Sample Case

The case interview can be a source of anxiety during the consulting process. To demystify what one might expect, we've provided a sample case below. To use the case properly, be sure to observe the following:

  1. Read the prompt carefully and attempt to "hone-in" on the actual problem to solve

    1. Determine if you need any additional information to clarify the scope of the problem​

    2. Begin to develop a hypothesis you can use to structure an approach

  2. For each question, imagine that the interviewer has posed the question. Then, click the drop down, and follow any prompts.

  3. Only click to reveal the answer after you have made an attempt to provide your own answer

  4. Compare your answer to the answer provided

  5. What do you think? How do you feel? Ready for more?

Note: this is an interviewer-led case. In interviewee-led cases, rather than the interviewer asking a question to drive the discussion, the interviewee is expected to vocalize the next step s/he would like to take.

Auto Emissions 

Practice Case 1

Additional Information (if asked, this is information the interviewer may provide)

Some cases require you to ask for information upfront, but some do not. This case has information that would be available upon request. If you asked questions not relevant to the case, the interviewer could make up an answer (since it doesn't matter) or advise you that it is not relevant. Info to be provided if requested:
• The client is currently operating only within the US marketplace
• Most diesel engines are utilized for off-highway vehicles (John Deer, Caterpillar) → used in construction, heavy machinery, etc.
• This is a brand new product
• No competitors currently hold this product patent
• Patent is valid for another 20 years
• We currently already have relationships with all diesel engine manufacturers

Question 1: What are the drivers and factors that you would like to consider in order to determine how much revenue we can gain in the next five years?

Answer: Here is where you are expected to produce a thorough structure/framework to tackle the problem.

Reveal Answer to Question 1

This is a sample of a generic framework to approach this problem.

Questions 2: The team put together the chart provided below. What are the big takeaways you see? → Given the client's goal, which company or companies would you target?

Reveal Answer to Question 2

The interviewee should point out Navistar has the highest priority in terms of timing to lower their emissions for vehicles and should, therefore, be targeted first. Additionally, it has the highest delta above emissions targets.
Deere and Komatsu should also be targeted (both above the regulation threshold)
Volvo should likely NOT be targeted as it appears they have technology available that can lower emissions rapidly (look at on-highway vehicles last year emissions level vs this years)

Question 3: Take a look at Exhibit 2. How much revenue could the client gain
from selling to your selected targets over the next five years?

The license fee is $375 per vehicle.

Reveal Answer to Question 3

License fee is $375 per vehicle Navistar – 30% Market Share * 400K Total Vehicles = 120K Vehicles Deere + Komatsu – 50% Market Share Combined * 120K Total Vehicles = 60K Vehicles (120K + 60K) * $375/vehicle = $67.5M Revenue The answer should also include a "so what" as to what this $67.5M implies in relation to the client's goal(s).

Question 4: What are some options to increase revenues after the 5-year window?

An Ansoff 2 X 2 Matrix or 4P framework would be appropriate to brainstorm ways to increase revenues.

Reveal Answer to Question 4

Brainstorming is a way to demonstrate your creativity, an extremely valuable asset in the team room. There are no "right" answers, per se, but a strong answer might touch on some of the following: • New geographic expansion
• Expand offering to planes and trains

Case Prompt:

Your client is an industrial goods producer who primarily focuses efforts on planes, trains, and various automobile parts. Their R&D team recently developed a way of lowering emissions for diesel engines. Environmental regulation changes currently occurring will likely benefit their R&D funding in the future. To roll the product out to the market, your client plans to partner with diesel manufacturers and license its product to achieve revenue.