Trends within the gourmet food trade indicate growth in health related goods (). Organic produce offerings cater to this trend and provide a viable option to improve sales at Kudler Fine Foods (KFF). Moving to organic produce requires an analysis of KFF’s business processes that include supply chain management, quality control tools, and performance standards to capture those areas that may be affected by the decision to move to organic produce offerings. This paper seeks to provide analysis and identification of those processes subject to change within the company as it moves to contracting with local organic growers.
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The introduction of organic produce requires identifying new suppliers, familiarization with their products, establishing pricing, developing delivery systems, and competitor analysis in terms of product availability. Because KFF will use local producers, combining orders from its three stores may provide greater cost reductions. Also, local growers often sell their produce to wholesalers who sell to markets. Burkink (2002) researched independent grocers and producers and found that established relationships between buyer and seller improved reliability, commitment, and satisfaction. This provides greater leverage in delivering quality products on time, and in establishing communications as to available and projected product availability that serves to improve inventory management. As the primary sources for ordering, the department managers should develop these relationships and work as a team with the growers. Creating an agile supply chain improves responsiveness to customer needs while minimizing shortages through the merging of resources (Chase, Jacobs, & Aquilano, 2005).
Focusing on organic produce affords KFF the opportunity to add greater differentiation from competitors. The marketing team should consider working with the growers to advertise their specific brands, packaging, labeling, and store display. Working with store managers to develop key features consumers seek in organic produce will aid in establishing effective marketing techniques. KFF as a gourmet food store offers products found globally. However, emphasizing local growers produces a new strategy in marketing. Store managers will need to communicate seasonal offerings and any pricing breaks that would provide special sales to customers.
KFF’s information management system relies on outdated equipment. Although the Del Mar and La Jolla stores maintain an inventory database, the Encinitas store does not share the capability. Inventory management uses an excel database. KFF may need to determine if upgrading its inventory management system would provide cost effectiveness. Tracking inventory levels, orders, and linking ordering via the internet to suppliers may improve supply chain management, reduce lead times, and provide just-in-time delivery of produce.
Gomez-Mejia and Balkin (2002) refer to the extranet as a means to “…that link a company’s employees, suppliers, customers, and other key business partners in an electronic online environment for business communications” (p. 391). The use of flowcharting aids in identifying connected processes. This can help in visualizing where redundancies and inefficiencies occur.
Human resources management
The introduction of organic produce to KFF requires the human resources department to revamp its job descriptions which currently exhibits duties that some personnel do not perform.
The majority of the misclassification occurs in duties assigned to store managers, inventory manager,...