Live Case – Project

Visualize and Improve Inventory Management using Finance, Accounting, and Inventory Data

A Collaboration Between

Project Synopsis

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore at Rockford is looking to students to visualize inventory movement using POS and other data and make recommendations for improving inventory and marketing effectiveness based upon the results of their analysis.  

Project Topics

Account Management

Data Management



Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis

Company Information

CompanyRockford Area Habitat for Humanity
HQLoves Park, Illinois
StageSmall Business
Hiring PotentialN/A

Company Overview

Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to building homes, neighborhoods, and lives through improved housing opportunity. We build simple, decent, affordable homes to be sold to families currently living in substandard housing. Rockford Habitat is for families who are ready to make a life-changing commitment to become homeowners. Families are selected on the basis of need for adequate housing, ability to make mortgage payments, and willingness to become partners in the program.

Experiential Learning Program Details

SchoolNorthern Illinois University (NIU)
Engagement FormatLive Case - Think "Hackathon" or Case Competition with a whole class of students! 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.
CourseBusiness in Action, Spring 2021 (Gorham)
  • All Undergraduate
Students Enrolled40
Meeting Day & TimeJason: Hybrid, Tuesday & Thursday 2:00 - 3:15 PM CT
Student Time Commitment4-7 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment2 Hours
Duration9.57 Weeks

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Type
Projects Revealed

Projects Revealed

Students select their preferred project
February 2nd, 2021 Event na
Project Launch

Project Launch

Keri, Project Champion from Habitat for Humanity, will web conference into class to launch the projects. Expect to dedicate 1-hour per section. Flexible to move this to the following week if necessary.
February 9th, 2021 Event na
Project Check-In

Project Check-In

Keri, Project Champion from Habitat for Humanity, to web conference into class to launch the projects. Expect to dedicate 1-hour per section. Flexible to move this to around. Ideally between second and third deliverable
March 23rd, 2021 Event na
Final Presentations

Final Presentations

Keri, Project Champion from Habitat for Humanity to web conference (or visit) class to hear final presentations and provide feedback.
April 13th, 2021 Event na

Key Project Milestones

  • February 22, 2021 - Deep Dive into Habitat for Humanity & ReStore

    • What is Habitat for Humanity?
    • How is it run? How does the affiliate network operate?
    • What is the ReStore? How does it relate to Habitat for Humanity?
    • Review (umbrella agency)
    • Review (local org / project partner)
    • Review Internal Communication Network / Intranet “My Habitat”
      • See Attachments for Login Credentials!
    • Bonus: Go visit the Rockford ReStore
      • Attend: ReStore Orientation, Retore 101 Course

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Prepare an in-class presentation on your understanding of Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore Model

  • March 12, 2021 - Analyze and Visualize Inventory and Other Financial Trends

    • Which inventory segments have the highest value per transaction sales?
    • Which product categories are repeat customers buying from?
    • How quickly does inventory move in each of the product categories?
    • Using an agreed upon set of KPI’s, what are the top 5 performing categories?
    • What other financial trends do you see? How can you help to visualize those?

    Financial Data Analysis – Delineate between accounting systems of non-profit versus a traditional retail store:

    • What are the key differences between accounting systems of non-profit versus a traditional retail store?
    • What financial data is tracked?
    • What are the key differences in the financial reports?
    • Key performance indicators and metrics for tracking and measuring performance?
    • Review financial statement exports from QuickBooks

    Conduct a financial deep dive:

    • What are the sources of revenue and expenses?
    • What trends can you identify in sales?
    • How is inventory categorized?
    • inventory revenue?
    • patterns in inventory flow (e.g. turnover)?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Develop a report and visualization on inventory flow and develop a report based on your new understanding of Rockford Habitat for Humanity’s Financial Statements and Inventory Deep Dive

  • April 22, 2021 - Create a Plan for Adding Value to ReStore Marketing Campaigns to Customers and Donors

    How can the results from the analysis be used to optimize inventory decision-making, such as:

    • allocating showroom floor space (square footage) to higher performing goods?
    • informing customer segmentation and marketing strategies?
    • meeting the needs of customers and improve customer service?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Develop an inventory optimization report and plan to use this data to help improve customer service, customer retention, donor relationships, and inventory management

Project Resources

There are no resources currently available

Industry Mentors

Company Admin

Keri Asevedo

[email protected]

Academic Mentors

There are currently no supervisors assigned.

Assigned Students

There are currently no students assigned.