Kudler Fine Foods
Kudler Fine Foods: Overview of Management
In the last few years, Kathy Kudler has found success in expanding her upscale, gourmet specialty store in the San Diego metropolitan area. Kudler Fine Foods aims to provide its customers with highly selective products in a pleasant environment to make itself the premier choice for specialty shopping in the local area. Kathy, along with her administrative staff, have set goals to improve customer loyalty by providing better operations throughout the three Kudler locations. Kudler and her team must depend on the competence of their managerial staff to fulfill the vision of the organization. This paper will examine the make-up of the management staff at Kudler and how company systems that utilize information technology and the internet affect the roles of management.
Roles of Management
“Successful organizations know how to manage people and resources efficiently to accomplish organizational goals and to keep those goals in tune with changes in the external environment” (Balkin & Gomez-Majia, 2002 electronic source). As Kudler grows and expands its enterprise, it is vital that essential responsibilities of each management position are outlined and understood by the person or persons occupying the role. At headquarters, Kudler has three key management roles, aside from that of the President. The Director of Finance and Accounting, Harvey Stephens, is responsible for planning and directing the finance and accounting activities for Kudler. As Stephens oversees all financial transactions for Kudler, it is imperative that he remains in constant communication with management personnel and maintains good relations with all lenders and financial institutions. As director, Stephens must develop and implement all goals, procedures and policies relating to the financial management of Kudler. He must also supervise financial transactions and establish system controls for new financial systems.
Yvonne Reynolds is the current Director of Store Operations. This role is accountable for operations of all three stores in regards to inventory, purchasing, and logistics. Store safety, facility maintenance, security, and compliance regulation are also the responsibility of the director. Reynolds must develop budgets, staffing levels, store design, product mix, and pricing for each store. Development of purchasing and inventory policies along with supervision of the purchasing and inventory mangers is also a key function in this position. In addition to managing the outside contracts for store maintenance, the director must also review store performance on a regular basis and address any problems that may arise.
Finally, Brenda Wagner acts as the Director of Administration and Human Resources for Kudler. Wagner is essentially responsible for the coordination of administrative and human resource functions for Kudler. This includes the development of policies that direct employment, compensation, labor relations, benefits, training, and employee services. The director must study and understand legislation as it relates to industry trends as well as be prepared to represent management in bargaining agreements. The development and implementation of training and recruitment plans for management also falls under the score of the director.
Also serving the administrative managerial team are the inventory and purchasing managers. The purchasing manager directs and coordinates activities for purchasing and distributing materials as outlined by the Director of Operations. Some duties include analyzing market and delivery conditions, evaluating vendor quotations, recruiting high quality suppliers, and preparing and reviewing purchase orders and contracts. Again under director supervision, the inventory manager establishes appropriate levels of stock in stores, and maintains accurate records of quantity, type and value of inventory. The person filling this role must plan for all inventory needs and compare inventories to office records. This position works closely with the purchasing manager and store managers to ensure proper inventory count and develop processes and prepare reports inventory verification and balance.
While administrative management is responsible for the development of store policies and procedures, it is the role of Store Managers to ensure those policies are carried out throughout each of Kudler’s locations. These managers supervise store employees, manage his or her stores’ budget, work schedules and specific employee duties and formulate pricing and sales policies. In addition, they are also responsible for ensuring employee compliance with company regulations and answering any customer complaints or inquiries. Each manager is provided with assistant store mangers, which assist the manager with the daily operations of each store. These duties may include assign work duties, training workers on store policy, and preparing sales and inventory reports. Department managers are also on hand to direct and coordinate the activities involved with production, sale, and distribution of specific department products. Some duties may include supervision of employees, development of department budget and advertising displays, and negotiation with suppliers.
Technology and the Internet
Recognizing the benefit of information technology, Kudler utilizes both the Internet for its consumer base, as well as the intranet for use within the company itself. By maintaining an updated Internet site, customers can access information about the store and its offerings without leaving home. Kudler’s intranet allows store employee to access information about the organization. For example, employees can find a record of policies and expectations as well as a store manual. The intranet is an extremely important tool for managers, as it allows real-time access to company information. Kudler uses a Point of Service (POS) system to track all purchases as they occur. The information is transmitted to financial management, as well as other department heads for inventory purposes. The intranet site also allows managers to track employee files and progress, as well as fiscal budget information.
In most industries, competition is a very real threat and can often lead to companies demise. Kudler is no exception and must stay on top of its competitors if it is going to continue on the road to greater success. In Porter’s model of competitive industry forces, five forces that shape competition are outlined (Balkin & Gomez-Majia, 2002 electronic source):
• The threat of entry of new competitors
• The bargaining power of suppliers
• The bargaining power of customers (buyers)
• The threat of substitute products or services
• The rivalry among existing firms in the industry
In response to this competition, Porter outlines various response strategies to gain an edge on competition. Kudler utilizes Porter’s Differentiation Strategy, by offering a higher quality product that is not easily found in surrounding markets. Kudler is also working on a sales campaign that uses a focus strategy to bring in new customers and maintain its existing client base. Management has carved out a niche market to whom they feel money is not an issue in purchasing food and wine and lives in wealthy zip codes. By focusing marketing on this group, Kudler will attract a client base that will allow them to keep prices higher.
“The management process involves planning and strategizing, organizing, leading and controlling, and decision making” (Balkin & Gomez-Majia, 2002 electronic source) In order to ensure its success in a competitive market, Kudler must maintain a management staff that is not only knowledgeable but also committed to the success and vision of the organization as a whole. Through the use of information technology, Kudler has the opportunity to stay on top of the competition, as well as maintain an organized and well-run internal system.
Gomez-Mejia, L. and Balkin, D (2002). Management. The McGraw-Hill Companies. New York, New York. Retrieved electronically form the University of Phoenix Website.