USF Spring ’09 Case Competition!

USF March 27th, at 9am, the College of Business Undergraduate Case Competition case was unveiled to 16 spring graduates. The format of the competition is a 24 hour sprint to grasp a company’s ideas, analyze it, and present recommendations to a judging panel made up of prominent businessmen and the company’s executives.

I participated in a team consisting of myself, Sean Houghtaling, Jennifer Glenn, and Jelena Vuksanovic.

tamcologoThe sponsoring organization was privately owned company, TAMCO> Jack Thompson, Chairman and CO, was truly helpful, allowing students full access to all available information. TAMCO also provided someone to answer any questions the teams may have had. Jeremy Cartwright, the TAMCO Controller, was very helpful answereiing all of our questions, despite us asking the same question 3 or 4 times.

TAMCO is a ‘Telecommunications Equipment Leasing Solutions’ Co company. This sounds very simple up front. And it is, but that made it incredibly difficult to grasp. A simplified version of the business format is that TAMCO works with distributors, AKA partners, who supply customers with telecomm equipment. The partner sets up lase terms with the customer, and TAMCO then pays the parter the cost of goods, getting the money through its bank relationships.

This was made somewhat more difficult in that this wasn’t fully explained upfront. Until around 4pm, our group was unsure of whether partners and distributors were one in the same or not. (One of the questions we called Mr. Cartwright about several times.) It wasn’t until this competition that I fully understood the importance of visuals, because it wasn’t until we had a map drawn out that the group was able to grasp the concept.

tamcobusformat

To get the ball rolling, the team went out to Friday’s to have lunch and talk about the different possibilities for TAMCO. WE came up with many options, and we spent a very large amount of time discusiing each idea. Toward night fall, fuses were a bit short. But, after a short breather, we talked it out and moved past it. After that, we really got to work! We spent until 4am getting the whole of the project done. And worked for another hour and a half finalizing information and the power point for our presentation.
We broke for an hour and a half to go home, shower, and prepare ourselves for the day. At 8, we started seriously practicing the 30 minute presentation. At 11am, we met the judges, and began to speak.

In the end, our team ended up with three recommendations. Our primary recommendation (the one we did the most research on) was to go ahead and create an Express Partnership segment to add to the existing partnership segments (Select Partners and Premier Partners). As this was one of the questions asked of us when we were presented with TAMCO, we chose to research this more fully. One of our two secondary recommendations was to expand outside the telecomm equipment industry and finance for another industry as well. The other was to take the returned equipment from a standard lease, and work with a partner who will sell only used equipment, rather than just sell it for 5-7% of the original cost.

At about 12:30, there was a very nice banquet lunch put on. It was a great opportunity to socialize with the judges and others present at the event. This was one of the best experiences I’ve had in the College of Business. I’m really honored that I was able to participate, and I’m proud of the work my team and I accomplished. I am also very thankful to TAMCO for allowing us to study them so in-depth. As a final acknowledgement, I will say thinks the USF professors who went through so much to provide us with this opportunity.

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