Since its inception in 1998, Kudler Fine Foods has successfully operated as a gourmet food store, building a client base within a “niche market,” maintaining consistent profitability and expanding from one store to a chain within its first five years of operation (University of Phoenix, 2005). Kudler Fine Foods is proposing expansion to a fourth location and the implementation of several new marketing strategies and company-wide changes in order to introduce new products and services.
Strategic management involves the major decisions, business choices, and actions that chart the course of the entire enterprise (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). It consists of the internal and external environment of the firm, definition of the firm’s mission, and formulation and implementation of strategies to provide a competitive advantage (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). Because these efforts steer the organization in a particular direction and require large resource commitments, strategic management is generally the responsibility of top executives (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002).
Assess how Changes in Technology have Created Business Opportunities for Kudler
Kudler Fine Foods utilizes technology in several ways to successfully manage its operations. The company has an internet site that allows customers to view the founder’s vision of the perfect gourmet shop, what it is and what that encompasses. The site then allows the customer to explore the various departments and their offerings. Ideally, the internet site should entice the potential customer enough to visit the store and make a purchase.
Through the use of technology, Kudler Fine Foods is also able to track purchase behavior at the individual customer level and provide high value incentives through a partnership with a loyalty points program. By incorporating better information management practices and the implementation of new software systems, Kudler’s management is better equipped to refine its processes and offerings to best serve their valued customers.
Kudler Management would be best served if it benchmarked its use of technology with other specialty grocers and perhaps incorporate some of their innovations. For example, AJ’s Fine Foods displays the current newspaper ad on their website, gives comprehensive information on their catering services including types of fare offered, their cost and additional catering services available, events are displayed on another section of the website with specific times and locations. AJ’s has also incorporated a Little Chef’s program for young children between the ages of four to ten to experience what cooking is all about. A recipe section entices the customer with mouthwatering concoctions and ingredients the consumer is sure to find at their local AJ’s. A floral and gift section complements the catering for a total visual and sensual food experience. The website itself is bright, lively and inviting. Lastly, AJ’s has an employment section in English and Spanish to accommodate a diverse cultural climate.
Sprouts Farmers Market, in addition to offering many of the same services as AJ’s, has incorporated gift cards, a monthly newsletter and a Health and Wellness section to their internet offerings. The employment section on the Sprouts website reveals employment benefits and would allow Kudler to conclude as to whether they are competitive in the market.
Whole Foods Market website is most comprehensive as not only does it show product offerings, recipes, health and job information as others do, but it stands out to the consumer with sections on community giving, CEO blogs, product trademarks, and has been honored by being selected as one of the top one hundred companies to work for.
By scanning the external environment by way of the competition’s websites, Kudler can immediately realize what it’s lacking in form and offering and make the necessary adjustments to remain competitive in the gourmet food arena.
Justified the Assessment with evidence based on text concepts and peer-reviewed research
Successes and failures of organizations can be attributed to technology implementations. Many organizations such as Ford, Chrysler and Federal Express have enjoyed tremendous time and monetary savings through computer supported systems. On the other hand, FoxMeyer, one of the largest U.S. wholesale drug distribution companies met its demise when an ERP implementation went bad. The point is that information systems and technology affect the entire organizational structure and companies need to take into account their individual processes and how they can integrate them successfully.