Ernie - Case Study

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's November 2001

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ERNIE was developed as the result of an idea to increase the firm's revenues. There was no clear external business challenge other than to expand E&Y's professional services into a market that could not afford the traditional avenues of consulting (ie "“ onsite, face-to-face consultation w/ long-term, typically high budget objectives), namely entrepreneurial firms in the $20-250M range. Spearheaded by the firm's leader, Phil Laskewy, and Deputy Chair, Roger Nelson, the implementation of ERNIE was based on the strict and obviously disciplined approach of achieving the firm's objective: Approach business challenges as opportunities; respond to business challenges with true product innovations that are perceived as value creation in the eyes of the client.

The perceived value in ERNIE is with the aforementioned gentleman and not the customers as it was a response to internal business challenges and not those of the external environment. Why else can we explain the lack of movement with other firms to enter into this new consulting medium? Statistics tell the story here.

With respect to the 60-day trial, of which 250 "targeted" customers enrolled, 100 withdrew upon the trial's expiration. True 90% of the "withdrawees" had not utilized the tool, it hardly provides justification to the ERNIE endeavor. Rather, it provides a fairly clear indication that this tool does not provide the necessary benefits associated with the modern consulting practice in its current application.

All things considered, the theory behind the ERNIE application was sensible and justified upon its inception. However upon initial launch and consequent target market reactions/responses, ERNIE clearly requires changes in its implementation and application. Primary issues range from quality control and customer satisfaction to market acceptance: retaining, sustaining, and growing customer usage. The solution here requires a change in mindset, from an independent ERNIE to a complementary ERNIE for both the...

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