University of Phoenix
MBA 502: Managing the Business Enterprise
January 16, 2008
Founded in 1998 by Kathy Kudler, Kudler Fine Foods (KFF) is an upscale specialty food store located in the San Diego metropolitan area (Kudler Fine Foods, 2007). Ms. Kudler combines the ease of one-stop shopping with reasonable prices. KFF sells high quality wines, bakery items, meat and seafood, produce, cheese and dairy products while providing customers with the finest in selected foodstuffs, wines and related needs in an unparalleled consumer environment (Kudler Fine Foods, 2008). KFF objective is to provide the freshest goods available to customers. In efforts to achieve this goal, KFF has benchmarked Gelson's Supermarket, Whole Foods Market and Williams-Sonoma.
Kudler Fine Foods, as a business, is going to continue to grow and expand as long as the company remains focused on the goals, mission and strategy. Kudler will need to continue growth in amenities, customer service, technology and marketing strategies in efforts to become a highly successful gourmet food market. This paper will identify the strategies KFF has taken to assess how changes in technology have created business opportunities, the generic strategic and tactical measures the company has put in place and the organizational means to update these goals. Discussion
Creation of Business Opportunities
In efforts to grow and improve, KFF has adapted several changes in technology that have created and aided business opportunities for the company. As communication amongst the three locations is essential to a productive and successful business, KFF has incorporated a Total Quality Management (TQM) and Just-in-Time systems coupled with Strategic Information Systems (SIS) and Cycle Time.
TQM is a management approach that originated in the 1950s and is a description of culture attitude and organization of a company that strives to provide customers with products and services that satisfy their needs (isixsigma.com, 2008). Additionally, TQM is a method by which management and employees become involved in the continuous improvement of the production of goods and services through tools aimed at increasing business and reducing losses due to wasteful practices (isixsigma.com, 2008). The management philosophy strives to integrate marketing, finance, design, engineering, production and customer service to meet organizational goals. Since the company's main mission is to provide exceptional customer service, TQM has made it possible for the employees to work as a collective team in meeting customer's needs and wants.
A second method KFF implemented was a Just-in-Time System (JIT). Just-in-time systems improve a firm's profitability in the least amount of time (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). In a JIT system, the firm's inventory is kept at the lowest level possible as inputs arrive at the organization when and not before they are needed (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). As the computers log items sold, the software will deduct items from inventory and transmit information to the vendors for automatic ordering. This has decreased the time needed to receive ordered goods by making items arrive just-in-time. Shelf time of items that have not been purchased in a timely manner has also been minimized. The use of this system has been enormous benefit to KFF as the company has been able to order only what is needed and reduce excess supply loss.
The final change in technology that KFF is using to create business opportunities is cycle time. Speed is recognized as a major element that provides competitive advantage. Thus, cycle time refers to the time it takes to complete a business process from beginning to end. Cycle time reduction is a major business objective (Turban, Rainer & Potter, 2003). Using updated technology will only improve Kudler's standings and increase customer satisfaction. Excellent customer satisfaction is the key to...