Digital
Latest Case Studies
Case Study Digital Global Business Operations Sustainability
Henkel: Driving sustainability through digital
Henkel, a 145-year-old family business, had unintentionally started its digital transformation journey in 2013. Only a few years later it had reached such a level of digital maturity that digital became a decisive element of the company’s strategic framework and one of the key drivers to achieve growth. In less than ten years, Henkel received in…
By Carlos Cordon and Edwin Wellian
©2022
Henkel: Driving sustainability through digital
By Carlos Cordon and Edwin Wellian
©2022
Summary
Henkel, a 145-year-old family business, had unintentionally started its digital transformation journey in 2013. Only a few years later it had reached such a level of digital maturity that digital became a decisive element of the company’s strategic framework and one of the key drivers to achieve growth. In less than ten years, Henkel received international recognition as a global leader in using Industry 4.0 technologies to transform factories, value chains and business models. The first part looks at how this journey started, what it had to do to reach this impressive level of digital competence and to make the journey self-sustaining. Can Henkel also build on the success of this digital transformation to make its products carbon-neutral during production and consumption? This is the question that will be explored during the second part. Henkel had made good progress to reduce its own operational CO2 emissions, but realized that this represented less than 5% of the total. Two-thirds occurred during consumption and one-third during the production of raw materials. Making a 50,000+ workforce and operations digitally savvy is one thing, but reducing carbon-emissions at stages of the process over which Henkel had no direct control is something else. The dilemma facing Henkel was where it should focus on to reduce its overall CO2 emissions. Should it continue to prioritize making its own production sites carbon-free, in the knowledge that this represents only a fraction of the total emissions, or should it prioritize making its products carbon-free in the other parts of the value chain where the impact on our planet is higher? Prioritizing the latter would make sense, but what could Henkel actually do to change the attitudes and behaviors of thousands of suppliers and hundreds of millions of consumers?
Copyright ©2022
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Organization Henkel
Industry Consumer Goods;Manufacturing, Chemicals
Language English
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Case Study Operations Supply Chain Digital
Zalando: A digital foundation for fashion supply chain success
By 2021 Zalando had become Europe’s largest pure player in online fashion. But the road to success had not always been smooth. Back in 2014, six years after it was founded, the Germany-based company was at a crossroads. With an impending initial public offering (IPO) and investors looking for results, the company was nowhere near being profitabl…
By Richard Markoff David Schröder Arnd Huchzermeier and Ralf W. Seifert
©2022
Case Study Digital Disruption Human Resources Sustainability
Automobili Lamborghini: Future-proofing an iconic luxury brand
Throughout its 60-year history, luxury carmaker Lamborghini had been consistently visionary, innovative and inspiring. Bold entrepreneurial moves – such as bringing the attributes of a racing car to mainstream, non-racing vehicles, or pioneering a luxury SUV – became an intrinsic part of the company’s DNA. Yet, entering the 2020s, the unfolding …
By Stéphane J. G. Girod and Martin Králik
©2022
Automobili Lamborghini: Future-proofing an iconic luxury brand
By Stéphane J. G. Girod and Martin Králik
©2022
Summary
Throughout its 60-year history, luxury carmaker Lamborghini had been consistently visionary, innovative and inspiring. Bold entrepreneurial moves – such as bringing the attributes of a racing car to mainstream, non-racing vehicles, or pioneering a luxury SUV – became an intrinsic part of the company’s DNA. Yet, entering the 2020s, the unfolding social, geopolitical, environmental and industrial transitions presented luxury players, including auto companies, with monumental challenges. Sustainability – and, in the car sector, electrification – came to define the new decade. In an effort to push for net-zero climate-change targets, between 2021 and 2022 EU legislators announced a virtual ban on the sale of traditional combustion engines past the year 2035. Future-proofing the organization for the challenges ahead required (i) reinventing the iconic brand so that it remained desirable in what will be a radically different automotive space, based on sustainability targets, new materials, and digital technologies; (ii) shifting the workforce composition and culture from one that was firmly rooted in engineering, precision, and a parochial, heads-down, male-dominated outlook to one that emphasized cross-functionality, diversity of backgrounds, curiosity, hyperawareness, and shared organizational and social values; and (iii) maintaining a position of thought, industry, technological and innovation leadership, alongside the timeless quality of the made-in-Italy label, at a time when customers as well as society at large are looking to global brands to come up with a renewed, compelling vision of purposeful luxury.
Copyright ©2022
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Organization Automobili Lamborghini
Industry Consumer Goods, Luxury Goods and Jewelery;Automotive, Automobiles;Automotive
Language English
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Case Study Digital Disruption Operations
HEINEKEN: Building the connected brewery
HEINEKEN, one the world’s largest breweries, had led a long and successful effort to improve the efficiency of its brewery network. For the company COO, this was a source of pride, and also a challenge and an opportunity. Long curious about the potential for digitalizing the supply chain, perhaps this was the natural entry point for the company…
By Ralf W. Seifert and Richard Markoff
©2022
Case Study Business to Business Digital Disruption Strategy General Management Marketing Entrepreneurship Customer Centricity
Sascar: The five next years
When SASCAR was acquired by Michelin in 2014, it was barely staying afloat, selling telematic services on price. The case describes how the new CEO and CMO turned SASCAR around in five years. Without explicitly referring to it, they used customer-centric principles: they focused on customer benefits (value conception), achieved buy-in from custo…
By Frédéric Dalsace
©2022
Sascar: The five next years
By Frédéric Dalsace
©2022
Summary
When SASCAR was acquired by Michelin in 2014, it was barely staying afloat, selling telematic services on price. The case describes how the new CEO and CMO turned SASCAR around in five years. Without explicitly referring to it, they used customer-centric principles: they focused on customer benefits (value conception), achieved buy-in from customers and third parties (value delivery) and got beyond the fixed-pie mindset (value capture). The results were startling: despite the growing competition, SASCAR evolved from a money losing, “me-too” local fleet management firm into a profitable leader in a growing market. The case goes on to discuss issues that the company will need to address, including performance-based business models, a branding strategy, international expansion and relations with Michelin.
Copyright ©2022
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Organization Sascar
Industry Manufacturing, Technology;Logistics and Supply Chain, Transportation
Language English
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Case Study Strategy Competitiveness Disruption Digital
Trader Joe’s: At a crossroads?
When Covid-19 hit the US in 2020, the grocery retail industry underwent a greatly accelerated digital transformation as consumers’ habits changed drastically in a matter of weeks. As Americans sought to avoid their risk of exposure to the coronavirus, the adoption of online grocery shopping, click-and-collect and self-checkout skyrocketed. By 20…
By Niccolò Pisani Goutam Challagalla and Inès Augier
©2022
Case Study Strategy Advertising Digital Disruption
Business on the move (B) (Video case)
Case B, a video case, reveals the identity of the company and its two protagonists. Via an interview technique, students learn about the starting situation and the reasoning behind the transformation. In three segments, Nadine Borter and Thomas Fresnard reveal how they transformed the organization – and the details are compelling The intricate d…
By Katharina Lange Nadine Borter and Thomas Frésard
©2022
Business on the move (B) (Video case)
By Katharina Lange Nadine Borter and Thomas Frésard
©2022
Summary
Case B, a video case, reveals the identity of the company and its two protagonists. Via an interview technique, students learn about the starting situation and the reasoning behind the transformation. In three segments, Nadine Borter and Thomas Fresnard reveal how they transformed the organization – and the details are compelling The intricate d…
Copyright ©2022
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Organization Contexta
Industry Business Management Services, Advertising and Public Relations;Media
Language English
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Case Study Strategy Advertising Digital Disruption
Business on the move (A)
Digitalization has dramatically changed the advertising industry. Short life cycle projects and melting profit margins were shaping the environment in which a Swiss marketing agency transformed itself radically and uniquely. This case explores how Contexta AG responds to market challenges with a change mindset, by initializing portfolio change …
By Katharina Lange and Valerie Keller-Birrer
©2022
Business on the move (A)
By Katharina Lange and Valerie Keller-Birrer
©2022
Summary
Digitalization has dramatically changed the advertising industry. Short life cycle projects and melting profit margins were shaping the environment in which a Swiss marketing agency transformed itself radically and uniquely. This case explores how Contexta AG responds to market challenges with a change mindset, by initializing portfolio change to match the company’s values and by creating a “nomadic office.” The critical questions start with the possible competitive advantage of nomadism, but then delve more profoundly into the crucible of leading a truly customer-centric organization. Reflections on the necessary leadership capabilities, such as empathy, humility, and courage, conclude the discussion. For didactic purposes, the case is split into case A, a short, anonymous introduction; and a video case B. Case A is a crisp pre-class read, with a brief characterization of the advertising market in Europe and an anonymous introduction to the two protagonists – Nadine and Thomas, owner and CEO of the advertising agency. The case digs into the challenges posed by digitalization and the disruption/disintermediation of value chains.The objective is to reflect on possible strategic responses and ignite the discussion on how to create a truly customer-centric organization.
Copyright ©2022
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Organization Contexta
Industry Business Management Services, Advertising and Public Relations;Media
Language English
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Case Study Digital Disruption Entrepreneurship Strategy Start-up Advertising Social Media Sustainability
Largo.ai in Hollywood: Good enough?
The case tells the story of Sami Arpa a young entrepreneur with a passion for the movie industry. Sami Arpa and his start-up Largo leverage technology to improve the movie industry. Largo launched in 2018 with the platform for short films called Sofy.tv. In 2020 Largo launches its own SaaS B2B platform providing an AI algorithm for the film-maki…
By Jim Pulcrano Laure Frank Désirée Gilgen Konrad Meyer and Federico Paparella
©2022
Case Study Strategy Digital
Bank Cler and Zak: How to succeed in digital banking
Mariateresa Vacalli is CEO of Bank Cler, a subsidiary of the larger Basler Kantonalbank (BKB), a traditional local incumbent in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. She needs to secure the successful future of Bank Cler and its mobile bank Zak, in an increasingly digitally connected and competitive space. The variety of disruptive business m…
By Patrick Reinmoeller Elie El Khoury Thibaut Jechoux Lars Spicker Olesen and Paul Tourel
©2022
Case Study Digital Strategy Marketing General Management Sustainability Business to Business
Dacadoo (C): Ready for take-off
For the past ten years, dacadoo, a healthtech and insurtech start-up based in Switzerland, has been developing and operating its digital health engagement solution, including mobile applications, exploring ways to monetize the patented and AI-based health score it developed. Dacadoo has a dual objective: It aims to help users achieve and maintai…
By James E. Henderson Anne Elkaim Onur Dincer Frédérique Gremeaux and Vanessa Smets
©2022
Dacadoo (C): Ready for take-off
By James E. Henderson Anne Elkaim Onur Dincer Frédérique Gremeaux and Vanessa Smets
©2022
Summary
For the past ten years, dacadoo, a healthtech and insurtech start-up based in Switzerland, has been developing and operating its digital health engagement solution, including mobile applications, exploring ways to monetize the patented and AI-based health score it developed. Dacadoo has a dual objective: It aims to help users achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles with its proprietary “health score” and a digital health engagement solution, while at the same time it seeks to drive digital transformation of the insurance industry, with a focus on life and health insurers. As dacadoo has moved from being a start-up into a high-growth phase, this case series explores which business model(s) will help the company grow to its full potential. In 2010, Peter Ohnemus, a serial entrepreneur who had already built sixteen companies, took some well-deserved time off after the sale of his last successful venture. During this “between ventures” break in Verbier, he noticed his health had improved after two weeks of ski touring, but he could not quantify exactly how much he had progressed. That is when a new idea came to him: How to score human health holistically, encompassing physical health, mental wellbeing and lifestyle. Peter came down from the mountains and started a new company, which led to dacadoo.
Copyright ©2022
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Organization dacadoo
Industry Health Care;Information Technology, Information Technology Services;Finance and Insurance, Insurance
Language English
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Case Study Digital Strategy Marketing General Management Sustainability Business to Business
Dacadoo (B): Building momentum
For the past ten years, dacadoo, a healthtech and insurtech start-up based in Switzerland, has been developing and operating its digital health engagement solution, including mobile applications, exploring ways to monetize the patented and AI-based health score it developed. Dacadoo has a dual objective: It aims to help users achieve and maintai…
By James E. Henderson Anne Elkaim Onur Dincer Frédérique Gremeaux and Vanessa Smets
©2022
Dacadoo (B): Building momentum
By James E. Henderson Anne Elkaim Onur Dincer Frédérique Gremeaux and Vanessa Smets
©2022
Summary
For the past ten years, dacadoo, a healthtech and insurtech start-up based in Switzerland, has been developing and operating its digital health engagement solution, including mobile applications, exploring ways to monetize the patented and AI-based health score it developed. Dacadoo has a dual objective: It aims to help users achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles with its proprietary “health score” and a digital health engagement solution, while at the same time it seeks to drive digital transformation of the insurance industry, with a focus on life and health insurers. As dacadoo has moved from being a start-up into a high-growth phase, this case series explores which business model(s) will help the company grow to its full potential. In 2010, Peter Ohnemus, a serial entrepreneur who had already built sixteen companies, took some well-deserved time off after the sale of his last successful venture. During this “between ventures” break in Verbier, he noticed his health had improved after two weeks of ski touring, but he could not quantify exactly how much he had progressed. That is when a new idea came to him: How to score human health holistically, encompassing physical health, mental wellbeing and lifestyle. Peter came down from the mountains and started a new company, which led to dacadoo.
Copyright ©2022
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Organization dacadoo
Industry Health Care;Information Technology, Information Technology Services;Finance and Insurance, Insurance
Language English
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Case Study Digital Strategy Marketing General Management Sustainability Business to Business
Dacadoo (A): Getting started as Quentiq
For the past ten years, dacadoo, a healthtech and insurtech start-up based in Switzerland, has been developing and operating its digital health engagement solution, including mobile applications, exploring ways to monetize the patented and AI-based health score it developed. Dacadoo has a dual objective: It aims to help users achieve and maintai…
By James E. Henderson Anne Elkaim Onur Dincer Frédérique Gremeaux and Vanessa Smets
©2022
Dacadoo (A): Getting started as Quentiq
By James E. Henderson Anne Elkaim Onur Dincer Frédérique Gremeaux and Vanessa Smets
©2022
Summary
For the past ten years, dacadoo, a healthtech and insurtech start-up based in Switzerland, has been developing and operating its digital health engagement solution, including mobile applications, exploring ways to monetize the patented and AI-based health score it developed. Dacadoo has a dual objective: It aims to help users achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles with its proprietary “health score” and a digital health engagement solution, while at the same time it seeks to drive digital transformation of the insurance industry, with a focus on life and health insurers. As dacadoo has moved from being a start-up into a high-growth phase, this case series explores which business model(s) will help the company grow to its full potential. In 2010, Peter Ohnemus, a serial entrepreneur who had already built sixteen companies, took some well-deserved time off after the sale of his last successful venture. During this “between ventures” break in Verbier, he noticed his health had improved after two weeks of ski touring, but he could not quantify exactly how much he had progressed. That is when a new idea came to him: How to score human health holistically, encompassing physical health, mental wellbeing and lifestyle. Peter came down from the mountains and started a new company, which led to dacadoo.
Copyright ©2022
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Organization dacadoo
Industry Health Care;Information Technology, Information Technology Services;Finance and Insurance, Insurance
Language English
Contact

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Case Study Digital Ethics Sustainability
Mastercard’s ethical approach to governing AI
Mastercard, the global payments company, is known as a leader in privacy by design; senior leaders promote data responsibility and employees follow strict ethical guidelines and robust frameworks to manage and protect data. The company views AI as a significant part of its strategy going forward, using it to fight fraud, improve the consumer pay…
By Öykü Işık and Lisa Simone Duke
©2022
Case Study Asia China Digital Strategy
Youhualin: Digitizing the supply chain in China
Youhualin, a Chinese technology company driven by operations research, artificial intelligence and big data technology, provides intelligent decision-making solutions to help companies optimize operational issues that have been persistent pain points. In 2013, China Eastern Airlines was looking for a solution to one of the industry’s toughest pr…
By Mark J. Greeven Patrick Reinmoeller Yunfei Feng and Erik Walenza-Slabe
©2022