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Case Archive

Chinese Pharmaceuticals (HK) Limited: Effective Forecasting for Optimal Inventory Management
Reference No. 1212-006
Author(s) Ronald Lau, Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2012
Number of Pages 7 pages of text + 3 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 10 pages of text + 12 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials student Excel spreadsheet, instructor Excel spreadsheet, instructor PowerPoint file.
Company Chinese Pharmaceuticals (HK) Limited
Industry pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Discipline operations management
Functional area(s) inventory, distribution, supply chain
 

The case is based on a situation faced by Chinese Pharmaceuticals (HK) Limited, a private, family-owned business in Hong Kong that supplies Chinese medicine products to retailers in Hong Kong and Macau. The protagonist of the case is Jason Kwok, general manager. His challenge is maintaining adequate inventory levels of Noto37, especially given the cash the company would need to tie up in additional stock. Without compromising the company’s cash flow needs, Jason has to implement better systems internally, such as improved forecasting and inventory management practices, to avoid out-of-stock situations.

The key objective of this case is to provide students with necessary skills and an understanding of deriving reliable and accurate forecasts for inventory replenishment decisions. The students will learn to resolve many inventory management issues using a variety of forecasting models. Aside from mastering the technical aspects of forecasting models, students will also have a chance to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a particular supply chain design and to evaluate the feasibility of adopting a vertically integrated supply chain.

Arome Bakery: Replenishment of Fresh Bakery Products
Reference No. 712-005
Author(s) Ronald Lau, Stephen Shum, Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2012
Number of Pages 5 pages of text + 3 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 8 pages of text + 4 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials student Excel spreadsheet, instructor Excel spreadsheet, instructor PowerPoint file.
Company Arome Bakery
Industry retail and wholesale, food retail
Discipline operations management
Functional area(s) inventory, distribution, supply chain
 

The case is based on the situation faced by Arome Bakery, one of the leading bakery chains in Hong Kong. The protagonist of the case, Sarah Cheng, assistant operations manager, wants to increase the bakery’s competitiveness by improving the operation. One of the key goals is to reduce the number of unsold products that are returned to the central baking factory for disposal. Sarah is looking for a systematic method to determine the optimum order quantity, so as to minimize product wastage while balancing stock-out risk.

The key objective of this case is to provide students with an understanding of stock replenishment for perishable goods through an explanation of the newsvendor model. Other concepts, such as incentive program design and authority assignation, are also touched upon.

The Convoy Story: Sailing Through the Turbulence
Reference No. 040904N
Author(s) Steven J. DeKrey
Publication Year 2009
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 20
Copyright HKUST
Teaching Notes Available
Subjects Covered Entrepreneurship, Mangement, Corporate Social Responsibility
 

In a decade's time, Convoy Financial Services Ltd, the brainchild of two entrepreneurs, had gone through the turbulent background of the Asian financial crisis, SARS, the dot-com bubble and the 2008 financial tsunami, and developed into one of the best independent financial adviser (IFA) firms in Hong Kong. As the foam settles from the financial tsunami, Convoy was seeking to position itself beyond Hong Kong to become a regional player.

 

The Jebsen Group - the Next Hundred Years as a Family Controlled Business
Reference No. 040903N
Author(s) Roger King and Winnie Peng
Publication Year 2009
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 20
Copyright HKUST
Teaching Notes Available
Subjects Covered Family Business, Succession Planning, Leadership
 

As with other successful European China-traders, the Hong Kong based family controlled Jebsen Group, operating under hostile environment and political unrests, has thrived and prospered for more than 100 hundred years. The case identifies the past success factors and examines the challenges faced to survive for another 100 years under the Jebsen’s family ownership. The current Chairman, Michael Jebsen, contemplates the necessary strategies to maintain the Jebsen legacy.

 

Lee and Li Attorneys-at-Law: Internal Fraud
Reference No. 040902N
Author(s) Steven J. DeKrey
Publication Year 2009
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 9
Copyright HKUST
Teaching Notes Available
Subjects Covered Crisis Management, Ethical Leadership
 

In 2003, Lee and Li encountered the biggest crisis in its 40 plus years of history. Lee and Li was the custodian of US technology company SanDisk’s stock investment in Taiwan, and one of its staff had sold the stocks without authorization and run away with the proceeds. The embezzlement left the law firm in huge debt to SanDisk. Nonetheless, Lee and Li managed to negotiate a deal with SanDisk and in the subsequent years repaid the embezzled money.

 

From Socialized Institution to Privatized Corporation: The Link Real Estate Investment Trust Experience
Reference No. 040901N
Author(s) Steven J. DeKrey
Publication Year 2009
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 25
Copyright HKUST
Teaching Notes Available
Subjects Covered Leadership, Mangement, Corporate Social Responsibility
 

On November 25, 2005, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) successfully divested a major portion of its shopping and carpark facilities through the listing of the Link REIT. The properties are located within the government housing estates and have been inefficiently managed by the HA. To address its financial crisis and to concentrate on its core objective of providing housing for those who could not afford private accommodations, HA decided to divest these properties.

 

Catching the Wave at Ocean Park
Reference No. 050801N
Author(s) Paul Forster
Publication Year 2008
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 40
Copyright HKUST
Subjects Covered Leadership, Management, Marketing
 

On November 25, 2005, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) successfully divested a major portion of its shopping and carpark facilities through the listing of the Link REIT. The properties are located within the government housing estates and have been inefficiently managed by the HA. To address its financial crisis and to concentrate on its core objective of providing housing for those who could not afford private accommodations, HA decided to divest these properties.

 

Oasis Airlines – Hong Kong’s First Low Fare Airline: What Went Wrong?
Reference No. 040803N
Author(s) Roger King and Jeroen Kuilman
Publication Year 2008
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 20
Copyright HKUST
Subjects Covered Bankruptcy, Leadership, Management
 

Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong’s first long-haul, low-fare airline, once received the “Best New Service” and “Best Business-Class Carrier” awards, was forced to cease operations in April 2008. The airline had accumulated a loss of HK$1 billion (US$128 million) since its inception. What had gone wrong?

 

Harilela Enterprises: Passing the Torch in a Family Business
Reference No. 040802N
Author(s) Roger King and Winnie Peng
Publication Year 2008
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 12
Copyright HKUST
Teaching Notes Available
Subjects Covered Family Business, Succession Planning, Leadership
 

As the octogenarian Dr. Hari Harilela GBS, OBE, JP1 contemplates the future of his group of companies; the most pressing issue on his mind is how to ensure a smooth succession that will place Aron, his only son, as head of the business and at the head of the family at the appropriate time. Apart from the usual challenges faced by any heir, Aron will also have to overcome the “handicap” of his youth when dealing with senior family and board members, and learn to lead in resolving issues smoothly and driving the agenda forward.

 

Transformation from Hi-Tech to Food and Beverage: the Chevalier iTech Story
Reference No. 040801N
Author(s) Roger King and Winnie Peng
Publication Year 2008
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 17
Copyright HKUST
Teaching Notes Available
Subjects Covered M&A, Diversification, Family Business
 

Since early 2005, Oscar Chow, Executive Director of both Chevalier International Holdings Limited (“CIHL”) and Chevalier iTech Holdings Limited (“CiTL”)1, planned and executed the transformation of CiTL from a technology company into a food and beverage business. Before the transformation, CiTL was experiencing difficulties in a fiercely competitive and volatile technology market with a sub-optimal strategy that could not be fixed easily. To adapt to the changing business environment proactively, Oscar made a bold move to reshape CiTL through acquisitions of Pacific Coffee Company in April 2005, and the Igor Group’s portfolio of food and beverage business in 2007.

 

Towngas and Climate Change
Reference No. 050701N
Author(s) Paul Forster
Publication Year 2007
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 37
Copyright HKUST
Subjects Covered Management
 

The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited, known as Towngas, was facing an aimmensely complex problem: climate change. It presented both threats and opportunities for Towngas. Alfred W K Chan, Managing Director of the company, was considering how climate change might be incorporated into their business models in order to prepare Towngas for the future.

 

Pacific Coffee: Preaching the Real Soul of the Coffee Culture
Reference No. 040702N
Author(s) John Hulpke and Roger King
Publication Year 2007
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 23
Copyright HKUST
Teaching Notes Available
Subjects Covered Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Exit Strategy, Management
 

Within a few years of its incorporation in 1993, Pacific Coffee had transformed from a fledgling set-up to a premium brand in Hong Kong. As a forward thinking entrepreneur, Tom Neir knew that at some point, he and his business partners might want to exit the business and move on to something else. Instead of holding on to his brainchild, Tom thought it might be worth bringing in new investors who could carry it to new heights.

 

Crown Worldwide Holdings Ltd.: Passing the Torch in a Family Business
Reference No. 040701N
Author(s) Roger King
Publication Year 2007
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 18
Copyright HKUST
Teaching Notes Available
Subjects Covered Family Business, Succession Planning
 

James Thompson, Chairman of Crown Worldwide Holdings, in his mid-sixties, had begun to think of succession issues. The treasured achievement of his life would inevitably see the day when its founder was no longer there to oversee its operations and development; yet it was uncertain whether any of his children had the competence, stamina or interest to take over such a diversified global conglomerate. Thompson understood very well that, although he was still in good health and good spirits, he had to tackle these issues before it was too late.

 

Cafe de Coral: Being Happy Together Across the Globe
Reference No. 050601N
Author(s) Kar Yan Tam
Publication Year 2006
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 34
Copyright HKUST
Subjects Covered Marketing, Management
 

In 2006, the Cafe de Coral group has just celebrated twenty years as a public company. Mr. Michael Chan, Chairman and CEO of the company, was uncertain about the directions his company should take, in order to remain the success and longevity in the cut-throad world of fast food.  Should the company move outside of Hong Kong and follow a much more aggressive plan than it had followed previously?

 

Competition and Collaboration: The New Challenge Facing Hong Kong International Airport
Reference No. 050501N
Author(s) Kar Yan Tam
Publication Year 2005
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 32
Copyright HKUST
Subjects Covered Marketing, Management
 

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has established a reputation as one of the most modern and efficient airports in the world. But HKIA’s future is by no means assured. The airport faces a range of business issues, with competition from neighboring airports high on the agenda. How can HKIA remain competitive? Will China’s growth be sufficient to create the win-win situation for HKIA and its neighbors? Will HKIA be able to provide leadership in this context?

 

Developing Smartphones at GSL Ltd.
Reference No. 050401N
Author(s) Kar Yan Tam
Publication Year 2004
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 26
Copyright HKUST
Subjects Covered Marketing, Management, Information Systerms
 

Samson Tam, Chairman of Group Sense Limited (GSL), worried about the directions the smartphone market in year of 2004. GSL’s smartphones were built upon Palm’s operating system (OS) as their PDAs had been. However, competing operating systems had surfaced in the market. Samson was wondering if they should stay the course with the Palm OS or abandon ship and change operating systems. In addition, where would 3G,  the next wireless wave, fit in the mix?

 

Chung Tak Lighting Control System: A Joint Venture Partnership in China
Reference No. 030401N
Author(s) Wilfried R. Vanhonacker
Publication Year 2004
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 21
Copyright HKUST / ECCH
Subjects Covered Joint Venture, Management
 

Chung Tak Lighting Control System a joint venture between Siemens Ltd, General Electronics Ltd and YiXing Industrial Corporation, was set up in 1993 in the industrial town of Panyu, in China’s Guangdong province, as a division of Siemens to produce electronic ballasts. The joint venture was being lauded as one of Siemens most successful joint ventures in China. For Chung Tak Lighting Control System, 2003 had been an extremely successful year as they had managed to increase their global market share to 23%.

 

Circle K at a Crossroads
Reference No. 050301N
Author(s) Kar Yan Tam
Publication Year 2003
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 28
Copyright HKUST
Subjects Covered Marketing, Management
 

In 2003, Richard Yeung, CEO of Convenience Retail Asia is facing a tough decision. The company and its Circle K convenience shops had survived the SARS crisis though the rebound from the worst of it had been slow. How would the company weather yet another SARS storm? Should Circle K expand in China?

 

Hang Cheong Surveyors Limited
Reference No. 039902N
Author(s) Wilfried R. Vanhonacker
Publication Year 1999
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 19
Copyright HKUST / CEIBS
Subjects Covered Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Management
 

By December 1997, Pearl River Hang Cheong (PRHC) PRHC had occupied an office space of 1000 square feet and had expanded over time to many small offices on the same floor of a commercial building in the center of Guangzhou. As S. C. Liu, Managing Director of PRHC’s Hong Kong parent, Hang Cheong Surveyors Ltd., contemplated this milestone, he realized that many challenges lay ahead.

 

Hong Kong's Airport Express Train
Reference No. 039901N
Author(s) Wilfried R. Vanhonacker
Publication Year 1999
Publication Type Case
Number of Pages 36
Copyright HKUST / INSEAD
Subjects Covered Joint Venture, Marketing
 

In March 1999, the Airport Express had been operating for about 8 months. Original planning had anticipated daily ridership at 39,000 passengers traveling to Hong Kong's new airport at Chek Lap Kok. But actual ridership was running at 60 percent of that target. What could be done to increase ridership and revenue?

 

 
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