Strategic alignment of IT resources – A case study in Grocery industry (Part 2)

Strategic alignment of IT resources – A case study in Grocery industry (Part 2)

 

 

Japan 

UK

Spain

US

Effect of economic situation

The effect of recession has prompted Japanese to be
more cautious while selecting grocery stores to shop. This situation is
breeding ground for underdeveloped private label market in Japan to
capitalize on price (32).

Consumers have scaled back spending and repaid debt
amid signs of slow recovery. In Q4 of 2009, the UK economy experienced the
first economic expansion in six quarters. Low consumer confidence, high
personal and government debt, and high taxes will slow recovery (48).

Recession has its impacts on buying habits on
Spanish people too. While looking out for cheaper private labels, they also
have increased quality sense (60).

Currently, there is high trends
that shows shift from eating out to going back to grocery stores and save money
(usage coupons etc). There exists high food prices,
down economy, low consumer confidence and notion of ‘healthy eating which is
required and costly (4).

Technology & Infrastructure Issues

Concerns that old style of doing business is not
viable any more. Trying to improve innovation systems (33).

Robust private markets for technology and services.
Strong government support for capturing value in public sector (49).

Innovation system
highly dependent on foreign technology. Deficit appears to be structural
(61).

Major technology thrust pushes industry to take
drastic steps towards customer satisfaction and innovation (5).

Integration Issues

System integration issues due to heavy mergers
between companies and due to suppliers’ legacy systems.

Applications developers must understand retailers’
business and integrate with its existing systems as part of its value
proposition.

Severe integration issues in supply chain.

Major challenge is integration issues while
targeting global sourcing and thus being exposed to wider pool of suppliers, providing multi-channel
integration for customers and integration with legacy systems.

 

Japan

UK

Spain

US

Political Structure

A parliamentary government with a constitutional
monarchy. Legal system is modeled after European civil law systems with
English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the
Supreme Court. Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the monarch after
designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet)
(34).

Constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm (50).

Basque Nationalist Party , Canarian Convergence and
Union Coalition, Democratic Union of Catalonia (63).

Even though current US political setup and
administration is convinced that supporting innovation and entrepreneurship
is necessary for improving the economic conjuncture, the existing economic
recession cause consumer product manufacturers to reconsider their plans to
launch new products for Grocery industry (6,7).

Legislation

In 2006, the Internet providers attempted to
disconnect users anytime they detected P2P or any other file-sharing
software. The Japanese Ministry attempted to block P2P but stopped because of
concerns of privacy issues (35).

Growing dominance of large grocery chains prompted
Office of Fair Trading to review competitive practices of largest retailers
(62). Fear that smaller suppliers and sole proprietorships will be pushed out
of markets has prompted lawmakers to consider limiting labor and operational
tactics used by large grocers.

Education expenditures
amount to 4.2% of the population, which compares to 97th in the world. By
law, every public school in the country is required to teach Roman
Catholicism. But new legislation has been enacted which has made religious
classes optional (64).

Current US administration has put forth various
legislative measures to support product innovation and growth of grocery
industry, especially when Grocery Manufacturers association is influencing US
Senate to modernize U.S. Chemical Safety Laws (8).

Trade Policy

Japan’s weighted average tariff rate was 1.3 percent
in 2008. Import and export bans and restrictions, import quotas and
licensing, services market access barriers, non-transparent and burdensome
regulations and standards, restrictive sanitary and phytosanitary
rules, restrictions in government procurement, state trade in some goods,
subsidies, and inefficient customs administration add to the cost of trade
(36).

The Bank of England periodically coordinates
interest rate moves with the European Central Bank, but Britain remains
outside the European Economic and Monetary Union (50).

Spain’s trade policy
is the same as that of other members of the European Union. The common EU
weighted average tariff rate was 1.3 percent in 2008. However, the EU has
high or escalating tariffs for agricultural and manufacturing products, and
its MFN tariff code is complex.

US trade policies are designed to support grocery
industry expansion in developing areas and to reduce overhead for Grocery
stores and put in more money for product innovation (4).

 

Porter’s Competitive Forces Model

 

Porter's Competitive Model
Porter's Competitive Model

Dominant Blueprints & Strategic Focus

Dominant Blueprints & Strategic focus

 

Blueprint  (Drivers & Constraints)

Blueprint

Force

Japan

UK

Spain

US

Multi-Channel

Easy To Do Business With

Driver 

Acquisition
of small wholesalers, mergers and cooperative agreements are in response to
need for greater efficiency (39).
 

Growing
interest in shopping online makes retailers pursue web strategies that
compliment brick & mortar experience(47).

Efficiency
of marketing to consumers who often make decision to buy at point-of-sale(65).

Technology/Innovation
infusion in the form of Web 2.0 and mobile technology offers wide options for
channel integration and is leading blueprint’s development and alignment of
IT (20).

Constraint

Shortage
of technical capability, attitudinal problems preventing wholesalers,
retailers, and manufacturers from working together. Poor penetration of
technology in traditional-bound portions of value chain (39).

Ordering
more efficient with RFID(51). Loyalty programs track
individual consumers‘ and tailor promotions (52).

Today,
more grocers are collecting customer-specific data. Large retailers using
RFID to deliver targeted promotions (66).

Convincing
customers to thinking “My Store” rather than “The store“.
Greater reliance on integration for increased sales, customer retention and
profitability (16,17,18,19).

Spend Management

Low Cost

Driver

The
market has shifted its focus to support more discount store models in order
to provide lower prices to customer (38).

Spend
management encourages higher quality and greater choice (Profit through
partnership, 1994), faster replenishment.

Spend
management software has been delivered to the enterprise however,
Europe was a unique case because of the large number of languages owed to its
significant presence in both Western and Eastern Europe (67).

Economic
recession compels companies to cut costs on direct and indirect
goods/services and they resort to spend management solutions to gain
visibility into the area of procurement and analysis(US21).

Constraint

Recession
is having a major negative impact on consumer confidence, as they look for
ways to cut back on daily expenditure and retailers have to drastically
rethink their operating strategies in an effort to retain even moderate
growth levels (38).

Cash
purchases without loyalty card provide no customer data to improve decisions.

Mega-Hubs were launched with promise to provide
interoperability between trading exchanges, however companies were not ready
to invest into the process because it was a separate entity (67).

Walmart’s efforts to align IT to
current spend management blueprint is partly hindered by cultural/language
barriers while on its journey to global sourcing (23).

Employee

 

Productivity Multiplier

Driver

A
decade of declining economic growth aligned with contextual factors, such as
an ageing workforce, has caused Japanese firms to introduce changes to their
HRM strategies (40).

Respecting
employee rights to privacy and confidentiality requires controls that limit
data exchange between applications and by information consumer.

Integrating
and automating HR processes and multiple country systems is demanding for
service providers (68).

Increased
need to reduce the total cost of employee communication per year , improve corporate hiring process and increased
productivity improvement ,all influence usage of employee centric blueprint
(24).

Constraint

Regulations,
compliance and ethical enforcement activities in many organizations have been
confined to a few specific operating silos such as HR, corporate security, and
legal, and have been conducted either on paper or on spreadsheets, making the
procedures difficult to share across the organization (41).

Data Protection Act,
Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, and
Information Commissioner’s Office provide extensive guidance on
responsibilities and obligations of employers (53).

For
many multinationals the cost of administering a pan-European HR & Payroll
policy, with all the complexities of EU and country reporting regulations and
compensation and benefits variations, has made the HR & payroll
outsourcing message a compelling one (68).

Severe
integration issues exist when grocers try to implement fined tuned HCM
systems to support the blueprint as in the case of Brookshire Grocery store
(25)

Blueprint

Force

Japan

UK

Spain

US

Supply Management

Fast & Responsive Service

Driver

The smaller supermarket chains around the country
are slowly being acquired. Larger retailers are consolidating and expanding
their territories. Retailers have too much inventories on hand
and they need to cut their cost structure, both in terms of labor costs and
store operations, and reducing inventories (42).

Tesco uses RFID tags on milk and DVDs to track
product from production facilities to shelf. Supplies can be replenished
faster and DVD stocks better organized on shelf (54).

Grocery retailers such as Asda
and Tesco have been marked to increase their product ranges, however European
companies are still refining the use (CPFER, 3PL, 4PL) infrastructure to
stave off the competitive pressures of expansion (69).

Early
adoption of EDI as common standardized means of integrated SCM systems
communication has smoothened the efforts of SCM
integrations between grocery stores and suppliers (26).

Constraint

focused (42).

Shorter order times, faster payment, interaction by
tech, finance and stock management personnel (55).

ERP does not as of yet have a dominant industry
association such as Manufacturing Execution Systems Association (MESA)
governing its development (70).

The
main driver that contributes to alignment of IT towards SCM blueprint is the strive towards service differentiation and the need to
remain competitive by being innovative in the SCM arena (27).

Product Innovation

Product Innovation

Driver

Health is a key factor in determining customers’
food choices. It is recognized that the consumption of certain foods can
promote improved health and well-being and the prevention or minimization of
disease. The addition of functional ingredients enables a product to be
distanced from other products within the same category, increasing the profit
margins and reducing the impact of price wars with competing commodity
products (43).

Introducing private label goods as a way to provide
low-cost alternative produces conflict with preferred suppliers (56).

CAD application resulted in an explosion of digital
data. Because those design applications created many digital files, it became

increasingly difficult to effectively
capture, manage, and control the output of those systems (71).

One
of the major drivers that support product innovation blueprint usage in US
grocery industry is the strive for brand focus,
which is implicitly offered by the underlying PLM solution (28).

Constraint

According to GNX’s VP of
Product Development, the typical retailer private brand program comprising
several thousand products (SKUs) that are constantly changing, and data
maintenance can be a significant challenge. Failure to effectively manage
this data can negatively impact consumer confidence and market
competitiveness (44).

Grocery stores can provide aggregated customer data
to reveal preferences, but manufacturers must make independent decision to
change how they produce their goods.

By the 1990’s, industry demanded more sophisticated
applications to address issues such as product structure, change control,
configuration management, and others (71).

Full
collaboration with suppliers has been one of the major issues in ensuring
complete strategic alignment with the blueprint (28).

 

Countries Position in Blueprint Evolution

 

Countries' position in Blueprint

Summaries, Interpretations, and Lessons Learned

 

•Customer’s are time-consciousness and demand power to establish preferences and satisfaction level has an ever increasing influence on the development and acceptance of multi-channel blueprints.

•Spend management is an essential dimension in business intelligence solutions, enabling better visibility into factors influencing strategic decisions.

•Leading grocery companies have invested enormous time and capital into aligning IT and business processes by standardizing applications.

•Retailers in the grocery industry search for innovative and efficient ways to integrate and standardize supply chain management by leveraging available IT resources to reinforce their business processes.

Conclusion

 

•Technology and innovation infusion has a positive impact on companies to quickly devise methods to establish effective means to perform sales promotions, improve customer service, provide easier and efficient tracking of products and supply chain management, and cut across multiple channels.

 •Leading grocery retailers are distinguished by their significant attention to—and investment in—aligning people, processes and technology.

 •To gain competitive advantage, retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers look for ways to reduce costs and improve response time by improving and standardizing their business processes.

•The major influences in the usage of product innovation blueprint are brand focus & subsequent differentiation and the strive towards effective means of product life cycle visualizations and subsequent IT alignment in satisfying a powerful customer.

References

 

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2. Martinez S., Kaufman P. (n.d.) Twenty Years of Competition Reshape the U.S. Food Marketing System. Retrieved on February 14, 2010 from http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/April08/Features/FoodMarketing.htm.

 

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