The Associate: Week Two


Two cases down, three more to go, as well as an interview. This is the path that follows until the end of the competition for the remaining six candidates participating on The Associate. This past week both teams were presented with a case from Target Corporation. The objective for the case was:

  • How can Target better utilize technology to innovate their food strategy so their guests think of Target first when it comes to food?

Team R.O.S.E. consisting of myself, Mark Preston, and Justina Whyte came up with a number of solutions for Target Corporation after spending an exhaustive amount of time exploring the company, making onsite visits, speaking with numerous Target team members, as well as conducting online research. Team R.O.S.E. also explored the various technologies that are available on the market before reaching any conclusions and evaluated how realistic these could be implemented in the Target stores nationwide.

We decided that a customer loyalty program, named the “Bulls Eye Bonus Program” would be placed into the daily operations of the store. This program would cut costs by using a software upgrade to the current POS (Point of Sale) system and wouldn’t use any plastic cards that many other retailers use to place in wallets and on keychains. A point system would be put in place where the guests of P-Fresh (Target’s grocery department) would receive double points compared to other purchases within the store. Other technologies that were suggested included a digital ticker signage, similar to the technique featured on stock-trading floors. This system would allow communication to flow even faster within the store. Electronic shelf edge labels was another technology that was considered. These electronic labels would replace current paper labels and would provide such benefits as accurate pricing, reduced labor costs, and instant price flexing. Other technologies that were suggested were partnerships with The Food Network and displaying recipe suggestions and cooking demonstrations on LCD flat panel screens, digital projectors, and the use of touch screen recipe kiosks in the P-Fresh department.

Following the presentation to Target Corporation representatives it was decided that Team R.O.S.E. defeated Team Concord. Both teams put forth a great deal of time and effort, but it was expressed that there was more cohesion between Team R.O.S.E. in addition to the presentation being more on point with what Target was looking for in the case competition.

Unfortunately, Danica Mutari, a key member from Team Concord was eliminated this past Tuesday. Both teams received positive feedback from Alan Wilson, CEO and President of McCormick and Company in addition to the other judges. The remaining candidates will have the reward of two weeks off until they receive the next case due to spring break. I know that I am looking forward to a short break, even if it does require a great deal of catch-up on work from other courses.

Please feel free to comment and include your suggestion on the recommended technology solutions that Team R.O.S.E. provided for Target on the case topic of “technology and the grocery guest.” So long until next time!



Published by Dov Hoffman

Account Director - Havas Helia | VP Programming + Past President - AMA Baltimore | Towson University - Alumni

4 thoughts on “The Associate: Week Two

  1. Congratulations on your win and enjoy your break, I remember how nice it was to have that week off and catch up on sleep! It is so great to be able to follow the competition through your blog. Good luck on the next case 🙂

    ~Courtney Hernandez (Associate class of 2006)

    1. Courtney — thank you for finding my blog and reading the entry. I am definitely looking forward to this week off and have a lot of sleep among school work to catch up.

      Hope all is well on your end!

    1. Thank you Jon! I am glad that we were able to connect as well and appreciate all the luck I receive for the competition.

      I’m looking forward to meeting you and please stay posted for updates on the competition.

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