Examples of Company Cases

Examples of Company Cases

Company Case: Air France – KLM “The Battle for Africa”

Winning the custom of air passengers in Africa was the challenge set for General Management students at Air France-KLM recently.

Two groups of 6 students each were invited to the Air France-KLM offices at Schiphol on Friday May 21, 2010 to present their final findings on the ‘Battle for Africa’. There is increasing competition for passengers among airlines in Africa, an important and upcoming market.

The students were assigned to either the defending side: how can Air France - KLM beat its competitors in Africa? – or the attacking side: what would competitors do to win custom in Africa?

The company case was organised by the KLM Business Campus and provided a mutual learning process, with students learning from managers, and managers learning from students. The students were intensively coached by managers within Air France – KLM before they prepared their presentations, to support the learning process of all participants and give the students guidance. The learning process was considered an important part of the whole assignment, and the process triggering thoughts, ideas, insights and reflection during the process of working together was considered as important as the results.

A return ticket to Paris, France was offered as a prize to give a really competitive edge to the challenge, giving a ‘win-win’ situation for all parties involved. Air France - KLM was impressed at the way students were able to quickly absorb and digest an enormous amount of information and also design a way to present their findings meaningfully.

The Air France-KLM tickets to Paris were won by the students presenting the case for the attack on KLM-Air France’s share of the African air travel market. However, it was declared that the winning margin was very slight, and all participants agreed enthusiastically: “We have all learned a lot.”

Shell Managers Share Project Experience With GM Students

Students of RSM’s General Management programme recently took part in an exclusive seminar with three managers – including one RSM alumna – from one of the world’s biggest international oil and gas companies, Royal Dutch Shell plc.

Yvonne van Ginkel, CRT Fuel Card Product Manager and RSM alumna; Rob Bronckers, PDAS Global Resourcing Manager plus Frans van de Kerkhof, IT Project Manager for Wells and Platforms visited RSM’s Woudestein campus to give General Management students the benefit of their rich experience.

Rob Bronckers introduced the classical tools of project management and stressed the importance of the context of a project in terms of its stakeholders. He explained – among others – the RACI principle (an acronym for ‘Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed’) and introduced the main principles of a project management tool commonly used within Shell, illustrating his talk with plenty of examples of how it works in practice. After this conceptual introduction, GM students applied their thinking to develop recommendations for a mini case study. GM students appreciated the open and sincere way how Rob provided insights in project work.

Yvonne van Ginkel described a variety of typical career paths within Shell and gave students tips on applying for a position. She gave an insider’s view of the type of people and competencies valued by Shell. As an RSM alumna, Yvonne was able to provide first-hand insights about her own career path, from RSM student to Shell Product Manager.

As a veteran of several Shell projects, Frans van de Kerkhof explained what it’s really like to work on major projects using examples from his own experience.

The MScBA General Management programme is one of RSM’s newest, catering for recently-graduated non-business bachelors. Students from a range of academic disciplines form a highly international classroom with students from all over the world – there are currently 21 nationalities represented.

Comments from GM students:

  • “I always strongly support the fact that professionals come to teach in Management classes. Their experience of the field, the skills and knowledge they acquire during their working experience are of great value. Allowing these people to share it with us is highly valuable. It was definitely worth having Rob Bronckers, Yvonne van Ginkel and Frans van de Kerkhof participating in our seminar that day.” 
  • “…the challenge of tackling predetermined project constraints, i.e. scope, time, and budget as well as optimising the allocation and integration of resources seems to be very interesting.” 
  • “I thought it was very good of Rob Bronckers to describe in such detail the tools that are used within Shell to address the difficulties and challenges that came along with project management. The clear descriptions and explanations of the different models presented were very illustrative. For example, I liked the tool PDF, which is a single framework that defines standards for project deliveries, because of its universal applicability across a range of divisions within Shell. Also, I think that Shell, with its learning culture focused on innovation and sharing best-practice, would be a really nice company to work for.” 
  • “The different project management techniques (CPM, PERT and PDF) Mr. Bronckers discussed were new to me so I was interested to find out how they worked.” 
  • “This was not the regular company introduction from a PR viewpoint …. what I found most interesting was the discussion of the challenges that lay ahead for Shell in the near future.” 
  • “I was really pleased that one of the graduates of RSM, Erasmus University was explaining this subject. She gave us specific hints, and shared her personal experience. It was really helpful, as I see myself working for a large energy or chemical company.”