Case Studies

Case Studies

An Overview of the Case Studies used in this course are given below:


Powertel Case Study:

Problem studied: With the introduction of Powertel’s new 3600 minutes for $40 rate plan, the growth of cellular subscribers jumped 40% in one month. This growth put a tremendous strain on the existing cellular network structure. An example was at the intersection of Highway 280 and Interstate 459 in Birmingham, AL, where users experienced many dropped calls. The choices to resolve this problem were to either install a new tower on a nearby hill or to add equipment to the existing tower on top of the Sheraton hotel. The costs for these options ranged from $150,000 to $700,000.


Superstar Case Study:

Problem studied: Sanjeev Kumar, CEO of Superstar Specialties, Inc., was faced with the decision to allocate resources between the fifteen proposed R & D projects slated to start in August 2005. The board had allocated him $3.3 million to spend on R & D for the next budget year. As the CEO of a $360 million company with five business segments (energy, food, construction, personal care, and transportation divisions), Sanjeev had to decide among the alternative R & D projects.


Yuquiyu Motors Case Study:

Problem studied: This case study illustrates the decision faced by Yuquiyu Motors to produce a reliable, high-output engine that will meet regulations and satisfy the engineering mandate for high quality and serviceability.


Chick fil-A Case Study:

Problem Studied: Mike Erbrick, Director of Restaurant Information Systems at Chick-fil-A, was given the responsibility of converting the restaurant’s point of sales (POS) systems from a proprietary EPROM based system to a newer system. This changeover had an investment impact of approximately $3.29 million based on the differences in the costs required to implement the various POS systems being considered, which could be as high as $15,000 per outlet depending on the system chosen and store layout. Within its more than 700 outlets, Chick-fil-A averaged about 8 POS systems per store compared to the two or three systems per store used by other quick-service restaurant chains. The number of POS systems gave rise to additional confusion for the kitchen staff because they could have six to eight orders arriving simultaneously on the Kitchen Display System (KDS) screens. Thus, the new system had to be extremely efficient and scalable to meet the needs of individual stores. Perhaps most importantly to the store owners using the system, who are compensated based on their sales figures and net income, the sales data should be relayed to Chick-fil-A’s corporate headquarters accurately and reported back to each store in a timely manner.