BCG Online Case Assessment (Chatbot) Example Walkthrough: A Profitability Case

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Welcome to the comprehensive guide on mastering the BCG chatbot case example, specifically focused on tackling a profitability problem. This guide is based on a video by Deniz, where he thoroughly explains a profitability case concerning an Indonesian cement manufacturer named Cemio. Follow along as we discuss the steps, strategies, and recommendations for solving this case example, and learn how to nail your assessment.



Section 1: Understanding the Case Background

Cemio, an Indonesian cement manufacturer with about $1.5 billion in revenue, is experiencing a decline in profitability over the past years. Their profit margin has dropped by eight percentage points to 2% between 2020 and 2022. The company's new CEO aims to generate $500 million in net cash flow within three years, and they have reached out to us for recovery solutions. The case study consists of eight questions, and our goal is to devise an effective approach to solving their profitability problem.


Section 2: Identifying Key Data Points and Questions

In the beginning, we need to clarify the client's objectives and gather relevant data points. Two critical questions to ask include:

     1. What does a successful turnaround mean in the eyes of the client?

     2. How many different types of cement does the client produce?


By getting answers to these questions, we can tailor our approach based on their specific needs and goals.


Section 3: Investigating the Root Cause

To find the root cause of Cemio's profitability problem, we need to examine their revenue and cost trends, comparing them to the market and understanding the underlying drivers. Focus on:

     1. Cemio's customer segments and their size

     2. Cemio's price and volume trends

     3. Competitors' profitability trends across price, volume, fixed, and variable costs

     4. Cemio's fixed and variable cost evolution since 2020

     5. Underlying qualitative reasons behind Cemio's profitability decline


Section 4: Analyzing the Sales Volume and Price Evolution

The primary cause of the profit decline is the quantity decline in large infrastructure and heavy construction segments, which make up the majority of Cemio’s business. The issue could stem from a market size or market share decline.


Section 5: Exploring the Economic Crisis and Cost Factors

The economic crisis in Indonesia has led to government budget cuts for large projects and a decline in the overall cement market. Additionally, a 15% devaluation in the local currency has increased the total cost of goods sold within the analyzed period.


Section 6: Developing Recovery Strategies

Some potential recovery strategies include:

     1. Increasing focus on the light construction market through marketing campaigns and hiring new salespeople

     2. Exploring new markets outside the country to decrease exposure to the declining local market

     3. Finding a local supplier to reduce dependency on foreign exchange

     4. Renegotiating terms with current suppliers


Section 7: Evaluating Risks and Wrapping Up

When considering shrinking the client's business by selling assets until the economy recovers, it's essential to evaluate the associated risks. Some risks include:

     1. A possible pickup in the Indonesian construction market, causing Cemio to miss out on serving the demand with reduced production capacity

     2. Shrinkage damaging Cemio's brand name and reputation in the market

     3. Asset sales hurting the company's market value


In conclusion, Cemio should evaluate the option of selling its current assets and shrinking its business due to the industry-wide profitability problem in the Indonesian cement market. Potential options require heavy investment, making it challenging for Cemio to meet their cash flow targets. 


To gain a deeper understanding of how a real-life assessment may look like, we highly recommend watching our YouTube video, where we walk you through the BCG chatbot case example. Seeing how the case is tackled in real-time can provide invaluable insights and enhance your learning experience.


Moreover, consider purchasing our comprehensive course, which includes access to this case study and seven other interactive case studies.