Michelin Fleet Solutions
Michelin Fleet Solutions Case Brief
Writing up a case brief can be difficult at first, but practice will help you develop a useful and repeatable skill that you can use for the rest of your career. Your objective is to practice writing concise summaries, something that leads the reader to believe you have completed a thorough analysis to support your recommendations. This is the type of brief typically prepared for upper management before they approve the resources you need for a more detailed investigation into a business matter.
Case analysis follows a specific analytical process to solve business problems, so my case brief writing approach is also very specific. The sections in your write-up (or brief) must be presented a specific way.
Include the following section headings:
1. Problem Statement (~2-3 sentences). Provide a brief statement of the key problem in the case. Be sure to focus on a problem, not a symptom. Be sure to focus on one problem – even if the case has more than one. All of your subsequent analysis should be directly related to this one problem.
2. Situation Analysis (usually .5 – 1 page). Summarize the key factors of the situation that drove your
subsequent recommendation and implementation. Don’t just list all the facts. Situation analysis should
include assessment of the 4 C’s (customers, competition, company, and context). Focus on those factors most relevant to the problem statement.
3. Alternatives. Briefly discuss at least 2 unchosen alternative solutions that you considered for addressing the problem. Each alternative should have three subsections – a) an overview of the option, b) a listing of pros/cons, and c) a summary that utilizes the Toulmin persuasive argument structure:
• Claim: A belief or claim, not a fact
• Data: Evidence supporting the claim. Fact based. What are your reasons? Often starts with
• Warrant: Connects (bridges) the data and the claim. It shows why the data supports the
claim. Often starts with “given…”
• Rebuttal: Addresses potential (anticipated) objections to the claim. May start with “unless…”
4. Recommendation. This section should follow the same format as each Alternative – except that the detail in each section should be greater (a little longer overview, more pros/cons, and a longer summary). The summary might be fodder for ideas to be fleshed out in the implementation plan. (Logically, the
“rebuttal” ideas from your unchosen alternatives should be addressed here.)
5. Implementation Plan. Outlines a specific plan for implementing your recommendation. The
implementation should be practical, consider the costs and benefits, and include a specific time frame.
These are essential elements and sometimes require making some assumptions. Make the assumptions
necessary to put forth your plan. The implementation plan may also outline specific tactics to address
weaknesses (or cons identified in your alternatives). Extras. This section should include supporting analysis or tools to make clear other sections of the brief.
The section is an excellent opportunity for you to show how other concepts and tools you have learned in the MBA program aid in making this decision. For example, a SWOT, Porter’s Five Forces analysis,
calculation of return on investment, or a pro forma income statement may be useful. Alternatively, you
may create a diagram that facilitates understanding the analysis or how elements of the implementation
plan fit together. You might apply other tools you have learned from work, reading, or other relevant
experiences as well. The key is to choose a tool that is most relevant to this decision.
• IMPORTANT: At least one of your “Extras” must be a spreadsheet. EVERY case brief must include your
own financial or quantitative analysis, which you should embed into your case brief. Many of our
cases will present obvious analysis opportunities while others will require that you make some
assumptions. Included analytics should add value to the discussion, rather than simply adding a
graphic. Never simply copy a chart or data from the case. Always manipulate the given data to offer
new insight into the problem in the case.
• Template: Use the “Case Brief Template” posted in Canvas!
• Format: Limit your brief to four pages of text, single-spaced and double spaced between paragraphs
• Extras: Include up to two additional pages of “extras” in the form of graphs, spreadsheets, figures, exhibits, etc.
• Logic: Provide a fact-based rationale for your recommendations and implementation plan
• Clarity: Make sure the case brief is easy to understand
• Readability: Leverage bullets, graphics, sub-headings, etc. to make the write-up easy to follow
• Errors: Proofread your work (as you would any work you submit to a manager) and ensure that exhibits are self-explanatory.
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