Waikato Management School Case Competition

Event: 51st Waikato Management School Case Competition 2023

Case company:  Waitomo Group Ltd

Date and time: Wednesday, 11 October 2022, 6.30pm - 9.15pm

Venue: PWC lecture theatre (MSB.1.04), Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton

Friends, family and members of the public are very welcome to come along on the night and enjoy the action!

Case description:

This year our four finalist teams of students will pitch their recommended business strategies for Waitomo Group Ltd, a 100% family-owned business that was founded in 1947 in Te Kuiti by Desmond Ormsby.

The students will go head to head as they compete to impress our panel of judges for bragging rights and the $2,500 winner's cheque.

Over the last 76 years, Waitomo Group has grown tremendously to become a much bigger player in the New Zealand fuel market through its supply contract with Mobil.

Since 2018, Waitomo has rapidly expanded its national network of unmanned fuel stops. And through the recent acquisition of Z Energy’s mini-tanker and bulk fuels business, Waitomo is now set to increase its fuel volume by 50% to around 450 million litres per year.

They have achieved this growth by keeping costs low, embracing a ‘Kiwi pride’ brand, investing in new self-payment and mobile app technology, and taking advantage of new opportunities resulting from the Fuel Industry Act 2020.

However, the fuel industry is facing huge changes over the next five years with the inevitable conversion to more sustainable energy sources such as electric, hydrocarbon and biofuels.

So what does the future look like for Waitomo? How can they continue to surprise and delight their customers and maintain a low-cost model as they grow?

“Our sites are still valuable no matter the energy source, even if it becomes a 15-minute charge instead of a 2-minute fill,” says Waitomo Group CEO Simon Parham.

“By around 2025 though, we’ll have to be thinking hard about our hydrocarbon-specific investments from a playback perspective – and so will our competitors.”

Event details

History of the WMS Case Competition

First launched in 1996, the Waikato Management School Case Competition is a practical assignment as part of STMGT303 Applied Strategy, which is the capstone paper for the subject major in Strategic Management.

Working in teams, students are given a detailed case study of a real New Zealand company to analyse over a two-week period, much as if they were employed as real-life management consultants.

Their challenge? To develop a five-year strategy to grow the company's sales, profits and revenue, by leveraging its core strengths and expanding into new national or global markets. Each team also writes an in-depth business report about their strategy for the judges to consider.

Clients involved with the WMS Case Competition in previous years have included the likes of Zealong Tea, Zuru Toys, Annah Stretton Fashion, Yealands Wine Group, and Tainui Group Holdings Ltd, to name just a few.

On a day known as 'Super Friday', each of the competing teams gives an inspiring presentation about their strategy to a judging panel of WMS lecturers and tutors.

The best four teams are chosen as finalists for the Waikato Management School Case Competition; proudly sponsored by PWC.

Each team gives a 10-minute presentation in front of a public audience. They must also respond to some tricky questions from the panel of external judges, comprised of  industry experts.

After some healthy debate, the judges choose a winning team based on a 50:50 weighting of the written reports and presentations.

At the end of the evening, all the finalists are presented with a certificate and the winning team is announced. The winning team goes home with a $2,500 cash prize sponsored by PWC.