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Kudler Strategic Planning

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Autor:   •  May 1, 2011  •  1,552 Words (7 Pages)  •  453 Views

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Running head: KUDLER STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

Overview of Kudler's Strategic Management

Strategic Planning

Kudler Fine Foods is committed to providing its customers with the finest selection of the very best foods and wines. Kudler has enjoyed successful growth by standing behind this commitment, but would now like to expand its services, and improve the efficiency of its operation (University of Phoenix, 2006). This requires flexible market strategies that are developed based on analysis of current internal and external forces affecting the company. Proper analysis and implementation will provide a successful strategy resulting in a sustainable competitive advantage (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2002).

Changes in technology have helped Kudler to create new business opportunities. The development of a strategic information system is helping Kudler change the way it does business. The system is outwardly focused, aiming at direct competition, with the introduction of organic fruits and vegetables, and a catering service to beat the competition with offerings. The system is also inwardly focused through the improvement of the efficiency of the operation (Turban, Rainer, & Potter, 2003).

The use of the internet has given Kudler a window into its competition as will as a portal to its customers. Competitive intelligence is critical for strategic planning. The internet allows monitoring of competitor sites, gathering information on current products or trends, doing market research on the company website, accessing research done by others, and much more. This information is what can help put Kudler ahead of its competition. With the use of IT systems, Kudler can perform a SWOT analysis to help develop its marketing strategies.

Competition is the key to any company's success or failure. Using Porters competitive forces model, Kudler is able to recognize the five major forces that can challenge Kudler's position in the industry.

Kudler's possible competitors are identified by using the internet and locating the businesses having similar offerings to Kudler. This will confirm what Kudler already knows, but may identify potential competition unknown to Kudler. Kathy spends a great deal of time watching her competition. The advances in IT can help her do it more efficiently.

Suppliers for Kudler know once they are approved, there is not a great deal of competition for their product offering. IT improvements allow Kudler and suppliers to have an efficient and profitable relationship with improved inventory control and delivery systems.

Kudler's customers shop for the experience, not necessarily the price. IT systems have helped Kudler to be able to identify strong selling items quickly, allowing Kudler to take advantage of added sales by quicker shelf replenishment. Customers and potential customers are able to find out more about the store including hours and locations through use of the internet. Kudler is also able to reach out to its preferred customer's thorough electronic mailing.

Kudler's unique product mix and continuously updating product system makes competitors product substitution very difficult. IT systems identify new products, give Kathy access to information on new products, and allow her to see what her competitors are promoting. This not only deals with product substitution, but also with potential competition from rival companies.

Use of Porters' competitive forces model is a valuable tool in identifying the competition. Keeping a competitive advantage requires a company develop the proper strategy. Porter has identified generic strategies that are not firm or industry dependent. These strategies can be broad (industry wide) or narrow (market segment) (QuickMBA, 2006). Kudler has a focus strategy and attempts to achieve it with a differentiation strategy. Kudler staying focused on its chosen strategy is very important. If it tries to use multiple approaches, Kudler could find itself in the middle without a competitive advantage (Generic Strategies, 2007)

Kudler has established a loyal customer base that shops at Kudler for quality and originality. This customer is more interested in the unique offerings Kudler offers rather than the price of the merchandise. This type of customer is a segment of the market hence the focus strategy. The fact price is not a major concern of this customer allows the differentiation strategy rather then a cost leadership strategy. This focus strategy allows Kudler to increase market share through operating in a narrow market more effectively than its larger competitors operate.

Kudler's approach of a combination strategy, focus / differentiation, requires certain tactics be in place to insure success. These tactics include:

1. providing outstanding customer service

2. controlling the quality of products and services

3. providing specialty products and services

4. improving operational efficiency

Customer service is often one of the things most remembered about a business. When people speak of Nordstrom's, they speak of the customer service they received. This is the reputation Kudler needs to project. Kudler must synonymous with outstanding customer service and product quality. This service will build customer loyalty and can discourage potential entrants of competitors (QuickMBA, 2006).

Product quality is one of the cornerstones of Kudler Fine Foods. Kudler prides its self on quality over pricing. The vision was to stock the finest selection of the best foods and wines (University of Phoenix, 2006). The customer service will be remembered, but the quality and freshness of the products is what will bring the customers back.

Kudler must continue to keep a competitive advantage over its competitors. Providing specialty products and services can give Kudler a competitive edge. Offering organic products

to its customer gives them an offering its competitors may not have. Kudler's customers are the right type to buy organic products. These products are not found in every store. The customer who wants these products expects to pay a premium price for them. The customer also can become attached to the differentiating attributes, which will reduce the threat of substitutes (QuickMBA, 2006). The same is true for unique food items Kathy finds and brings into the

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