Building on last year’s success, a group of MBA students from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, representing BRC (formerly Big Red Consulting), worked with four diverse businesses to help them boost sales with Cornell and review their business plans.
The students from BRC were engaged by Cornell Procurement Services as part of the university’s Toward New Destinations initiative to increase purchases from women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses. The participating suppliers were selected from Procurement Services’ Supplier Diversity Initiative. The consulting program was launched last year with a group of five small and diverse businesses, and it was such an overwhelming success that plans were made to continue offering the service.
Senior Director of Procurement Services, Tom Romantic stated, “We are very pleased to be able to provide this valuable service to our diverse suppliers. I am very impressed with the professionalism and talent of the BRC student consultants and the quality of the work and value they brought to our suppliers. This was a valuable opportunity for our suppliers and excellent practical experience for the Cornell students.”
Once again, BRC teams worked directly with the business owners to observe business operations, interview staff and management, and identify strengths and weaknesses. The BRC recommendations were comprehensive and addressed such areas as identification of customers, marketing plans, sales compensation structure, operational efficiencies, website redesign, and customer satisfaction.
On April 29, the students presented their findings and recommendations to an audience that included the owners of the four companies and their top customers including Greg Bronson, Spring Buck, Glen Mueller, Andrew Page, Kyu Whang.
The project recommendations are being implemented by the firms. Jane Jack of Vasco Brands reported “This year’s BRC project helped us understand some of the items we were lacking for both our customers and our sales force. What a great team of students!”