SOM holds 20th Reeves-Ellington Case CompetitionTweet
Participants in the School of Management’s 20th Reeves-Ellington Case Competition had to solve a problem that is certainly a tall order: forming a strategy for Coca-Cola to double revenue by 2020. The final round of this competition took place at the Anderson Center on Nov. 12.
Katz Consulting – with team members Theofani Baktidy, Eric Katz, Jeffrey Marks, Natalie Triana, Joshua Katz and Nathan Shapiro – won the competition for recommending that Coca-Cola retain its bottling business, sell distributors and acquire up-and-coming sparkling beverage Switch. Shapiro said such an acquisition would be similar to Coca-Cola’s purchase of the Fuse beverage line in 2007.
“Switch is a small but very innovative company,” Shapiro said. “It would cost about $20 million to acquire Switch, and it would be very profitable to do this. It would allow Coca-Cola to expand into two key market segments: public schools and health-conscious consumers.”
The finalist team with members Cholong Lee, Huyen Le, Qianli Men and Liuming Chen felt, to maximize revenue, Coca-Cola should manufacture its beverages in-house while outsourcing distribution. Like Katz Consulting, this team also believed acquisitions would be essential to growing revenue.
“[Coca-Cola] has a very successful history of acquiring smaller firms and making them profitable,” Men said.
Another finalist team – Jonathon Amen, Brendan Creighton, Arielle Disick, William Jo, Ernest Park and Emmanuel Urena – said the company should cut costs and expand into markets not completely capitalized. Eliminating redundant departments, they said, would save about $320 million yearly, while shedding excess physical plants would save $120 million.
“Coke is in strong financial standing, with revenue increasing generally every year, and a stable profit margin of around 21 percent,” Creighton said. “Coke needs to revise the market and focus on healthier beverages. There has been a real shift in the U.S. toward a healthier lifestyle.”
The finalist teams will receive a notation on their transcript, and have their team photo displayed in the School of Management’s lobby. Faculty members Robert Cline, Vishal Gupta, Kim Jaussi, Thomas Kelly and Michael Wu provided mentoring to the student teams. Judges were David Chambers ’98, MBA ’03, CFO, Delta Engineers and Architects; Marilyn Geller ’71, MA ’76, PhD ’80, principal, Southern Tier Pain Management; Susan Inneo, vice president and assistant general counsel, Security Mutual; and Peter Newman, MBA ’98, regional president, M&T Bank.