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IMD Professor Wolfgang Ulaga wins The Case Centre's Marketing Award

The winning case looks at Michelin’s move to a solutions business

February 24, 2015

IMD Professor Wolfgang Ulaga has won The Case Centre's Marketing Award for 2015 with a case titled Michelin Fleet Solutions: From Selling Tires to Selling Kilometers.

The case, which was published by HEC Paris, was written by Ulaga together with Chloé Renault and Frédéric Dalsace from the French business school. It looks at the French tire maker’s launch of Michelin Fleet Solutions and the key insights gained from rolling out this new business model over the past years.

The company wanted to offer transportation firms comprehensive tire management solutions for their fleets of vehicles over a three- to five-year period. But this was a radical move away from Michelin’s core business of making and selling tires, and the fleet solutions project struggled at first.

Michelin learned that the move to a solutions business was a major challenge in terms of change management, requiring the involvement of top management and a critical review of the company’s business model.

“It’s wonderful to receive this award, because I think the case addresses an extremely timely issue,” Ulaga said. “B2B companies want to differentiate themselves from the competition by selling profitable customer solutions, rather than focusing on selling products and services only.

“The case lends itself to a very fruitful discussion of the opportunities and challenges involved in designing and rolling out a new business model in a B2B environment. You don’t need to be a tire expert either, because the lessons learned apply to businesses of all sizes in a wide variety of industries.”

IMD has also published a shorter, updated version of the case targeted specifically at participants on executive education programs. Its title is Business Model Innovation: Michelin Fleet Solutions—From Selling Tires to Selling Kilometers, and the IMD case reference is IMD-5-0793.

The Case Centre Awards are presented annually to recognize worldwide excellence in case writing and to raise the profile of the case method of learning.

The Awards (formerly the ecch Case Awards) have been presented since 1991. Awards are made in up to nine management categories, for one overall winning case, and to recognize the outstanding contribution of an individual associated with the case method. There are also two case writing competitions for a case by a new author and for a newly authored case on a “hot topic”; and a competition for an outstanding case teacher.

The award-winning cases in each category are those that have been used in the largest number of organizations around the world in the past year.

For more information about the 2015 awards, please click here.

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