Managing Technological Innovation
July 23, 2010
Individual Case Analysis – Wawa
1. What was Wawa’s technology strategy?
Wawa’s technology strategy involved several things. First, and most important, is that Wawa continued to change with the times and used some of the best technology available at the time.
When they saw that home delivered milk was coming to an end they changed their operations. They saw that trends during the 60’s were changing the way people shopped. Many households were becoming 2 income families and this meant there was less time for errands. People wanted things quickly and conveniently. There was also a growth of supermarkets which would certainly be taking away their milk home delivery business. Wawa looked at the future, the trends, and made changes before it was too late.
Another strategy was “branding”. They were like “Cheers”. They committed to long term relationships with employees and customers. They gave their employees stock in the company and tuition reimbursement leading to a 22% turnover rate, which is unheard of in the retail sector! There was not a big hierarchy. Employees were on a first name basis with everyone, customers knew the employees, and managers did not have to go through huge reporting structures to get information so information was retrieved quickly. They attributed this to their strong Quaker roots and the relationships they had with the community.
Others strategies used were to have trucks unload and stock shelves in the early morning so they did not get in the way of customers in the store or in the parking lot. They did not keep a large selection of items on the shelf, for instance, if you needed peanut butter, there was one brand of peanut butter in the store and it came in one size. They hired an outside contractor to warehouse there stock, deliver it to their stores and restock the shelves. This was a “central management of assortment” They thought...