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Case
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Reference no. ESMT-319-0185-1
Published by: ESMT European School of Management and Technology
Originally published in: 2019
Version: 7 November 2019
Revision date: 06-Feb-2020

Abstract

Basler is one of those lesser-known midsize companies (the so-called hidden champions), which, despite their moderate scale of operation, enjoy worldwide leadership in several niche markets. Basler primarily comprises two business segments: one, quality control systems for industrial goods production; and, two, cameras for diverse industries. The 2008/2009 global financial crisis, however, spelled trouble for Basler. With the company's very survival at stake, Basler's CEO had to make a strategic decision, namely, cut back on critical resources (human, financial, and material); this would include slashing as many as 50 jobs, which represented a fifth of its workforce. While so doing, some key questions remained unanswered in his mind: 1) In which of the company's two business segments should he reduce resources and cut those 50 jobs?; and 2) At the same time, regardless of the financial crisis, in which area, if any, should he consider investing resources in order to drive the company's growth in the next 5-10 years? The case study provides the student with the crucial inputs required to answer the above questions convincingly. To arrive at an optimal solution, the student would need to think through the various options before the CEO during one of the worst financial crises in global history and weigh up their pros and cons.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2007-2009.

Geographical setting

Region:
Europe

Featured company

Basler AG
Employees:
201-500
Turnover:
EUR 57 million
Type:
Public company
Industry:
Manufacturing

Featured protagonists

  • Dr Dietmar Ley (male), CEO
  • Arndt Bake (male), Head of Strategy and Marketing
  • Hardy Mehl (male), Head of IP Cameras

About

Abstract

Basler is one of those lesser-known midsize companies (the so-called hidden champions), which, despite their moderate scale of operation, enjoy worldwide leadership in several niche markets. Basler primarily comprises two business segments: one, quality control systems for industrial goods production; and, two, cameras for diverse industries. The 2008/2009 global financial crisis, however, spelled trouble for Basler. With the company's very survival at stake, Basler's CEO had to make a strategic decision, namely, cut back on critical resources (human, financial, and material); this would include slashing as many as 50 jobs, which represented a fifth of its workforce. While so doing, some key questions remained unanswered in his mind: 1) In which of the company's two business segments should he reduce resources and cut those 50 jobs?; and 2) At the same time, regardless of the financial crisis, in which area, if any, should he consider investing resources in order to drive the company's growth in the next 5-10 years? The case study provides the student with the crucial inputs required to answer the above questions convincingly. To arrive at an optimal solution, the student would need to think through the various options before the CEO during one of the worst financial crises in global history and weigh up their pros and cons.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.

Settings

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2007-2009.

Geographical setting

Region:
Europe

Featured company

Basler AG
Employees:
201-500
Turnover:
EUR 57 million
Type:
Public company
Industry:
Manufacturing

Featured protagonists

  • Dr Dietmar Ley (male), CEO
  • Arndt Bake (male), Head of Strategy and Marketing
  • Hardy Mehl (male), Head of IP Cameras

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