For my master project thesis, I spent my last 6 months working at the nonprofit organization EuCham -- European Chamber in Budapest (Hungary) as an Intern Project Assistant. The presented work provides an overview of common project management theories, methodologies, and strategies with a strong focus on nonprofit organizations and also includes experiences, insights, and lessons learned during my role in a diverse team of managers, interns, and unpaid volunteers. In addition, it provides recommendations based on common methodologies, best practices, and personal experience aiming to optimize project management at EuCham and hence assuring consecutive project and corporate success.
During my internship, I proposed a clear management strategy for both unique and reoccurring projects tailored for the high fluctuation of volunteers and their diverse skills, backgrounds and goals in order to optimize project management and project success at EuCham. This strategy includes project management training for new interns based on the experience and acquired knowledge in previous projects. I also introduced IT tools for internal communication and project management that are best suited for their use--case in order to minimize project management overheads and maximize the generated value.
Investing in an early-stage company is very difficult, that is why the decision-making process is crucial and may take up to few months until the investment is closed. It may be complicated for entrepreneurs to understand the VC decisions. As the entrepreneur probably knows his business better than the external investors, an asymmetric information exists between venture capitalists and the entrepreneur. And venture capitalists want to reduce their failure rate. That is why they attach a great importance to this process.
This work presents the investment process in Venture Capital. An analysis of the 7-month deal- flow at Generis Capital gives results on which criteria venture capitalists select their investments.
When the Venture Capital Firm decides to invest in a company, the investment team performs the firm valuation. Moreover, Venture Capitalists want to protect themselves after the investment closing. This work details three valuation models and protections that are commonly used in the Venture Capital industry.
The Venture Capital decision-making process is long and often not well understood by entrepreneurs.
Despite the growing numbers of venture capital firms and the impressive amount raised by start ups, the investment rate of these venture capital firms is still around 1%. That is why gen- erating a deal-flow of quality is crucial for investors. It takes time to develop this intangible resource, but it would improve its quality and so increase the probability of investing in promis- ing companies. Each venture capital firm has its own investment strategy. That is the first rea- son of rejection at the initial stage of the investment process.
When an investment proposal passed this first selection, there is a constant information exchange between the entrepreneur and the investors.
Venture capitalists perform in-depth due diligence to analyze the investment proposal. It takes time and the entrepreneur must be reactive. The analysis of the 7-month deal-flow of Generis Capital shows that the financial metrics and the product are the two main reasons of rejection. The quality of the management team is necessary but not sufficient.
Performing a start up valuation appears challenging due to of lack of historical data and uncertainty for the future. Venture Capitalists take a seat at the Board of the company and have voting rights to decide important strategic decisions of the firm. They also protect themselves from down rounds and bad exits by preferred stocks and protections against down rounds. However, it appears that these protections are often waived to keep the management incentives.
Traditional companies are seeking to rapidly digitalize their supply chain (SC) in order to quickly manage future changes for continuous added value and success. Transformation from traditional to modern SC is not an easy task and the underlying concept is to upgrade SC from manual and paper-based processes to a much higher degree of automation whilst leveraging upon the prevalence of big data. Therefore, the companies look for information technology solutions which are essential for creating real-time information visibility and enabling agility and responsiveness across the supply chain.
The focus has been on cloud computing (CC) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies to improve end to end visibility and to become a digital SC. With SC transformation into digital, companies expect to improve their processes (plan, source, make, deliver and return). Indeed, digital transformation of the SC should impact each process of the supply chain.
Cloud based solution should help companies to improve collaboration and visibility with their suppliers and to better serve their worldwide customers while reducing operation costs and improving planning, production and delivery performance.
RFID based solution should improve traceability and visibility of products and processes, increase efficiency and speed of processes, improve information accuracy, reduce inventory losses, and facilitate management through real-time information. However, RFID technology can be limited because of metal and liquid environment disturbing reading performances.
To improve end to end visibility, the solution would be to use a cloud based system integrating RFID source data. Combination of both technologies suggests having real-time information available for each SC partners. With these technologies, companies have the possibility to take a competitive advantage. But the fact that information technologies and best practices are rapidly evolving, should lead companies to constantly adapt to stay competitive.
To conclude, traditional tobacco SC need to be transformed into digital SC to deal with clients’ expectations and sustaining competitive advantage. With their combined outcome, CC and RFID technologies meet the conditions (agile, visible, collaborative, automated and proactive) to perform a digital supply chain. Digital is transforming the SC and should allow PMI to drastically improve its SC processes.
Despite the development of information management software, the dramatic increase of data is still a critical issue in modern multinational companies. Given the cost of maintenance, data optimization is of great importance to improve company performance. In order to deal with that problem, the project aimed at exploring different approaches likely to help manage company’s data better.
This thesis consists mainly of two parts. In the first part, it describes in details the digital archiving project for application data including the initial and adjusted scope, implementation procedures, evaluation standards and results obtained within the time scope of the project. In the second part, different corporate governance problems are presented and examined from within three perspectives: convergence of interests, vendor’s pricing strategy and time management. In the end, potential options for the future are suggested and a learning evaluation concludes the analysis.
Over the past years, information technology has advanced immensely and allowed for traditional business to operate in a different way. This technology wave opens opportunities for small companies with little resources to challenge the established business processes and provide value in unexpected manner. However, a lot of startups emerge from a technical background without market validation of their ideas. This poses challenges to evaluate the potential of the technology and create valuable services.
In this thesis we are interested in discovering the value out of innovative technologies in the context of an early-stage enterprise with methodologies that allow us to continuously improve the discovery process.
We start with a literature review with the purpose of finding relevant methods to design the services. Then, we proceed to evaluate Inpher’s technology in-depth by examining combinations of services. We investigate further by validating our findings with existing prospects. Moreover, we generalize a problem that appears across industries and is addressable by the identified services. We recognize and estimate relevant markets for the general problem and then list appropriate next leads with whom we would establish contacts. These new leads would initiate the service design process again. We propose sales process guidelines to navigate through the interactions with prospects in a way that maximizes the useful feedback for the service design process.
The results of the current master project are a synthesis a set of services from Inpher’s technology, evaluation of the potential of the current prospects against the identified services, and identification of a common problem for particular target market, which would find value in the services. The outcome of the thesis are also the potential market estimations and a list of next prospects. Furthermore, the thesis proposes a customer development process within the product discovery process by considering the specificities of a startup’s sales process.
The key projects focused at in this internship at Procter & Gamble were to increase profitable market share in its India Fabric Care business. The first project pertained with identifying the ideal proposition and to propose key business model changes to uptier a significant portion of Tier 3 Laundry consumers in India. For this purpose, an in--depth analysis to understand the key drivers of uptiering by analysing 17 years of Laundry market was conducted. Additionally, an understanding of differences in habits between Tier 1, 2, and 3 consumers was developed by analysing a Technical Habits & Practices study. The second project was designed to understand changing consumer needs to gain competitive advantage. For this purpose, a deep understanding of consumer’s wardrobes in terms of types, number, cost, etc. was developed, which would enable P&G to develop a bank of insights to guide future communication on the portfolio and identify implications in terms of product.
Key business model changes and portfolio recommendations to significantly increase uptiering in India were provided at the end of the Master Project. Furthermore, a bank of insights to guide future communication on our portfolio and its implications in terms of product design to meet changing consumer needs were developed.
This master thesis project took place in the Production Logistics department of a watchmaking company. This department is responsible for managing both intra and inter-sites flows, providing components to production and monitoring stock levels.
The objective of this master thesis is the proposal, assessment and implementation of a stock management and location model reducing workload and increasing reactivity of components availability.
Analysing and mapping the existing stock flows and processes enabled to prioritize areas for improvement and to develop a steering model to optimize component flows and stock management, challenging the current organization and fitting in the stock policy. Definition of best practices, roles and responsibilities, as well as standardization of processes, rationalization of flows and alignment of inter-site operating procedures, were the key issues of this subject.
One of the tasks achieved was the optimization and roll-out of a production line stock. For this complex cross-functional mission, collaboration with different services resulted in the proposal of a solution improving resource allocation, increasing reactivity and ERP stock reliability.