Kudler’s Internal and External Stakeholders
Kudler’s stakeholders comprise of employees such as the cashiers, managers and assistant managers of the stores, merchandisers who maintain stock at the shelves and specialists who advice customers depending on their purchasing needs (Hulsmann & Pfeffermann, 2011). The company also employs bakers who specialise in preparing fresh breads and pastries.
Employees are part of the internal stakeholders since they rely on the company for their own upkeep. The affairs of the company and how management runs the company therefore has a direct impact on the wellbeing of employees. Being a privately owned small company, Kudler Fine Foods does not have shareholders from members of the public. The owner of the company is Kathy Kudler and she runs the company with the assistance of her store managers.
The external stakeholders of Kudler are more than the internal stakeholders. The customers are diversified and from different backgrounds. The first shop of Kudler was opened in La Jolla in California where the larger customer segment comes from. The customers of KFF are the majority external stakeholders since they have built the company with their demand for fine quality food. Kudler uses organic ingredients to prepare the food products which are stocked.
This means that organic farmers are also part of the external stakeholders of Kudler. Kudler Fine Foods deals with wholesalers who supply them with the foodstuffs which they stock. Suppliers also supply Kudler with ingredients such as meat, flour, necessary preservatives and wine. Kathy gets financing from banks which extend credit when there is need. Competitors such as major supermarket chains and specialty stores rely on KFF for the growth of the foods industry through the meeting of consumer demand.
The Stakeholder’s Wants and Needs
The internal stakeholders of Kudler Fine Foods expect sustainable growth and long term success of the company (Lenssen, Gasparski, Rok & Lacy, 2006). The owner, Kathy Kudler, expects her employees to deliver quality services to the customers. She expects her three store managers to run her stores efficiently so that they can all grow and realize their potential. She also expects her suppliers to provide her stores with quality ingredients which the company uses to produce their stock.
In the business of foodstuffs, it is important that the raw materials be of good quality so that the end product is of high quality as well. Kathy Kudler expects her customers to be satisfied with the services provided by her store operations since she strives to ensure that quality is delivered. Customers are expected to give feedback about the products of KFF so that management can know how to improve their services or correct mistakes.
The employees of Kudler Fine Foods are divided into two categories. There are the management section and the general employees. The management of KFF comprises of managers and assistant managers who are found in each of the three stores. There are no overall managers who control operations in more than one store.
The managers of the stores expect that the owner ensures that supplies are availed at their stores in good. Kathy is the one who buys all supplies for all the stores that she owns. The managers wait for these to be delivered at the stores and their role is to run production and other operations. The assistant managers assist managers to run the busy administrative operations of the stores. Management hence expects the owner to ensure that supplies arrive at the stores in good time and with the desired quality.
The employees of KFF have wants and needs that are related to their wellbeing. They depend on the company for their upkeep so they expect that management ensures that the food store stays in operation for the longest time possible. The employees also expect their salaries to be paid in good time so that they can pay their personal bills and fulfil their family obligations.
Job security is expected by employees of all companies including KFF. Employees expect that the management will come up with strategic organizational objectives which, if realized, will lead to growth of the stores. Their daily activities are assumed to be part of the bigger plan which aims at achieving growth and prosperity of KFF.
Employees also expect that KFF will provide them with a safe working environment. Their food production operations put some workers at risk of physical harm but safety measures should be observed to avoid disasters. For instance, there should be adequate ventilation in the bakeries as well as fire extinguishers in every KFF store. Workers should also be provided with protective clothing that covers their bodies and hair.
The external stakeholders have a different set of wants and needs. Their expectations from KFF are more business related compared to those of internal stakeholders. For instance, suppliers of KFF expect Kathy to make her payments on time if they are to continue providing her stores with ingredients and other foodstuffs.
They also expect orders to be made in good time so that they are capable of meeting their deadlines. The relationship between KFF and the suppliers is controlled by the contractual agreements between the two parties. The needs of suppliers dwell more on the short term creation of high sales volume and long term contractual agreements between them and KFF.
The banks which extend credit to Kathy expect that she repays the loans in full when they are due. Competitors expect that KFF carries out ethical marketing campaigns which develop the industry as a whole but not discrediting other businesses involved in the same line of products.
The customers of KFF, on the other hand, expect that the store will provide them with all the food stuffs that they need. Customers expect to get a large variety of food stuffs from which they can select what they want when they buy from the stores. Customers also expect to get fresh products from the stores even though the business deals with perishables.
According to the customers, it is up to the store management to ensure that the stocked products are fresh and of good quality. Customers expect that since they make repeat purchases from KFF, they will always receive good customer service from the employees of the company. Lastly, customers expect KFF to give back to the community since it makes profits from the people of California.
How the Company is Fulfilling Those Stakeholder Needs
KFF is fulfilling the needs of employees by providing employment to them. The growth and expansion plans of Kudler are an indication that the company intends to ensure that existing employees have job security since the business prospers.
By placing each store with its own manager and assistant manager, KFF illustrates how it creates job opportunities to members of the community and promotion opportunities for existing employees. KFF has also built additional stores so as to reduce the rush experienced when people from all over California previously tried to access their services from the La Jolla store.
The needs of the customers are also met since Kathy buys supplies in bulk thereby ensuring that the same quality is guaranteed across all the stores. The needs of the community are met since KFF donates unused foodstuffs to homeless shelters; which is part of their CSR program.
Not all the needs of stakeholders are met by KFF. The Del Mar store is set to be phased out when the Carlsbad location is opened and the rental agreement expires. The employees who work in the Del Mar store are set to be deployed to the new Carlsbad store but it is not guaranteed that they will all be comfortable with the changes. The few customers who shop from the Del Mar shop will also have to travel to the new location, which can be inconveniencing.
If there was a homeless shelter that was benefiting from the Del Mar store, it remains unknown whether they will still receive assistance from the store in Carlsbad. What KFF can do so as to ensure that there is the least damage from their closure of the Del Mar branch is to maintain the relationships with the customers and community of Del Mar. They can then find ways to still meet the needs of these stakeholders even after the store is closed.
Hulsmann, M. & Pfeffermann, N. (2011). Strategies and Communications for Innovations: an Integrative Management View for Companies and Networks. Heidelberg: Springer
Lenssen, G., Gasparski, W., Rok, B. & Lacy, P. (2006). Corporate Responsibility and Competitiveness. Bradford: Emerald Group Pub.