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The Kroger Company is an Ohio based retailer and manufacturer of grocery products with over 2,000 retail outlets covering 24 states. There are ten Kroger Marketing Areas that report to Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Michigan Kroger Marketing Area covers the State of Michigan with offices in Livonia. The Livonia office supports 83 retail stores in the state with local Marketing, Product Procurement, Personal Training, Merchandising, Market Research and Facility Engineering. The role of a Produce Buyer for Kroger requires many management skills. The Buyer has to depend on many different individuals to get product from the field to the hands of shoppers. The individuals the Produce Buyer deals with includes people inside Kroger and outside organizations such as growers, distributors, brokers, jobbers and trucking companies. The Produce Buyer's responsibilities include procurement of product, pricing of product, shipping of product, retail-merchandising direction, forecasting and evaluating department performance.
The Produce Buyer needs to examine multiple items to develop the plan for getting produce to the consumer. The first step is developing an Ad-plan to meet their sales and profit objectives. The design of an Ad-plan requires current knowledge of market conditions, competition checks, last year's ad-plans, last year's sales and movement reports, and sales meetings. Market conditions include product availability, seasonal products, quality of product, growing areas, and product and transportation cost. Analyzing the competition involves visiting competitors' stores and reviewing their advertisements from prior years. Reviewing Kroger's previous year advertisements assists in developing a base for an effective Ad-plan. The use of sales and movement reports supplies performance of the Ad-plan implemented for the same time period last year. The sales meeting involves the gathering of all merchandising directors and local VP's to coordinate the process of developing an overall Ad-plan for the Michigan Kroger Marketing Area. The Ad-plan meeting is used to make adjustments and corrections to achieve the sales goals and objectives for the entire organization.
The Produce Buyer needs to make use of multiple forms of communication to perform their daily duties. The use of email and faxes are mechanisms to help facilitate the procurement process. Email is used to get market conditions from various parts of the country, transmit purchase orders, confirmation of orders, interoffice communication, store communication and vendor solicitations. Received faxes supply market conditions for the country, vendor solicitations, response to product recalls and survey orders. The phone is used to contact stores about quality problems, receive detailed feedback from brokers, make product orders, schedule meetings, and locate late deliveries.
The two key organizing functions a Produce Buyer would use to achieve projected goals are developing Sales Plans and Department Layouts. The Sales Plan and Department Layouts provide stores with information on where and how to display products and gives them ordering guidelines. This information is used to determine what to buy and how much product should be purchased. The placement of product within a store has a direct effect on the amount of product that will be sold. Placing bananas on the end of a display piece will move better than if placed between apples and pears. The growing area would have a direct effect on the quality and appearance of the product that could result in an increase or a decrease in sales. If Florida's strawberries lacked color, then the determination would be made to purchase from the colorful California variety to produce the needed sales.
The process of establishing standards, goals and targets, measuring performance and identifying deviations for the Produce Buyer are the guidelines for a manager to insure plans are carried out or modified to achieve the organization's strategy. The sales plan is set by the Produce Buyer as a tool for the store produce department manager to use as a guideline to reach the target goals for the buyer. The sales plan supplies the necessary merchandising standards for the stores to help maximize sales. These include special product handling, ordering specifications, fruit layout and cross merchandising tips. The buyer's performance is gauged by monitoring product movement on a daily basis, by weekly sales reports that recap the previous week's retail sales and profit and comparison of these figures to the set budget. The other gauge used is the shipment report to evaluate actual movement versus projected movement of the week. The sales plan requires adjustment when projected sales and profit are not met for the week. To compensate for not achieving the week's targets the following week's sales plan must be modified in an effort to meet the goals.
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
retail sales, retail stores, retail outlets,
Organizations mentioned in this paper
Human Resources department, Michigan Distribution Center, Human Resources office,
Locations talked about in this essay
Cincinnati, Michigan, Livonia, Ohio, California, Florida, West,
Companies mentioned in this report
Kroger, Kroger Company,
Keywords talked about in this report
buyer, Kroger, sales, human resources, merchandising, organization, managers, performance review, conditions, first step, purchase order, meeting, direct effect, market, report, procurement, distribution center, growers, retail sales, Squeaky Wheel, cross merchandising, guidelines, Marketing, decision making process, management, evaluation, time management, the kroger company, information, weekly, daily, Performance Evaluation, shipment, communications, decision process, personnel, evaluate, job performance, individual, experience, weather, Michigan, Market Research, bananas, calendar year, referent power, specification, one form, competition, Onions,