The Capstone of the Bryan MBA Experience: Strategic Management in Action (MBA 719)
In your final semester of the program, you will enroll in Strategic Management in Action. This course will be the culmination of your Bryan MBA experience. In this course, you and your classmates will be organized into consulting teams and assigned to local organizations where you will develop strategic solutions to the selected challenges of your assigned organization. At the completion of the course, you and your team will formally present your research findings and recommendations.
Click here for Teambuilding Exercises before Consulting Projects.
Below are some samples of recent consulting projects.
As a leading multinational company, the Volvo Group has the opportunity to recruit from the best universities around the world. We have worked with students and faculty from the Bryan School over the past several years and have been very pleased with their knowledge, professionalism and worth ethic. The projects they have handled for us have brought immense value to the organization. As a result, we have recruited several Bryan School graduates into my organization.
Jay Das, Director Business Controlling
Americas Projects & Operations Purchasing
Volvo Trucks Technology
The Bryan School helped us create a continuing education program designed to help our procurement team understand the business side of our business. We wanted them to think more holistically than the bottom-line so they could make the right decisions for the future and not just for the moment.
Cheryl Lobello, Director of Enterprise Strategy
Volvo Trucks North America
We have partnered with the Bryan School for two years and have been very impressed with the Bryan MBA and the quality, resourcefulness and ingenuity of the students working on our projects. Their thorough analysis and recommendations have been very concrete and will lead to further development of our logistics function. We hope to continue fostering our relationship with the Bryan School.
Dirk Querter, VP Parts Supply Chain Management
Volvo Trucks North America
It has been exciting to watch graduates from the Bryan School join our company then begin to thrive as quickly as they do. They definitely think in a more open-minded and well-rounded way. And they tend to arrive at solutions we frankly would not have thought of without them.
Gene Haskell, VP Operations
Old Dominion Freight Lines
After a year-long strategic planning process, our company decided to pursue a two-pronged brand approach in the marketplace. What we were not convinced of was “where” and “at what level” to initiate the investment. The team from the Bryan School presented their findings which ultimately validated our own and gave us the confidence to move forward.
Marty Schneider, CEO
Progress Ventures, Inc.
The consulting work that the Bryan School MBA students and faculty performed in examining our RFP process was absolutely first-rate. Their in-depth analysis of our data and recommendations brought a fresh perspective and will help us enhance our internal processes and procedures. The Bryan Capstone Project adds value for companies looking to create and sustain a competitive advantage and provides an opportunity to evaluate some potential talent.
James Ray, Jr., Senior Vice President
The Bryan MBA has been a great partner in our effort to provide superior business counseling to start-up businesses and to expand our capabilities to assist small growing businesses. We hope to continue our relationship with the Bryan MBA in the future.
Mark Wells, Executive Director
Rockingham County Business & Technology Center
We compete in a reasonably challenging market, one in which the products and marketing channels can be complicated. Our experience has been that the Bryan MBA teams are truly committed to a full understanding of the issues we face in developing their recommendations. They’ve demonstrated a great deal of diligence in researching key questions. Overall, we’re able to rely on team output as if it was developed wholly internally.
David A. Anderson, Continuous Improvement Leader
BD Diagnostics – TriPath
The Bryan MBA consulting team single-handedly changed the economic entrepreneurial climate in Randolph County. We were thrilled to have access to these sharp student leaders.
Lonnie Hamm, Business Development Strategist
Randolph County Community College
Bryan MBA students tackled our situation with a combination of training received at one of the most prestigious business schools, and a fresh approach to resolving issues and analyzing situations. They delivered convincing and verifiable conclusions and pertinent recommendations.
Victor Dau, Director
Small Business Center
Randolph County Community College
We were looking for innovative ways to transform what we already had and I was thrilled to have access to the Bryan MBA team. Our partnership with the Bryan School is a great way to tap into these young minds and emerging business leaders.
Glenn Dobrogosz, Director
Natural Science Center
I found the research skills, teamwork and presentation of the Bryan MBA students to be excellent. I am very thankful for the report they prepared and I don’t think we could have afforded to purchase a report of this quality. Your students make me proud to say that I am an alumna of the Bryan MBA program.
Anne Hennis, Vice President
Planning, Research, and Assessment
Surry Community College
The students did a thorough and thoughtful job and I was really impressed by the professionalism and rigor of the students. I was proud of them and I thought they represented the Bryan MBA exceptionally well.
C. Thomas Lambeth, Associate Professor and Department Chair
Center for Innovation in Interior Architecture, UNCG
This year’s project marks the fourth consecutive year of Red Hat’s partnership with the Bryan MBA Program. We have enjoyed the relationship and have found the Bryan MBA students and their work to be very professional. Their recommendations have been supported by thorough analysis, with a practical understanding of the real world and our global business. We look forward to continuing our partnership and work with the Bryan MBA Program.
Mark Cook, VP Finance and Controller
Red Hat, Inc.
Montgomery County benefited greatly from the project to establish performance dashboards for its departments. The team developed Key Performance Indicators for several departments and provided the methodology to be used for the rest of the organization. We were most impressed by the four members of our project team. Their quick grasp of our needs and insightful solutions indicate a bright future for each of them.
Jim Mathney, Commissioner
Montgomery County Board of Commissioners
If your organization is interested in arranging a consulting project, please contact Mr. Richard Browne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 2000, Bank of Oak Ridge is a community bank dedicated to delivering Banking As It Should Be®. With locations in Greensboro, Summerfield and Oak Ridge, North Carolina, the bank focuses on providing a complete range of personalized, convenient banking services to every individual and business banking client.Bryan MBA students worked with Bank of Oak Ridge executives to evaluate the performance of a newly implemented software solution. Utilizing process mapping and EVA tools, students provided insights into the effectiveness of the systems implementation and recommendations on future enhancements.
Greensboro Children’s Museum
Located in the heart of downtown Greensboro, the Greensboro Children’s Museum is a hands-on destination designed to inspire learning through play in an energetic and safe environment. Serving nearly 127,000 annual visitors, the mission of the Children’s Museum is to “provide children and families with fun, interactive, educational experiences that enrich their daily lives, contributing to their growth and development.”Bryan MBA students created a quantified evaluation of the Museum’s economic impact on its markets and provided recommendations on actions to communicate these benefits to key stakeholders. The second phase of the Capstone project delivered a set of recommendations designed to help the museum improve the effectiveness of its marketing efforts. The students’ recommendations were presented to the GCM’s board of directors and many have since been adopted.
Not only was the end result extremely beneficial, the process was enlightening and eye-opening for our staff.
The global leader in retail and commercial fueling and payment technology, Gilbarco Veeder-Root is headquartered in Greensboro and is a business unit of Danaher, a Fortune 200 company.
Bryan MBA students worked with executive leaders of one of Gilbarco’s business units to examine and provide insights into various business strategies.
Industries of the Blind
Industries of the Blind, Inc’s (IOB) mission is to provide opportunities for employment and personal development for people who are blind or visually impaired so as to achieve greater independence.
Bryan MBA students conducted a market study to determine the opportunity for IOB to provide a range of additional training to their associates and the broader community.
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. is a publicly traded firm operating a portfolio of 43 upscale outlet shopping centers in 26 U.S. states and in Canada.
Bryan MBA students developed recommendations on the market potential of various market segments, utilizing a range of primary and secondary research methodologies. The student teams final report included specific go-to-market strategies that would allow the Outlets to increase share among targeted market segments. Included in the report were financial models highlighting the ROI of various investment scenarios.
TE Connectivity is a global, $12 billion company that designs and manufactures products that connect and protect the flow of power and data inside products for a diverse range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, communication networks, energy and healthcare.
Working with TE’s operations group, Bryan MBA students performed an analysis of one of the company’s key processes through a series of on-sight interviews, process mapping and solutions benchmarking. The team successfully provided a range of actionable improvements that TE is implementing across multiple geographic markets.
TigerTek is a nationwide servomotor and industrial equipment repair company located in the central North Carolina. TigerTek provides mission critical repair services to ensure manufacturing facilities are able to quickly respond to equipment issues.
Working closely with TigerTeks principles, the Bryan MBA student team was able to provide recommendations accepted by the firms’ management. The team utilized a range of benchmarking techniques, observation and interviews to analyze the firms’ current situation and provide strategies and tactics to support the firms’ mission.
The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 115,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets.
The Volvo Group North America headquarters is in Greensboro and supports activities such as engineering, design, financial services, marketing, sales, information technology and distribution and supply chain operations.
Bryan MBA students worked with global supply chain leaders to help the organization improve effectiveness in support of the company’s culture of continuous improvement. Using a range of analytic tools, the students provided recommendations that will enhance the firms’ effectiveness in several operational areas.
Bryan MBA students sought to conduct a viability study to determine which Tanger Outlet locations have high potential for expansion to new market segments. They researched the density of potential targets to each Tanger outlet center, benchmarked their demographics and buying habits and evaluated quantitative market potential. Students used this analysis to develop a strategic marketing plan and payback model to generate shopping visits and trial from the target populations.
Lucky Dog Volleyball
Lucky Dog Volleyball is a Greensboro based retail company that designs and sells volleyball apparel, equipment and accessories with. Bryan MBA students helped Lucky Dog Volleyball to establish a marketing strategy for each segment of the business. A formal marketing plan was designed to embody inbound and guerrilla marketing tactics to increase sales, increase brand awareness and expand business penetration in the core market.
Volvo Trucks North America
Supply chain can be a complicated process for global firms and the opportunity to enhance or increase efficiencies among its global supply chain is what interested Volvo Trucks to partner with Bryan MBA students. Students worked in a variety of capacities to assist Volvo Trucks and Volvo Global 3P, the parts division, to analyze various aspects of the supply chain and offer unique solutions or present opportunities for improvement.
United Way of Greater Greensboro
A local branch of the national United Way Charity, Bryan MBA students helped to create a dashboard of metrics used in strategic planning to measure overall progress in achieving specific goals. Historical measures included funds raised against goals, the percent of operational overhead, and the number of programs funded clients served. However, students were able design a new dashboard that included a greater focus on how change in the community was occurring and what were the key elements in achieving community level change on the human service issues that are a priority to United Way.
TigerTek is a nationwide servo motor and industrial equipment repair company located in the Triad. TigerTek leadership sought to increase servo motor repairs to 100 items/week and needed the help of the Bryan MBA program. Bryan MBA students were charged with the task of evaluating the potential market size, evaluating past and present marketing strategies, and financial analysis to determine ROI for proposed new marketing initiatives.
Memios, LLC, is a privately held, Greensboro based firm. Memios developed a new waste management solution that represents a significant improvement to out dated current waste management business models. The Memios high speed pneumatic transport coupled with the Memios clean stream waste to energy technologies provide the world’s first end-to-end holistic waste management solutions that not only eliminate the need for waste truck haul off but also eliminate the need for landfill solutions going forward. In addition to the elimination of waste trucks and landfills Memios Clean Stream provides a renewable energy solution boasting some of the highest waste to energy levels in existence. Bryan MBA students were able to assist in developing a global sales and distribution plan that incorporated the global demand for this new waste management technology.
Bryan MBA students worked with this Mount Airy based information processing company with three operating groups – Print and Mail, Imaging, and Network Systems, to design a strategic plan for the Imaging division that addressed market conditions as they are today and as they are anticipated to be over the next three to five years.
Montgomery County came to the Bryan School with a project to create a dashboard to improve the monitoring of finances and services and serve as an early indicator of any potential problems. Montgomery County wanted the dashboard to be shared by both county employees and citizens. The MBA consulting team worked closely with the management of Montgomery County to determine the metrics that were most important to the success of the county. A dashboard was built, and with the assistance of the Bryan MBA project team, it has been implemented by the county.
Bank of Oak Ridge
What does the future of banking look like at the branch level? How many tellers will be needed? How will computers and mobile devices play a role? Bank of Oak Ridge sought a fresh perspective on why customers will come into branches over the next decade and the services they will demand. Bryan MBA students were asked to evaluate the bank’s current operation, as well as its future plans, and recommend ways to improve service and customer satisfaction. The Bryan MBA team came up with a list of short, medium and long term recommendations that were backed by significant consumer research. Bank of Oak Ridge Management invited the Bryan team to present their recommendations at the annual strategy retreat, and a number of their suggestions are in the process of being implemented today.
Following the passage of a landmark health care law in 2010, physicians around the country are struggling to assess its impact on their practice. Greensboro Ophthalmology, an eye care clinic that has been operating in Greensboro since 1927, is no exception. Bryan MBA students worked with the clinic’s staff to determine what practices and capital were needed in order to comply with the new law. A recommendation was developed by the Bryan MBA students as to when electronic health care records will be brought online at the clinic. In addition, the consulting team surveyed the current software vendors and provided guidance on the product that most closely fits the needs of the clinic.
Founded in 2005, Cirrus Construction is a privately owned general contractor licensed in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Cirrus believes that in order to expand and be successful, it needs a training program to develop its staff. A team of Bryan MBA students were tasked with examining the company, determining its future training and hiring needs, then asked to provide recommendations on how Cirrus can best create a talent management program. The Bryan MBA team developed a bonus program that tied additional employee compensation both to the success of their individual projects and the company. In addition, the team developed training materials that will help the employees understand how to drive success and influence their compensation.
For the third time in four years, Bryan MBA students contributed their business skills to North Carolina’s growing wine industry. The team performed original research through the creation of a survey in order to further inform their analysis. The students analyzed a variety of different components of Zimmerman Vineyards including their industry, supply chain, product offerings, growth strategy, and marketing. This allowed the students to provide insight into many aspects of the business in making recommendations for how the company can meet their strategic goals.
Bank of Oak Ridge
This Bryan MBA team developed a plan for Oak Ridge Bank to expand its online banking capabilities and offerings. Oak Ridge Bank is a small community bank located in and around Greensboro, NC. Bryan School MBA students researched the customer-service oriented bank to provide recommendations on how to best implement and market its online banking initiatives.
For the second year in a row, Bryan School MBA students have partnered with Sealy, a major bedding manufacturer, to tackle an important business issue. This year MBA students studied Sealy’s inventory data and the mattress industry as whole in order to make recommendations about the company’s inventory management. The students recommended cost saving strategies for the customer-oriented company interested in staying abreast of consumer demand.
For this capstone project, Bryan MBA students partnered with BB&T, an established regional, full-service bank headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with 1,800 financial centers in and around the southeast. The students were charged with the task of helping BB&T to determine the best marketing strategies and product offerings necessary to appeal to a younger clientele. The MBA students informed their recommendations with in depth research into the banking industry, competitors of BB&T, and through the use of both primary and secondary data.
Bryan MBAs teamed up with the major bedding manufacturer to tackle an unprecedented decline in mattress sales brought on by the current recession and housing market collapse. The team’s recommendations helped the mattress producer reduce operational costs by reorganizing the structure of its plant network and improving the management of its supply chain.
This was the third time in two years that Bryan MBAs contributed their business skills to North Carolina’s burgeoning wine industry. Zimmerman Vineyards is located on a 102-acre family farm in Trinity, North Carolina and has a current product portfolio of five high quality wines. Students on this team conducted a comprehensive analysis of the Vineyard’s operations, finances, and marketing to develop a twelve year plan to expand the Vineyard’s winemaking facilities and capacities.
For this project Bryan MBA students advised this producer of legwear and intimate apparel on entering the Chinese market. The team researched the opportunities and risks associated with the legwear industry and market in China and developed a strategic marketing plan for successfully introducing products in China. This international team of students was not only able to provide valuable information on current trends and issues such as taxation, market segments, counterfeiting and government regulations, but also insightful advice on the nuances of doing business in China.
For a fourth consecutive year Bryan MBA students has partnered with Red Hat, Inc., the Raleigh-based provider of global open source software solutions. For this year’s consulting project, the team’s project scope was to evaluate and determine an optimal capital structure which would position the growing company to remain financially flexibility, maintain access to capital markets and maximize returns to shareholders. The comprehensive research included a financial analysis of Red Hat, its international subsidiaries and the tax systems of their host countries, supplemented by a peer group analysis.”
Surry Community College
Bryan MBAs worked with one of the only academic institutions in the Southeast that offers a program in viticulture and enology. The College is breaking ground on The North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology, which will be one of only two on the East Coast, and the team was asked to review current operations and produce revenue forecasts as well as to identify opportunities to ensure the Center’s financial sustainability and to expand the Center’s role as a resource to the surrounding Yadkin Valley where over a third of the state’s wineries and vineyards are located.
Piedmont Folk Legacies
Following a previous team of Bryan MBA students that developed a business plan for the establishment of a National Banjo Museum in Eden, North Carolina, this year’s consulting team developed a comprehensive marketing plan for the Charlie Poole Music Festival in collaboration with another Bryan team of MSITM students who redesigned the web site for the annual traditional music festival.
This is the third Bryan MBA consulting project with Red Hat in as many years. In 2006, a Bryan MBA group provided an entry strategy for expanding the software’s company’s operations in Taiwan. Last year, a similar project was conducted for expansion into Russia and Eastern Europe. The 2008 team analyzed the business environments in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Columbia, and Mexico and developed strategies for growing Red Hat’s services in those countries.
Natural Science Center
When the Natural Science Center was looking for innovative ways to transform their kid-centered campus, they called in a Bryan MBA consulting team to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the Center’s ability to expand its offerings to the Greensboro community. The team put together a comprehensive market analysis and marketing plan that focused on how the Center can improve in relation to its competitors and the level of public interest in the new exhibits and attractions slated for the future.
VF is the largest apparel firm in the world with brands such as North Face, Wrangler, and Nautica. In spring 2008, Bryan MBA students performed a market analysis for Wrangler Western Jeanswear, seeking out strategic positioning for the product line in a global environment. This was the Bryan MBA’s second consulting project with VF.
Randolph County Entrepreneurial Resource Center
Following a previous team of Bryan MBA students who conducted a feasibility study for establishing a small business incubator in Randolph County, this year’s team designed a virtual incubator for the Randolph County Entrepreneurial Resource Center. Operated out of the Archdale campus of Randolph Community College, this online incubator aims to foster economic development in the county by providing support to local entrepreneurs. For the next phase of this project a team of Bryan MSITM students will construct the incubator’s web site.
Piedmont Folk Legacies
Bryan MBA students teamed up with Piedmont Folk Legacies to develop a business plan for the establishment of a National Banjo Museum in Eden, North Carolina. Piedmont Folk Legacies is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and preserve the musical and cultural legacy of the Piedmont region. With an estimated price tag in the neighborhood of $20 million, the proposed museum would include exhibits, classrooms, recording studio, archival repository, and serve as a venue for performances of traditional American music.
Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce
Based on the recommendations of a previous Bryan MBA team to establish a small business incubator in Alamance County, the Area Chamber of Commerce brought in a second Bryan MBA team to conduct additional surveying, provide case studies, and to assist in the implementation phase by conducting a financial feasibility study for a site proposal.
When Valspar Corporation and its Wood Products Division set out to expand globally, Bryan MBA students conducted a strategic analysis to help the company achieve its goal. Recommendations included a proactive marketing strategy for Western Europe and a manufacturing alliance or acquisition in Eastern Europe. Students gained critical experience developing company, industry, market and SWOT analyses.
A team of Bryan MBA students partnered with Red Hat, Inc. to help the software company explore new possibilities for international expansion, specifically its operations in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe. Red Hat executives were pleased with the detailed analysis and thoughtful recommendations provided by the students. The team outlined five options for the company to consider.
Alamance County Chamber of Commerce
Small Business Center in Alamance County Community College
On behalf of the Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce, an MBA consulting group analyzed the feasibility of establishing a small business incubator in Alamance County. Students conducted surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews and economic and demographic research. After evaluating all of the data, they provide actionable recommendations for establishing a business incubator.
VF Imagewear, Inc
The Imagewear division of VF Corporation, which produces uniform apparel for a variety of industries, hired Bryan MBA students to develop a well-informed, strategic business model for 2020. Students evaluated the current and future dynamics of four segments (industrial, corporate, hospitality and healthcare). Their recommendations for Project 2020 involved developing a branding strategy, exploring opportunities for product line overlap, and restructuring the company’s sourcing strategy.
Iron Gate Winery and Vineyards
Iron Gate Winery had identified a number of strategic goals to achieve within three to five years. Among them was expanding wine production to reach 2,000 cases per year, increasing and improving their workforce and expanding their product offerings to include new blends and different events. A team of Bryan MBA students conducted a thorough study and made significant recommendations in the areas of marketing, sales and operations.
For this consulting project, a team of MBA students addressed the challenges of rising gasoline prices, potential oil shortages, and escalating environmental concerns. Working with the Greensboro Center for Innovative Development, the students conducted a comprehensive feasibility study on establishing an ethanol production facility in Guilford County.
Greensboro Children’s Museum
This MBA consulting team was composed of students interested in pursuing careers in the not-for-profit sector. Through extensive surveying and interviewing, the students studied the perceptions and beliefs of key stakeholders in the museum’s operations and advised the museum board on the drafting of the museum’s vision statement.
Randolph Community College
Examining how Randolph Community College could better serve local residents, this team of MBA students conducted a competitive and strategic analysis of the continuing education market in Randolph County and made recommendations on the development of new programs and courses to increase the institution’s enrollment.
A team of American and Taiwanese MBA students took on the challenge of planning off-shore operations when they worked with Red Hat, Inc. of the Research Triangle. The students analyzed the Taiwanese market and developed a strategic plan for Red Hat’s expansion into Taiwan.
As consultants for SunTrust’s regional headquarters in Durham, Bryan MBA students presented a strategic plan to capitalize on the growing Hispanic population in the Carolinas through the implementation of several outreach efforts as well as the formation of key alliances within the Hispanic business community.
This team of MBA students performed a comprehensive supply chain mapping for Tyco’s North American Automotive Division. Based on data analysis through weight-cost predictive modeling and a comparative study of shipping methods, the consulting team devised a plan to reduce the company’s logistics costs.