First, regional countries are evaluated on the basis of their existing production of cotton t-shirts and polo shirts; the average price per unit according to custom declarations in the EU and US; access to tariff exemptions; and competitor presence. Secondly, a comprehensive overview was conducted on the political, economic, and business environment of the shortlisted countries whilst also paying close attention to the logistics & infrastructure capabilities, trade deal implications, and the state of the local textile and apparel industry. To conduct the analysis of each country, data was gathered from industry reports, government agencies, trade associations, and various international agencies that specialise in economic and sector-specific data. Countries were ranked accordingly. The third stage of analysis focused on the evaluation of manufacturers in the region. Data was obtained from company websites, company profiles, and industry reports that were publicly available online. Structured, but open-ended telephonic interviews were conducted with suppliers to further evaluate their potential. Questions were structured to obtain further information on theoretical capacity, pricing, production lead times, yarn quality, tubular production capacity, and quality certifications. The results indicated that of the 9 regional countries, Guatemala and Costa Rica were not considered feasible destinations for promotional wear manufacturing due to low production volumes, high prices, and a focus on value-added apparel manufacturing. Further analysis of the 7 remaining countries indicated that Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras remain the most attractive sourcing destinations for low-cost apparel. Haiti offers the cheapest labour but strategically, it should be considered together with the Dominican Republic as its neighbour is the source of fabrics for many of the CMT factories in Haiti. The supplier analysis yielded minimal insights into the criteria considered as most manufacturers were hesitant to share detailed information on their production profiles without receiving the product specifications from B&C. subsequently, the results provide a high-level overview of potential suppliers based on theoretical production capacities greater than 500'000 pieces per month. A list of 23 potential manufacturers across the region were listed. As expected, the majority of these manufacturers have sites in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Haiti. While the analysis indicated 3 potential countries as destinations in Central America for promotional wear sourcing, the study faced certain limitations. Time constraints; language barriers; the inability to conduct interviews face-to-face with suppliers in the region; a resistance to share more in-depth information pertaining to manufacturers' operational set-up, volumes, pricing, and available capacity; and failure by manufacturers to respond within the allotted time-period of the study have compromised the quality of the data gathered. Due to the sensitive nature of the technical specification packs for each of the 3 products included in this study, it was not possible to share this information with manufacturers to obtain further details on their target pricing, volumes, and production lead times. As a result, the analysis could not make supplier-specific recommendations. Future studies on sourcing opportunities in the region should consider country visits to gain more detailed insights into the regions potential as an alternative to existing Asian manufacturing countries.
  • Selling medical devices in a digital age: Complementing face-to-face interaction with a multi-channel marketing strategy

    Broos, Anouk; Declerck, Bénédicte; Vanmaele, Willemijn (2018)
    Background and aim: Mitek, the sports medicine franchise of DePuy Synthes, and a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Companies (JJMDC), is currently facing some challenges. The competition is growing and the brand image is deteriorating. Due to a single-channel engagement model, being the face-to-face interaction between a Mitek sales representative and the orthopaedic surgeon, various undifferentiated accounts are being underserved. In addition to the single-channel engagement model, the decrease in sales force results in declined sales revenues for Mitek. This increases the need for different measures, including a multi-channel marking strategy to sell medical devices in the six countries in scope: Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Switzerland and The Netherlands. This In-Company Project (ICP) aimed to evaluate the current sales and marketing practices related to Mitek and, based upon both qualitative and quantitative research, formulate recommendations in the form of a customer journey that targets the right orthopaedic surgeon through his/her preferred communication channels with desired content. Methodology: An internal and external customer desk research and a channel-content mapping have been performed in order to map the current practices within Mitek. These practices were measured against the desired requirements of the customer, the orthopaedic surgeon. These requirements could be identified by performing a combination of a literature review and both qualitative and quantitative research. Hereof, firstly, some best practices resulted from the literature review. Secondly, the qualitative research involved extended interviews (n=15) with orthopaedists. Finally, an online survey (n=122) was conducted, which provided data that could be analysed. The derived requirements were identified on a persona basis. The foundation upon which the personas were identified, were also derived from the data analysis. Results: The personas were built based upon their communication preference with the medical device company: face-to-face (the “Traditional” orthopaedist), digital (the “Digi” orthopaedist) or a combination of face-to-face and digital (the “Multi” orthopaedist). Overall, significant increases in desired use of mobile app, real-life training, scientific webcast and remote interaction with a sales representative were found. Further analysis showed the top three preferred channels per persona. These are: sales representative – face-to-face (85%), email (55%) and real-life training (46%) for the “Traditional” (n=33), email (71%), mobile-app (64%) and real-life training (43%) for the “Digi” (n=14) and email (59%), mobile-app (58%) and sales representative – face-to-face (57%) for the “Multi” (n=85). Taken together these overall increases in desired channels, the top three channels per persona and the results of the qualitative research, three customer journeys could be designed. This journey comprises several stages, each incorporated with specific channels in order to allow orthopaedic surgeons to satisfy their needs and reach their goals. The content of these channels should offer informational and educational content, for the most part. Conclusion: Each orthopaedist should be approached by the medical device company in a personal, tailored way via the surgeon’s preferred channel. In order to do so, it is highly recommended to use the three developed customer journeys for each type of persona. Furthermore, a cohesive Mitek brand conversation is needed to be able to tell the company’s story via these channels. Finally, there is some room for more measures within Mitek’s marketing strategy, therefore, some future perspectives were given in this research paper.
  • Set up of a new investment fund

    Kullau, Mariglen; Habek, Luka (2018)
    The report provides a critical assessment and proposals for the set-up of a new impact Investment Fund, COOPEST2. The fund will leverage on the positive performance of the 1st fund, (COOPEST which is due in 2023), and diversify its portfolio and investment products to achieve greater performance, higher returns for investors and significant social impact which remains intake in Inpulse’s DNA. The investment strategy follows a more qualitative approach during the 1st phase of the research, followed by quantitative inputs to build on the business model with the necessary assumptions to arrive at best investment decisions. At first, the research focuses on the sector analysis and countries’ snapshot. This is an essential part of the research as the key findings will be fundamental drivers on the areas that the fund will eventually invest. The political and macroeconomic outlook; the currency risk; the ease of doing business in each region; the historical returns of the sectors and all the advantages and disadvantages were some of the parameters that were considered to reach the final investment decision. The business model of the fund is a key part of the project as it will serve investment decisions not only during the set-up of the fund but also during the next years. The model shows the link between the key parameters and their impact in case a different decision should take place in the future. For instance, a change in the hedging costs of the foreign currency will indicate the exact amount the financial intermediaries have to bear and eventually the interest rate that COOPEST2 will demand for providing a certain amount of investment. The management team decided to focus on one product of financing, which is through debt/loans number of specific sectors and a specific region to invest and keep a lower proportion for sub-ordinated debt and/or equity financing. This is mainly due to two main reasons: 1) they can leverage on the experience of COOPEST in debt financing, from the network of investors and financial institutions to investment returns and attracting the right investors 2) Helenos is another Equity Fund under Inpulse management and would be a direct competitor for specific investment decisions so it was carefully analyzed and suggested not to proceed with equity financing. There are certain parameters that must be precisely evaluated by the management team. The size of the fund, the ticket size of loans, areas of further diversification and entrance are some of the examples that will play a key role for the Fund. With the continuous support of the Inpulse Team and our project supervisor, we managed to provide the management team with a thorough analysis of each sector and regions on where to invest while the business model will enable the team to assess precisely the impact of each decision in their investment process. We are sure that with this in-depth research and all the details for every parameter, the team will make the right decisions to continue its successful investments and achieve greater results. It remains to be seen when exactly the success story of this fund will commence.
  • Stakeholder mapping and recommendations to increase the HPV vaccination coverage rate in Wallonia

    De Spiegeleire, Victor; Jennes, Laura (2018)
    The vaccination coverage rate in Wallonia is 36%, this is relatively low compared to the neighboring countries. This number hasn't also improved drastically since the introduction of the HPV vaccine in the vaccination program, when the coverage rate was 30%. It shows that there is a systematic problem with the HPV vaccination. This research will provide insights in the stakeholders mapping and their problems. Consequently, the report will provide recommendations to counter the problems and eventually increase the vaccination coverage rate. In order to reach this objective, in-­depth interviews were conducted with different stakeholders. Additionally, a comparison with a different vaccine and with foreign vaccination systems was in to determine order good and bad practices. The stakeholder map identified the involved parties in the FWB vaccination system and their mutual relationships. The vaccination system is organised in an unreasonably complex way, even the internal organisation of certain stakeholders are fairly complex. The school vaccinators, a crucial stakeholder in the national immunisation program, are remarkably enough not all organised and subsidised in the same way, with as a result that the problems and solutions are very diverse. There is no one fits all solution. The school vaccinator mainly experiences difficulties in recruiting qualified staff. As a result, they cannot efficiently organize the vaccination. The supervising body L'ONE can support school vaccinators in their mission, but their capacity to intervene in the organization of the school vaccinators centers is limited. This body has limited means to incentivize the school vaccinators to vaccinate against HPV. The student who is not vaccinated through the school program should be able to go to her HCP for information concerning HPV and the administration of the free vaccine. However, some HCPs are experiencing difficulties in ordering these free vaccines via e-­vax and/or are not fully informed on the newest vaccines and trends concerning HPV. The low vaccination coverage can not only be attributed to organizational or budgetary issues, but there are also attitude problems. Parents and children are often very reluctant to HPV vaccination since the vaccine protects against an STD and that is still taboo at that age. This means that the vaccination moment chosen by the FWB is not ideal.
  • Scaling up a Chinese online travel platform in the European market: Business development strategy for Germany, Spain and the UK

    Roex, Gitte; Van De Sompel, Matthias; Verwimp, Lien (2018)
    Scaling up to more than 3000 spots by the end of 2018. That is what Shake To Win (STW) has been working towards since its inception in January 2017, with a mission to preserve culture by leveraging technology. The WeChat-based app for Chinese free, independent travellers currently showcases local, authentic spots in more than 75 European cities, and provides attractive incentives for its users who are in search of a more cultural European experience. However, the company is facing an uphill challenge, as their competition is intense, with many considerably-sized players all fighting to attract the same partners and users onto their platforms. To survive in this crowded, fast-paced environment, it is therefore crucial that companies like STW
  • Standardization of HR practices for a decentralised IT-environment

    Michem, Sam; Vermeire, Quentin; Vuylsteke, Michiel (2018)

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