Mrs. Fields was founded by Debbi Sivyer Fields, who perfected the recipe for chocolate chip cookies that built the lying foundations of one of the most expansive stores inside and outside the United States. In 1988, Debbi Fields broadly managed 416 Mrs. Fields Cookies stores – that is, 370 in the United States, 10 in Canada, 13 in Asia based in China and Japan, 6 in the United Kingdom, and 17 in Australia. Mrs. Fields was able to develop partnerships pr joint ventures with other organizations overseas through its establishment of Mrs.
Fields International, consequently leading to the company’s success in Australia, China, and Japan. Due to the wide-reaching coverage of Mrs. Fields Inc. and Mrs. Fields Cookies, the core of the organization’s company strategies is to incorporate technology to enable the management team to efficiently handle administrative processes. With the expansive growth of Mrs. Fields, the organization employed 8,000 people for 140 positions in various locations of corporate offices.
The Competition Under two segments of the sweet snacks industry, the packaged snacks segment and availability of spaces for specialty stores segment, the competition of Mrs. Fields may be described. Due to the uncomplicated and undemanding nature of the sweet snacks industry during the eighties, the development of business organizations that marketed specialty cookies expanded. Fueling this growth of the sweet snacks industry was the low cost in obtaining raw materials for cookies.
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Under these pretexts, Mrs. Fields has various competitors including David’s Cookies, Original Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Company, and the Original Cookie Co. Competition, in terms of the availability of spaces or locations for specialty stores, has made it difficult for Mrs. Fields to put up stores in various locations. Mrs. Fields realized that the physical location of stores should be situated in favorable mall spaces away from other food chains or the food stores.
Because of the tight competition, malls were selective about the assignment of organizations to aforementioned favorable mall spaces depending on income or return of investment. For this reason, if Mrs. Fields looks into obtaining favorable locations, it should be able to exhibit impressive financial standings for the consideration of store location owners. In order for Mrs. Fields to handle the competition, it needs to integrate innovation to business practices and operations meeting the standards and expectations of a wider market segment or population.
This will guarantee a competitive advantage since innovative ideas and diversity will set Mrs. Fields apart from the competition consequently leading to an expansive market segment contributing to the increased return of investment. Once this is established, Mrs. Fields shall be able to attain favorable locations in marketing spaces due to the strict standards and guidelines that store location owners implement in choosing organizations that would put up stores in these market places. Information Technology The development of information technology for Mrs.
Fields may be compared to how Buckminster Fuller applied innovation to improve the design of conventional technology or processes. Although the role of information technology was primarily to accomplish the administrative processes that the management needed to handle, information technology has also restructured the configuration of the organization. Instead of following a vertical pattern of organizational hierarchy, Mrs. Fields was transformed into an organization following a horizontal pattern of hierarchy. The pattern of Mrs. Fields’ organizational hierarchy adhered to the philosophies of the organization.
Debbi Fields believed that the organization should be run horizontally, abolishing hierarchy in order for managers to focus on accomplishing the technical aspects of business – the business processes and operations – instead of allotting time and exerting effort in managing the organization’s human capital. The human capital then was segmented into teams or departments which handle various operations or processes, but not according to hierarchical positions. Information technology facilitated efficient and timely communication among teams or departments.
Information technology was primarily used to present results to management and to regional directors directly for timely assessment or evaluation of current positions or standings of Mrs. Fields stores in various regions in the United States and other countries overseas. Moreover, Mrs. Fields employ store controllers who answer directly to Debbi Fields. The controllers process reports for numerous stores in various locations and monitor progress or development, taking note of problems, difficulties, including trends that might contribute to the expansion of the company.
In physical stores, there are store management systems installed in order to monitor and store information on the financial status of each store or outlet, including other aspects such as work performance and productivity, employee notes and information, and so on. Overall, information technology is being utilized in Mrs. Fields as a source of information or intelligence that influences major business decisions. For instance, reports received by regional directors or Debbi Fields herself may be used to develop strategies to curve expenses and increase productivity, and so on. In addition, information technology helps Mrs.
Fields cut cost on providing for its human capital because machines and other facilities lessen the necessity of hiring additional manpower. Since business processes and operations are extremely reliant on information technology, Mrs. Fields developed it as an expert system which is highly responsive to various situations, events, or problem that the organization encounters, lessening the responsibilities of the Mrs. Fields’ human capital. Challenges and Opportunities The expansion of Mrs. Fields International is both a challenge and opportunity for the company. The entry of Mrs.
Fields to other countries shall be a major milestone that contributes to the expansiveness of the organization. Fuelling this necessity for expansion is globalization and modernization which support internationalism. There are other countries in which Mrs. Fields might be able to venture into. However, the challenge remains in the adjustment of the company’s entry in these countries. Based on the history of Mrs. Fields, the business strategies and techniques of stores in other countries incorporate unfamiliar concepts and bases as compared to traditional strategies and techniques that the company has been utilizing ever since.
Furthermore, the unrelenting development of technology provides avenues for Mrs. Fields, which is highly reliant on information technology, to improve the functions and productivity of machines in order to also improve the landscape of business processes and operations that are administered through the implementation of information technology. Risk and Reward Risks constitute perceived failure of Mrs. Fields’ entry to other countries due to the challenges of global recession. It will become difficult to introduce a specialty brand due to the nature of the economy.
In addition, transforming the familiar and functional information technology system of Mrs. Fields might pose challenges to the management because of the need to re-learn new functions and features and the risk of losing information and complicating technological functions. However, if the expansion of Mrs. Fields International and the transformation of information technology systems succeed, Mrs. Fields shall be looking into a wider market population and an improved administration of business processes and operations, leading to financial stability, etc. Recommendation and Conclusion
Since the vertical organizational pattern of Mrs. Fields due to information technology has helped Mrs. Fields in achieving its current position at present time, it would be beneficial for the organization to continue following its previous organizational structure. However, due to various technological changes, Mrs. Fields should look into improving its information system ensuring that challenges and difficulties shall be handled well. In addition, international expansion requires that the organization conduct in depth research and recognize the importance of diversifying in order to simplify its entry to other countries.
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