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Kudler Foods

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Kudler Fine Foods

Founded in 1998 by Kathy Kudler, Kudler Fine Foods first retail store was opened to the public in La Jolla, California. This was a result of Kathy's tiring of corporate life and her love for gourmet cooking. Unable to locate a good source of gourmet cooking needs, Kathy developed a business plan, obtained financing and opened Kudler Fine Foods. In 2000, Kudler opened its second retail store in Del Mar, California. Kudler then opened its third retail store in Encinitas, California, in 2003. All three stores are approximately 16,000 s.f. of retail space and are located in what can be considered upscale shopping centers.

As an upscale specialty food store, Kudler Fine Foods has provided its customers with a selection of the finest meats, seafood, baked goods, wines and other gourmet cooking related foodstuffs. Kudler is able to provide this high quality selection because of the emphasis the company places on acquiring only the finest products from around the world. In addition to the gourmet food selection, Kudler also offers a selection of all the tools necessary to complete their customer's gourmet cooking experience.

In establishing the Marketing Plan for 2007, Kudler addressed the common factors (The 4 P's) involved in establishing a successful marketing strategy. In establishing the frequent purchase program to reward its most prolific customers, Kudler addressed the "Product" factor of the 4 P's. As for the "Pricing" factor of the 4 P's, the frequent purchase program and the cooking classes are both included, with both being considered self-funding. The "Promotions" factor of the 4 P's consists of bonus program for the sales department, contingent on the success of the customer promotion programs. Success is determined by comparing actual revenues to the targeted revenues for each quarter. Finally, there is the "Place" factor of the 4 P's. In the short term, the plan is to focus on improving existing locations.

In reviewing Kudler's 2007 Marketing Plan, I found there were a few key points that could potentially affect the success or failure of their plan. First, there are the cooking classes, which in theory could be a strong source of additional revenue. Secondly, Kudler's Frequent Shopper Program is also not without risk of success or failure.

Kudler addresses customer relations by taking into account the buying habits and trends of its customers. By doing so, they can establish customer levels and offer valuable incentives based upon the customers level of purchasing. Additionally, Kudler can disseminate appropriate promotional materials to its customers based upon buying habits and trends.

Kudler's approach to Customer Relationship Management places complete emphasis on creating a stronger relationship with their new and existing customers. This involves the company analyzing customer data in order to provide better products and services.

Kudler's Intranet site is very specific in regards to its presentation of the Human Resource department. They provide information on "job classifications", "job descriptions", "Policies and Procedures", "HRIS", "EEOC" and "OSHA". Obviously, there are many aspects to the Human Resource department's duties, however perhaps the most important and obvious is with the handling of its employees. By saying the "handling of its employees", I am referring to the process of recruitment, compensation, benefits, training and opportunity. In addition, this is an area that provides the necessary information in order to be compared to other companies in the same industry.

Unlike other companies in the industry, Kudler does not offer employment information via its Internet site, but chooses to utilize external services for its recruitment purposes. Since Kudler does not provide this information on its Internet site, they are preventing potential recruits from researching an interest in their company. Examples of the type of information offered by other companies HR affiliated web pages are; Health Benefits, Disability offerings, Life Insurance, Compensation offerings, Investment offerings, Paid Time Off and Educational options.

Without having access to the Intranets of other companies in this industry, it is difficult to discern the organizational or policy similarities of Kudler to its industry. However, it is clear that Kudler should provide "career" information on the Internet site, so that they eliminate the obvious disadvantage they have to their competitors.

Kudler's Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) are rather simplistic in comparison to those of larger companies that utilize large ERP systems. They currently use Quick Books for their accounting software and have outsourced their payroll activities to Intuit. Intuit then retains employee payroll information within their database. All employee files are maintained at each store in hard copy form and are locked in a filing cabinet. The HR manager keeps a separate Excel spreadsheet pertaining to employee compensation, salary surveys and job analysis. It would seem that the current HRIS system of Kudler Fine Foods is somewhat disjointed and inefficient. It would be very beneficial for Kudler to centralize its HRIS processes.

HR duties fall into three job titles. The first is the HR Assistant who maintains personnel records, coordinates benefit programs and maintains safety records. They support the HR Manager and Store Managers. Second, is the HR Administrative Assistant who schedules appointments, answers telephones and also assists with recruitment. This position provides support directly to the HR Manager. Lastly, is the HR Manager who develops policies, coordinates human resource activities, such as employment, compensation, benefits and training.

Kudler's policies and procedures address numerous topics related to employment. One group of topics can be associated with the actual activities at the workplace by Kudler's employees. For instance, there is training and development that helps to ensure the employees are best suited to provide the best possible customer service. There is an employee recognition program that identifies an "associate of the month", "store associate of the year", "company associate of the year" and they also offer discretionary spot bonuses. The other group of topics



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