McKinsey Case Study Prompt
Our client is Machine Co. – a European specialty machine manufacturer. The company researches, designs, and manufactures a variety of machines from underwater drills to semi-conductor chip fabricating machines. The machines are developed based on specific requirement of a customer, as well as brand products which are then marketed and sold to niche customers. One of Machine Co.’s brand products is an injection molding machine (XG 43). This machine injects and molds plastic at high temperatures to create specific plastic products. XG43 is renowned for fabricating high quality products with a nine-sigma defect rate. The quality of products is unmatched by any other existing machine.
Although XG43 has strong and profitable market share in Europe, it is unable to sell any machines in the US. Over the past few years, Machine Co. has made two unsuccessful attempts to penetrate the US market. McKinsey has been retained by Machine Co. to evaluate whether a third attempt is warranted, and if so, how can the attempt be made successful.
Do you have any clarifying questions? Proceed to layout your general structure.
Case Study Overview
Get ready to be stretched by this McKinsey case study! Before you dive in, make sure to thoroughly read the prompt to gain an understanding of the problem. This case involves a machine manufacturer that wants to break into the US market with one of the company’s specialty machines. Previous attempts at US market entry have failed, so you have been brought in to evaluate potential strategies for successful market penetration.
The Market Study Framework will be your friend here as you begin to lay out a structure for the case. However, don’t limit yourself to that 1 structure – use your creativity and business smarts to build a custom structure tailored to the specifics of the business situation in the case.
This is an advanced case study (qualitative difficulty: 3/4) that you would see in a McKinsey final round. The McKinsey case study has no math exhibits.
McKinsey Interview Tips
McKinsey prizes structure above all else in its case interview candidates.
Do you have the ability to maintain structure throughout the entirety of the case study interview? That will be your challenge in this case. Get more McKinsey interview tips here.
In this McKinsey case study, make it a point to focus on these 2 things:
- Time yourself throughout the case: 2min to build structure and 2min to present it; 2min each for a brainstorming question; 2min for final recommendation
- Communicating with clarity and polish
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