Case Study on County Kitchen
SOOT is the acronym for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat and as defined above by Johnson et al (2008), It Is a tool through which managers create a quick overview of the firm’s strategic position in its competitive environment. To do this accurately, the company’s vision, mission and objectives must be identified clearly to serve as a guide (in this case we assume). Company Vision: A vision statement describes what the company is to become in the longtime future (Thompson (2001), pop). County Kitchen’s Vision statement is “To be the world’s favorite restaurant” Mission
Statement: To become the best provider of family-oriented, quality-conscious, and affordable meals across the country and beyond. Objectives: 1 . To expand to all ten regions of Ghana and Africa at large by 2016 2. To adopt the latest information systems in our operations by 2014 3. To train all staff in the use of modern IT techniques in restaurant operations by 2014 4. To improve productivity and performance through the deployment M-commerce. A SOOT analysis emphasizes that organizational strategies must result In a good fit’ between the organization’s Internal and external environments. And Robinson, 2011) 1
Thus, a good fit maximizes an organization’s strengths and opportunities and minimizes its weaknesses and threats (Pearce Johnson, G. Et al (2008), Exploring Corporate Strategy, 8th De, Edinburgh Gate, Prentice Hall imprint, IPPP. 1 | Page SOOT analysis is concerned with the ability of the organization to: use its strengths & weaknesses (internal) to operate successfully in its external environment influence opportunities and threats (external) on an organization a firm serves or expects to serve” (Pearce II and Robinson, 2011: p 141). The strengths identified in County Kitchen are: 1 .
Loyal and committed workforce: County Kitchen can boost of a loyal and dedicated workforce who we are told have been with the company for at least ten (10) years. This is a major strength of the company since it ensures consistency and continuity in the company’s operations and also instills confidence among workers. 2. Good customer service: A company that listens and is very responsive to the needs its clients and further makes conscious efforts to address those needs gains the loyalty and trust of its clients; to the extent that this becomes County Kitchen’s major strength. 3.
Deployment of a new system: The Company has recently completed the development of a new system for managing orders and inventory and this would help improve their output in terms of shorter delivery time and stock-taking of inventory. 4. Effective Communication between customers, staff and management. Another significant strength of the company is it has an effective communication mechanism both top-taboos and bottom up. The success of any firm in this fast changing economy is partly dependent on the presence of an effective system of communication among team members of the firm o ensure prompt response to changes and customer needs. . Quality conscious in terms of ingredients used in cooking. In this modern times where customers are very educated and health conscious in terms of the kind and quality of ingredients used in the preparation of food they consume; County Kitchen only stands to benefit a great deal by ensuring the use of only the finest ingredients and best food preparation methods. 2 | Page Weakness: Thompson and Strickland, (2001: p 119-120), define weakness as something a company lacks or does poorly (in comparison to others) or a condition hat puts it at a disadvantage.
Weaknesses identified in County Kitchen include: 1. Low level of education among employees: The skills set and level of education of a firm’s staff are essential to any organization’s growth; however County Kitchen is challenged by the low level of education among most of its employees. This is weakness to the firm as it hinders the introduction and deployment of any new technology and subsequent growth potentials of the firm. 2. The lack of modern technology in its operations; that is to say the company still deploys out-dated methods in its restaurant operations.
The restaurant business has seen the introduction of modern technology by firms in their operations and for County Kitchen to still keep to its age old methods of operation would be inimical to the firm’s growth. This weakness in the firm’s operations gives their competitors (who have adopted modern technology in their operations) an upper-hand in terms of competitive advantage. 3. Lack of financial capacity to deploy strategic information systems and also train staff. The deployment of latest information technology and acquire the necessary infrastructure is a capital intensive venture.
The company attract more skilled staff but it lacks the financial capacity to do so. This situation is a major draw-back to the firm as it would have to deploy modern technology and also train staff to have the requisite skills to respond to the changing demands in the industry in order to stay competitive. Opportunities are openings or chances in the external environment which organizations pursue or exploit to gain benefit. Some of the opportunities available to County Kitchen include: 1 .
Expand into other parts of the country and the world at large. County Kitchen currently operates in 5 regions of he country and there is opportunity for them to expand their operations further into other parts of the country and possibly the world using technology. 2. Opportunity to exploit a niche market in order to attract health conscious consumers. Consumer tastes and preferences are changing and the company can take advantage to 3 | Page serve a niche market of consumers with specific tastes or preferences.
Some consumers who have particular preferences such as vegetarian, door to door services, etc would have their needs met by the company. 3. Take advantage of electronic / mobile commerce: Modern technological advancements have provided an venue for transactions to be conducted over wireless mobile mediums known as mobile commerce. Although County Kitchen’s rivals, Buggery Wire Eatery, have already deployed this technology, County Kitchen also has the opportunity to adopt it in their operations.
To be ahead of its rivals, they can provide a more interactive web page that allows a variety of languages, opportunity for customers to bring their own recipes and also make available an effective delivery system better than their competitors. Threats are impediments to the firm’s current or desired position in the environment. Some of the threats identified in County Kitchen’s external environment are: 1. Influx of new entrants to the restaurant business: one significant threat to County Kitchen’s operation in the restaurant business is the entry of many new such business operators who are likely to intensify competition in the industry. . Technological changes such as the introduction of electronic/ mobile commerce: The main competitor to County Kitchen, Buggery Wire Eatery has introduced systems that have led to efficient ordering, delivery, and improvement in the operations of the company. The deployment of such modern systems of operation pose a threat to County Kitchen’s survival in the industry since they are yet to adopt to such systems. 3. Changing consumer preference; consumers becoming educated and health conscious. Consumer taste and preferences keeps changing by the day.
People have become very conscious of what and where they eat, the delivery time and place in terms of convenience and also the quality of service and mode of payments available. As consumers preference change, County Kitchen’s method of operation would need to change to suit their needs. 4 | Page commerce? The new type of e-commerce, conducting transactions via mobile terminals, is called mobile commerce. There are several mobile application scenarios such as Entertainment, Communication, Transaction and Information. County Kitchen can adopt all except entertainment in its operations to enable it stay competitive.
Due to its inherent characteristics such as ubiquity, personalization, flexibility, and dissemination, mobile commerce gives businesses unprecedented market potentials, great productivity, and high profitability. A mobile device is a small smart device which can serve as both a mobile phone and a communicator. It communicates and transfers data (convenience). It is used only by its owner (personalization). It can roved information anytime, anywhere (ubiquity). Capturing the concept of mobility, a user can be contacted anywhere (respectability). A mobile device can provide users’ locations (localization).
Knowledge of users ‘ precise geographical location allows customized, relevant content to be delivered to them when and where they need it. Mobile commerce offers the opportunity of obtaining wider market coverage. With the use of M-commerce the company’s target market is the world and thus it is able to cover wider markets. Through mobile devices, County Kitchen would be able to send information customers anywhere, anytime. With a mobile terminal, a user can be in touch with the company and place order as well as make payments anywhere, anytime.
Some wireless infrastructures support simultaneous delivery of data to all mobile users within a specific geographical region. This functionality offers an efficient means to disseminate information to a large consumer population. The gain here for County Kitchen is that its customer base would be widened with the use of mobile commerce, which can lead to economies of scale. Economies of scale for the firms means a possible reduction in cost of production and also prices of goods and arrives offered to customers. 5 | Page Through Mobile commerce County Kitchen can become competitive in serving a niche market.
The company can design toiler-made products to meet the preference of particular customers who may have particular requests due to health reasons. This help the company to build on its strengths of responding positively to customer needs and also using the finest ingredients and best hygienic procedures in food preparation. Apart from providing products designed to meet the needs of customer, m-commerce also makes possible the provision of web contents that allows the skiing of questions (frequently asked questions) that addresses the needs of the niche market we are targeting.
Mobile IT devices can also change the way the company does business – new technologies lead to new ways of working, and new team more efficient, more creative, and more valuable to its clients. Since owners of mobile devices often require different sets of applications and services, mobile commerce applications can be personalized to represent information or provide services in ways appropriate to a specific customer of County Kitchen.
County Kitchen can respond to the needs of customers or customer demand faster than its imitators. In addition there is also feedback mechanism between the company and customers, customer feedback options can be provided on the net / website to make this possible. Mobile technology is very interactive by its nature; sharing information through this medium allows businesses to get immediate feedback on products and services from customers in order to address areas of the company’s weaknesses.
This speed and accessibility have led to faster research and development in terms of responding to change, an important part of staying ahead of the competition. It can also lead to product upgrades moving at a faster rate. This makes customers and clients feel as if they have a more direct role in a company’s development. 6 | Page QUESTION 2 As a small business operator, should County Kitchen be interested in mobile commerce initiatives? Justify your answer with concrete examples What is Mobile Commerce?
M-Commerce can be defined as: “The delivery of trusted transaction services over mobile devices for the exchange of goods and services between consumers, merchants and financial institutions”. Today, M-commerce through the use of leading-edge technologies allow the use of sophisticated personalized and mobile services. The Internet and Wireless Mobility have been the drivers for this recent developments and the convergence of these two technologies offers amazing possibilities for end-user services.
Benefits of Mobile Commerce to County Kitchen Convenience and control: convenience of transacting commerce at any time and place will be the most important incentive for consumers to use mobile Internet applications as it will also help the user locate the nearest restaurant. For example available food on the menu for each day at the nearest County Kitchen Restaurant can be sent to the consumer’s mobile phones via location technology, which enables he customer to place a booking for dinner or place an order to be delivered at his/ her convenient location and thus helping to increase sales for the company.
The application of m-commerce also enables businesses and clients to avoid the troubles and difficulty in cash transaction such as insufficient fund, false currency carrying and physical cash. Reducing transaction cost: The use of mobile commerce lead to a reduction in transaction costs by improving the flow of information and increasing the coordination of actions between businesses and customers. By reducing the cost of artisans, mobile commerce can change the attractiveness of vertical integration for many firms.
M-commerce presents County Kitchen with the potential of gaining a large-scale market. 7 Page The convenience mobile commerce offers through Ubiquity would enable County Kitchen to send information easily and at a lower cost to all of its customers; and users can get any information that they are interested in, whenever they want regardless of their location, through their Internet-enabled mobile devices. Improve Trade efficiency: M-commerce offers a new approach and driving force for the development of the international trade.
The rapid growth of M-commerce has changed the traditional way of international trade, and has had a far-reaching impact on the development of the world economy. Mobile commerce application is favorable for the restaurant business since it allows the firm to list the restaurant online based on location such that the local customers get the awareness about the business presence. The customers can also inquire about the availability of the foods through the mobile without the physical strain to visit the restaurant.
It would help the firm to find new customers and new ways to serve existing customers, including market search and customer satisfaction surveys. Improvement in transaction efficiency can be obtained through the flexible payment methods that come with m-commerce application where the customer is given a preview of the cost of all products and services and the associated payment terms in order for them to make an informed choice.
M-commerce enables enterprises to provide 24-hour product information and services without the limitation of time and space, and then enhance market competitiveness greatly. Competitive pricing and revenue generation: The adoption of mobile commerce by County Kitchen would give the company the advantage of reaching a wider audience or clients. The medium also gives the benefit of competitive pricing since cost of advertising and marketing is reduced significantly by spreading operational cost over a wider market or client.
Delivering a service that not only reaches more people but also is available all of the time, mobile commerce enables consumers to make purchases from wherever they are whenever they are ready. This will lead to an increase in revenue to the County Kitchen providing the mobile services. 8 | Page littoral is very useful for business expansion since the users feel the advantage of saving the time spend on waiting in a restaurant for service. The restaurant owners can also store the public profile and provide customized service to keep the regular customers happy.
Mobile commerce provides a significant opportunity for merchants and restaurateurs to engage with consumers and build customer loyalty since it provides a more efficient method of reaching and communicating with their customers. Knowing users’ preferences and surfing habits, County Kitchen will be able meet the specific needs of its clients in real time. M-commerce also facilitates a simple delivery method or system where the user can either fix the time to take the delivery or they can choose to receive the delivery at that place at a specified time.
Challenges of adopting M-commerce initiatives: Absence of face-face interaction: some transactions are best suited with face to face interaction with customers and the restaurant business is one of business. The adoption of m-commerce reduces or minimizes the face to face interaction between customers and clients. Some customers would prefer to be in the restaurant environment to be convinced by the laity of customer service and hygienic conditions pertaining. High level skilled labor requirements: The adoption and sustenance of m-commerce requires a high level of skilled labor or staff with particular skills set.
County Kitchen is already challenged by the low level of education among most of its staff and it would be difficult to train all of them to obtain the necessary skills immediately or ousting them completely since they have stayed loyal to the company for many years. Security: The bottleneck of M-commerce development is the security of the information of users and transaction. Cell phones are more commonly lost or stolen than laptops. So County Kitchen would be faced with the problem of ensuring that the security of its customers are not compromised in case.
This includes protecting sensitive information on stored in the company’s server and back-up units. 9 Page High cost of initial investment: The adoption of mobile commerce is a capital intensive initiative that requires huge investment in infrastructure, skilled personnel and high cost of maintenance. County Kitchen in its current state cannot afford such huge investment as it is battling with financial difficulties. CONCLUSION The Wireless Internet brings about ubiquitous access to the Internet as well as location-based and high bandwidth services in the world of commerce.
These have contributed immensely to the adoption of m-commerce initiatives in various businesses to give a competitive edge over rivals. Despite the challenges outlined above, the adoption of m-commerce presents benefits that far outweigh the challenges and thus we can conclude that County Kitchen should adopt m-commerce Example: Japanese restaurant chain Zoom has launched mobile-optimized sites for three of its locations to better reach hungry consumers. The restaurants in San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Monica were not previously available via mobile.
With mobile Web browsing growing, interactive agency Idea Work Studios, which worked on the redesign of the restaurants’ Web sites and developed the mobile sites, knew the brand needed a presence in mobile as well. Sumo’s goals for mobile include being accessible to a wide audience, educating potential visitors and getting people to make a reservation or come in and experience the restaurant. The first thing people do when they’re out and hungry is turn to their mobile device to steer them in he right direction,” Mr.. Schwartz said. They access their favorite review site – Yelp Yelp, Foursquare or Pentacle, – but generally look to the restaurant’s site to verify the information they get. “Additionally, potential customers want to see current menus and accurate hours of operation,” (source: Zoom restaurants launches mobile-optimized sites to reach diners http://www. Enforceability’s. Com/ zoom-restaurants-launch-mobile-optimized-site-terrace-diners ) 10 | Pa GE QUESTION 3 Identify some of the likely challenges that County Kitchen could faced as it embarks on mobile commerce initiatives.
Although m-commerce seems to be a convenient idea, there are many tribulations that lower the popularity of mobile commerce. The following are some challenges County Kitchen are likely to encounter as they deploy Mobile commerce their operations: Consumer expectations/ ease of use: user adoption of new information systems is determined by user’s intention to use the system, which in turn is determined by user’s beliefs about the system. OTOH perceived usefulness and ease of use influence the attitude of individuals towards the use of technology, while attitude and perceived usefulness of the technology redirect the individual’s behavior to use the technology Security: lacking privacy and security could be a major stumbling block to the growth of m-commerce. General factors such as security awareness, privacy, and trust concerns might also play a role. Users are worried about privacy and positive consent of transactions conducted over mobile devices.
In each transaction, each party involved needs to be able to authenticate its counterparts, to make sure that received messages are not tampered with, to keep the communication content confidential, and to believe that the received messages come from the correct senders. Due to the inherent vulnerability of the mobile environment, users in mobile commerce are more concerned about security issues involved with mobile transactions. Mobile commerce users need to be assured that their financial information is secure and that wireless transactions are safe.
Reliability, convenience and control: Reliability of the system – time of delivery, identification and location of customers. The adoption of the application will depend on additional factors such as whether it is accessible from all locations, or whether it depends on the specific features of the handheld device. The convenience of having Internet access at any time and place will be the most important incentive for consumers to use mobile Internet applications. 11 | Page Cost of establishing mobile and wireless broadband Infrastructure: the deployment of mobile commerce in a restaurant business involves large initial capital investment.
Due to the high cost of infrastructure required for the adoption of moocher; a small business such as County Kitchen may encounter difficulties accessing the needed capital to undertake such a capital intensive initiative. The adoption of mobile commerce requires infrastructure such as Screen phones?a telephone quipped with color screen, and Internet Suitably configured wire line or wireless WAN modem, Web server with wireless support, Application or database server, Large enterprise application server, GAPS locator used to determine the location of mobile computing device carrier, Wireless transmission media and systems.
Change Management issues: County Kitchen has a dedicated workforce who have been with the company for many years and probably become used to the brick- and – mortar system of its operation, and changing to this modern system of operations would be a challenge for management to deal with. To stay competitive and realize genuine productivity benefits from mobile commerce, many organizations actually need to be redesigned.
They will have to make fundamental changes in organizational behavior, develop new business models, and eliminate the inefficiencies of the old organizational structures. The organizational process reengineering is one major challenge the management of County Kitchen would have to deal with. Skilled personnel: The adoption of mobile commerce in a restaurant operation requires that County Kitchen has the necessary human resources to operate and keep the system up and running constantly.
The company is already faced with the problem of low educational background of most of its work force and the deployment of such an initiative would means it would have to recruit more qualified personnel Reliability of internet connectivity and power supply: the use of M-commerce requires a reliable wireless internet connectivity or transmission and power. One significant challenge County Kitchen would have to deal with is the availability of a reliable wireless internet connectivity and power supply. The adoption of M- buildings, multipart interference, weather, and terrain problems and distance- emitted connections. 2 | Pa GE Absence of efficient payment system: availability of a cashless system of transaction is necessary for the adoption and successful implementation of mobile commerce operations. In an environment or economy where there is no efficient cashless payment system, County Kitchen would be unable to successfully adopt mobile commerce. Investment risk: A major problem faced by mobile commerce is the huge investment required to implement and operate it. Engineering massive organizational and system changes to reposition the organization strategically is complicated as well as expensive.
However this does not guarantee the success of the business. The adoption of moocher thus presents a high investment risk. 131 page QUESTION 4 Discuss the various drivers necessitating the adoption and acceptance of mobile commerce in a restaurant operation? To obtain Competitive advantage: Intensified completion among industry players in the restaurant business is one major reason for adopting mobile commerce. Thus for businesses to stay ahead of the competition, they turn the adoption and implementation of mobile commerce to become efficient and more productive in their service delivery.
The use of mobile commerce assist managers in the restaurant business accurate information on right time for orders, management of inventory levels avoid excessive storage cost and losses. Globalization: In the emerging new global economy, the use and integration of information and communication technologies in business and has revolutionized relationships within organizations and those between and among organizations and individuals. Globalization has resulted in the interplay of many cultures and integration of people of various religious backgrounds everywhere in the world.
Players in the restaurant business in the new global economy are required to provide tailor made services on real time basis to people of various backgrounds anytime, everywhere and more especially provide a flexible and accessible mode of payment and delivery; and Moocher provides that perfect solution. The deployment of M- commerce in the restaurant business is thus necessary as it enables firms deliver their services specific to the needs of the client at the locations convenient to their clients anywhere and also make payments promptly. The use of M-Commerce has