The Kroger company, a leading grocery store in the United States, has difficulties when it comes to the supply of seafood mostly due to the fact that it is hard to predict the supply or demand pattern (Kaufman, 2002). At times there is a significant number of products on the shelves that are in excess whereas sometimes there is too little to meet the customer wants. So as to remedy this situation and ensure that there is nearly the exact amount required at all times the cause of these variations are explored.
Using the 5 Why analysis technique it is possible to determine the reasons for this inconsistency in the shelves. Why is there fewer seafood products on the shelves? Suppliers give little of their commodities when prices are low. Why are the prices low sometimes? The products that are almost exceeding their shelf life are sometimes priced lower to get rid of them. Why must they be sold urgently? The refrigerators used cannot extend their shelf life. Why can’t they extend their shelf life? They are not specially modified to deal with the seafood alone.
Why have they not been replaced? This is because the latest specialized models were only unveiled months ago and the management has no idea of what is has. Thus, the problem identified should be remedied by installing new specialized refrigerator models. A check list was also used to analyze the defects in the current models with the issues explored ranging from the size, year of manufacture to see identify how old they were as well as the company that made them determine if they are reputable. The quantitative analysis technique used to determine the type replacement necessary for the store was the payback analysis.
Models which can last for long without breaking down would lead to profit maximization since there would be fewer repairs needed. Other models capable of reaching lower temperatures are capable of extending the shelf life of the seafood products but are more prone to damages due to the technology used in their construction thus not selected. The profits realized from them when compared to the amount that has to be spent on the maintenance and repairs proves the models that are made with the primary design criterion being the time it takes before any repair or maintenance is needed.
A simulation was also used in the analysis to determine the amount of space these models would occupy and the expected number of customers, paying attention to the profit that could be realized. Using the current customer and the projected increase during the analysis, it was realized that the improvements were worth trying since they could lead to increase in not only the time the seafood stay on the shelves but also an increase in the number of customers that use these types of products. Stakeholder Analysis These changes might not work without the support of others thus it was important to carry out a stakeholder analysis (Reed et al. 2009).
To garner support from major stakeholders the interest grid attached was used. Those considered were the branch managers, coworkers, the senior executives and the customers whom these changes were to help. The stakeholders were classified into groups based on their power to make the changes and their level of interest. Those likely to oppose the changes were marked in red, those neutral in orange and those who were supportive in green. The opinions of the stakeholders were determined through dialogue in which the response to the questions asked gave light on their views, whether they would be supportive or not.
Conclusion The project would go through since most of the executives were okay with the idea and quite a good number were neutral . Those who would block the project were few and since the branch manager would consider the majority opinion it would be a success. Planning and Implementation / Methodologies and Strategies Despite past experiences in the organization, it is potential to change plans and strategies into good and productive actions that will put the business into a better position. However, good methodologies must be adopted and these may include the following; First is the reviewing of the firm’s structure.
The review involves checking the resources, investments, credits and personnel of the business to determine its true value. In so doing, it becomes very easy to develop a workable plan. Secondly, develop asset management strategies. By conducting an asset management, it becomes very easy for the business to come up with good asset strategies according to the new goals that have been established. Next is to have a monitoring scale. This kind of scale is placed within the business to monitor the changes and the progress of all the new initiatives that have been developed by the business.
They can help indicate whether the business is moving on the positive or negative, in which case positive indication will prove that the new goals are good and productive to the business while negative direction will prove otherwise (Delang & Yuan, 2015). Finally is to have a feedback mechanism especially from the employees and the stakeholders. Employees and stakeholders are the groups of people that are directly affected with the new goals. Thus, by having a feedback mechanism, it would be possible to determine if they are appreciative or ejective of the proposal.
In which case, it would be better if they appreciate and familiarize themselves with the new policies because it will then become very easy to mobilize them for better results (Delang & Yuan, 2015). However, methodologies like sucking employees and suspensions should not be used because the rest of the employees will be scared to perform their duties and hence reduce their productivity. Also, the business may risk losing good employees due to simple mistakes (Delang & Yuan, 2015).
The action plan will impact majorly on the production, supply, and transportation, human resource and finance functions of the business. For instance, in the production sector, the business will adopt new production methods and machines which will only mean that the employees in that sector will have to undergo new training and be flexible enough to adapt to the new changes. Again, in the human sector, it may be essential to hire more skilled employees or replace some employees are considered unskilled. Finally, in the finance function, the business may have to revise its expenditure system and annual budget.
This will mean that the accountants and other finance employees may be required to redo the financial statement (Delang & Yuan, 2015). Thus, to manage the implementation across the business units, it will be essential to motivate change in all functions by encouraging all the persons involved to take it positively. Next, the business can create a new vision and mission that encourages everyone in the firm to see the need of change and good outcome. Again, have a transition management can be effective since it would be planning and initiative the necessary changes and monitor their progress.
Finally, it will be essential to sustain the momentum by availing resources and giving support when necessary so that all the affected changes stay in progress until they are fully accepted and adopted by every person in the business as a rule or a necessity (Delang & Yuan, 2015). To enhance collaboration that will guarantee the success of the plan, the management can encourage teamwork among the employee. Teamwork focuses all the people in one direction, that is, towards achieving the goals and objectives of the business within the shortest period of time at a minimal cost (Hadidi et al. , 2016).
To achieve good results, the proposed improvement plan should run for a period of twelve months. It can then divided into stages of three months each. The first three months will involve the implementation stages where the management explains the plan to the employees. Next is the operation stage where the plan is put into action. Next, is monitoring stage where the progress of the plan is monitored to determine how effective it is. Finally is the evaluation or acceptance or denial stage where the plan is accepted by the business after giving positive results or denied if the results are negative.
The three-month division is essential since allows the workers and stakeholders to identify with the plan and motivate them to work hard (Delang & Yuan, 2015). Communication Plan To pass the plan to the workers and other stakeholders of the business, conferences and memos would be used. Conferences are useful because they can act as a training ground and they provide a good way for the management and the employees to have both formal and informal mode of communication.
Memos, on the other hand, remind them of the importance of the plan and keep them updated on the new changes (Hadidi et al. 2016). The communication plan is intended to keep everyone is the firm updated and focused on achieving the main goal. It is supposed to act as unifying factor of every department and channel them to focus on one particular goal that is, finding solution to the problems in the firm. Metrics to Determine Plan Implementation Success/ Evaluation Since the main aim is to improve the performance of the business, it is essential to have metrics that can be used to evaluate its performance. Evaluation should be conducted for at least three months.
The metrics described below should be selected because they give a true picture in the performance of the business prior and after the new plan was put in place. They include the following; 1. The level of production- a good plan should ensure that the rate of production of the business improves. For instance, if previously the business produced 10kg then after the implementation of the new plan, then it should be able to produce more than 20kgs. In so doing, it can be argued that the plan is effective for the business (Hadidi et al. , 2016).
2. The rate of production- the speed of production should also increase without interfering with the quality and level of production. A good plan raises the productivity of the human resources by training and use of better machines and good production techniques that allow the business to improve a high amount of its products within a short period. 3. Sales- it’s also the role of a good plan to identify better marketing strategies for the business. Therefore, after implementing the plan, the business records an increase in its sales that it can take the plan is good and can be adopted by the business (Hadidi et al. , 2016).
Profit margin- every year the business has to update its financial records if in the year of implementation of the plan the business records an increase it the profit our high sale and-and low cost of production, then it can be argued that the plan is effective and can be adopted by the business. However, if the business experiences a loss, then the plan is not suitable and should not be adopted by the business (Hadidi et al. , 2016). Conclusion It can therefore be argued that the Kroger Company still has a chance of survival. The strategies describe above gives it a pathway to being better and making more profits.
The employees and the management should be willing to adopt the new changes presented in the plan and be ready to work extra hard so that they can increase the sales and the profit margin of the firm. The timeline described is also long and inclusive of all the challenges that might come along during the implementation of the plan like reluctance of the staff. However, the communication plan allows close interaction between the management and the staff which will not only allows easy monitoring of the plan but will also encourage the staff since they will be involved directly in the implementation plan.