Prybloxx - February Pre-Seen Analysis
IBTC lecturer, Muzi Sithebe, has broken down the Managerial Case Study Pre-Seen and highlighted exactly what you NEED to know when preparing for the February Case Study exam.
Here is what he had to say;
From a young age all of us have had hobbies and interests, which evolved as we progressed through our various life stages. One could even say our toys ‘grew’ at the same time as we did. From tea sets and toy trucks, to video games and bicycles, to sports cars and motorbikes – we can’t be separated from our toys, no matter how old we get.
Yet one mainstay that seems to traverse many life stages and interest groups is the line of business which Prybloxx and the Management Case Study are focused on – construction toy sets and, more specifically, the ones based on plastic bricks.
Whether this is something we have had the pleasure to play with, buy as a gift or even step on while barefoot it is a topic that’s easy to understand and that most will have some frame of reference to. This adds a higher expectation as to how well we understand the pre-seen and apply all answers to the example Prybloxx.
What stands out about Prybloxx?
Prybloxx was established in 2004, making it a fairly late entrant to the market. It established itself as a brand synonymous with good quality and value for money. Keep this in mind when thinking about the drivers for success in this business as well as what matters to customers.
One of the standout reasons for the industries longevity is how it has managed to recreate itself by establishing new uses and unlocking new customer groups for its core product. Some of these groups have been identified as children who use the toys for general play, schools who use them for educational purposes, hobbyist/collectors and engineers who use them to create models.
The below factors have been critical to Prybloxx’s success,
- Effective market development as a growth strategy
- Customer segmentation
- Marketing and branding.
An added benefit is that the “unnamed” market leader is probably a company we are all familiar with, which means doing research on its history and current business models can give us valuable insight into what opportunities and threats Prybloxx may be faced with in the current environment.
Topics to focus on:
This is highlighted as the business model of Prybloxx. It also happens to be one the newer areas in the course material, which makes it an important piece to understand well. Be sure to apply your understanding to the Prybloxx model.
Over and above how we compete and market our products, we will need to be well versed in how we get our finished product to our end customer. Distribution has been highlighted as a major cost factor and is an aspect that is impacted by changes in technology and customer buying patterns. This can give rise to many questions, which examine how to use this lever to drive business results.
From generic strategies, growth strategies, segments and marketing and branding – understanding how we compete successfully in a market with homogenous products will be important. Also be sure to understand the threat of substitutes and new entrants to the market, should Prybloxx consider a view to diversify as they are a young company and may be open to venturing out of the core business.
Revenue Recognition and Cost Reduction
When we get to the numbers and bottom line, a key consideration will be understanding revenue recognition based on our various customer groups and distribution channels. This will be coupled with how we can employ strategies to reduce cost as well as what costing approaches may be most relevant in order for us to have a good view of the drivers to enhance decision making. Looking at the comparison in financial performance between Prybloxx and Ckonstro, we can clearly see how cost management makes a big difference in delivering a favourable result to the bottom line.
How to prepare effectively and do well in the exam?
The most important skill that any student can learn for a Case Study exam is effective answer planning. Getting this initial step right allows students to maximise the time they have available in each task and ensures that their responses are relevant to the specific question requirements.
Understand the “Why”
Although the Case Study does not require you to remember the technical detail behind models and theories, it is still important that we can apply them effectively. Be sure to grasp the intent and context behind each theory and model, because this will guide us as to where its applicable as well as being able to explain its benefits and limitations. This is a skill that is required of you in the Case Study.
Stick to the Point
The Case Study examines the student’s ability to use the knowledge they have gathered to solve everyday business problems. It therefore goes without saying that if you are presented with a problem, your response should focus on addressing that specific problem and recommending solutions that are fit for the context of Prybloxx. Although it may seem obvious, a lot of students perform badly because their answers do not address the question requirements or are too general – do not fall into this trap!
Practise, Practise, Practise.
An important stage in the week or two leading up to the exam is getting as much practise as possible. Using a combination of the CIMA Workbook Questions, mock exams and even past papers you can get yourself into a rhythm that prepares you for the exam. This serves to ensure that your exam technique is good, time management is effective and you have built the endurance to maintain your highest level of mental performance for three hours straight, as is required in the exam.
Aside from the Case Study being one of the ‘hurdles’ in your CIMA journey, it is also the best platform to begin practising how you bring all the knowledge you have into an everyday work environment. It enhances your abilities to communicate effectively at all levels and be able to showcase the value of your qualification. So, it is important to approach it as not just an exam to pass, but as a learning experience for skills that you will carry with you throughout your career.
Study hard, stay safe and we are looking forward to celebrating the positive results with you in the coming months. – Muzi Sithebe, IBTC Lecturer.