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Kudler Fine Foods Marketing and Purchasing

Essay by   •  November 5, 2010  •  Case Study  •  1,362 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,231 Views

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Introduction

Kudler fine Foods are in dire need of an upgraded system as well as a better constructed database. It is recognized that there are three stores involved, and downtime is unacceptable. This document will outline the requirements needed from different section, such as Marketing, Human Resources, and Management to name a few. Currently, there is a collection of information, but many of the systems are not automated. We will outline areas that we feel need improvement. Information storage is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of a business. So, it is imperative that the business have a well organized and reliable database so each section can extract the proper information when needed.

Marketing and Purchasing

The marketing department has been encouraging the purchasing department to try to reduce costs of ordering food as well as incorporation a zero out-of-stock policy. Purchasing has made small steps by implementing a supplier relations program, but this could go further. Using the point of sale system that updates the items on-hand as sales happen in real time, and also establishing quantities at which orders can automatically sent to purchasing will further ensure that the stores will not run out of any particular items.

Marketing's new initiative is tracking the purchase habits of the individual customers. This will help the stores offer the most wanted products, which is one of Kudler market areas. Instead of offering discounts Kudler has teamed with other stores and businesses such as airlines, gift shops, etc...offering points to its customers that can be redeemed at said stores. The database will need to uniquely track individual customer purchases so the points will accumulate on the correct customer account. Information from the purchases will also be extracted by purchasing, and marketing to more effectively place ordering, keeping costs down, and marketing to better provide the customer with the specialty products they demand.

Human Resources

Human resources currently uses Excel spreadsheets, and for some instances a paper trail that is under lock and key. Using the same database with security privileges set so only authorized personnel will be able to access this portion of the database. Information that will be kept in this area will be results of job analyses, salary surveys, and individual compensations. The Human resources assistant will be able to use the database to store files that are currently tracked by paper, which is not a bad idea as a back-up. The data collected can be queried in many ways making the information more useful. The assistant will be keeping information about complaints and grievances as well as other sensitive type data. Again, this area of the database will have limited access for the personnel that require retrieving such information. Keeping this type of information in a database which can be easily queried will be able to produce results, such as how many complaints there have been, if they have been related to a certain employee, or section of the company. Having the power to track such information will enable management to make quicker and more accurate decisions.

Management

It is the responsibility of each store manager to track the employee's time sheets and faxed to accounting. The database can be used for the weekly timesheets. Forms can be set-up for the employees to enter their weekly hours. At the end of the week the store manager accesses the database and extracts the timecards and approves them, again this would be a high security area of the database. Once the store manager approves the time cards the information can be sent over to accounting. This process will save hours of processing by hand; not only for the store managers but accounting as well.

There is also no central filing system for the store managers for keeping employee files. Files that need to be stored are job applications, resumes, performance reviews, I-9 forms, and any disciplinary issues. This information needs to be stored in a centralized location for the safety of the store. With the store managers doing most of the hiring themselves there is nothing to prevent a "fired" employee from working at another store. If the information was centralized; during the hiring process a "red flag" would be raised if a person that was fired tried to hire on at another store.

Operations

The operations department consists of purchasing, advertising, inventory management, forecasting, merchandise selection and pricing. These are all areas that will benefit greatly for upgrading the database. We will explain how each section will benefit for a more efficient database.

Purchasing

Though there are standard purchasing procedures in place; there is no purchasing department in any of the stores. This is another area the managers from each store have the responsibility

to obtain the best price and quality and fill out a purchase order form, which is shown in figure 1. When the orders are received another form is filled out called an order received form to check for accuracy of the order. Once the order is confirmed the order received form is sent over to accounting so the purchase order can be paid.

Using a database all of the above items can be easily tracked and recorded; without having to fill out paper forms for orders and orders received. The purchase order form information can become part of the database and filled out electronically. Having this capability will save the manager's valuable time; especially when ordering commonly used items. Supplier information will be stored so redundant information will not need to be manually entered on the purchase orders any longer. Pricing information will be stored in this section of the database as well. Having the pricing data will allow the all of the store managers to see what is being paid for each item the stores purchase. This will unify the managers and their contacts into a centralized location; giving all of the managers the advantage of being able to compare supplier's prices and quality of items purchased.

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