Due to the success and level of growth Kudler Fine Foods has experienced it is now in a position to make changes based on internal and external factors. Some of the changes soon to be taking place are the implementation of a frequent shopper program, offering of in-store cooking parties, and introduction of new cost-reduction efforts. The need to please the customers and keep them coming back is Kudler’s largest driver. Externally, competition and cost are Kudler’s biggest concerns. Kudler is ready for some changes and how they are implemented will be key.
In order to compete in a rapidly changing environment Kudler has to be able to separate itself from its competition by offering different products and services than other grocery stores do, all while implementing some of the same techniques the competition offers. One such idea is to offer a frequent shopper program. Frequent shopper programs reward customers for their loyalty. Some of the benefits may include weekly discounts, coupons mailed to the home, points awarded for dollars spent and money back for a certain amount spent. Kudler has a steady clientele that it caters to, but in the effort to keep the customers happy and to thank them for their business, Kudler has to remain a competitor in the market. After a while, the product mix might not be enough to keep the customers coming back. The frequent shopper program will be the customers incentive to shop at Kudler.
In addition to competition, cost of goods is the other main external driver that keeps Kudler striving for excellence. The main cost issue Kudler will face in 2007 is the big price increase in citrus products. Due to the deep freeze most of California is currently experiencing, a vast majority of the citrus crop for 2007 will be destroyed, and the consumers will feel the impact of that once the remaining crops are harvested. Kudler will have to find ways to keep their costs on citrus down so they do not discourage customers from purchasing fruit this summer. "â€™We may adjust the prices as we discover the full extent of the damage next week, but for now, if you bought an orange at the supermarket for 50 cents, expect to pay a dollar to $1.49 for it,â€™ said Todd Steel, owner of Royal Vista Marketing," (Associated Press, 2007).
Internal drivers of change
Regarding the executive workforce at the Kudler Fine Foods stores, Kathy Kudler is in a good place. Her top management and executives are all middle-aged and will be able to work for at least another 9 years. The team of executives she has assembled has experience and knows what it takes to make a successful business run smoothly. Barring anyone’s early retirement and as long as the team currently in place remains happy, Kathy will not have to make any changes in her team for years to come.
On the other hand, Kudler’s employees who actually perform the hands-on work in each of the stores are in a little bit different situation. The workforce that makes up the bigger part of the company is the bagger, cashiers, clerks, stockers and other various assistants are a much younger team of employees. Because of their age, these employees have less work experience and necessarily do not understand that it takes every single employee to help the business run daily. In order to help all employees understand how valuable they are to the organization, Kudler can implement a rewards and recognition system. Some of the rewards might be for attendance, arriving to work on time, and picking up extra responsibilities around the store. Rewards might include such things as gift certificates to popular attractions or to stores in the community. In addition to the rewards, Kudler can implement a recognition system for jobs well done. An employee might be recognized for going the extra mile for a customer, exemplifying values at Kudler or suggesting new and improved systems for store policy and procedures. In order for Kudler to remain a viable competitor in the market and its community, it has to perform above average in all aspects of its operations.
Kudler Fine Foods has created a dynamic corporate culture and is moving towards a very diverse organizational structure. Kudler is in a good position to use its product differentiation in order to combat the competition. The leadership style is structured and encourages employees to use creativity to maintain excellent customer service. Internally, Kudler’s management staff is consistent and is working at retaining new employees with differing recognition systems. Kudler Fine Foods was developed on an idea of change, and its employees and structure, with proper programs in place will be ready for change in the future.