Nu2U: Business Development in High-Growth Firms


In September 2014, nine months after launching a major growth opportunity, Jenny Dunne, managing director of Nu2U, called for an extraordinary status meeting with her COO and CMO. A fast-growing online retailer of refurbished household appliances, Nu2U planned to acquire market share by improving internal logistics and delivery services, aided by a new, fully integrated software system. The company's gross profit had been increasing steadily, but recent accounts revealed a fall in net profit margins. It became apparent that implementation of the business plan for the project was problematic because of loose governance and poor communication across Nu2U's different specialist functions during planning and implementation. The Nu2U case illustrates how executives' cognition and span of control/overview may be hampered in fast-growing firms and how this may call for a business development function to improve practical coordination, evaluation, and integration of activities on behalf of executive management.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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