Community Consultants of Darden

Project Portfolio

2012-13 Projects

ROCKY TOP 

Project Description:

Opened in 1994, Rocky Top provides Charlottesville's only public indoor climbing walls, as well as a public racquetball/wallyball court, free weights, and workout equipment.  The gym transferred ownership in late 2011 and is a family-run business.  Since the purchase the focus has been on providing much needed maintenance to improve the facility, and the facility now boasts state of the art climbing equipment.  The CCoD engaged with Rocky Top to identify ways to capitalize on its strong brand and community to grow revenue through memberships, day passes, rentals and additional equipment sales.. The team also worked to ensure that any new customers wouldn’t over-crowd the existing facility.

CCoD Deliverables:

  •  Customer survey and analysis: The CCoD leveraged Rocky Top’s highly engaged customer base to understand key customer requirements and make recommendations for maintaining and growing the base
  •  Capacity analysis: The CCoD helped Rocky Top understand peaks and lulls in demand and made recommendations on how to smooth demand 
  • Billing analysis: The CCoD make recommendations to optimize the customer payment process and eliminate customer pain points 

Darden Second-Year Partner:  Jennifer McGee

First-Year Team Members:  Jeff Bates, Jennifer Hammond, Joey Miller, Megan O’Keefe, Alison Stewart, Stav Yoffe

 

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE (OLLI)  

Project Description:

OLLI offers courses, lectures and field trips to active adults over 50 in the Charlottesville area. Their instructors are active and retired university faculty and community professionals who volunteer their time. This fall they are offering 79 courses, 3 Special Presentations and 2 day-long Field Trips. OLLI wants to transition from a semiannual membership fee to a yearly fee and structure the membership and tuition pricing to continue to attract active adults. The project with CCoD will involve analyzing various pricing options, marketing strategies and member benefits to enable OLLI to develop a new fee structure and membership package that invites new membership and retains current members.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Competitive Analysis: CCoD helped articulate OLLI’s positioning in the community through competitive mapping and customer surveys
  • Customer Surveys:  CCoD developed and administered a customer survey to help determine key value drivers for current OLLI members. This process helped determine the importance of pricing, professors, course selection, and location
  • Workshop:  CCoD hosted a workshop with key OLLI staff to discuss findings and best practices to help OLLI achieve its funding goals.

Darden Second-Year Partner: Brett Annunziato

First-Year Team Members: Praj Damle, Arshbir Ghuman, Jake Lyssy, Lisa Mckenna, Brandon Prather, Andrew Olesen

 

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA - OFFICE OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS 

Project Description:

The Administrative Services Unit (ASU) within the Dean of Students Office includes three departments: Business Services & Operations, Marketing & Communications, and Technology Services. Among their many duties, the ASU staff manages operations for 7 buildings across UVA Grounds and supports well over a thousand student events each year with 16 FTEs and 50 student staff. 

The Operations group within ASU enlisted CCoD’s help to improve event space management by looking into current job descriptions, existing processes and event management technology.  CCoD helped to identify process inefficiencies and bottlenecks in current operations and consequently identified and outlined a future operating state that was designed to better meet the organization’s goals. CCoD also conducted a capabilities comparison with key event management competitors to understand new potential revenue streams during event space down times as well as industry best practices.

CCoD Deliverables: 

  • Current State Assessment:  A thorough analysis of the processes, organization and technology of the Operations business unit within Business Services and Operations. 
  • Future State Design:  Based on the insights from the current state analysis, recommendations for a future state were developed to address gaps and inefficiencies in operational processes, technology and organizational design.
  • Competitive Analysis:  Comparison of ASU’s current event management capabilities to other key players. Recommendations included suggestions regarding how to be competitive with industry leaders within the budget and resource constraints of ASU.  

Darden Second-Year Partner: Tarun Keswani

First-Year Team Members: Brandon Nelson, Michael Humenansky, Kat Baronowski, Chris Lawrence, Clare Seekins, Caroline Kalinoski

2010-11 Projects

ALBEMARLE VINTAGE LIMOUSINE/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/AVL Logo.jpg

Project Description:

Albemarle Vintage Limousine (AVL) incorporated in February 2008 and provided its first paying service in October 2008.  In the first two years of operation, business was almost 100% driven by wedding work featuring a line of classic, vintage limousines.  AVL won the Best of Charlottesville contest in 2009 and came in third place in 2010.  After researching the Monticello Wine Trail for two years, AVL began successfully providing wine tours for groups between two and twelve people.  Since the wedding business is both seasonal and weekend-focused, AVL is looking for other opportunities to utilize its current resources to increase its profits.  With over 30 wineries within a short drive of Charlottesville, there is an opportunity to further develop AVL’s wine tour segment to become a bigger part of the financial success of the company. In addition to the wine tour segment, other potential revenue streams could boost profitability and utilize idle resources.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Market-Analysis:  CCoD will conduct market research to help AVL better understand the current hired car service market including customer segments and competitors.  CCoD will provide actionable recommendations on which market segments to pursue and how to be successful in those segments.
  • Finance:  CCoD will analyze the current finances of the business to provide a detailed look into the revenues and costs associated with different service offerings.
  • Operations:  CCoD will analyze the operations of AVL and provide recommendations to optimize the operations of the company.

Darden Second-Year PartnerAdam Rapp

First-Year Team Members:  Bingshi Chen, Priti Dhanda, Whitney Dickerson, Chris Ivy, Chris Ritter, Evan Smith

JACK JOUETT MIDDLE SCHOOL

Project Description:

As a public middle school, Jack Jouett’s primary goal is to educate students so that they are prepared to succeed in high school.  For this organization, success is measured according to performance on the Standard of Learning (SoL) examinations.  Jouett has not achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two of the past three years based on Virginia’s Standards of Learning as required by the “No Child Left Behind Act” of the United States government.  Unsatisfied with “barely missing or making AYP,” the school’s administration would like to make Jack Jouett an extraordinary school - a leader in education and a model of student achievement throughout central Virginia and beyond.  The three strategic plans posted on their website demonstrate the school’s commitment to improving student outcomes.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Evaluation:  Review of current instructional delivery model for target group.  Recognizing that the students participate in a robust schedule of academic activities, including attending courses in different subject areas, this assessment will provide insight on the students’ academic experience.  We will also review the impact of non-academic activities on the students’ overall performance.  Our expectation is that we will gain a thorough understanding of how Jouett administration is currently preparing students for the SOLs.
  • Analysis:  Our assumption is that there are best practices applicable to resolving Jouett’s primary challenge.  The “Gap review” seeks to gather insights from key stakeholders (students, teachers, staff parents, education experts), industry best practices to craft a tailored portfolio of recommendations for Jack Jouett.
  • Recommendation:  Gathered key insights from stakeholders, and researched best practices, (identified in number 2), our goal is to develop and recommend an instructional strategy specifically for the target group.  This strategy will include recommendations for implementation and monitoring.

Darden Second-Year PartnerAkshay Mittal

First-Year Team Members:  Charlie Hajzus, Rhonda Henderson, Neha Jindal, John Malek, Justin Pan, Lily West

REVOLUTIONARY SOUP/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/Rev Soup Logo.jpg

Project Description:

Revolutionary Soup is a locally owned, independent restaurant.  It owns two Charlottesville locations - one on The Corner and one on the Downtown Mall - and are open Monday-Thursday 9:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M. and ’til 9:00 P.M. on Friday and Saturday.  Revolutionary Soup provides Charlottesville with the highest quality, freshly prepared soups, sandwiches, salads and wraps.  Fresh, local ingredients from organic, eco-friendly and sustainably maintained farms are the first step in this process.  Unique, creative recipes based on classical preparations are the next step.  Add to this equation quick, friendly service in a casual atmosphere, and you have Revolutionary Soup!

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Complete competitive analysis to determine optimal pricing levels for goods sold
  • Conduct market research survey to analyze optimal food offerings, potential for a customer loyalty program and overall in-store dining experience

Darden Second-Year PartnerSamir Shah

First-Year Team Members:  Alejandra Fuster, Dustin Moon, Sonia Punwani, Anoop Singh, Bianca Vanin, Eric Wilson

INSTITUTE FOR SHIPBOARD EDUCATION/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/Semester at Sea Logo.jpg

Project Description:

The Institute for Shipboard Education is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia with academic sponsorships provided by The University of Virginia.  The Institute for Shipboard Education’s flagship program, Semester at Sea (SAS), is a study abroad program founded in 1963.  With 50,000 alumni and more than 100 completed voyages, SAS is the world’s premier provider of global shipboard education.

In order to participate in the Semester at Sea program students must go through an application and selection process.  The application process is divided into four major milestones: Inquiry, Apply, Deposit, and Sail.

CCoD was hired to help SAS increase the percentage of applicants that move from the Inquiry stage to the Deposit stage (i.e. yield maximization) and minimize the number of applicants that drop out after the Deposit stage (i.e. attrition management).  Increased yield and decreased attrition would provide SAS with greater financial security, increased student diversity, and the ability to be more selective in the application process.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Provide insights into the demographics of the current applicant population at each stage in the application process, including trends over time and the rank-order of each variable’s importance
  • Increase SAS’ ability to forecast revenue and enrollment
  • Increase the yield achieved at each stage of the application process and minimize the number of cancellations

Darden Second-Year Partner:  Matt Schwartz

First-Year Team Members:  Keith Bobbitt, Weijia Jia, Sarah Raymond, Sem Shtulberg, Matt Toney, Mike Turner

TACKLING AUTISM/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/TAF Logo.jpg

Project Description:

In April 2007, Scott and Ashley Jackson left their doctor’s office with two things: an autism diagnosis for their 2-year-old son Tyler and an overwhelming anxiety for the future.  Recognizing the importance of early intervention, the young parents began to research treatment options in Houston.  Scott, an offensive lineman for the Houston Texans, turned to his coach, Joe Marciano, the father of an autistic boy, for help.  Joe told Scott while the cost of full-time therapy can be frightening, Tyler’s improvement would be priceless.  Shortly after, the Jacksons enrolled Tyler in full-time therapy at Houston’s Texana Center.

In the two years since Tyler’s diagnosis, Scott and Ashley have witnessed incredible progress.  Once limited to a five-word vocabulary, Tyler has transformed into a chatterbox.  His irrational tantrums have been replaced with polite requests for attention and a once frightening world has become an exciting one.

With Tyler as their inspiration, Scott and Ashley want to help other parents navigate the challenging world of autism.  In 2009, they formed the Tackling Autism Foundation as a way to help reduce the cost of autism therapies and allow more families the opportunity to have their kids treated.

CCoD Deliverables:

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Darden Second-Year PartnerClark Herndon

First-Year Team Members:  Patrick Clifton, Jon Goldberg, Erin Goodman, William Gordon, Jordan Mixter, Sean O’Neill

UVA FOUNDATION - MORVEN/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/Morven (Blue) Logo(1).jpg

Project Description:

In 2001, philanthropist John W. Kluge gave an extraordinary gift of real estate to the University of Virginia Foundation for educational and charitable purpose.  The 7,379-acre gift, valued in excess of $45 million, more than doubled the University's land holdings.  Located in southeastern Albemarle County, the properties comprised 11 farms and estates, including historic Morven Farm.

CCoD was hired to help Morven determine how to leverage its facilities to create an additional revenue stream that sustains operations in addition to endowment and UVA events.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Offerings and pricing:  proposed services and events with pricing based on unique attributes of Morven and analysis of competitors
  • Customer segmentation:  customer groups categorized by uses of Morven, connection to UVA, and marketing channel
  • Short term marketing plan for 1H 2011:  prioritized customer segment, marketing channel, messaging, and anticipated budget
  • Long term marketing plan:  additional customer segments, marketing channels and metrics, messaging, and anticipated budget

Darden Second-Year PartnerReg Jones

First-Year Team Members:  Michael Barnett, Gagan Bhasin, Bennett Graham, Layton Hill, Soujanya Madhurapantula, Sargam Mehta

2009-10 Projects

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/BG CLUB of CENTRAL VA - COLOR.jpg

Project Description:

The Club has recently invested $10M to open a new Cherry Avenue site which will accommodate approximately 400 youth (compared to a previous capacity of 80) and cover 25,000 square feet - six times the current space. CCoD was hired to help answer the following questions:

  • How many kids could potentially benefit from this new location?
  • How can B&G attract more kids to the Club? What types of programs do they want?
  • What do parents think of the Club? What programs would they like to see?
  • Given the new location of this site, how will kids handle transportation from the Club to their homes? How many will walk? Should we organize carpools?

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Market Sizing:  analyzed membership database to identify key geographies for the Club’s new site; identified potential new target markets for any advertising and/or promotion through community research
  • Member Preferences:   surveyed current and potential Club members regarding their programming preferences; provided a tailored understanding of teens’ preferences
  • Parent Perspective:  surveyed current parents regarding their satisfaction with the Club and potential improvement areas; helped understand how potential Cherry Avenue Club members (and parents) will arrange transportation

WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Project Description:

The Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) organized in 1939 to minister to young persons, faculty, and staff of the University.  The Prism building, located on Rugby Road, was purchased in 1956 and used to be a coffee shop called Common Grounds until the late 1980's.  Recently, the building was used for student ministry events and as office space for a number of non-profit organizations; the WPC, however, felt that the space was underutilized and hired CCoD to help determine the feasibility of opening a coffee shop (“Common Grounds”) in the building.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Market Analysis:  survey neighborhood to help assess demand for and feasibility of a coffee shop
  • Business Prospectus:  aggregate operational, financial, and marketing research including staffing guidelines and pro forma financials to aid in feasibility study and facilitate opening of coffee shop

JEFFERSON AREA BOARD OF AGING (JABA)/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/JABA Logo.jpg

Project Description:

The mission of the Jefferson Area Board of Aging (JABA) “is to promote, establish and preserve sustainable communities for healthy aging that benefit individuals and families of all ages.”  JABA owns a 40% stake in My Home for Life, an online retail store that sells products intended to help the elderly live independently in their homes.  The store, however, had struggled to gain traction and so CCoD was hired to define a business strategy for the site.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Market Sizing:  collect information on market for My Home for Life products; complete competitive analysis; gather client feedback
  • Recommendation:  develop business strategy recommendations detailing website design, social networking, measurement of site usage and optimized online marketing

UVA FOUNDATION - MORVEN/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/Morven (Blue) Logo(1).jpg

Project Description:

In 2001, philanthropist John W. Kluge gave an extraordinary gift of real estate to the University of Virginia Foundation for educational and charitable purpose.  The 7,379-acre gift, valued in excess of $45 million, more than doubled the University's land holdings.  Located in southeastern Albemarle County, the properties comprised 11 farms and estates, including historic Morven Farm.

CCoD was hired to help Morven best utilize its existing resources and increase its revenue.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Completed a financial projection of Morven’s revenues and expenses
  • Helped determine long-term program sustainability given existing endowments
  • Identified revenue enhancement and expense reduction opportunities

PAMPERED PETS/web/uploadedImages/Student_Sites/MBA/Student_Life/Organizations/Opportunity_Consultants/Pampered Pets Logo.jpg

Project Description:

Pampered Pets is one of the largest pet boarding facilities in Charlottesville.  It provides boarding of dogs, cats and small animals, grooming services, and a small retail presence.  Pampered Pets was running a referral and loyalty program, and CCoD was engaged to increase “average revenue per stay” and also provide an outside perspective to Pampered Pets management.

CCoD Deliverables:

  • Completed customer surveys and analyzed over 300 responses
  • Completed financial data analysis using kennel management database software
  • Completed competitive analysis to discern best practices in pet boarding

Past Projects

  • Albemarle Historical Society
  • All Labs
  • Bright Beginnings
  • Building Goodness Foundation
  • Falls Publishing
  • Institute for Environmental Negotiation 
  • Little Tree Press
  • Michie Tavern
  • OnCall Learning Systems
  • Quest Tours
  • Scottsville Local
  • Virginia Institute of Autism

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