The report will have an introduction giving the thesis statement. This will be followed by a detailed analysis in the main body, of strategy implementation, with a look at the different factors that determine whether a strategic plan actually works or not. These factors are Organizational structure, people, culture and systems, and all these will be analyzed in turn with regards to J.M. Smucker’s.
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The purpose of this strategy implementation report is to look into ways on how J. M. Smucker’s as a company can capitalize on its peanut butter and peanut butter products. This will be accomplished by reviewing the company’s organizational structure, its work culture and systems, so as to determine how well fit the outlined strategy is for this particular venture, and thus, guarantee a higher likelihood of success.
Analysis of fit for strategy implementation for J. M. Smucker’s’s peanut butter and peanut butter products
Organizational structure and strategy implementation at J.M. Smucker’s
J.M Smucker’s is a family run company, and has been ever since it was founded in 1987. the current co-CEOs Timothy and Richard Smucker are great-grandsons of the founder, who carry on the ideals that were visualized by their great-grandparent (Gunther, 2010).
While the two CEOs are at the top of the managerial ladder and make the major decisions on how the company is run, they also give the due worth to their employees (Pryor, Taneja & Toops, 2009).
The organizational structure at J.M. Smucker’s is one that is centralized, with the traditional hierarchal system of management (theofficialboard.com, 2010). This works for the company because of its scale of operations. J. M Smucker’s main decision makers are members of the board as well as top management.
However, the company counters this by putting real value into contributions made by all employees at any level.This means that while the heavy decisions on the running of the company are still left to the people at the top, ideas on innovation and better practices are not passed up because an employee has been ignored.
People and strategy implementation at J.M. Smucker’s
The largest intangible asset that J.M Smucker’s has, as declared by co-CEO Tim Smucker’s, and as illustrated by the company’s purpose statement, is its employees. The four attributes on how to corporate at the workplace that the founder of the company are: be respectful, have a sense of humor, take time to listen, and acknowledge a job well done (smuckers.com, 2010).
In turn, Smucker’s employees are motivated, dedicated to the job and loyal to the company. The company was voted the best company to work for in 2004 by Fortune Magazine. Smucker’s also makes the practice of nurturing in-house talent.
This works for the company because most employees stay with them for years, and are promoted on merit (Bardetscher, 2010). It means that by the time they have reached the upper echelons of management, the company philosophy is ingrained in them.
One of the ways in which Smucker’s rewards is that they encourage employees to buy shares in the company, and reward this by giving extra votes to those who hold their shares for more than four years (Gunther, 2010).
The work culture at J. M. Smucker’s and strategy implementation
Upon joining the Smucker workforce, the newcomers are issued with a memo that was originally written by former CEO Paul Smucker, so that they are inculcated into the company culture from the very beginning (GUnther, 2010).
The work culture at Smucker’s’s is also centralized around its employees. It means that all employees are treated with respect. (Gitman & McDaniel, 2010).
Control Systems and strategy implementation at J.M. Smucker’s
Measurement and rewards works well for Smucker’s employees. The company has a record low employee turn over. While it is mostly assumed that rewards are given only in monetary terms, this is not necessarily true (Heneman, Fisher & Dixon, 2008). The incentives and benefits for employees at Smucker’s extend beyond a mere bonus at the end of the financial year.
With a culture that embraces respect, encourages open communication, and diversity, employees actually obtain fulfillment from their jobs, and flourish (Gunther, 2010). Though Smucker’s gives monetary rewards for outstanding achievements, the greater reward is in having an amicable work atmosphere and the respect of colleagues and superiors alike.
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J.M Smucker is very family oriented. The company’s purpose statement is to ‘bring families together to share memorable meals and moments’. This is a strategy that J.M Smucker’s applies in its marketing and branding campaigns, and would work greatly to its advantage in its peanut butter franchise (smuckers.com, 2010).
The unique approach adopted by Smucker’s other than just the focus on quality products, is measuring success in more than financial terms. Management strategies have changed greatly since the eighties, with the focus shifting greatly from tangible assets to intangible assets.
In this regard J. M Smucker is way ahead of the game because it was investing in its employees way before other corporations the value of doing so. Being that it is in the food industry, specifically breakfast products, meals that are inherently taken in the home setting, the company philosophy works to create a rapport between it and the consumers.
Being a family run company that stresses on family values, honesty, respect, and integrity, an implementation strategy that would best suit J. M. Smucker’s is one that runs along these lines. Since the company values its employees, employee participation at their respective levels would be a plus, to transmit the ‘we’ culture.
Another factor that would work in the company’s favor in building its peanut butter franchise is the organizational structure. While the company has the outward appearance of a hierarchal system of management, the corporate values ensure that this does not put bureaucratic barriers and snags at different levels of management. Input from all company employees is valued, as everyone is given the time of day.
My recommendation for J.M Smucker’s in implementing strategy is to apply one that is people centered; this would be to capitalize in the existing company culture of people value, as employee loyalty means greater commitment to work, and greater productivity.
My second recommendation for J. M. Smucker’s is to further capitalize on its organizational structure; though the management hierarchy is centralized, it has the added advantage of not having the traditional barriers between management levels. This creates a platform where information is quickly and effectively shared, and just as effectively acted upon.
J. M Smucker’s strategy is in line with company culture, systems and people. This is reflected in the company’s financial success as well as its respectability in its particular niche.
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