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Kudler Fine Food's Strategic Competitiveness

Essay by   •  July 18, 2011  •  Case Study  •  515 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,499 Views

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"Strategic competitiveness can be attained only when the firm's selected structure is congruent with its formulated strategy" (Gomez-Mejia et al., Chapter 7, pg 28). Kudler Fine Foods continues to manifest growth based on Mrs. Kudler's original vision of a one stop gourmet food store. Having direct control over hiring, ordering and customer service, she has built the company into an expanding entity. The following is a discussion of strategy implementation, technology and opportunities, strategic recommendations and external forces to be aware of. Most growing companies have used information technologies (IT) to enhance operations and improve customer service. Mrs. Kudler has plans to add to the inventory and ordering automation by introducing new e-commerce capabilities and an online catering link (Kudler Fine Foods Portal, Strategic Plan, pgs 15-16). Strategic Information Systems have the ability to amplify strengths into potential sustainable competitive advantage. For example, British Airways implemented customer service online and self checking at the airports. Though the restructuring effected employee morale due to job loss, the company increased in efficiency and cost leadership. Mrs. Kudler is known for her kindness and generosity to employees, so the company will only prosper with new IT applications. Two main approaches of Strategic Information Systems are mostly used: inwardly focused and outwardly focused. An inwardly focused system is "focused on enhancing the competitive position of the firm by increasing employees' productivity, improving teamwork and enhancing communication" (Turban et al., Chapter 13, pg 3). Companies that develop a unifying strategic theme aligned with business unit activities have more of a chance of survival than the mirroring or boom and bust type companies. Thanks to new technology, the internal workings of Kudler Fine Foods can be optimized far beyond the owner's initial vision. For example, the new website and inventory/ordering automation will allow cash flows to be directed towards geographic expansion instead of traditional operations functions.

Outwardly focused technology applications will help Kudler Fine Foods assess the external environment in the gourmet industry. "Such activities to gather information on competitors are part of competitive intelligence" (Turban et al., Chapter 13, pg 4). Knowledge of other products in demand will help Mrs. Kudler forecast changes and additions needed to remain current with the consumers she maintains. Additionally, developing an awareness of trends occurring will prepare for unpredicted threats to the organizational expansion plans. A strong example is how Frito Lay collects field data from all over the U.S. to assess inventory and product popularity. Common competitive intelligence information used is found on internet newsgroups, store websites, financial statements at the SEC (Securities Exchange

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