Looking for answers?

Our post of Oct 15 "Looking for a few good projects" got a great response. We were able to get some stellar organizations involved (Christie Digital, Flanagan Foodservice, Hespeler Village BIA, LeanQuotes, Siemens Wind Power, McMaster, Communitech, HZ Foods, Blendtek Fine Ingredients Inc., Toronto Refurbishing, RSVP Technology & HumanSystems Incorporated)

Overview

As part of the International Business Management (IBM) BBA degree program, students in 4th year have the opportunity to assist external organizations in their activities. This 12-week program allows teams of 4 -5 students to work on projects with the goal of resolving an issue, capitalizing on an opportunity or answering questions.

Process

Organizations are invited to contact me with their consulting assignment. The information is to be provided on the Project Description Form which we will send to you just as soon as we get your email. We will stop accepting consulting proposals when the required number of assignments has been reached (see timing below). We will then review your project to ensure that it meets the course requirements. A key requirement is that the project entails 3 key components:

Research on the challenge or opportunity
Analysis of information gathered, and review of options with identification of preferred option
Recommendations on the implementation
Over the duration of the project, a team of 4 students will allocate around 400 hours to the project. If the team consists of 5 students, the number of hours will be higher.
Timeline

March 27th Project Description form issued to all interested parties
April 10th by 4 pm all submission are to be returned to gerald.ford@csolutions.org
April 17th Projects reviewed by Gerald Ford and Conestoga College's IBM program coordinator
Early May: presentation of projects to students and identification of students who are assigned to each project. Familiarization of students with client and the consulting assignment.
Mid June: interim report on the research phase
Mid July: interim report on the analysis phase
Mid Aug: presentation of final report including recommendations
Expectations on the company

Over the years a certain number of parameters were identified to ensure a successful completion of projects:

Identification of a project sponsor within the corporation who will interface with the students and provide the required support. Estimated weekly time requirement of 2 hours over a 12-week period.
Availability of resources within the corporation to ensure that the students are able to gather the required information to perform the project.
Expectations on students

Meet the overall expectations of the sponsor, based on an agreed project scope
Explore comprehensively the problem or opportunity they are responsible to address
Be professional in their interface with the client, realizing that there is a substantial opportunity cost on the client due to using students for a consulting project
Examples of previous projects:

We look for projects that require a range of answers. Our teams are interested in HR, Supply Chain & Marketing. They enjoy analysis, process mapping and most of all the opportunity to make a positive contribution.

Manufacturing Co.: Evaluate sales opportunities in Germany, France and Italy for existing product line
Manufacturing Co.: Re-engineer the supply and distribution logistics approach and network
Software Co.: Re-engineering quotation process for sales opportunities that are less than $50 thousand
Software Co.: Research on customer best practices, and recommendation on product development
Retail: Evaluate and implement a POS (Point of Sales) system
Technology Co.: Evaluate the market position for a new product and assess competitive products
Technology Co.: Develop the marketing materials for the launch of a new product in the Canadian market
Non-profit Org. : Perform a demographic analysis and evaluate the impact of emerging technologies on service offered
Non-profit Org. : Review an employee survey and identify management changes required

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