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Kudler Fine Foods Strategic Management

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Essay title: Kudler Fine Foods Strategic Management

Introduction

Kudler Fine Foods (KFF) has excellent reputation for providing fine-quality, unique and gourmet grocery in the San Diego metropolitan area, and its recent value-added programs, such as to include organic produce from a local grower to its product selection and expanded customer service by offering catering food service, have increase tremendous assessment to the company. However, in order to maintain its competitive edge in the fine food grocery industry, KFF must assess the business opportunities that are created by the change in technology, and KFF must also identify the generic strategies that it is pursuing and tactics that would make these strategies a realization. Finally, KFF must constantly scan the internal and external environments of the industry in order to stay innovative. This paper intends to analyze KFF’s strategic management to help KFF maintain its status as supplier of distinctive gourmet products and services.

Change in Technology and Business Opportunities

The advancement in technology has helped a lot of business create new business opportunities, and more and more businesses are taking advantage of information technology (IT) to improve business performance by increasing market knowledge and raising the quality of strategic planning (Turban, 2003). For example, with the aid of Strategic Information Systems (SISs), companies are able to gather information of their competitors, known as the competitive intelligence, and thus able to monitor competitors’ prices and performance. Competitive intelligence can be enhanced by using Internet tools, such as search strategies, to make information gathering easy, quick and relatively inexpensive (Turban, 2003). Armed with competitive intelligence, KFF would be able to modify and adjust its strategic planning to either meet the competitions and challenges, or better yet, to exceed those of its competitors. KFF may also use IT to monitor internal performance and to increase productivity. For instance, if each KFF store is equipped with its own computer network to handle all point of service (POS) transactions, multiple inventory functions, maintains payroll and communicate in real-time with home office and other KFF stores, a lot of time can be saved on generating reports and accuracy of reports will be greatly improved as well. In addition, with the ability to real-time communication, each store will be able to exchange information on inventory and other internal functions.

Generic Strategy and Tactics

KFF seems to pursue several generic strategies including Differentiation Strategy, Customer-Oriented Strategy, and Innovation Strategy, Alliances Strategy, Internal Efficiency Strategy, and Growth Strategy. According to Turban (2003), Differentiation Strategy means being unique in the industry such as providing high-quality products at a competitive price. This is exactly the reputation of KFF. Since it’s opening in 1998, KFF is dedicated to provide the finest quality of unique and gourmet products to its customers; in fact, KFF is willing to shop around the world to achieve this mission. Moreover, part of KFF’s company mission is to provide the highest customer satisfaction to ensure each customer’s shopping experience at KFF is pleasant and delightful. KFF concentrates on making the customers happy by maintain a balance of marketing mix – product, pricing, promotions, and place. For example, Kathy Kudler, founder and president of KFF, insists on inventory management to ensure that customers are able to find the merchandise they are looking for at 95% of the time, and it is this level of customer service that gives KFF the unmatched reputation, aside from its high-quality products. Over the years, KFF thrives on developing new products and services, or otherwise known as Innovation Strategy. For example, after introducing new customer focused programs such as in-store cooking socials and frequent shopper program to retain loyal customers, KFF recently added catering services to help make celebration a breeze for customers. KFF continues its quest by partnering up with a local grower to provide healthy organic produce to its customers. This partnering with other business strategy, according to Turban (2003), is called the Alliance Strategy. Internally, KFF focuses on increasing the efficiency of both frontline and behind the scene employees by developing training programs and integrating new software systems to facilitating the effort. For instance, with the assistance of IT, purchasing department has developed a relationship with supplier to ensure food cost is low and storage is minimum while still maintain the zero stock out policy. KFF’s tireless transformation in its business ideas, products, services, developments and innovations strengthen the company’s

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