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Running head: STRATEGY

STRATEGY Strategy Failing to plan is equivalent to planning to fail. The success of any company depends upon the foundation it is built on as well as the strategic plan it executes. A successful organization has a vision and knows exactly what needs to be accomplished to carry out that vision. To maintain competitive edge, an organization must also continuously evaluate their current position and make the necessary changes and adjustments. Analysis and Benchmarking must be performed to ensure that their products are innovative and in touch with the latest

technology. This paper will discuss how changes in technology have created additional business opportunities for Kudlers. It will also identify the generic strategy Kudlers is pursuing and how Kudlers management should continuously scan the fine food grocer industry for ideas that will allow them to upgrade their strategy. Strategic information systems (SIS s) are systems that support or shape an organization's competitive strategy. An SIS is characterized by its ability to significantly change the manner in which business is done (Turban, Rainer, & Potter, 2003). Technological advancements have impacted several of Kudlers internal and external processes; such as the human resources, inventory management, marketing, and enhanced customer service. With the emerging technology, Kudlers can use software to streamline the employee scheduling and payroll process. Additionally, Kudlers could implement a customer database that enables them to track customer spending and specifically link it into their inventory process. By incorporating this database, Kudlers eliminated the manual process of tacking and ordering merchandise. In implementing their Internet site, Kudlers could also broaden their clientele by reaching potential consumers who would not normally think to shop there. The new database also allows them the opportunity

STRATEGY to create a customer loyalty program. Thus increasing communications to their customers and enhancing customer services. Kudler is looking to expand their business and is currently pursuing the innovation generic strategy, which is the process of developing new products and services, new features in existing products and services, and new ways to produce or sell them (for example, via the Internet). Also included are innovative information systems applications (Turban, Rainer, &

Potter, 2003). Kudlers is planning to offer a catering service in which their customers can easily order their products online. In hopes of word of mouth advertisement, Kudlers will also hold a series of in-store parties that will showcase their products and also give their customers the opportunity to work with chefs and food experts. With this expanded knowledge of preparation of gourmet food as well as extended time spent in the store, Kudlers stand the opportunity of increased revenue. To remain competitive, Kudlers should continuously scan their external environment to see what other types of innovative ideals and services they could implement to keep their store fresh and interesting. By conducing generic benchmarking, Kudlers could gather information on competitors as part of their competitive intelligence (Turban, Rainer, & Potter, 2003, p. 610). Kudler is the only gourmet store in their geographic area. Specialty stores are limited and with the exception of major grocery chains and smaller, independent wine stores, there is no direct competition (The Apollo Group Inc., 2007). With this information, Kudlers could show product differentiation, specifically focusing on the ideal that they are the only sole gourmet food store in their geographical area. This strategy will allow Kudlers to deliver products and services uniquely different from their competitors. Additionally, by scanning their external environment, Kudlers could look toward future opportunities to expand outside of their immediate geographic

STRATEGY areas. Most specialty stores are in the eastern half of the United States so the entire west coast offers great opportunities particularly for those who have moved from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia who are used to the specialty gourmet stores (The Apollo Group Inc., 2007). Kudlers management team should continuously scan the find food grocer industry for ideas that will allow them to update their strategic plan. The primary objective of scanning is to identify early signs of emerging trends and changes in the environment that may result in an

opportunity or a threat (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). By becoming aware of their competitive environment, Kudlers could remain cognizant of the five forces within an industry that can make a considerable difference to competitive conditions: the threat of new entrants, the threat of substitutes, suppliers, customers, and intensity of rivalry among competitors (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002). Once the information is obtained from the scan, Kudler would then need to put this information to good use in the formalization and implementation of their strategic plan. This will also allow them the ability to forecast any potential threats or weaknesses and make the necessary adjustments. Kudlers could also monitor their competitors success and failures through consumer reviews, newsgroups, store websites, and financial statements. Once, the information is analyzed, and then it should be applied to their strategic plan. This will give them the competitive advantage and insight of what products and services are in high demand. It will also allow them the opportunity to differentiate from their competitors thus drawing in additional customers. As stated in their mission statement, Kudler Fine Foods is committed to providing our customers with the finest selection of the very best foods and wines so that your culinary visions can come true (The Apollo Group Inc., 2007). So additionally monitoring needs to be

STRATEGY conducted so that Kudler can determine if they are meeting their stakeholders expectations and fulfilling their mission. Usually success of an organization can be measured through higher profits, increased employee morale, and customer satisfaction. Establishing tactics for being innovative and implementing strategic plans in response to threats and weaknesses is critical to the success of an organization. With their vision of expanding and introducing new services, Kudlers will need to look continuously for ways to implement new technology to reduce costs and increase marketability. As well as continue to look for ways to differentiate from their competitors so that they can constantly strengthen customers relations. In addition, Kudlers management will need to scan continuously the fine food grocer industry to gather data on rival companies and use that information to make more informed strategic decisions.

STRATEGY References

Gomez-Mejia, L. R., & Balkin, D. (2002). Management (1e). New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies. The Apollo Group Inc.. (2007). Kudler Fine Foods. Retrieved from http://MMPBL/502 Managing the Business Enterprise course website Turban, E., Rainer, R., & Potter, R. (2003). Introduction to Information Technology. New Jersey, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..