This is the GBP website containing information for client companies. If you are an MBA student interested in participating in GBP, please visit the student site.
Starting in 2015, the Global Business Project (GBP) will be a collaboration between the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. GBP is one part class, one part consulting project. MBA students are organized into teams to complete consulting assignments involving companies’ operations in Brazil, China, and India. GBP adds three key elements to the MBA experience:
- applied global learning, in the form of a consulting project
- cultivating teamwork skills through solving a problem together
- learning to navigate a foreign culture in business and social settings
By taking part, your company will be contributing to our students’ premium learning experience—but your company also benefits. Students are selected to participate in a highly competitive process, and GBP consulting projects are not mere exercises. Rather, the students address real-world problems facing their client companies, and the companies come away with recommendations they can implement immediately. GBP is offered as a semester-long course, and companies also benefit from the input of the teams’ experienced and knowledgeable faculty advisors.
The tabs on this website contain more information about what is required from client companies and the potential benefits to your company. Please keep in mind the client application deadline of September 30, 2014. We are able to offer assistance in scoping your project if desired; please see the 'Contact' tab above.
Timeline for GBP 2014
The 2013-14 timeline appears below. Dates for the 2014-15 program coming soon.
- Student information sessions held at participating schools
- Schools interview student applicants
- October 15, 2013: Deadline for client applications
- Schools submit student nominations to program selection committee
- Selection committee meets to match student teams to clients
- Accepted students receive match letters describing their projects
- November 29, 2013: Signed acceptance letters and deposits due from students
- Virtual "Getting Started" workshop for faculty advisors
- January 15, 2014: Fees due from schools, students, and clients
- Launch Weekend, Washington, D.C. (Client company representatives must attend Feb. 7-8; all others must attend Feb. 7-9.)
- February 10-March 11: pre-kickoff phase, full scoping of project
- March 14, 2014: Official project kickoff meetings for students, faculty advisors, client representatives (virtual)
- March 15-May 15, 2014: Virtual project work for teams with faculty advisors (meeting periodically with clients)
- May 16-18, 2014: Hub City weekend in project countries (team members only)
- May 19-30, 2014: In-country segment
- May 30, 2014: Final team presentations to clients
- Grading and feedback
- Final client assessment due
- Grades due to schools from faculty advisors
Examples of Past GBP Assignments
MONSANTO is the lead supplier of corn seeds worldwide, as well as a leader in biotechnology solutions for seed crops, including soybeans and corn. In 2013, a GBP team was assigned to assess the tools available in Brazil to track operations efficiency. Working with Monsanto's manufacturing director, the team provided detailed recommendations for the tools deemed to be the best fit for the company, with an implementation schedule for optimal results.
CITIBANK is a leading global financial institution and the largest foreign bank in China. In 2013, Citibank asked a GBP team to research trade flows and supply chain patterns between the U.S. and China, and to identify untapped new business opportunities for their trade business, including new letter of credit opportunities, new trade finance products, and foreign exchange hedging techniques.
GE HEALTHCARE is a global company focusing on research and development in biotechnology, vaccines, and genomics. In 2013, the company asked a GBP team to focus on the order-to-cash cycle within the supply chain for its Brazil operations, with an emphasis on demand planning, inventory controls, information flow, customer satisfactions, and cost-to-serve. Project scope included resource planning and allocation within the context of an ERP system.
DORF KETAL, a multinational company based in India, is a world leader in refining and exporting specialty chemicals, plastic additives, and catalysts. In 2013, Dorf Ketal assigned a GBP team to analyze pricing strategy for its top 20 global products. The team was asked to recommend the adoption of pricing strategy management systems that would allow product managers to assume full control in setting and managing gross margin targets. The company set the expectation that the team's recommendations enable Dorf Ketal to expand gross margins by at least two full margin points in the next 12 months. The prior year, a GBP team provided the company with a strategy to remove $600,000 a year in costs from its supply chain.
In 2012, a GBP team developed a strategy for WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY to enter the India market and navigate the political process for bringing nuclear reactors to market. This required navigating a complex process that involved government, businesses, and communities. The prior year, a GBP team performed a similar analysis for the China market that produced strong results.
In 2011, AMGEN purchased Bergamo, a Brazilian pharmaceutical company that specializes in producing generic drugs, and reacquired the rights for distribution. Amgen asked a 2012 GBP team to provide a strategy for completing its integration of Bergamo and establishing operations in Brazil.
In 2012, a GBP team worked with AGCO Corporation, a maker of agricultural equipment, to create a profitable merchandising strategy that promoted brand recognition within Brazil. The team analyzed and presented recommendations for operations, distribution, target markets, and cultural shifts for the merchandising strategy.
Requirements for GBP Client Companies
- Identify a business challenge facing your company related to your operations (or planned future operations) in Brazil, China, or India. Craft a project around this challenge, to be completed between February and May, constituting approximately 1,000 work hours (200 hours per student). We are able to offer help in scoping your project if desired.
- Commit to pay the project fee of $15,000 and cover project-related expenses in-country, including accommodations, food, and transportation, for your team of 5 to 7 students during their time on site in May. Each client company also pays one faculty advisor’s international airfare and in-country expenses.
- Select an executive from your company to work with the team throughout the course of the project. This includes 2-3 hours per week working with the team via email, phone, or videoconference, from February through April; attending Launch Weekend February 7-8 in Washington, D.C.; and spending 10-12 hours per week with the team during the in-country portion in May.
Wisconsin companies interested in participating in the Global Business Project should contact:
Susan Huber Miller
Director of Global Applied Learning