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The International Foods Group’s Innovation Plan Essay

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Updated: Jul 15th, 2020

Main Obstacles that Josh and his team need to be attentive to

Upon a careful examination of the current situation at IFG and how operations are administered, the proposed rewarding idea where information technology will be employed in marketing, Josh and his team will be faced by several obstacles. These challenges present the main obstacles to the realization of goals set by Josh and his team. This team is planning to better the marketing department of the company in terms of communication with its customers. The way forward has been to introduce information technology, which is going to play a major role in the marketing option. Some of the major obstacles are discussed below in detail (Omta, 2001).

Among expected obstacles to the newly developed idea awaiting approval and implementation in order to accomplish improvement in the organization, concerns profitability. The management is deeply concerned with the issue of breaking-even. Ben is particularly concerned with the issue of investing more in the project than what the business enterprise will be able to gain.

This implies that if the project does not embrace proper and effective strategies and plans, chances are that the ultimate goal of the plan will not be attained (Vosde, 2003). This way the company may end up using funds that could have been invested elsewhere and yet tremendous losses be realized. This may happen due to such factors as compliance of customers with the new approach. Hence, if the company is to benefit from the project entailing technological advancement, its proper use will have to be ensured. This will in turn help the company to increase its sales which means more profit will be realized (Omta, 2002).

Information technology projects are normally very expensive to set and maintain. The company will have to hire a qualified web designer to develop a sophisticated, attractive, user’s friendly and efficient website where all customers will be able to operate freely and efficiently. This website should contain all the required content concerning the main products provided by the company. This will require that a purely new website be designed since the company has been using a traditional type of web site to reach its customers.

New developments will have to be done in the company including replacing their Macs with personal computers which will need money. If information technology is to be embraced in all departments within the company, each and every department will require a personal computer. In addition, members of staff will have to be trained in computer knowledge and applications. This means that a new project to train them on computer applications will be necessary, which will also need time, dedication and money. IT proficient trainers/professionals will have to be hired to train the employees on computer application techniques (McDonald and Punt, 2001).

Employees also raised an issue that needed Josh and his team to reflect upon. The team needs to get a working solution when the company comes about such a situation where customers complain or have a negative attitude towards the company. Josh and his team should also consider a situation where customers are rejecting products provided by the company, which may be due to negative attitudes and a damaged reputation in the market. They need to devise ways and procedures that will help the company deal with such situations. This is indeed a challenge that will have to be alleviated if Josh needs to be successful in his endeavor (Pegge, 2003).

Another challenge facing Josh and his team is how to effectively transform the company’s marketing method. This is a quite complicated issue since what Josh is used to in Glow-Foods is completely different from what is found in IFG. According to Tanya, traditional methods of marketing are used in IFG. Since Josh is used to modern methods of marketing such as the use of Facebook and social networking services at Glow-Foods, a lot of learning and modification will be necessary.

Tanya notes that by using their conventional method of marketing, the company had only been able to reach women and children. These seem to be the main consumers of their products presently. Josh thinks that customers should be reached from all regions and be given a chance to communicate directly with the members of staff in the company. Although the company has recently added more content into the website enabling customers to directly contact the company’s customer service section for questions and assistance, Tanya sees the approach as unidirectional and one with no economic sense (Trienekens & Beulen, 2001).

Since what Josh applied in Glow-Foods has always worked and demand for his goods increased considerably, his team will have to ensure that the same method works at IFG. The key issue is that ideologies in IFG are completely different from his. This means that he must re-adjust himself to fit in the new environment through compliance and being creative. Helping employees to readjust to the new setup is also a challenge. Though the use of networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and others will help to market the company, it is something that the employees are not used to.

Another challenge concerns bureaucratic procedures in the company. Josh is complaining of many unnecessary procedures he is asked to follow in his daily work in the company. Traditionally, these bureaucracies are viewed as proper ways of doing things. Josh is not used to this and he thinks that such a time when this was important has passed. To him, in the present era where IT has become a requisite for many companies especially in marketing, the red tapes and bureaucracies are not necessary (DFPT, 2002).

Another major challenge to be faced by Josh and his team and get a feasible way out is how to reach the youths and young people in the market. The company is targeting the youth and young adults. Previously the company’s main customers for its products were women and children. The company hence has maintained a reputation for producing products for women and children. For them to win more customers, they will have to persuade or convince the youth and young adults who turn out to be the main target population that the products they are offering are the best.

Concurrently, it is vital to note that competition in the market is very stiff. Numerous food organizations are present in the market. Other organizations have already dominated the market and captured the youths and young people. They have already explored and employed social networking strategies to win more customers and increase their sales. Most of these organizations belong to the private sector where investors are willing to risk through huge investments unlike with public companies like IFG. In public companies funds are normally released through long bureaucratic procedures that must be followed. This makes competition between IFG and these private companies in the market a huge challenge (GEPC, 2002).

Bureaucracy is hence an obstacle that Josh and his team will have to face and overcome in order to improve the company’s marketing plans and strategies through information technology. Currently, there are so many things done in a traditional manner in the company. Meetings must be physically held while communication with some bosses must be planned in advance through the booking of appointments.

How Josh team’s three-point ideas can win support to be a success

Josh and his team are planning to innovate and improve the marketing strategy used at IFG by introducing the use of technology to capture more customers in the market. The company is aimed at reaching the youth and young adults as its target population. The company’s current customers for its products are women and children. Hence, this team needs to come up with a strategy through which the company will introduce new IT-oriented methods to reach more customers for its products without any failure. Success is indicated by the realization of positive responses that increase sales and profits at the same time. The image and reputation of the company should also be without blemish in order to consider the company a success.

In order for technology to be used to help the company reach many customers, Josh and his team are planning to embrace a three-point strategy. In short they are planning to attain their goals and objectives in the use of three ways. First, Josh thinks that the company should establish a direct link to its customers in the market. Currently, the company is targeting youths and young people in addition to women and children who have been there. He believes that by relating directly with customers, new ideas to develop their products will be discovered.

This will be possible only through creating an impressive website where customers will have to directly communicate with the internal staff. Josh will have to convince the employees that the approach is workable and also point out some of the benefits the company will realize out of it. Returns must also be noticed from the project as it is only through economic improvement that the project will get funding and support from the management. The website will have to be user friendly and very attractive so that it can win many youths and young adults to buy their products and be loyal to the company’s products.

The main problem with the plan and strategy embraced by Josh and his team will be the fact that many employees will lose their jobs. By introducing technology in marketing their products, the presence of some employees in the company will lose meaning. This is because many operations will now be conducted online through the websites. Marketing through websites only needs several employees to control daily business operations.

In addition, employees with no technical skills in computer applications may find themselves retrenched. Many employees will stay idle which means their presence in the company adds no value, but additional expense which makes no economic sense. The only way to solve this is by getting rid of idle employees. This becomes a major challenge since very few employees will support the establishment of a program that will compromise their employment opportunities.

Hence, for Josh to overcome this challenge and win support for his project, he needs to address the issue of creating unemployment in the company.

The plan adopted also aims at reaching out to varied communities. They also want to gain insights into the needs and interests of people living in these communities. It is their dream to have virtually every person consuming their products which include frozen pizzas, breakfast cereals, cheese, soft drinks and snacks. Josh remembers a time when this was the trend across the area.

If only Josh can be able to reach and convince as many people as possible in different communities, a strategy that will be useful in informing future marketing plans will be realized. The company needs to establish a rapport with a specific target group within which the market for its products will always exist. So, it will be necessary for Josh and his team to find ways of reaching these communities which off-course the use of technology will not be much vital.

Another way through which josh thinks information technology can help improve the marketing styles in the firm and increase sales in the market is by putting all the above ideas into practice. New ideas may also be created in the course of the program and be put into practice. According to Josh, by doing this, the team will be able to rapidly expand and adjust as needed. This will occur concomitantly with the linking of the project with the company’s database. It will be necessary for this team to come up with a way to reinforce the information system in the company.

Even though the introduced and adopted data system, stakeholders, that is, the consumers, employees and the management will be able to learn about and respond to a broad array of market circumstances, including target population, customer queries, and proposals, change in the market situation, competition, potential threats, hindrances, openings and the overall performance of the firm. The team is also planning to facilitate the participation of the employees in the high-level marketing conferences, workshops, consultancies and modeling of online marketing training programs which will permit experience and data exchange.

The strategy to use internet marketing to reach potential consumers will be appropriate if it will be graded on the aspect of products attracting the interest of customers. For this website to be a vital and attractive site for customers, it has to be engineered in a manner that customers can efficiently and cheaply be able to access services. The team will win backup since the plan will come up with an excellent marketing plan where the target is met much faster and in a concentrated manner.

Using the strategy the company’s sales leads can be managed and be converted into openings very fast. The website service portfolio proliferation will have to be very pretty and less complicated. It should operate in a way that creating campaigns and sending them across to main social networks becomes easier. Such social networks include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln and Stumble Upon. This will ensure increased bottom-line and improved customer gratification which will in turn transform the company into a prominent supplier in the market. Therefore the majority of people in the company will support the project since internet use in marketing the company’s products will guarantee a more trustworthy reputation of the company.

Reference List

Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust (DFPT). 2002. Key deciduous fruit statistics, DFPT. Paarl Press: Cape Town.

Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC). 2002. Exporter performance, non-traditional exports by the exporter for 2001, Pearson: Accra

McDonald, S. & Punt, C., 2001. The Western Cape of South Africa: Export Opportunities. Oxford University Press: New York.

Omta, S., W., F., 2002. Innovation in Chains and Networks. Journal on Chain and Network Science, 2(2), pp. 73-80.

Omta, S., W., F., et al., 2001. Chain and Network Science: a Research Framework. Journal on Chain and Network Science, 1(1), pp. 1-6.

Pegge, S., 2003. Pineapple and Partners, MSc Thesis Management Studies Group,: University of Netherlands: Wageningen.

Trienekens, J., H., & Beulens, J., M., 2001. Views on inter-enterprise relationships. Production Planning & Control, 12(5), Pp. 466-477.

Vosde., T., 2003. Information exchange and collaboration in the South African fresh produce export supply chain. JCS Press: Cape Town.

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