Case Detail

Case Summary

The Schneirocksie Corporation

Case Number: 5-109-005, Year Published: 2009

HBS Number: KEL414

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Authors: Robert Dewar

Key Concepts

Organization Design, Solution Selling, Key Account Management


Schneirocksie Electric is an asset-focused company that has been a successful manufacturer of high-quality electrical components that transmit, control, and monitor electrical power. Management has long considered sales and marketing’s job as selling what the plants make. However, customer demand indicates that this approach will no longer work; lower-cost competitors are now capable of duplicating Schneirocksie’s products and services. The company must transition to providing and selling solutions to its customers, but doing so will involve the creation of an effective strategic account sales position. The current company structure, compensation system, and culture are significant obstacles to this transition and must also be changed. Finally, the company’s management must learn to focus first on the job its customers are hiring it to do and then redesign itself to do this job.

Learning Objectives

To make students aware of the design changes required to move from an asset-based organization to one that is market/customer focused. The case invites students to consider (1) whether a traditional company should make this transition with gradual internal change or via an acquisition that already incorporates the change; (2) how to transform a product-focused sales force into one capable of solutions selling; and (3) how one should create an effective strategic account position.

Number of Pages: 11

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Management, Marketing, Organizational Behavior

Geographic: Global

Industry: Electrical Equipment Manufacturing

Organization Name: Schneirocksie Electric

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Gender: Senior Management

Year of Case: 2009