Active International

Babson Professors Julian Lange and Benoit LeLeux, Case Directors

Sam Perkins, Case Writer

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

© Babson College, 2000.

Abstract

The CEO of the largest corporate barter company in the United States attempts to convince a major bank to provide cash advances to his clients for merchandise or services in the process of being exchanged. If the bank agrees, Active expects major financial gains by generating a higher volume of business from existing and new clients.

Active's early ventures into corporate bartering began with beer and wine exchanges followed by trading airplane tickets and surplus television time for commercials. The company strategically acquired new information technologies as they developed in the 1980's and 1990's. The company bought a customized information management system to manage the barter process, installed a local area network (LAN) and aggressively joined the Internet revolution. By the mid 1990's corporate sales are close to two hundred million dollars and there are operations in 33 countries.

Note: The Babson Case entitled Barter Industry Note may also be used with this case in order to provide a deeper understanding of the barter system.

Location of the company: Pearl River, NY

Years spanned by the case: 1984 to 1998

Industry segments: Barter

Stage of the company: Mature

Age of the entrepreneurs: Mid 40's

Key Words: Entrepreneurship, barter, growth, information technology, Internet, international

DVD

There is a 66 minute DVD available for this case. Please place orders through ecch.

Teaching Notes

A 12 page case teaching package, written by Julian Lange, is available for this case. The teaching package includes strategies for case presentation, key concepts, diagrams of typical barter transactions, and suggestions for the most effective ways to work this case into a course. A CD-ROM version of the case is also available which includes embedded film clips of the entrepreneur when he visited a Babson class.