The case of the Home-Style Cookies baking company that operates in the United States involves a few problems related to potential improvements that can strengthen the company and increase the effectiveness of its work. There are numerous companies that HSC can use as a reference model. Among them, there is Yamasaki Baking.
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Yamasaki Baking review
Yamasaki Baking belongs to the number of successful baking companies in Asia due to a wide range of products that it sells and a high quality of food and services that it provides. Unlike HSC, Yamasaki Baking has three business segments such as the production of confectionery products and product distribution (“Bread & rolls in Japan,” 2012). Apart from that, the company produces and distributes other products.
Companies are different in terms of the range of products that they manufacture. Thus, HSC produces fifty types of soft cookies whereas Yamasaki Baking is responsible for the production of a few hundred products that include traditional Asian and Western confectionery, bread, and dishes with rice. HSC sells its products to supermarkets in three states whereas Yamasaki Baking collaborates with customers from three continents and operates a great number of stores.
Key problems and threats
The key problems of HSC are presented by the need to increase efficiency with the help of automation and reduce transportation costs and the time of delivery to supermarkets. As for the underlying issues that exist for HSC, the use of new methods of packaging and introducing new types of products may affect the quality of soft cookies that are appreciated by their customers. It is impossible for HSC to place quality in jeopardy as it is the main source of their competitive ability.
It is clear from the case study that the company does everything to ensure a higher quality of their cookies. They use quality control procedures and check the absence of foreign bodies in the products using X-ray devices. There is a danger that new approaches to packaging can decrease the effectiveness of these quality control measures as it is easy to break such products. Also, the company does not want to fire thirty packers as its reputation can suffer due to this decision.
A strategy to improve company’s operations
Considering that the company needs to improve its operations, it can be beneficial for company managers to establish partnerships with new suppliers in the area. In order to implement the solution, it can be important to choose a responsible employee in HSC who will have to conduct a thorough analysis of local suppliers, focusing on the quality of their work and opinions of their clients. After that, a final decision on the introduction of new business partners is to be made.
Among the factors that should be given special consideration to during the analysis, there are prices that these suppliers use, the level of professional experience, the presence of supplier groups (it can be important in case of problems), and the reputation of suppliers in the region (Amorim, Curcioa, Almada-Loboa, Barbosa-Póvoab, & Grossmann, 2016). External and internal stakeholders of HSC can also provide their opinions on potential suppliers to strengthen the analysis (Chai & Ngai, 2015). The analysis will help to choose the best options available and, therefore, decrease transportation costs and use saved money to improve the quality of products even more.
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After the implementation of the proposed solution, specialists from HSC will be able to check whether the latter works properly with the help of financial data and the feedback received from customers. It will be necessary to compare profit and loss reports for periods before and after the start of a collaboration with new suppliers. Also, the analysis of customer feedback will be necessary. If the strategy turns out to be ineffective, HSC managers will have to use their transportation contracts with new suppliers to urge the latter to improve the quality of their services.
Amorim, P., Curcioa, E., Almada-Loboa, B., Barbosa-Póvoab, A., & Grossmann, I. E. (2016). Supplier selection for supply chains in the processed food industry. European Journal of Operational Research, 252, 801-814.
Bread & rolls in Japan. (2012). Web.
Chai, J., & Ngai, E. W. (2015). Multi-perspective strategic supplier selection in uncertain environments. International Journal of Production Economics, 166, 215-225.