Pricing Police: An Activity-Based Costing Model of Police Services
Vaughan Radcliffe, Mitchell Stein, Adam Erickson, 2016
This case examines the cost implications to municipalities of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) releasing its new municipal billing model of service costs. The new billing model was designed to provide a more consistent, transparent, and accurate reflection of municipal servicing costs. however it potentially conflicts with the objectives In the face of municipal concerns over how the model allocates service costs, the OPP must demonstrate the merit of the new billing model to ensure its adoption by all municipalities.
Julie Hallman at the Falaise Foundation
Ann Frost, Tony Frost, Mary Gillett, 2016
Julie Hallman, the daughter of the founder of the Falaise Foundation, is about to assume the presidency of the struggling non-profit arts organization. The foundation was suffering financially due to a combination of weak fundraising, high operating costs, an ineffective board of trustees, and a murky relationship between the founding family and the foundation. Without any business background Julie Hallman must develop an understanding of the root causes of the foundation’s problems and identify a set of strategies and actions to effect a successful turnaround.
Tesu SZZ d.o.o.
David J. Sharp, 2013
The case depicts a scenario where the chief executive officer of Tesu, a small manufacturing company in Croatia, and a consultant hired come up with a plan to restore the cash flow and improve production efficiencies in order to combat the shortage of cash.
Mary Gillett, Robert Lehnert, 2012
This work illustrates the efforts of a student entrepreneur who realizes the potential to revive the Haitian coffee industry, upon his visit to Haiti. The entrepreneur and his partner open up a start-up café and, upon foreseeing the success their idea may have in a country rich in resources like Haiti, decide to make additional investment into the coffee business.
C. R. Plastics
David Wood, Mary Heisz, 2012
This case provides an insight where Jamie Bailey, owner and president of C. R. Plastics, explores the option of pitching to a Venture Capitalist to help fund his growing business of recycled plastic furniture. In doing so, Jamie must make complex decisions in order to have an idea about the amount of funding he may need to cater to the rising demand in 2011.
Maxim Off Highway Axle Business: An Acquisition Opportunity (A)
Mary Heisz, Mark A. Heisz, 2011
The case revolves around how the president of Zeus Strategic Investments Inc. reviews information to decide whether or not to acquire a non-strategic division of Maxim Automotive. Eager to create value for this division, the president assesses historical financial information from the corporate records of Maxim to figure out whether the division will be able to operate as a standalone business.
Fortune Minerals — The Nico Project
Chris Sturby, Melissa Jean, 2011
This case describes the quantitative and qualitative analysis undertaken by a publicly traded mining company to develop a mine containing gold, cobalt and bismuth in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Some of the factors to consider include the fluctuating foreign exchange rates and the relations between with the First Nations communities.
AT&T Wireless: Text Messaging
Vaughan S. Radcliffe, Mitchell Stein, Michael Lickver, 2011
This case examines AT&T’s wireless business with a focus on its text messaging services. It explores the pricing and profit margin methodologies for companies providing SMS text messaging services. The case requires the use of key concepts in cehavioriour, cost volume profit analysis, and product costing to understand the nature of the business and the profit margins involved.
Compagnie Financiere Richemont S.A.
Murray J. Bryant , Ken Mark, 2011
This work shows the work undertaken by a consumer goods analyst to understand the governance structure and various risks facing Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, a Swiss-based luxury goods conglomerate. The case describes the development of Richemont and provides information on various aspects of the firm, including its many luxury brand houses, management’s preferences, and competitor information with which to conduct a comparator analysis.
Ornge: Improving Service Levels
Murray J. Bryant, Ken Mark, 2011
This case analyzes the decision of Ornge, a not-for-profit organization providing air and ground ambulance services for Ontario, to keep the provision of helicopter services in-house or outsource them to a third party contractor. Dr. Christopher Massa and his team try to determine which option could end up being the most feasible for the firm.
Insolar Solar Umbrella: Democratizing Access to Solar Energy
Mary Gillett, Lena Robinson
In the winter of 2019, the Brazilian entrepreneur and founder of Insolar was proud of what he had accomplished in the five years since the company’s launch. His vision to democratize access to solar energy in Brazil was finally starting to become a reality. Insolar had installed solar panels that were providing a sustainable energy source to 5,000 residents in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The company had also founded an institute to train low-income residents on the installation of solar panels and was continuously designing new innovations to increase the institute’s impact. The founder was ready to make an additional investment and expand the Insolar brand. He had just received word from his research and development team that the final version of his most recent project, the solar kit, would be complete within the next year. However, he still had reservations about launching the product and had to make some key decisions before it could be ready for the market. What would be his next steps on the path to democratize solar energy?
Stone Rock Golf & Country Club: Wedding Bells?
Mary Gillett, Yaqi Shi, Brittney Mackinnon
In 2016, the general manager of Stone Rock Golf & Country Club (SRGCC) in Ainslie, Ontario, was considering an opportunity to grow the club’s weddings and special events business. SRGCC, a popular 18-hole golf course in a small town, was owned and operated by four local families, who ran the business according to their family values and their sense of loyalty and pride in their community. Since the golf industry had recently experienced a significant decline, the manager believed that increased investment in the weddings and special events business would help to strengthen and diversify SRGCC’s revenues. He was considering three different options, from modest to quite substantial: (1) focus on the immediate capital need of renovating the outdated maintenance facility; (2) make a large investment that included adding a new space for weddings and special events, expanded parking, and a new maintenance facility; or (3) do nothing and maintain the status quo. To complete the entire renovation, the club would require an investment of close to $1 million as well as approval from the four families. How could he build a case to increase SRGCC’s revenues and convince both his banker and the board of directors to accept his choice?
Barrick Gold: Integrating ESG into the (Post-Merger) Executive Performance Scorecard
Nadine De Gannes, Shannon Fernandes
On January 2, 2019, Canada-based Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) and Randgold Resources (Randgold) merged to become the largest gold mining company in the world. Following the merger, Barrick’s new executive team communicated a financial strategy that emphasized a long-term focus, particularly on sustainability. Barrick’s executive performance scorecard—a key management tool used to direct executive attention and evaluate performance—had been introduced in 2013, after an overwhelming majority of shareholders voted against a proposed compensation plan at the annual general meeting. No changes had been made to the scorecard since 2015, despite changes in the organization and in the mining industry overall. An external human resources professional who was proposing a new executive scorecard for the company faced several questions: Should she emphasize the short-term or long-term incentive plan? Which metrics and weightings should be changed? Were the existing financial and non-financial measures still appropriate, and did they adequately reflect Barrick’s sustainability goals? Was Barrick doing enough to satisfy regulators, institutional investors, and the many guidelines and standards that had been released in recent years?
To Brew or Not to Brew: The Corkford Brewery Acquisition
Mary Gillett, Chris Sturby, Brittney MacKinnon
In 2017, the president and co-owner of MacKinnon Industries was considering the opportunity to diversify his business and bring a former family business back into the MacKinnon family. With an extensive background in acquiring and managing manufacturing businesses, he now had an opportunity to purchase Corkford Brewery Inc. (Corkford Brewery). The deal included the land, building, and equipment, as well as four successful brands from Tanzer Brewing Company, which owned Corkford Brewery. MacKinnon wanted to evaluate the financial viability of the business venture under three different potential operating scenarios, assess the potential of adding ciders to the product mix, and consider the price that he would be willing to pay to acquire the business.
Kroeker Farms Limited: Expanding Hemp Production
Mary Gillett, Jessica Kelly
Kroeker Farms Ltd. (Kroeker) had 500 acres of organic hemp in 2016 and planned to expand to 1,100 acres in 2017. Kroeker was one of the largest producers of potatoes in Manitoba, and hemp had become an important part of the crop rotation on its certified organic land. The agronomist responsible for all non-vegetable crops was looking at two equipment investment options because the equipment currently used for hemp was already at its maximum capacity. The first option was to invest in a new technology—a camera cultivator along with a new air seeder, which had to be imported from Europe. The second option was to simply invest in a larger version of the row-cropping equipment that had been used successfully for hemp on the farm. With the next seeding term approaching quickly, in Spring 2017, he needed to make this decision as he knew if he chose the new technology option, shipping from Europe would add additional logistical and timing concerns.
Hosted SP: Outsourced SharePoint
Chris Sturby, Mary Gillett, Brendon Lendor-Mason
The founder of a cloud computing business needs to determine the costs of providing the company's services to its clients. Students must perform an activity-based costing exercise to determine the cost of the company's two core product offerings and recommend which product should become the company's focus. Students must also consider the treatment of upfront capital costs when determining profitability. To make a decision, students must understand the company, the industry in which it operates and the costing issues involved.
Ontario Place Revitalization
Mary Gillett, Paul Bigus
In 2012, the Ontario provincial government announced that after 41 years in operation, the iconic Toronto tourist attraction Ontario Place would be shut down. The immediate closing would save the province and tax payers an estimated $20 million a year and eliminate at least 48 full-time jobs and 600 summer positions in the process. Ontario Place attendance had dropped sharply from an average of three million visitors during the early 1980's, to just over 327,000 in 2010. The Ontario government planned to keep the park closed until 2017 and spend the five years following closure to redevelop the majority of the site. It established an advisory panel empowered with the task of evaluating how to once again make Ontario Place a popular city venue and tourist destination. The advisory panel was expected to submit a full report outlining the best ideas for the Ontario Place revitalization to the provincial government by the end of the summer.
Delta 9 Cannabis: Picking a Path to Growth during Turbulent Times
Kun Huo, Pavandeep Sehra
Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. produced and sold recreational cannabis in Canada—a market that after legalization was characterized by volatility in supply, demand, and regulations. Nonetheless, Delta 9 grew rapidly, and March 31, 2020, marked Delta 9’s best-ever fiscal quarter. However, Delta 9’s share prices had deflated over the previous year and the economy had recently been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, there was considerable uncertainty regarding the outlook of Delta 9’s three main business segments, each facing unique challenges and opportunities. The chief executive officer must decide how to allocate existing capital to keep Delta 9 on the path to growth.
First Financial Group: Designing Short-Term Employee Incentive Programs
Kun Huo, Jenny Jiang
In 2019, the director of strategy at US-based First Financial Group (FFG) needed to decide which alternative incentive program the mid-sized bank should use to replace its current short-term incentive plan (STIP) for branch employees. The scorecard-driven STIP was found to have motivated branch sales staff to set up unauthorized accounts in order to obtain bonuses. These actions could potentially bring negative publicity and regulatory penalties to the bank in an industry fraught with such problems. Further, the current STIP had led to conflicts between the branch managers, who were compensated based on dollar sales, and the employees, who were compensated based on units of accounts sold. However, the path forward was not clear. The strategy director could revise the current scorecard or introduce a team-based incentive based on a new scorecard. Regardless of which option was chosen, the bank would have to implement additional management controls to motivate its employees while reducing the risk of fraud.
Lakeside Automotive Ltd.: Digital Employee Recognition Amid Organizational Change
Kun Huo, Ann Peng
In 2018, a dealership facilitator needed to decide whether to continue implementing the Thumbs Up application (app) at Lakeside Automotive Ltd., a family-owned car dealership in the Greater Toronto Area. The Thumbs Up app was a digital tool that enabled employees to recognize each other's good work by sending digitalized badges. The dealership facilitator had introduced this app in an effort to future-proof the organization by leveraging information technology such as digital communications. The move toward more digital communication was also a strategic activity in light of the company’s upcoming relocation and expansion. While some employees acknowledged the value and convenience of this digital tool, others believed it was “a waste of time. How should the dealership facilitator decide on the future of the Thumbs Up app? If she decided to retain the app, how could she improve its effectiveness?
Toshiba's Westinghouse Dilemma
Mitchell Stein, Vaughan S. Radcliffe, Eden Ip
In October 2017, the managing director at Ohtani Capital faced a critical decision—should the company divest its long-term investment in Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba)? Recent events surrounding Toshiba's disagreement with its auditor over how to best report the writedown of its US nuclear power unit (Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC) had negatively impacted the company’s profitability and internal management, leading to the company’s possible delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The managing director needed to decide if Toshiba could overcome its difficulties, improve its internal management, and return to profitability, which would then enable the company to secure the necessary emergency funding to survive.
Grand River University Water Buffalos: Activity-Based Costing of University Sports
Kun Huo, Ian Burt
On April 30, 2018, the athletic director of Grand River University was drafting a plan for his department to be reviewed by the school’s board of trustees. Grand River University was a small university supporting several varsity sports teams that competed regionally and nationally. The men’s hockey, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball programs had struggled in recent years. In fact, the women’s hockey program had been cut several years earlier. The school wanted to reduce the athletics program’s dependence on grants. With the university facing increasing costs and stagnant revenue, the athletic director had to provide information that clearly outlined the cost to the school of each program and athlete. A group of researchers had used activity-based costing to show that the actual cost of having a team was much higher than schools had reported. The athletic director wondered what his school’s costs would look like after applying that method to his calculations.
Nora Lang: Pay Equity at FTS
Matthew Sooy, Lauren Iuliani, W. Spencer Ashby
In August 2018, a recent Canadian business school graduate was excited about starting her dream job at a global financial consulting firm headquartered in the United Kingdom. However, on her first day, she learned from discussions with co-workers that newly hired women (including herself) were offered lower salaries than men who were newly hired for the same positions. She later learned, in an onboarding session, that the company had a strict policy prohibiting pay discussions among employees. The new employee faced a difficult decision in considering what to do next: What were her responsibilities and options? How could she expect the human resources department to respond? Could her choices possibly put her or her colleagues at risk?
RBI and the Great White North Franchisee Association
Vaughan S. Radcliffe, Mitchell Stein, Hashu Rahim
In March 2018, an analyst at an investment management firm in Toronto, Ontario, had to decide whether or not to recommend that his firm establish a position in shares of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI). Formed after the merger of Burger King and Tim Hortons Inc., RBI was led by the private equity firm 3G Capital. RBI was a powerhouse–the third-largest, quick-service restaurant chain in the world. Although RBI was performing well and seemed to present an attractive investment opportunity, the company was facing issues from disgruntled franchisees, who were dissatisfied with the cost-cutting measures implemented at Tim Hortons Inc. as part of 3G Capital’s acquisition. This led to class action lawsuits from franchisees as well as a business slow-down, as measured by same-store sales figures. With not much time left, the analyst had to determine and present a decision to the rest of his team on whether or not to invest in RBI.
Infosys: Peer Review at Board Level
Yaqi Shi, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar
Having positioned itself from the beginning as a global enterprise in information technology, Infosys benchmarked its governance practices with the best in the world right from the start, focusing on the importance of performance appraisal at all levels, including that of the board. Indeed, Infosys broke fresh ground when it introduced a model of Peer Review at the board level wherein each board member would annually review the performance of every other individual member of the board. Launched as the personal initiative of the chairman of the board and chief mentor – who also designed its process framework – the Peer Review was meant to raise the stature of corporate governance at Infosys.
More than seven years later, Infosys launched Board Review, a more common form of performance appraisal wherein each individual member of the board would annually review the performance of the board as a whole during the previous year. As he re-examined Peer Review in light of this new model of appraisal, the chairman of the board had to decide if Peer Review was serving its purpose, if it was damaging to boardroom collegiality, and how to institutionalize performance appraisal processes before he retired.
London Water (A)
Vaughan S. Radcliffe, John G. Wilson, Denise Brunsdon
In 2013, London Water, the water system of the City of London, Ontario, has run deficits for eight of the past nine years, leading to significant pressure to pull the organization out of the red. The Water Engineering Division manager knows that something needs to change. Overhauling the rate structure is an attractive option; however, myriad political, economic and environmental issues are at play. Moreover, as steward of one of the city’s most important utilities, the manager needs to determine the best course of action, ideally a solution that will work in both the short run and the long run. See supplement case 9B15B010.
Politics and the Public Purse: The Government of Ontario versus Public Sector Pension Accounting
Vaughan S. Radcliffe, Grace Wu, Rahul Bedi
On October 3, 2016, the Government of Ontario released its finance statements for the province without the opinion of Ontario's auditor general. This incident stemmed from a disagreement between the auditor and the government over public-sector pension accounting interpretations, which had the potential to seriously affect the province’s budget balance and long-term debt levels. It was uncertain how this disagreement would be resolved. Many members of the media, think tanks, and opposition political parties decried the government for refusing to co-operate with the auditor, while others felt the auditor had gone too far in her interpretation of Public Sector Accounting Standards.
MJD Manufacturing: Capital Budgeting Decisions during a Pandemic
Yaqi Shi; Ryan Hudgins; Dante Mascarin
In April of 2020, an Ivey Business School HBA graduate, and chief executive officer of automobile parts manufacturer MJD Manufacturing (MJD), recognized the potential opportunity to invest in new machinery and retool some of MJD’s operations to produce COVID-19-related supplies. Specifically, she was considering whether or not MJD should produce personal protective equipment. Aside from analyzing the financial viability of the potential investments, she had to consider three factors: First, how long the COVID-19 pandemic might last, as the timeline of the pandemic underpinned the potential investment decision; second, how an investment would be financed; and third, the qualitative aspect of the decision. Specifically, she had to consider how she could help her community at a time when many businesses were shrinking and furloughing employees.
Viet Nipa: A Young Entrepreneur’s Sweet Endeavour
Nadine De Gannes; Angela He;Arzoo Sethi
In May 2019, a Vietnam-based entrepreneur was wondering which strategy would work best to sell nipa honey, the first product launched by his nipa palm products company, Viet Nam Nipa Development Company Limited (Viet Nipa). The product was launched in February 2019 and the entrepreneur had been selling the nipa honey at trade fairs, through partnerships with three popular resorts in his home district, and on a sales platform on Viet Nipa’s Facebook page. He was reaching out to grocery retailers in Vietnam with sale propositions, but to no avail. Should the entrepreneur continue to pursue business-to-consumer (B2C) distribution or leverage his company’s operational and manufacturing capabilities to shift to a business-to-business (B2B) operation? What was his target market and how should he tailor Viet Nipa’s marketing strategy and tactics to these consumers? Should he also consider taking nipa honey to the international market?