Capstone – Project Charter

Branching out and leveraging our B2B fulfillment engine to serve directly to consumers

A Collaboration Between

Engagement Synopsis

Branch sells a curated line of premium office furniture -- using an all-in-one service from design to delivery to assembly and installation within three weeks. Since 2018, Branch has sold directly to employers and enterprises to create contemporary, modular work spaces using a business-to-business model. However, when the global pandemic necessitated that governments required businesses to limit employee access to office space in spring of 2020, they pivoted and leveraged their existing B2B supply channels to sell directly to the employees for their home offices using a direct-to-consumer (D2C) supply channel. Branch is seeking your assistance in helping them formalize their D2C supply channel and processes and suggest metrics and opportunities for improvement.

Company Information

CompanyBranch Furniture
HQNew York
RevenueUnlisted
Employees10-25
StageHigh-Growth Startup
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects, Formal Internship, Entry Level Full-Time
Websitehttps://www.branchfurniture.com/

Company Overview

Branch sells premium office furniture for teams of all sizes. Standing desks, workstations, ergonomic chairs and filing cabinets, sold direct to save you money.

Company Supervising Team

Operations Manager

Adam

[email protected]

Course Info & Engagement Details

SchoolMassachusetts Maritime Academy
Engagement FormatLive Case - Class Collaboration or Case Competition - This learning format allows educators to deliver experiential learning to students at scale. Students are often split into groups to work on a live case (or a series of cases) from a real host company that directly relates to key learning objectives.
ProgramInternational Maritime Business
CourseVirtual International Business Live Case
LevelUndergraduate
Students Enrolled20
Meeting Day & Time6 - 31 July 2020, Meeting Times TBD
Student Time Commitment15-30 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment5+ Hours
Duration4 weeks (07/06/2020 - 07/31/2020)
Departments InvolvedCorporate Social Responsibility
Customer Service
Data Management
Growth Strategy
Operations
Purchasing, Logistics, Supply Chain
Quality Control
Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis
File Attachments

School Supervisors

Instructor

Paul

[email protected]

Students

There are currently no students assigned.

Collaboration Timeline

  • May 4, 2020

    Collaboration request published. Companies may express interest in participating.

  • May 6, 2020

    School faculty will begin interviewing interested companies and discuss project ideas.

  • June 6, 2020

    Final date for companies to express interest in participating.

  • June 9, 2020

    School faculty and project champion finalized project scope as follows:

    • Collect qualitative (interview for D2C channel) and quantitative (historic hata for both D2C and B2B channels).
    • Diagram and document D2C supply chain processes.
    • Analyze historic data and identify key metrics for both B2B and D2c channels.
    • Prepare written report and present recommendations for improvement.
  • June 19, 2020

    Project champion to provide historic data to school faculty as follows:

    • 1Q of D2C data (e.g., Shopify data)
    • 6Q of B2B data (e.g., UPS invoices and shipping data)
  • June 22, 2020

    School faculty and project champion finalize project charter, legal documents, and background materials.

  • June 26, 2020

    Student teaching assistants to complete preliminary analysis of data and scoping of projects for completion in July.

  • July 10, 2020

    OFFICIAL PROJECT LAUNCH: We’ll find a time on this day to web conference you into our class to kickoff the project.

  • July 16, 2020

    OFFICE HOURS I: We’ll find a set of times this day to schedule a first round of office hours with the student teams to answer their preliminary questions.

  • July 23, 2020

    OFFICE HOURS II: We’ll find a set of times this day to schedule a second round of office hours with student teams to share analysis and preliminary findings.

  • July 30, 2020

    OFFICIAL PROJECT END: We’ll find a time on this day to web conference you into our class to close the project.

Key Milestones & Project Process

  • July 10, 2020 - Get Up-To-Speed on Branch Products Portfolio and Business Model To-Date

    • How large is the office furniture industry? How is it segmented?
    • Who are Branch’s main competitors?  Who are Branch’s target customers?
    • What types of products/services does Branch sell? Which are most popular?
    • What does Branch’s legacy B2B model look like? What does the emerging D2C modeol look like? How do they compare? How do they differ?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Prepare an in-class presentation along with Q&A for the company based on our understanding of Branch’s business models, product portfolio, target markets, and competitive space.

  • July 16, 2020 - What does the D2C Office Furniture Landscape Look Like?

    • Study the “Work from Home” trend. When did it start? How big has the shift been due to the recent pandemic? Will more companies enable their employees to work remotely? What furniture and other resources will employees need in order to do their job?
    • Who are the key players in the D2C office furniture market? What are some of their top products? How does Branch’s product portfolio stack up?
    • What does Branch’s D2C supply channel/processes look like? What do Branch’s B2B supply channel/processes look like? How do they compare? How do they differ?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Prepare a video presentation on your understanding Branch’s B2B and D2C supply channels. Showcase your understanding of Branch’s supply channels and positioning within the market and prepare for Q&A with company.

  • July 23, 2020 - What improvements for Branch's supply channel/processes have you found?

    • How does Branch fulfill orders from end-to-end in the B2B supply channel? In the D2C channel?
    • What improvements have you identified from your analysis?
    • What key metrics might Branch use to moniotr and control its supply channels?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Prepare a video presentation on your analysis and preliminary improvements. Showcase your analysis and understanding of Branch’s supply channels and your suggestions for improvement, and prepare for Q&A with company.

  • July 30, 2020 - What are the marketing and logistical implications for Branch as they move to the D2C business model?

    • Where is Branch currently manufacturing most of their products?
    • How should Branch best reach their target audience?
    • Where is Branch focusing their distribution for their D2C model?
    • Who are their key distributors?
    • How does Branch ensure quality and satisfaction with consumers?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Prepare a professional report and video presentation about Branch’s D2C model, focusing on operations, logistics, the supply channel, improvements, and metrics.