Westlake Lanes: How Can This Business Be Saved?
Shelby Givens, a new MBA, is the general manager of Westlake Lanes, a near-bankrupt bowling alley that her grandfather founded decades earlier. Givens has been given one year to turn a profit; if the goal is not met Westlake will close. During the first few days on the job, Givens learns that the business is in worse shape financially than she - or the board - thought. She also finds that Westlake's employees exhibit minimal productivity. Givens tackles these two issues, creatively uncovering ways to reduce costs while building morale. After nine months, the business has its first profitable month in over two years. Yet Givens is worried it is too little, too late and begins to sketch a bolder long-term strategy based on pursuing one of two alternative new markets. Students are invited to consider whether the board should accept her potentially transformative proposal, maintain existing operations, or liquidate to pay off pressing loan responsibilities. The case includes a quantitative assignment for students.