Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 6. June 11, 2008

Day 6, June 11, 2008

Day 6 is here – and another 7:00 AM working breakfast. Our students have been in suits for the past three days. Our first studio of the day was Professor David Franklin – who led the teams in understanding the “consultative selling” process.

Following a short break, Professor Andy Van Schaack spoke to our group. He shared his experience in using research to design products and services. At 11:00 AM, I the teams met to continue working on their Caterpillar strategy.

Dr. Rob Britton and Mr. Chris Koller of American Airlines joined us for lunch prior to kicking off their Accelerator project this afternoon.

At 1:00 PM, we made our way to the Vanderbilt Law School auditorium to launch the American Airlines project. Rob and Chris provided a strategic update on the airline industry and challenged our Accelerator teams to help the company create a package of services to assist American Airlines in gaining additional market share of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). Our teams will have approximately 25 hours to evaluate the SME market, select 4-5 industries within the space to pilot and create a plan to attract and retain the SME customer.

At 4:30 PM, Dr. Steve Hoeffler addressed the group and hosted our first session on Marketing. Steve shared a number of tools oriented to help our Accelerator teams with marketing concepts. He also provided a framework for understanding methods to study consumer behavior.

About 6:00 PM, we reviewed the list of firms attending tomorrow’s Business Breakfast. We are expecting about 45 firms to join our Accelerator participants over breakfast for a networking session.

After a quick dinner, teams gathered to select team roles and begin the process of evaluating the data available about American Airlines and begin a situation analysis. The last team cleared the building just before midnight.

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