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Autor: anton 01 May 2011
Words: 1552 | Pages: 7
Running head: KUDLER STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
Overview of Kudlerâ€™s Strategic Management
Kudler Fine Foods is committed to providing its customers with the finest selection of the very best foods and wines. Kudler has enjoyed successful growth by standing behind this commitment, but would now like to expand its services, and improve the efficiency of its operation (University of Phoenix, 2006). This requires flexible market strategies that are developed based on analysis of current internal and external forces affecting the company. Proper analysis and implementation will provide a successful strategy resulting in a sustainable competitive advantage (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002).
Changes in technology have helped Kudler to create new business opportunities. The development of a strategic information system is helping Kudler change the way it does business. The system is outwardly focused, aiming at direct competition, with the introduction of organic fruits and vegetables, and a catering service to beat the competition with offerings. The system is also inwardly focused through the improvement of the efficiency of the operation (Turban, Rainer, & Potter, 2003).
The use of the internet has given Kudler a window into its competition as will as a portal to its customers. Competitive intelligence is critical for strategic planning. The internet allows monitoring of competitor sites, gathering information on current products or trends, doing market research on the company website, accessing research done by others, and much more. This information is what can help put Kudler ahead of its competition. With the use of IT systems, Kudler can perform a SWOT analysis to help develop its marketing strategies.
Competition is the key to any companyâ€™s success or failure. Using Porters competitive forces model, Kudler is able to recognize the five major forces that can challenge Kudlerâ€™s position in the industry.
Kudlerâ€™s possible competitors are identified by using the internet and locating the businesses having similar offerings to Kudler. This will confirm what Kudler already knows, but may identify potential competition unknown to Kudler. Kathy spends a great deal of time watching her competition. The advances in IT can help her do it more efficiently.
Suppliers for Kudler know once they are approved, there is not a great deal of competition for their product offering. IT improvements allow Kudler and suppliers to have an efficient and profitable relationship with improved inventory control and delivery systems.
Kudlerâ€™s customers shop for the experience, not necessarily the price. IT systems have helped Kudler to be able to identify strong selling items quickly, allowing Kudler to take advantage of added sales by quicker shelf replenishment. Customers and potential customers are able to find out more about the store including hours and locations through use of the internet. Kudler is also able to reach out to its preferred customerâ€™s thorough electronic mailing.
Kudlerâ€™s unique product mix and continuously updating product system makes competitors product substitution very difficult. IT systems identify new products, give Kathy access to information on new products, and allow her to see what her competitors are promoting. This not only deals with product substitution, but also with potential competition from rival companies.
Use of Portersâ€™ competitive forces model is a valuable tool in identifying the competition. Keeping a competitive advantage requires a company develop the proper strategy. Porter has identified generic strategies that are not firm or industry dependent. These strategies can be broad (industry wide) or narrow (market segment) (QuickMBA, 2006). Kudler has a focus strategy and attempts to achieve it with a differentiation strategy. Kudler staying focused on its chosen strategy is very important. If it tries to use multiple approaches, Kudler could find itself in the middle without a competitive advantage (Generic Strategies, 2007)
Kudler has established a loyal customer base that shops at Kudler for quality and originality. This customer is more interested in the unique offerings Kudler offers rather than the price of the merchandise. This type of customer is a segment of the market hence the focus strategy. The fact price is not a major concern of this customer allows the differentiation strategy rather then a cost leadership strategy. This focus strategy allows Kudler to increase market share through operating in a narrow market more effectively than its larger competitors operate.
Kudlerâ€™s approach of a combination strategy, focus / differentiation, requires certain tactics be in place to insure success. These tactics include:
1. providing outstanding customer service
2. controlling the quality of products and services
3. providing specialty products and services
4. improving operational efficiency
Customer service is often one of the things most remembered about a business. When people speak of Nordstromâ€™s, they speak of the customer service they received. This is the reputation Kudler needs to project. Kudler must synonymous with outstanding customer service and product quality. This service will build customer loyalty and can discourage potential entrants of competitors (QuickMBA, 2006).
Product quality is one of the cornerstones of Kudler Fine Foods. Kudler prides its self on quality over pricing. The vision was to stock the finest selection of the best foods and wines (University of Phoenix, 2006). The customer service will be remembered, but the quality and freshness of the products is what will bring the customers back.
Kudler must continue to keep a competitive advantage over its competitors. Providing specialty products and services can give Kudler a competitive edge. Offering organic products
to its customer gives them an offering its competitors may not have. Kudlerâ€™s customers are the right type to buy organic products. These products are not found in every store. The customer who wants these products expects to pay a premium price for them. The customer also can become attached to the differentiating attributes, which will reduce the threat of substitutes (QuickMBA, 2006). The same is true for unique food items Kathy finds and brings into the store.
The catering business is specialties service few, if any, of Kudlerâ€™s competitors offer. This service not only shows Kudler to be unique, but also allows Kudler to show off some of its product offerings. The catering service, if marketed correctly, will give Kudler exposure to the high-end customer she hopes to attract.
Kudler has many positive attributes to promote growth in its niche market while still keeping it differentiation strategy. It must however, address the operational efficiency of its business. Changes in product and service offerings require improvements in supplier chains, information networks, employee training, and total quality management systems, among others (Akan, Allen, Helms, & Spralls, 2006).
The introduction of organic produce will require a profit analysis of existing products to determine what product will give up floor space for the new products. The catering service will require upgrades to the internet system to promote the service and give potential customers the information they require. It will also require IT improvements to operate the new service.
For Kudlerâ€™s strategy to be successful, Kudler must be flexible and willing to change the strategic plan as necessary to keep its competitive advantage. Kudler can do this by watching what is happening in the external environment. Continuously scanning the fine foods grocer industry for ideas or trends will allow Kudler to update its strategy (University of Phoenix, 2004). Scanning is an analysis of emerging trends and changes of the general environmental factors that could be relevant to the companyâ€™s future (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002).This scanning can be informal methods such as person-to-person or telephone networking, or can be formal such as structured interviewing or focus groups (Brush, 1992). Monitoring the industry will help Kudler to recognize developing environmental changes. Using the information from the trend analysis gives Kudler a tool in forecasting its future for sales and growth. Kudler can then assess the data to determine the value of it to the company (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002).
Kudler Fine Foods is committed to providing its customers with the finest selection of the very best foods and wines. Kudler has the opportunities to expand its products and services, but needs to use the available changes in technology to afford these changes. Identifying its generic strategy of being focused on a particular group and having a differential factor enables Kudler to develop and implement tactics required for its strategies to be successful. Scanning and monitoring the industry will allow Kudler to identify trends and changes, and have time to act on them. Proper analysis and implementation will provide a successful strategy resulting in a sustainable competitive advantage (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002).
Akan, O., Allen, R. S., Helms, M. M., & Spralls, S. A. (2006) Critical tactics for implementing Porters generic strategies. The Journal of Business Strategy, 27 (1), pg. 43. Retrieved March 6, 2007, from ProQuest database
Brush, C. G. (1992, Oct.) Marketplace information scanning activities of new manufacturing. Journal of Small Business Management, 30 (4), pg. 41. Retrieved March 6, 2007, from ProQuest database
Generic Strategies. (2007) Generic Strategies â€“ Michael Porter. Retrieved March 4, 2007, from http://www.marketingteacher.com
Gomez-Mejia, L.R, & Balkin, D.B., (2002). Strategic Management. Management, 1e. (Chap. 7) (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill
QuickMBA. (2006) Porters Generic Strategies. Retrieved March 4, 2007 from http://www.quickmba.com
Turban, E., Rainer, K.R., & Potter, R.E., (2003). Strategic Systems and Reorganization. Introduction to Information Technology. (Chap. 13) (8th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
University of Phoenix. (2006). Kudler Fine Foods [Virtual Organization]. Retrieved Mar. 5, 2007, from University of Phoenix, eResource, Virtual Organization Portal. MBA-502 Managing the Business Enterprise. ECampus/Phoenix Web Site
University of Phoenix. (2004) Week Six Overview, Retrieved March 4, 2007, from University of Phoenix, MBA/502 Week Six. ECampus/Phoenix Web Site
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