Based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the Hershey Company is the leading producer and distributer of superior chocolate candies in America. Despite the age of technology that has reshaped the means and speed of manufacturing processes, there is an increased need for companies to embrace socially responsible production methods. This situation has exposed the company to various external challenges that have highly determined the accomplishment of performance goals. This essay provides an insight into the challenges faced by the company in the global business environment.
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The Nature, Structure, and Types of Hershey Company’s Products and Services
Hershey Company offers a broad category of chocolate and/or candy-based merchandise that ranges from confectionery to grocery products. The company manufactures a wide-ranging assortment of chocolate-based products that include the Hershey’s chocolate bars, Hershey’s Symphony, Hershey’s Extra Dark, Almond Joy, 100 Calorie Bar, Mounds, Hershey’s Drops, Hershey’s Bliss, Whoppers, Hershey’s Miniatures, and Hershey’s Pot of Gold among other products.
Each of the aforementioned broad categories has several subclass products that the company produces to meet special requirements in the market. In addition, Hershey Company has authorization to merchandise Kit Kat and Cadbury chocolate products. Furthermore, the company markets non-chocolate products that include Breath Mints, Bubble Yum, PayDay Candy bar, Twizlers, Ice Breakers, and Jolly Rancher among other candies.
Griffin (2010) reveals that the company considers workforce diversity, corporate governance, and decision-making ethical issues that are critical for the realization of its goals and objectives. The company’s commitment to workforce diversity is revealed in its vision of “Great People Building Great Brands”. The company derives the quality of its merchandise from superior talents, ideas, and experience from culturally diverse workforce. Sequentially, the company strives to provide an all-inclusive work environment in an attempt to promote the activities of its diverse workforce. Secondly, due to the inevitability of corporate governance, the company has prioritized compliance with issues pertaining to corporate governance to pave way for the accomplishment of organizational goals. Finally, Kash (2012) unveils how the company places a high value on its decision-making process by encouraging integrity and reliability in an attempt to curtail conflicts of interest amongst employees.
Comparison of Hershey Company with Cadbury Schweppes and Mars-Wrigley
Valentine (2014) reveals that Cadbury Schweppes puts a high value on diversity. The company promotes diversity at the workplace by establishing foreign branches and/or encouraging people from different parts of the globe to apply for any available suitable vacancies. Valentine (2014) confirms that Cadbury Schweppes offers equal employment opportunities for prospective employees without diversity discrimination. In comparison, Mars-Wrigley, which is the largest confectionery in the world, has a heightened compassion for diversity and inclusion. Weiss (2014) posits that the company’s workforce comprises people from different backgrounds.
Cadbury Schweppes’ commitment to corporate governance has made the company outshine the anticipations of the stakeholders. The company recognizes that good corporate governance enhances client constancy, workforce retention, and proper public image. On the other hand, Mars-Wrigley acknowledges that corporate governance creates a liberal environment for the confectionery business. Thus, it promotes the accomplishment of performance goals. Lastly, just like the Hershey Company, both companies involve their internal and external stakeholders in the decision-making processes.
Extent to which Cadbury Schweppes and Mars-Wrigley have addressed the Key Ethical Issues
Cadbury Schweppes addresses workforce diversity through its comprehensive recruitment program that offers equal opportunities for qualifying candidates across the globe. As a result, the company has benefited from diverse talents, knowledge, and experience that have enhanced the workability of its operations. Mars-Wrigley has also enhances diversity and inclusion by appreciating the distinctive employee backgrounds. The company has extended its value for diversity to initiate programs across its various segments to foster inclusive leadership, nurture diverse talents, and create a culture of inclusion and belonging in the organization (Tricker & Tricker, 2013).
Next, Cadbury Schweppes has established a sound corporate governance program to address stakeholder interests. Similarly, Mars-Wrigley has maintained compliance with corporate governance regulations by ensuring that its board of directors constantly addresses key corporate issues. Valentine (2014) reveals that Cadbury Schweppes uses a business process known as ‘Managing for Value’ to scrutinize all decisions made within different business units in an effort to align them with the company’s performance goals. In Mars-Wrigley, although the decision-making process considers the interests of the stakeholders, the overall decisions depend on the judgment of the board of directors.
Techniques to Sustain the Relevance of Hershey Company’s Code of Conduct
Just like many other companies, some underlying forces within the society determine the practicability of Hershey Company’s codes of conduct. Nevertheless, the company has deployed various techniques that have enabled its code of conduct to remain relevant, regardless of the changes that take place in the confectionery industry. Hershey Company should allow the board of directors to carry out a regular analysis of the company’s code of conduct against the trending issues in social, political, economic, and technological environments to sustain the relevance of its ethics standards. Secondly, the company can initiate regular training to staff members to provide any emerging ideas and knowledge concerning the rules and regulations in the confectionery industry. Regular training will promote the relevance of the company’s codes of conduct since employees will acquire the latest information vis-à-vis the confectionery industry (Griffin, 2010).
Hershey Company has adopted numerous methods in an attempt to manage environmental issues. At the outset, it adopts a life-cycle assessment technique to gather and analyze information that pertains to business environment in an attempt to provide longstanding solutions for sustainability of its operations. This approach to production curtails the possibilities of adverse effects that might emerge from its undertakings in the confectionery industry. Secondly, Hershey Company is an active participant of a certain sustainable packaging coalition in America. The coalition promotes sustainability of production processes by socially responsible packaging solutions that take consideration of environmental safety whilst fulfilling the set market regulations (Griffin, 2010).
Technological Approaches for Advanced Innovation at Hershey Company
Hershey Company strives to offer the best confectionery and non-alcoholic deliveries around the globe. As a result, the company has adopted a variety of technologies not only to increase its effectiveness but also to help in the manufacture of superior chocolate candies. Kash (2012) confirms that the company upholds advanced farming technologies such as value-added milking apparatuses in an attempt to increase productivity. In addition, Hershey Company uses a Radio Frequency Identification system (RFID) to monitor its merchandise at all the stages of production. RFID technology has enabled the company to maneuver successfully through manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and marketing of its chocolate candies in local, regional, and global markets (Lawrence & Weber, 2014).
Hershey Company faces impending technological challenges due to the dynamic nature of innovation and inventiveness in the field. According to Lawrence and Weber (2014), the greatest challenge that the confectionery company can face is maintaining the technology pace. However, changes of technology result in delayed production, marketing, and delivery of products. Therefore, Hershey Company should adopt production techniques that are more versatile over substantial production periods. Secondly, continued low Information Technology (IT) spending ratio poses future challenges in many aspects of the business. There is a need for the company to install up-to-date software and hardware to meet the contemporary IT standards in the confectionery industry.
For instance, Hershey Company should upgrade its mainframe-oriented networks to more improved client-server systems. Finally, installation and upgrading of modern technology apparatuses is becoming increasingly an expensive undertaking for the company. Owing to the nature of dynamism in technology and the worsening economic times, future installations might become more costly than they are at the present.
Hershey Company’s main lobbying strategy is to gain improved access to foreign markets through corporate politicking tactics. The company has spent hundred thousands of dollars to seek business opportunities in various localities of the world. For instance, in 2012 alone, the Hershey Company expended over 700,000 dollars on lobbying to acquire market access to foreign markets. Griffin (2010) reveals that the company has established corporate connections with the government that has enhanced its politicking lobbying strategies. As far as production is concerned, I support Hershey Company’s lobbying strategy since it has enhanced its production process. For example, after lobbying the government to waive sugar restrictions in its products, the company tremendously increased its client base in both local and foreign markets.
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Global Corporate Citizenship Efforts
Hershey Company has had a high affinity for socially responsible operations in the confectionery industry (Lawrence & Weber, 2014). The company’s corporate citizenship efforts were revealed in the company’s attainment of a B-plus level of Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) in 2012. The company has placed a major focus on establishing sound goals pertaining to social corporate citizenship. For instance, the management encourages all stakeholders to participate in the decision-making process. This practice helps the company to gain access to broad views that help the directors gauge its efforts towards global corporate citizenship efforts. Tricker and Tricker (2013) confirm that the company has set longstanding global corporate citizenship initiatives to ensure sustainable farming, food safety, and consumer health among others.
The world has reached a competitive edge owing to innovation and market dynamism. Companies have increasingly improved their maneuvers into world’s markets through a variety of mechanisms. This situation demands companies to lay strong foundations on the means of production and distribution of merchandise in the supply chain. There is an increased need to consider the desires of workforce, business partners, retailers, and consumers to gain adequate market confidence. Similarly, firms such as Hershey Company should strive to sustain the alignment of their products with consumer needs whilst maintaining high standards of ethical conduct.
Griffin, C. (2010). The Hershey’s Company. Web.
Kash, R. (2012). The Hershey Company: Aligning inside to win on the outside. Web.
Lawrence, T., & Weber, J. (2014). Business & society: Stakeholders, ethics, public policy. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Web.
Tricker, I., & Tricker, G. (2013). Business Ethics : A Stakeholder, Governance and Risk Approach. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Web.
Valentine, S. (2014). Organizational Ethics and Stakeholder Well-being in the Business Environment. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing, Inc. Web.
Weiss, W. (2014). Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach, 6th ed. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. Web.