CIP Projects Fall 2018

The following projects will be available to students in the Mack Institute’s Fall 2018 Collaborative Innovation Program (MGMT 892).

The application deadline has now passed. Sign up here for updates about the next semester of CIP.

New Growth Areas to Serve the Connected Home Consumer

Organizational Background

Company A is a large media and technology company focused on bringing the next generation of entertainment, communication, and connectivity experiences to your home. Traditionally focused on video the company is looking to expand the businesses it competes in to sustain future growth. The internal group at the company is interested in researching which new categories of services will be most relevant to customers in the connected/smart home of future.

Project Summary

The project requires identification of current or future problems consumers face in the connected/smart home, as well as opportunities this presents for the Company given its existing businesses. The opportunities should be viewed as potential areas of growth for the company (outside of video) that will bring significant value within 5 years.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Identification of the top problems consumers face in the connected/smart home via primary and secondary research
  • Identification of key trends and emerging technologies to help solve those problems
  • Identification of key categories for future growth and investigation
  • Identification of potential acquisitions or partnerships, and recommendation for how they align with the rest of the company’s portfolio

Ecosystem Services for Insurance Firms: Telematics, Gamification, Emerging Technologies

Organizational Background

Ecosystem services have the potential not only to build loyalty, but also to increase profits. Policyholders who use these services are likely to be safer and healthier, meaning they’re apt to file fewer claims — and that can be a boon to their carrier’s bottom line. Insurers that offer services beyond insurance gain access to a rich stream of customer data, which can help them hone their offerings further, as well as become more efficient delivering them.

Project Summary

How can insurers break the Gordian knot of commoditization and consumer indifference that is stymying their efforts to generate and sustain consumer loyalty? Insurers that offer services beyond insurance gain access to a rich stream of customer data and influence customer behavior leading to fewer claims. The more insurers can leverage what they know about their policyholders—where they live, what kind of cars they drive, the way they drive, how they behave in social settings, their interests, among other data points—the better they can offer those customers insurance products and noninsurance services tailored to their specific needs.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Report and recommendations on existing practices in the insurance industry regarding extension products such as the ones described
  • Business proposal/feasibility model that incorporates specific products tailored to Company B business model
    • This study could provide insights into product concepts such as smart-car tools (telematics), gamification, new technology and social media practices among others, as well as their business implications for an insurance organization.

Non-Traditional Methods and Metrics of Brand Tracking and Brand Health

Organizational Background

Company C is a multi-national Japanese automobile manufacturer. This assignment is on behalf of the Market Intelligence team. The MI team is responsible for the customer research and insights for the North American market. Included among the various research responsibilities is tracking KPI’s related to Company C’s (and competitive) brand health metrics for the organization.

Project Summary

MI is interested in developing new non-traditional methods of customer feedback that either replicate or can be proxies for traditional brand metrics. Customer questionnaires are traditionally slow methodologies, and the company wants to explore using digital feedback from social media, blogs and on line customer verbatim. The project will focus on replicating the metrics gathered in the current Company C brand tracking study.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Identify new, on-line sources that can replicate current metrics.
  • Provide metrics similar to purchase funnel and imagery indicating the degree of awareness/interest in Company C vehicles in comparison with competitors.
  • The new sources and their metrics should be trackable over time.
  • Show pros/cons of these new sources and the metrics created from them.
  • Make recommendations of new metrics and key performance indicators that can more quickly gauge the state of the brand and its momentum in the current new mobility environment.

Company C’s new mobility strategies include a focus on intelligent mobility, electrification, and autonomous vehicles.

B2B Digital Health Go-to-Market Strategy

Organizational Background

Company D plans to leverage its technology – including wearables, apps, and data analytics – to drive behavioral changes in patients that will improve outcomes while driving cost savings for payers/providers. This year, Company D successfully launched a pilot cardiac post-acute care digital monitoring service with a large integrated delivery network in the U.S. as an initial entry into the larger digital health monitoring market. This pilot involves activity monitoring and vitals/symptom tracking using a Company D smartwatch, patient reminders/checklists using a custom app, and a clinician dashboard to measure patient and population level data.

Project Summary

U.S. healthcare costs in 2015, with over 50% of adults having at least one chronic condition. One of the major challenges of chronic disease management is patient non-adherence to post-acute care rehabilitation plans, which can lead to further emergency events or hospital admissions, which lead to higher (preventable) costs and penalties for some hospitals.

Healthcare delivery in the U.S. is a fragmented and complex system involving multiple consumer journeys, paths to purchase, provider groups, payers, regulatory frameworks, and others. Additionally, the introduction of innovative technologies into health services in the U.S. is a complicated process involving public and private approval processes.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Value propositions to different stakeholders and decision maker/influencer map
  • Priority GTM programs and phased strategy
  • Assessment on the existing economic models for comparable offerings in the marketplace
  • Formulate distribution expansion strategy & timeline (B2B sales strategy, channel expansion, return rate risk assessment)

Two-Way Customer Lifetime Value Model – Publishing Industry

Organizational Background

Company E is one of the world’s largest publishers in the English, Spanish, and Portuguese languages. The company employs nearly 10,000 people globally and has published 15,000 titles under 250 divisions and imprints.

Project Summary

The project will be a 2-way Customer Lifetime Value model for the U.S. market, both for from bottom-up (focus on end consumers for books, factoring in our market share) as well as top-down (focus on retailer/market segments).

The goal of the project will be to produce both an attribution model as well as actionable insights for growth areas for Company E’s core market of book consumption.

Objectives and Deliverables

The project should give us an insight on the new products and innovations, technological advancements and changing customer tastes and preferences in the U.S. market. It should guide us on the market trends in the next 5 years and the way to exploit these trends for business growth and profitability.

  • A bottom-up CLV model blending previous consumer proprietary around key segments research as well as CRM data
  • A top-down model of retailer segmentation
  • An integration of the models of customer and retail segments featuring dynamic scenario modeling for potential share-shifts in physical and digital purchase behaviors going forward
  • Strategic analysis of the implications of the models, with a focus on potential growth segments (consumers plus retailers) 2019-2024

Industry 4.0 Motorcycle Manufacturing

Organizational Background

Company F is a leader in automotive business with design and manufacturing of automotive components like gears, transmissions, chassis, disc & drum brakes etc. for global customers like BMW Motorrad, BMW Cars, Audi, Harley Davidson, Hero Motocorp, Suzuki, Ducati, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Bosch, General Motors etc. The company has joint ventures with ZF Friedrichshafen of Germany, Sumitomo Kiriu of Japan and Hewland of UK.

Project Summary

The Company’s motorcycle brand has been supported by a robust manufacturing and supply chain back-end since its inception and has been a key success factor for building the company into an institution for the past 62 years. For majority of its existence, the brand operated with a large, single factory which continues to be the world’s largest integrated motorcycle manufacturing plant capable of producing over 19,000 bikes per day. To support our expansion plans into different product segments & geographical segments, the company established/inorganically acquired new manufacturing facilities in India, and in Sri Lanka while expanding R&D capabilities by establishing in-house R&D set ups (internal innovation center), and a design innovation center in UK.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Process optimization upgrade recommendations for existing manufacturing plants (technology, productivity, process, people) – context is a 3×3 project where we intend to improve productivity by 3 times in 3 years
  • Recommendations for Design, layout, process engineering and technology for new plants
  • Charting out the strategy for “Innovation” in the company for its UK-based design center and HQ-based Innovation Center

The Financial Services Firm of the Future and Its Impact on the Future Value Chain

Organizational Background

Company G has a nearly 80-year history of providing global financial business solutions to its clients, which include advisors, broker-dealers, registered investment advisor firms and wealth managers. With a network of more than 20 offices worldwide, Company G has more than 1,400 clients, representing more than six million investor accounts and approximately $1.8T in global client assets.

Project Summary

Innovation at all levels is happening in every industry—and changes seem to occur at breakneck speed. While financial services tends to lag other industries, that is about to change as non-traditional entrants come into the market and technology continues to move at an accelerated pace.

At the same time, we are witnessing big changes in expectations of investors toward their advisor interactions. And advisors and home office professionals’ expectations toward how they are being serviced are likewise driven by retail experiences delivered by Uber and Co.

Given what is expected to occur, how will this disrupt the financial services industry, and what will this industry look like in five years’ time? How can Company G take advantage of this disruption and position itself for the future growth of its company and clients?

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Overarching: Looking five years out and taking into account the various trends within the wealth management industry, how would one design—if there were no barriers (i.e., greenfield)—the perfect client organization (i.e., RIA, bank broker-dealer, independent broker-dealer) of the future? What would this organization and its advisors and investors look like? What would be the technology landscape, client base, business model, etc.?
  • Given this new type of financial services firm, what are some other disruptive scenarios that should be considered that could have significant impact on Company G, taking into account:
    • Technology (i.e., blockchain)
    • Competitors (direct business threats)
    • Upstream disruption (e.g., Amazon becoming a top player to compete with broker-dealers or RIAs and banks)
    • Other factors
  • How would the above scenarios impact Company G, and what preemptive moves should the company be considering?

How Financial Services Ecosystems Develop and Thrive

Organizational Background

Company H works tirelessly to provide consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial services and products. It strives to create the best outcomes for its clients and customers with financial ingenuity that leads to solutions that are simple, creative and responsible. With $18.5 B in revenues last quarter and net income of $4.5 B, Company H serves the interest of its clients around the world while providing value to the economies of those countries in which it operates.

Through investing in growing firms, a vibrant entrepreneurship program within the company, as well as product and strategy development, Company H provides valuable partnerships to its businesses and helps the company as a whole respond to meaningful macro trends.

Project Summary

One of the key macro trends that Company H would like to continue to develop with students is how financial services ecosystems develop and thrive. Given the regulatory environment in the industry, what are the challenges for financial firms when attempting to become platform firms – beyond sharing APIs and open banking initiatives. Students may investigate the following questions:

  • What is an industry/corporate ecosystem?
  • What are the traits of an ecosystem?
  • Who are the players? Roles?
  • With banks and financial institutions being long established and highly regulated what are the opportunities for true financial services ecosystems
  • Are there advantages if a first mover?
  • What is the impact of smaller fintech firms’ disruption?
  • What actions should the big banks take now or in the near term?
  • Recent headlines are claiming that fintech companies are now seeking partnerships with established banks vs disrupting/displacing. Is this inevitable or a momentary pivot? What are the implications to financial services ecosystems?

Objectives and Deliverables

Students will be asked to deliver the following:

  • A comprehensive strategic view of major financial services firms’ efforts to build ecosystems
  • An analysis of competitor efforts and capacity to act as platform firms with strong ecosystems.
  • An analysis of Company H’s current strengths and comparative advantage in this respect
  • Strategic recommendations for Company H in the ecosystem space. How can it develop into a platform company?
  • Describe key products, services, and information exchange that make up a financial services ecosystem.

This project will report to the team of Company H’s Head of Innovation Network and Emerging Technologies.

Internal, External and Open Innovations in Telecommunications

Organizational Background

Company I is a global telecom firm whose infrastructure includes sub-sea, terrestrial communications, data centers, fixed line and wireless services. The organization reaches more than 240 countries, 99.7% of the world’s GDP, and 24% of global internet traffic.

Project Summary

Company I has a broad innovation agenda which encompasses internal, external and open innovations programs. The internal innovation program is aimed at crowdsourcing ideas from employees. Selected ideas are then incubated as internal start-ups – they are provided with seed capital and a lot of acceleration support in terms of guidance and mentors.

Objectives and Deliverables

We would like a team of students to help:

  • Assess our current internal innovation program against industry best practices and suggest improvements in terms of:
    • Intent vs achievement
    • Structure, processes & governance
    • Rapid prototyping
    • Incentives
    • Metrics for measuring progress of individual ideas
  • Create an executable communication and marketing plan around the entire innovation program. This should take a holistic look at the Company I’s innovation strategy and help devise internal and external facing communication plan.
  • Plan how we should be measuring the company’s innovation quotient. While one part of this analysis would be to identify the metrics, we would like the project to also measure our current levels based on the framework proposed. Our main intention is to track the impact of the various innovation program at a company level and demonstrate the progress we are making year-on-year.