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Business Projects

Course Manual & Project Descriptions

Spring 2008




Community of
International Business Project – Spring 2008

Course Manual
1. Course description 4
2. Guidelines individual Reflection paper 10
3. Rules of Conduct and Behavior Guidelines 12

Project Description

1. Bosch Security Systems 13

Optimizing the EMEA export process

2. DSM Food Specialties 14

Understanding major forces in the (global) retail industry

3. Eureko 15
Market attractiveness Assessment – Assessment of attractiveness of
Turkish and Bulgarian Health insurance market

4. Heineken 17
Distribution opportunities for Heineken in Europe

5. ING/Nationale-Nederlanden 19
Rationalizing various Activity Based Costing systems within
Nationale-Nederlanden (NN)

6. ING/Nationale-Nederlanden 20
Strategic consequences of the switch from European Embedded Value
to Market Consistent Embedded Value

7. KONE BV 21
Revitalize customer delight and marketing communications to restore
KONE Netherlands Net Promoter Index

8. Manpower 22
Sharing and improving HR Solutions for the European Contact Centre

9. New Values bv 24
Market Research into the possibilities for electricity and gas auctions in
Germany, Austria and the UK.

10. Nidera Handelscompagnie 26

Trends and Dynamics for the Global Feed Industry

11. Philips Lighting 27

Lighting for Industry

12. PricewaterhouseCoopers 29
Outsourcing Benefits Realization (Making it Happen)

13. Reuters 30
Trends in Investment Management in the Netherlands

14. Siemens Nederland NV 31

Critical success factors in national healthcare restructuring

15. Squarewise 33
“Employee 2.0”: are organisations ready for the young professional of
the future?

1. Course Description

In general
The International Business Project constitutes an important part of the Spring
semester at RSM Erasmus University. Over a period of almost 4 months, a team of
international students works intensively on a consultancy project, carried out for a
company or institution. The project is supervised by both a university and a company
coach. The general aim of the project is to respond professionally to a real-world
management problem and to learn from working together in multidisciplinary and
culturally heterogeneous groups.

Most students are already familiar with various business disciplines through course
work; however the interdisciplinary use of this knowledge and the capacity to
translate it into practical solutions is very often a new challenge. The project permits
students to combine theory and practice – they learn how to formulate a project
proposal and relevant research questions, analyse problems, develop
recommendations and propose solutions to the problem. In addition to providing
hands-on experience of how to deal with a business problem, the course also offers a
unique experience of working in a multicultural team.
For the companies involved in this course, it provides a unique opportunity to gain
access to valuable knowledge, recommendations or solutions for a business problem
within a relatively short period of time. Typically, the student teams introduce a
refreshing outside perspective to the business issues they are addressing.

The projects
There is no such thing as a typical client or project. Client organisations can be large,
prestigious multinational companies, medium-sized or entrepreneurial firms; the
projects can have an HR, marketing, strategy, or logistic focus. However, each
project presents a unique ‘problem’ or managerial issue that companies like to solve
or to address. Each project also provides students an important learning experience.
Preferably, the projects have a distinct international focus. In all cases the projects
require a multidisciplinary, international team effort.
Overall, business projects try to find a balance between the added value for the
company in terms of results and the added value for the students’ education in terms
of an enriching learning experience.

The Company Project Office of RSM Erasmus University is responsible for acquisition
of the projects. Projects are accepted on the basis of the learning potential of the
project for students and the international focus of the project.

The teams
In general, teams consist of four to five students: preferably one Dutch student and
three or four students of other nationalities or backgrounds. Team are composed on
the basis of specific skills and competencies required by the companies (such as
expertise and language skills) and student’s preferences which they have
communicated through the “Profile Sheet”. Furthermore, international diversity is
taken into account in order to assure that the business projects provide first hand
experience in working in a multicultural team.

The coaches
An academic coach from RSM Erasmus University and an in-company coach from the
client organisation are assigned to the project. Naturally, it is imperative for the
success of the project that the student team develops a cooperative relationship with
both of their coaches and manages to meet their academic and practical wishes.
The academic coach help students in focusing the topic of their project, meets with
the company representatives to discuss progress and to align expectations and
conditions for the project. He or she provides suggestions on how to address
research issues, discusses team process, and evaluates student performance. On
average the university coach devotes one to two hours per week to the project.
The company coach acts as a go-between between student team, university and the
company. The company coach ensures that employees cooperate with the students
and that they can easily have access to whatever information they may need. He or
she is also responsible for evaluating the students’ performance. Student teams will
have regular contact with their company coach to further explore the problem and to
gain access to the organisation or resources. On average the company coach will
spend half a day per week on meetings with students, reading their reports and
helping them with their queries.

Structure of the project

The International Business Project is structured along five stages.

1. Introduction
During this stage students receive information about the company, the business
project and their fellow team members. The kick-off lecture provides background
information about the business project and highlights the pitfalls in this project.

2. Problem definition
This stage starts when teams have their first meeting with their university and
company coaches. Based on these meetings, teams draft a project proposal which
entails a brief description and analysis of the issue. They must then make
suggestions for research, a time schedule and budgeting of resources needed. The
problem definition phase ends with an official proposal that is approved by both
supervisors. Typically, this stage is more difficult than most students assume. Initial
project assignments often need further clarification, scoping down and reformulation
before they present a clear, feasible project that can be undertaken in a relatively
short period.

3. Implementation
In this stage students conduct the research as outlined in the project proposal. This
can be a challenging period. Sometimes the project does not progress as expected:
data sources are not readily available, cooperation of companies is limited or team
morale suffers from poor communication or diverging expectations among team

4. Presentation of the results

Towards the end of the project, the team presents its findings and recommendations
to the company. In addition, teams will prepare a presentation for their fellow
students and a jury of consultants at the university. The jury will decide which
student teams are eligible for an award.

5. Evaluation
The business project concludes with a reflection on the team effort and each
student’s individual learning experience. Besides one final team meeting with the
university coach, each student writes an individual paper in which he or she analyses
the team process and his or her individual role in this process. A key element is the
question regarding what students have learned in terms of project and consultancy
skills, research skills and team skills.

Lectures, skill seminars and feedback meetings

Lectures and seminars are offered to help students with mastering skills that are
relevant for project management and consultancy projects. In addition, informal
lunch meetings with group representatives are organized to discuss group progress
and to solve problems.

1. Introduction to the International Business Project
This three-hour lecture introduces the students to the business project on which they
will spend time during the next months. It instructs them in consulting to
management, managing the project and moreover, they will learn from former
groups’ experiences.

2. Consultancy by professionals
In this lecture two consultants from the Dutch consultancy firm Magnitude explain
how they address business problems and how they deal with the challenges that
students face in their business project.

3. Intervision – feedback session on team dynamics

Group dynamics are a crucial condition for success in the business project.
Experience shows that effective groups manage communication, agenda’s and
working styles in a better way than less successful teams. In this session, groups
reflect on their functioning and discuss ways of improvement.

1. Negotiation & Conflict Management skills (under regular reservation)
This one-day seminar provides students with practical training in negotiation and
conflict management skills that are relevant for working in project management
teams addressing consultancy projects.

2. Presentation skills (under regular reservation)

This two-hour workshop provides students with training and feedback on how to
present their research proposal and results to the business community.

Feedback meetings:
Three lunch meetings will be organized to monitor group process and address
problems with companies and coaches. For each meeting a different group member
will be invited.


Students are graded both individually and as a team by the university coach, the
company coach and their fellow team members. The grading is based on completion
of all written work, full participation in the project and on meeting the criteria of the
general aim of the project. Those who receive a grade of 5.0 or lower for
participation from at least one of these graders will lose their participation grade. In
that case the final grade will consist of 80% of the individual and team reports.

Students’ performance is evaluated by the company and the academic coach along
the following criteria:
• Practical quality: results represent added value for the company, creativity,
• Academic quality: consistency, depth of argument, methodology, use of
theoretical knowledge
• Process management: information flows, efficiency of organization, service
orientation, overcoming obstacles, ability to cope with limited
• Social competence: teamwork, intercultural skills, communication,
independence, maturity.

Individual Team Bonus

Reflection Paper 15% Project Proposal 10% Presentations 5%
Participation 25% Evaluated by fellow IBP
Academic coach 10% Company students and university
20% representative. The
Company coach 10% Judgment
Team members 5% best 5 teams receive
bonus of 5% on final
Final Report 30% grade. The best 3
teams compete for
eternal fame & amount
of €1,200 in final
presentation round.
Total 60% 5%

All information in this course manual is under regular reservation.
The most up-to-date information can be found on Blackboard through Check for schedules, location of lectures and seminars,
announcements, assignments etc.!


Dr. René Olie - Academic Director

For academic and other issues should your coaches be unable to help you
Room T7-45
Phone 010-408 20 01

Ms. Frieda Franke and Ms. Linda Lagrand - Company Project Office
For information on previous projects (e.g. review reports) and company related
Room T5-34
E-mail and
Phone 010-408 20 03 and 010-408 20 88

Ms. Annemiek Woudenberg – Coordinator IBP (until March 2008)

Ms. Marinelle Rozendaal – Coordinator IBP (from March 2008)
For organisational issues
Room T5-26
Phone 010-408 23 98

Ms. Ellen van Oeffelen – Secretary International Office

Room T5-30
Phone 010-408 20 99

Faxes and meeting rooms

Faxes related to the International Business Project can be sent from the International
Office. Please, ask Ms. Ellen van Oeffelen for a cover sheet. Students will need to
reimburse these expenses at the end of the business project. Students will receive a
receipt in order to charge the company of the International Business Project.

Meeting rooms for discussions with company representatives can be booked through
Ms. Van Oeffelen. Tea and coffee (and in some exceptional cases also lunch) can be
ordered for these meetings. Reservations should be made at least one week prior to the

Please inform company representatives to park their car in the garage of the T-building.
Representatives can leave the garage without paying if you provide them with a
parking card. These parking cards are to be picked up at our secretary's office as well.
The parking cards are not to be used for private purposes.

Schedule Spring 2008

Week 4 or 5
Social introduction
Week 6
Wednesday February 6 Kick-off International Business Projects for
13.00-15.45 hrs; exchange students & CEMS students
room LB-097 By Dr. René Olie

Week 6 or 7
During the week Company briefings
CPO informs you by email on your scheduled meeting
Week 8
Thursday February 21 Consultancy Lecture by Professionals
10.00–12.30 hrs; How real consultants handle business problems!
room: G3-46
Week 9
Friday February 29 Deadline Project Proposal
Week 10
March 5, 6 or 7 Negotiation & Conflict Management seminar
10.30–16.30 hrs; room:
T3-16, H15-32 or L1-094
Week 11
Thursday March 13 Intervision (mid-term evaluation)
by Dr. René Olie
10.30–13.00 hrs; T3-20 FOR REGULAR EXCHANGE STUDENTS!!
14.00–16.30 hrs; room C5 FOR CEMS STUDENTS!!
Week 12
EXAMS of master electives block III
May 7, 8 or 9 Presentation Training
9.00–17.30 hrs; 2 hours for each team
room T3-13 or T3-29
Week 20
Tuesday May 13 Preliminary Presentations
09.00–17.00 hrs;
room T3-25
This week Feedback session with the team and academic
To be scheduled by team and coach themselves
(also possible to schedule next week)
Thursday May 15 Final Presentations
14.00–17.30 hrs;
room T3-16
Friday May 16 Deadline Final Report
Week 21
EXAMS of master electives Block IV
Week 22
Friday May 30 Deadline Reflection Paper

2. Guidelines individual Reflection Paper

The International Business Project confronts students with real-life business
problems and offers them a learning experience in terms of:
 Teamwork, intercultural competencies: how to work as a team?
 Project management: how to structure and coordinate activities

The purpose of the reflection paper is to have you reflect on these experiences,
particularly about the team process and your own role in this process.

 The team process: how did the group start off and evolve over time? What went
well or did not go well? What problems or issues occurred during the project?
What was the output of the team in term of performance, member satisfaction?
Did the group meet its expectations and that of its stakeholders (i.e. the
company, the university, and the students)?
 The team’s methodological approach to the project. How did your team structure
and coordinate the work? How did you as a group manage the project? How did
you deal with the two coaches?

 What was the effect of team dynamics on your personal motivation?
 What was the role of team diversity (culture, experience, competencies, etc.) on
team dynamics?
 What effect did the group’s project management style have on team dynamics,
efficiency and outcomes?
 What were critical incidents (i.e. important events in the course of the project)
that explain team dynamics and/or output?
 What other factors explain your group’s team dynamics and output?
 What were the key success (failure) factors of your team?

 What are your personal learning experiences? What have you learned about
yourself and about how you work as an individual and in a team?
 What are your personal strengths and weaknesses in terms of teamwork and
project management skills?
 What has been your own role in the team? How much have you contributed to its
 What would you do differently next time?

Team assessment
Please assign a grade to each team member except yourself. Use the following scale
(you may use whole or half grades, e.g. 7.5) to evaluate the performance of other
team members:

10 = Excellent 5 = Almost sufficient

9 = Very good 4 = Insufficient
8 = Good 3 = Low
7 = Amply sufficient 2 = Poor
6 = Sufficient 1 = Very poor

Grading of Reflection Paper
Grading is based on the following criteria:
 Quality of description, interpretation and reflection: analysis and understanding
of the team’s project management style, group process and role of individual
team members.
 Style and presentation: readability, style, structure and form

 Suggested length of the Project Reflection Paper: 4 to 5 pages
 Your university coach will grade the paper. Submit your paper by email to your
coach AND at the same time to before May 30, 2008.

3. Rules of Conduct and Behaviour Guidelines

The Erasmus University Rotterdam is committed to the highest ethical standards of

professional conduct and integrity; therefore all members of the University community
are expected to respect and abide by the Rules of Conduct and encourage others to do
the same. The Rules of Conduct relate to correct conduct and procedure in the University
buildings and on the University sites, the working conditions, elimination of sexual
harassment, the prevention of smoking, the protection of privacy and copyright.

Elaborating on the Rules of Conduct this document aims to provide guidelines for
personal, professional and academic behaviour with regard to the International Business
Projects organised by CPO and International Office for students of RSM Erasmus

1) The International Business Project is a professional experience and professional

conduct is expected from you at all times especially regarding punctuality, attire,
demeanour and language. Inappropriate behaviour reflects directly upon RSM
Erasmus University. It can greatly jeopardise CPO’s relationships with business
connections and/or contacts.
2) You must not misrepresent yourself when submitting your matching resume or at any
time in the process preceding the kick-off of the project. RSM Erasmus University has
the right to verify all pertinent information regarding your candidacy at any point.
Examples of misrepresentation include grade inflation, exaggerated job
responsibilities, overstated foreign language competency and deliberate
overestimation of the time you have available for working on the International
Business Project.
3) Once you have been matched to an International Business Project you are expected
to complete that project. Verifiable medical or family emergencies are the only
4) Should you need to cancel out on an International Business Project, you risk losing
your study credits. Decisions in these matters are made by the programme chairman
with the informed consent of the university coach.
5) The rules pertaining to plagiarism can be found in the Rules of Conduct, you should
be aware of the fact that these also relate to the International Business Project.
6) The kick-off meeting – as well as any following meeting with the host company - is a
professional commitment. Failure to keep an appointment or late notification is
unacceptable. If you must cancel a meeting for a serious reason, the International
Business Project host company must be notified immediately.
7) Students are expected to dress in appropriate business attire for all meetings and/or
presentations unless specifically exempted by the International Business Project host
8) The host company has agreed to reimburse you for expenses you incur in the
research process of its International Business Project. Your request must be only for
reasonable and legitimate expenses.
9) If you encounter necessary expenses exceeding an item on the budget or the total of
estimated costs you agreed upon with the host company, you should get written
consent from your company coach to ensure reimbursement.

These guidelines are not all-inclusive. They are intended to serve as a framework
within which the International Business Project process should function, and as a
standard of professionalism to be upheld. Thank you for adhering to these guidelines.
If you have any questions please call the Company Project Office at +31 (0) 10-
4082010 or send an e-mail to

1. Bosch Security Systems

Project title
Optimizing the EMEA export process

Company details
Company name : Bosch Security Systems
Contact person : Robert Kroon & Jan Rijnen
Visiting Address : Glaslaan 2, 5616 LW Eindhoven
PO Box : P.O. box 80002, 5600 JB Eindhoven, Building SX-2
Telephone : 040-257 72 99
E-mail : /
Website :

Company Information
Bosch Security Systems is an innovative, global, one-stop-shop for high-quality
security and communication products. Our company offers a complete range of
specialised state-of-the-art products and systems for standard or customised
applications and projects. With a world wide network of sales organisation Bosch is a
large player on the security and communication market and wants to become
number one in this field. Bosch security systems is part of the Robert Bosch group, a
45 billion Euro industrial group, active in automotive, household appliance and
different industrial field.

Project description
In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) the export logistics (outside EU) is
organised via different ways. Central location for the export shipments are:
• Central Distribution Center, in Tilburg, Netherlands
• Sales Organization in Eindhoven, Netherlands
• Sales Organization in Budapest, Hungary
• Sales Organization in Moscow, Russia
• Sales Organization in Midland, South Africa

The different ways of export, the different organisation and different mentalities
cause a sub optimized process. The task of the team is to come with up with ideas
on how to optimize the current process. The solution does not have to come
automatically from logistics, but could also be found in intercultural management,
communication or HR fields.

Main goal: Optimalizing the export process in EMEA in terms of costs, performance
and customer satisfaction.

This needs to answered as follows:

1. Describe and analyse the current process and export ways and differences per
2. Create a SWOT analysis
3. Define and execute further detailed analyses
4. Present steps for improvement (split up between short and long term)

2. DSM Food Specialties
Project title
Understanding major forces in the (global) retail industry

Company details
Company name : DSM Food Specialties – Strategy & Marketing Services
Contact person : Ms. Monique Dirkx
Visiting Address : Alexander Fleminglaan 1, 2613 AX Delft
PO Box 1 (618-0065)
2600 MA Delft
Telephone : 015–279 27 86
E-mail :
Website :

Company Information
DSM is one of the largest suppliers of food ingredients to the global food and
beverage industry.
Within DSM, it is the Business Intelligence department of DSM Food Specialties
(DFS) that sets the information standard in strategic and operational decision making
processes. Consumer driven innovation has in recent years played an increasingly
important role for DFS. This has resulted in an increased demand for understanding
our customer’s (e.g. Unilever) customer (e.g. Albert Heijn). The underlying project
targets to better understand some of the issues affecting decision making at retailer

Project description
1. Prices and margins
a) provide insight into retailers’ average margin on processed food
products sold via their retail outlets
b) how do margins compare among other retail items
(e.g. unprocessed / fresh food, non-food, A-brand vs. private
label, etc.)

2. What decision process takes place with regard to the allocation of

shelf space, thereby addressing:
a) the cycle / timing of allocating shelf space throughout the year
b) time & process requirements in launching new products (A-brand
and private label)
c) required investments in Advertising and Promotion (split-up
according to relevant segments
d) minimum volume / value requirements regarding shelf space

3. Summarize the business models seen at European retailers

3. Eureko

Project title
Market attractiveness Assessment – Assessment of attractiveness of Turkish and
Bulgarian Health insurance market

Company details
Company name : Eureko
Contact person : M. T. Zurhake / Ryan Florijn
Visiting Address : Handelsweg 6
3707 NH Zeist
Telephone/mobile : 06-53 67 65 05 / +30-69 42 40 04 76
E-mail : /
Website :

Company Information
Eureko is a European financial services group, whose core business is insurance. In
addition to its home base in The Netherlands, Eureko has operations in 11 European
Building on our co-operative roots, our business is to aim and to achieve balanced
value creation for our stakeholders: customers, distribution partners, employees and
shareholders. To achieve that, we are striving to maintain the leading market
position in The Netherlands and gain a significant position in selected European

Our primary goal is not so much to be the biggest, but to be the best, most
customer-centred and innovative financial service provider.

Project description
Within its European expansion strategy Eureko is continuously exploring
opportunities for further growth and value creation. Leveraging on experience and
knowledge in Health insurance, built up through its leading positions in various
countries, Eureko intends to assess the possibility and attractiveness of creating
leading health insurance positions in its Turkish and Bulgarian markets.

One of the key challenges in this strategic analysis is to assess the attractiveness of
the market for Health insurance in each of these two countries. Such an assessment
should, among others, include an analysis of:
 Health Insurance market size and future growth
 Competition and distribution
 Social healthcare environment and political involvement.
 Health care providers market
Such a market analysis can be further enhanced by macro-economic developments.

Key deliverables
 Well structured and thorough overview of market characteristics – see project
 Clear and well supported analysis, leading to:
- key threats and opportunities
- key market entry conditions
- key areas for creating competitive advantages
Both deliverables are expected to contain both quantitative and qualitative aspects.

4. Heineken Group Supply Chain

Project title
Distribution opportunities for Heineken in Europe

Company details
Company name : Heineken Group Supply Chain
Contact person : L.K. van de Rotte, Manager Corporate Distribution & Logistics
Visiting Address : Burgemeester Smeetsweg 1
2382 PH Zoeterwoude
Telephone/mobile : 071-545 74 82
E-mail :
Website :

Company Information
Heineken is one of the largest brewers in the world, and the world’s most valuable
international premium beer brand. The Heineken brand is available in almost every
country in the world, and in addition to this brand, the company supplies over 170
international, regional, local, and specialty beers around the globe.

The world of Heineken is a world of people – a diverse world of customers and

employees who span the globe and represent different cultures, customs, professions
and interests. As an international company, with operations in almost every country
on the planet, our three core values - quality, respect and enjoyment - shape our
employment policies. Heineken is committed to cultivating a work environment that
embraces differences and encourages and supports all employees to achieve their
full potential. With over 60,000 employees worldwide, knowledge and expertise is
Heineken’s greatest resource.

Heineken Group Supply Chain is our international supply chain knowledge centre,
located in Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands. The Corporate Distribution & Logistics
Department delivers a significant contribution to the development of the Heineken
business worldwide through business improvement projects, knowledge development
initiatives, and policy making in the area of distribution & logistics. We currently have
an international business project assignment in the area of distribution in Europe.

Project description
The background of our request is that we foresee trends in the European
transportation industry, beer industry, legislation, and consumer behaviour, which
could change the way beer is distributed in Europe. Distribution of beer is currently
mainly done by truck and cross-border flows of beer are minimal. We would like a
team of motivated students to review these trends and provide an outside
perspective on the potential impact on Heineken’s distribution in Europe. From this,
we would like to select several opportunities to be reviewed in more detail by

Project assignment: Determine the distribution opportunities for Heineken in a

number of selected countries in Europe.
• What should be the countries in scope, based on Heineken’s priorities?

• What are the current trends in European transportation industry, beer
industry, legislation, and consumer behaviour, which could change the way
beer is distributed in Europe?
• What are the supply chains and main flows of other food and beverage
companies? Which modalities do they use?
• What are the (top 5) opportunities/risks and cost of using different modalities
(capacity, scarcity, quality, etc)?
• Which subsidy and tax rules currently apply and which future developments
do you foresee?
• What are the main implications of these trends for Heineken?

5. ING/Nationale-Nederlanden

Project title
Rationalizing various Activity Based Costing systems within Nationale Nederlanden (NN)

Company details
Company name : ING/Nationale-Nederlanden, Divisie Intermediair
Contact person : Jean-Pierre van Lieshout
Visiting Address : Weena 505
3013 AL Rotterdam
PO Box : PO Box 796
3000 AT Rotterdam
Telephone/mobile : 010-513 15 55
E-mail :
Website :

Company Information
NN sells both life and non life insurance contracts through the intermediary channel.
NN is part of ING Group. ING Group is an insurance and banking company, listed at
the Amsterdam and New York Stock exchanges.

Project description
The finance department uses more than 4 different Activity Based Costing systems to
allocate the expenses to products, in supporting the various Lines of Business in their
cost management.
The main purpose of the project is to identify opportunities to rationalize the various
ABC systems so that the components of the models will be as generic as possible.
The project will include the following aspects:
• Define a project plan
• Include the various relevant professionals in the project approach
• Identify the functionality of the existing models and the requirements of the
various LoB’s
• Analyse the differences in functionality and requirements
• Identify the generic components of the various ABC systems
• Provide NN with recommendations to implement improvements

6. ING/Nationale-Nederlanden

Project title
Strategic consequences of the switch from European Embedded Value to Market
Consistent Embedded Value

Company details:
Company name : ING/Nationale-Nederlanden
Contact person : Wies de Boer AAG
Visiting Address : Weena 505
3013 AL Rotterdam
PO Box : PO Box 796
3000 AT, Rotterdam
Telephone/mobile : 010-513 12 30 / 06-29 02 00 06
E-mail :
Website : /

Company Information
Nationale-Nederlanden is an insurance company that sells both Life and Non Life
insurance contracts through the intermediary channel. Nationale-Nederlanden is part
of ING Group. ING Group is an insurance and Banking Company and is noted at the
Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchange. This project focuses on NN Life.

Project description
Investigate the consequences of the switch from European Embedded Value to
Market Consistent Embedded Value on the strategic positioning of the business.
What are the consequences for decision making and strategy?

Purpose is to inform senior management of the consequences and the opportunities

and to propose concrete actions to make the switch successful and worthwhile for
the company.

7. KONE B.V.
Project title
Revitalize customer delight and marketing communications to restore KONE
Netherlands Net Promoter Index

Company details
Company name : KONE B.V. Elevators and Escalators
Contact person : Michiel Hoebée or Pieter Spanjersberg
Visiting Address : Rijn 10
2491 BG Den Haag
Telephone : 070-317 14 08
E-mail : or
Website :

Company Information
Established in 1910, KONE is one of the world’s leading elevator and escalator
companies. It provides its customers with industry-leading elevators and escalators
and innovative solutions for their maintenance and modernization. KONE also
provides maintenance of automatic building doors. KONE provides safe and easy
access for hundreds of millions of people daily in all parts of the world. The company
guarantees local service for builders, developers, building owners, designers and
architects in 800 locations in over 40 countries.

KONE has annual net sales of approximately EUR three billion and about 27,000
employees. Its Class B shares have been listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange since
During the past 95 years, KONE has proven its ability to adapt to a changing world
as well as to create new opportunities for growth. Stable management by four
generations of the same family has created a strong and supportive environment for
continuous development.

Project description
KONE B.V. is strongly interested in gaining insight in the root causes of it’s
decreasing Net Promoter Index over the last two years. The NPI is professor’s
Reichheld’s measurement of customer satisfaction and loyalty (see: Fred Reichheld:
The Ultimate Question. Harvard Business School Press. 2006. ISBN10: 1591397839).
KONE is worldwide measuring and using the NPI to monitor and improve it’s
customer delight objectives. KONE Netherlands is experiencing a negative trend and
is also suffering from relatively low scores in the NPI. Management wants to
thoroughly investigate the root causes of this development and have short and
longer term measurements and solutions to restore customer’s confidence and
loyalty. The project will be done in strong coordination and guidance of the local
Marketing department (Business Intelligence) and in liaison with business line
directors, responsible for New and Service Equipment Business. Suggestions for
improvement should be both realistic, fast to implement and evaluate and longer
term oriented to sustainably create a performance of continuous improvement and
upwards NPI indices. The project also includes analysis of other, local customer
surveys and internal employee surveys and the relationship between them.

8. Manpower

Project title
Sharing and improving HR Solutions for the European Contact Centre Business.

Company details
Company name : Manpower
Contact person : Debby van Rhoon
Business Manager Contact Center Solutions
Visiting Adress : Diemerhof 16-18
1112 XN Diemen
PO Box : PO Box 12150
1100 AD Amsterdam
Mobile : 06-10 91 52 34
E-mail :
Website :

Company Information
In 78 countries and territories around the world, Manpower helps both companies
and individuals navigate the ever-changing world of work. No other company has
more experience or expertise. Nearly 60 years of experience providing recruitment,
training, assessment and selection, outsourcing and consulting services means we
can help you make sense of the forces shaping tomorrow's workplace.

In the Netherlands, Manpower has organized focus on different market segments in

specialized business units. These business units are responsible for product
development, exploitation in the operational field of the 150 branches, marketing
and sales support.
One of the goals of Manpower Contact Center Solutions is to improve the
international cooperation with colleagues abroad. Therefore it is important to know
what all different HR needs are in the European contact-centres and whether
Manpower has the answers for these needs in the changing world of the contact
centre business. If we know this and we can find a way to share information on a
structural base, we can learn from each other, improve our performance and
strengthen our position in Europe.

Project description
We would like to have the international students of RSM make a report concerning
the following questions:
- What are key trends in staffing contact-centre employees in Europe?
- What are the main requests on a HR level in the contact centre business that
all European countries have to deal with?
- What different solutions does Manpower have in the different countries for
these requests?
- How has focus on the contact centre branch been organized at Manpower in
the different European countries?
- How can we succeed in sharing knowledge about the contact centre business
and in improving our HR service in this segment in Europe?

- Analysis of the European contact centre business concerning the HR demands
of the contact centre companies. (external)
- Analysis of the organization of Contact Centre specialism at Manpower
Europe, differences and similarities between the countries (internal)
- Recommendations that may lead to the improvement of the cooperation for
Manpower between the European countries concerning the HR service for
contact centres

9. New Values bv

Project title
Market Research into the possibilities for electricity and gas auctions in Germany,
Austria and the UK.

Company details
Company name : New Values bv
Contact person : Ms. Sascha Bloemhoff or Mr. Martijn Ophuis
Visiting Address : Niasstraat 1
3531 WR Utrecht
PO Box : PO Box 8213
3503 RE Utrecht
Telephone/mobile : 06-20 01 50 64
E-mail : or
Website :,

Company Information
New Values started up in 2003 and based in The Netherlands, is a flexible
organisation and an initiative of shareholders RaboBank and TenneT. They have
founded New Values to provide industries with an efficient, easy and cost effective
trade mechanism for trading EUAs (European Allowances) under the Kyoto Scheme,
in order to reduce Carbon Emissions and combat climate change, in the shape of a
reliable online trading platform called Climex.
New Values believes that trade in emission rights makes an important contribution
towards achieving environmental targets, while at the same time minimising the
costs involved.

Beginning 2007 New Values acquired EnergieKeuze (European Energy Auction).

European Energy Auction is now looking to expand its services internationally.
EnergieKeuze is an auction platform for electricity, natural gas and Certificates of
Origin, offering industries and (local) governments the opportunity to tender their
needs in a structured way. This ensures transparency, time saving and lowest
market prices. As well as preparing and executing the auctions, it assists clients in
mapping out their energy consumption and conditions before the auction

EnergieKeuze was established in 2001 offering a progressive new service for both
consumers and suppliers of electricity in the Dutch market. As from 2003, auctions
for Natural Gas and Certificates of Origin were added to EnergieKeuze’s services.
Initially, EnergieKeuze offered it’s services to the Dutch industry and large retailers.
When the European Community added the possibility of e-auctioning to the rules for
public tendering, EnergieKeuze was the first to develop an auction protocol together
with the Dutch Ministry of Defence. With the approval of this protocol by the Dutch
state advocate, the first auction as the conclusion of the European Public Tender for
delivery of electricity to the Dutch Ministry of Defence, was a great success. After
this pilot project, many other Dutch Ministries and Communities followed this
example and auctioned their need for electricity, natural gas and Certificates of
Origin with EnergieKeuze.

Project description
EnergieKeuze wants to expand its services internationally. In order to be able to
decide which countries are most suited we need to know if the current concept can
be copied into other countries and in which countries the electricity market is
liberalized enough to allow purchasers to select their own suppliers and to allow
suppliers to really compete with each other. We are therefore looking for students
who can:
• Execute market research in Germany, Austria and the UK to get a clear
picture of
o Current market situation, structure and participants
o Competition
o Political environment
o Market developments and EU influence

• Approach suppliers of electricity and gas to investigate their attitude towards

• Approach prospects to investigate their attitude towards auctioning
• Translate findings into user specifications for the trading software;
• Based on the outcomes of the market contribute to a business plan for
approaching designated markets.

10. Nidera Handelscompagnie

Project title
Trends and Dynamics for the Global Feed Industry

Company details
Company name : Nidera Handelscompagnie BV
Contact person : Alexander Regnault / Peng Chen
Visiting Address : Willemsplein 492
3016 DR Rotterdam
Telephone/mobile : 010-430 19 11
E-mail :,
Website :

Company Information
Nidera is an international trading and agribusiness company with strong traditional
roots in Europe and Argentina. The main activities include the trading of grains,
oilseeds, vegetable oils and meals; feedstuffs, rice and ocean transport. Other
related activities include the operation of elevators, processing plants, and vegetable
oil refining and bottling. In Argentina, Nidera is also engaged in the R&D of
agronomic seeds and in the handling of a wide range of agricultural inputs. Since the
beginning of 2006 Nidera is active in the bio-energy market and in 2007 Nidera
moves further towards the energy market by becoming active in the green power

Project description
The aim of the project is to put together a review of the global Animal Feed industry,
its trends and dynamics. This study will serve as the initial analysis for future
initiatives of Nidera in the field of Animal Feed (both from a trading perspective and
potentially from an investment perspective).

Please refer to the list hereunder for the main points that the study will address:.
- usage trends of main feed commodities by livestock (corn, barley, sorghum,
oilseed meals)
- what is the typical feed mix by livestock
- what is the impact of price elasticity on feed blends
- livestock cycles, how do they impact the feed market
- regional developments (asia, s.america, n.america, europe)
- world trade trends (main importers and exporters)
- impact of bioenergy
- impact of biotech & synthetic feed

=> end points: key markets / trend scenarios for growth / infrastructure needs /
investments / simulation of price-blends

The study should include a review of applicable literature, as well as interviews with
the top feed manufacturers to gather their perspective. The numerical simulations
may be based on simple worksheets.

11. Philips Lighting

Project title
Lighting for Industry

Company details
Company name : Philips Lighting
Contact person : Beate Walles, Remco Kaijen, Floriaan Tasche
Visiting Address : Mathildelaan 1
5611 BD Eindhoven
Telephone/mobile : 06-12 92 75 19 (Floriaan)
06-22 39 43 08 (Remco)
06-20 44 93 96 (Beate)
E-mail :
Website :

Company Information
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics
companies, as well as the largest in Europe, with 161,500 employees in over 60
countries and sales in 2005 of Euro 30.395 billion.

Active in over 60 businesses, and with more than 115,000 registered patents, Philips
is currently number 1 in the world market for electric shavers and DVD recorders.
We’re also a global leader in lighting, in TV, video and audio products, and in medical
diagnostic imaging systems. Within the cyclical goods market, Dow Jones recently
ranked us the global leader in sustainability.

Philips Lighting employs approximately 44,000 people worldwide and operates in four
business areas: Lamps; Luminaires; Lighting Electronics; and Automotive Lighting,
Special Lighting and UHP. It maintains sales and service organizations in over 60
countries and runs manufacturing operations in the Netherlands, Belgium, France,
Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, India, Indonesia,
Thailand, the People's Republic of China and South Korea.

This assignment will take place at the Business group Luminaires in Eindhoven, The

Project description
The BG Luminaires is looking for ways to expand it’s business. One of the ideas is to
expand our focus in industry.
Currently the portfolio is aimed at different segments (Office, Industry, Healthcare,
Shops) and consists of a wide range of products from bare battens and waterproof
solutions, to recessed luminaires and advanced spots for shops. Specifically for the
industry segment we focus on the automotive industry and logistics. For these
applications we have dedicated propositions and product portfolio available.
However, our industrial portfolio is much bigger and we actually sell quite a lot,
without specifically targeting other sub-segments.

The aim of this project is to do an extensive MABA (Market Attractiveness, Business

Attractiveness) study and to see what other sub-segments in industry are interesting
for Lighting to focus on.

Questions to be answered

Market attractiveness
• What are the sizes of the different sub-segments and how much do they
• Which countries in Europe are growing in Industry? In which segments?
• Are there any specific competitors active in sub-segments?
• What is the price-structure in all the sub-segments?

Business attractiveness
• Which sub-segments could we serve with our current portfolio?
• Do we know the value-chain in the different sub-segments?

1. Report on lighting for Industry in Europe. The report should have answers on
the questions stated earlier with a clear advice if we should expand in this
market and, if yes, which sub-segments to do first.
2. Presentation to senior management of the BG Luminaires with the

In cooperation with the company coaches, the scope of the research can be
finetuned after the first initial findings.

12. PricewaterhouseCoopers

Project title
Outsourcing Benefits Realization (Making it Happen)

Company details
Company name : PricewaterhouseCoopers
Contact person : Pieter J. Koene / Matthijs T. Kortenhorst
Visiting Address : Thomas R. Malthusstraat 5
1066 JR Amsterdam
Mobile : 06-22 90 97 72 (P.Koene) / 06-22 72 83 07 (M.Kortenhorst)
E-mail : /
Website :

Company Information
PricewaterhouseCoopers provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory
services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders.
More than 146,000 people in 150 countries work collaboratively using Connected
Thinking to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice.
Our clients range from national and international large complex organisations to
medium and smaller- sized businesses.
In the Netherlands over 4.700 professionals work from 17 offices in a three lines of
services: Assurance, Tax and Advisory.

Project description
Outsourcing is alive and well; in fact it's an emerging issue for many businesses. It
has the potential to deliver value well beyond cost savings by opening access to
talent and capabilities while maximising business model flexibility.

But success and growth are not without their challenges. Customers continue to be
held back by cost benefit justification (i.e., the challenge of creating a business case
where benefits are measured and delivered) and their own lack of experience. Nearly
all feel challenged by one or more aspects of the outsourcing lifecycle; and their first
inclination is to blame service providers when projects fail. Service providers think
the main cause of failure is poor collaboration with customers.

Navigating the complexity of today’s sourcing options requires that organizations

apply the same rigor necessary for all strategic business deals to the evaluation,
management and execution of any outsourcing commitment. Outsourcing decisions
have far reaching implications to the growth of the organization, requiring new
strategies and approaches to help ensure success.

The project the students will be working on is helping our Outsourcing Advisory team
(for the Financial Services Sector) to build the proposition focused on helping clients
realizing the benefits they seek from outsourcing and offshoring arrangements. With
our clients we see a large majority not realizing the expected benefits anticipated
when entering the outsourcing relationship. The project entails looking at the aspects
important for assessing whether sourcing operations are delivering the expected
benefits (benefits management) and defining the elements important for
organizations in ensuring maximum value from their sourcing operations (in short
Sourcing Benefits realization).

13. Reuters

Project title
Trends in Investment Management in the Netherlands

Company details
Company name : Reuters
Contact person : Harm Joosse
Visiting Address : Antonio Vivaldistraat 50
1083 HP Amsterdam
Telephone : 020-504 59 47
E-mail :
Website :

Company Information
Reuters is a global information company providing indispensable information tailored
for professionals in the financial services, media and corporate markets. Our
information is trusted and drives decision making across the globe. We have a
reputation for speed, accuracy and freedom from bias. Reuters operates through
business divisions, geographic sales and service channels and shared resources to
build, deploy and support the products and services our customers need. These
divisions are closely aligned with the user communities they serve. Three divisions
serve the financial industry: Sales & Trading, Research & Asset Management and
Enterprise. The fourth, Media, serves customers in the press, television, radio and
online markets.

Project description
With the upcoming merger between Reuters and Thomson one of the most new
interesting areas for the new company is going to be the investment management
industry in the Netherlands.

Main questions to be answered:

What are going to be the most important trends in the investment management
industry and how should Reuters Thomson respond to this.

Sub questions:
- How much market share do Reuters and Thomson have together in the
Netherlands in investment management?
- Which investment strategies will be most important in the coming years for
the investment management industry? (Quant, macro, long short etc.)
- What kind of data do clients in the investment management industry think are
going to be the most important in the coming years?
- What kind of data do clients in the investment management industry currently
- Where do clients see the most benefits of the new Reuters Thomson entity?

14. Siemens Nederland

Project title
Critical success factors in national healthcare restructuring

Company details
Company name : Siemens Nederland NV
Contact person : Mischa Kluin
Visiting Address : Prinses Beatrixlaan 800
2595 BN Den Haag
Telephone : 070-333 14 68
E-mail :
Website :

Company Information
Siemens has chosen health care as one of their three major growth areas world
wide. Siemens Netherlands is also investing in equipping a team that can deliver all
necessary solutions for Dutch health care institutions and professionals.

The Dutch regulatory situation for health care is changing fast and getting into a
critical phase. Traditionally it has been dictated by the government, today we are
gradually moving from a public to a -controlled- competitive market for private
health care providers and insurance companies. The latter are introducing
competition in an old fashioned 'market', which is a delicate process to maintain
quality in such a mainly cost driven innovation movement. The Dutch solidarity
principle is 'at stake'.

Some countries did a successful move to a private health care 'market', in some
countries this move went to fast, losing basic principles and fundaments for health
care: uninsured groups of people, split in quality of health care ....

Siemens has all tools (smart cards, software applications, infrastructure, helpdesk
etc) necessary to implement an efficient health care infrastructure for a country, e.g.
The Netherlands. But that is surely not enough. We would like to know what non
technical issues are crucial in a successful change in this arena. What political forces
are needed, should private companies act and at what moment and which role is
played by the media?

Project description
Determine for specific countries if their move from public to private was an evolution
or revolution, how successful they were/are (in quality and cost) and what the
critical success factors were?
• Who or what did initiate the change (political changes, cost growth)?
• In which time frame did the change take place?
• How were hospitals/ doctors/ institutions paid before and after?
• Who lead the change: government, consortium or private company
• What were technical conditions (smart card, EHR, consent management)?

Most interesting will be countries that have made significant changes and where IT is
highly integrated:
US, Canada, Germany (BRD&DDR), Sweden/Denmark, UK, Italy and compare those
with e.g. Eastern Europe.

15. Squarewise

Project title
“Employee 2.0”: are organisations ready for the young professional of the future?

Company details
Company name : Squarewise
Contact person : Koen Eising
Visiting Address : Claude Debussylaan 48
1082 MD Amsterdam
Telephone : 020-447 39 25
E-mail :
Website :

Company Information
Squarewise is a strategy firm for knowledge and innovation management based in
Amsterdam. The consultancy supports large and knowledge intensive organisations
in better developing, sharing, applying, protecting and evaluating their knowledge.
Clients include Philips, Heineken, KPN, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Ministry of
Economic Affairs. The Squarewise team consists of professionals from diverse
backgrounds in consulting, marketing and IT. Professor Mathieu Weggeman, one of
the most renowned experts in the field of knowledge and innovation management, is
an associate partner at Squarewise.

Project description
“The average MBA graduates in 2006 are not just knowledge workers. They are
capable of being highly networked internal entrepreneurs and innovation creators.
Their ability to connect is not just about email, BlackBerries, text messages and
voice-mails. They are intimately familiar with all those tools, but ultimately, expertise
with those one-to-one connectivity tools is just the price of admission. What makes
these new graduates so effective is their ability to work efficiently with large virtual
teams and their amazing ability to maximize the power of their personal networks.”
Rod Boothby – innovation creators

This trend of extensive knowledge sharing by this young generation has an effect on
the relation between employee and employer. Organisations are no longer
surroundings that offer certainty and stability, but more and more serve as
temporary vehicles for the development of employees. Old structures and processes
are no longer suitable for this group of professionals. How does an organisation act
when employees are no longer motivated by the traditional, hierarchical carrier
paths? What if employees are managing their personal development in such a way
that it will no longer correspond to the interest of the organisation?

The project aims to evaluate this new development and to analyse its impact. The
main question is: to what extent is this trend a reality, what is its significance and in
what way does (or will) it have an effect on existing organisations. The focus of the
analysis should include the evolving competences (skills, level of education, field of
specialisation) and characteristics (ambitions, preferences, expectations) of (very)
young professionals.

In order to guarantee a successful project, we suggest the following project phases:
1. Exploring this development through literature
2. Desk study, surveying the practical impact for organizations (effect, timing,
3. Field research and international comparison, identification of best practices in
reacting to this development
4. Analysing the impact for Squarewise as consultancy firm, acknowledging its
specific expertise and experience