Presentation of the facts surrounding the case.
Identification of the key issues.
Listing of alternative courses of action that could be taken.
Evaluation of alternative courses of action.
Recommendation of the best course of action.
Presentation of the Facts Surrounding the Case
It is helpful to read a case until you are comfortable with the information in it. Re-readings often are an aid to comprehending facts, possible strategies, or questions that need clarification and were not apparent earlier. In studying a case, assume you are a retail consultant hired by the firm. While facts should be accepted as true, statements, judgments, and decisions made by the individuals in a case should be questioned, especially if not supported by facts—or when one individual disagrees with another.
During your reading of the case, you should underline crucial facts, interpret figures and charts, critically review the comments made by individuals, judge the rationality of past and current decisions, and prepare questions whose answers would be useful in addressing the key issue(s).
Identification of the Key Issue(s)
The facts stated in a case often point to the key issue(s) facing a retailer, such as new opportunities, a changing environment, a decline in competitive position, or excess inventories. Identify the characteristics and ramifications of the issue(s) and examine them, using the material in the case and the text. Sometimes, you must delve deeply because the key issue(s) and their characteristics may not be immediately obvious.
Listing Alternative Courses of Action That Could Be Taken
Next, alternative actions pertaining to the key issue(s) in the case are listed. Consider courses of action based on their suitability to the firm and situation. Thus, the promotion strategy for a small neighborhood stationery store would not be proper for a large gift store located in a regional shopping center. Proposed courses of action...