How to Structure Comparisons in Cases

In cases, it’s pretty common where you have to structure an analysis of several options (i.e. should the client enter the market organically, by acquisition, or through a joint venture).

I’ve noticed that most people seem to struggle mightily with keeping track of all of the information and making a convincing final decision (usually because they lose track of critical pieces of information, or forget the relative importance of each piece of information).

So, how do you make comparisons properly?

Simple, make a table!

Example

There’s a really good case in the Ross 2008 casebook called Small Drug Manufacturer. Your goal is to figure out which country you should enter with your angioplasty drug.

In the context of this case you get the following charts:

SDM Chart 1

SDM Chart 2

SDM Chart 3

SDM Chart 4

SDM Chart 5

So, as you can see it’s a lot of information. Take a second and try to structure it into a table.

Done? Now here’s what they did:

SDM Solution Table

This is all of the information in the case in one chart. Don’t underestimate the power of doing this. I know it seems easy, but so few people actually organize the information in this way.

Conclusion

Anytime you’re making a direct comparison between multiple options, make a chart. The advantages are:

1. You seem really organized.

2. It makes direct comparisons of each option really easy because all of the information is in one place.

3. It’s easier to give each factor its appropriate weighting in your determination.

Good luck!

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