Last Updated 15 Feb 2021

Kudler Fine Foods – Functional Area Interrelationships

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Kudler Fine Foods offers delicacy food s to its customers. Kudler treats its foods with love and care. These delicacies give customers excellent meat, bread, seafood, and wine. Kudler’s mission, vision, values, and goals are extraordinary. This paper is a review of Kudler’s reason for existence, organizational structure, steps in collaboration, positive action plan, and collaborative roles of the key stakeholders. Kudler uses these steps to have a successful organization. The organization is successful because customers can get quality foods here.

Organization’s Existence Kudler Fine Foods is an upscale specialty food store offering its customers the best in imported and domestic fare. The founder and owner Kathy Kudler had a vision for the business she wanted to develop because she found relief from the stress of working as vice-president of marketing for a large defense contractor by cooking gourmet foods. Realizing that it was not easy to find the necessary ingredients, Kathy noticed there was a business opportunity that she could capitalize on. Kudler’s mission is to provide customers with a pleasing shopping outing.

Kudler wants their customers to understand that the products sold at their stores are nothing less than what Kathy Kudler uses in her own home. The goal is to provide customers with the best service by going “to extensive lengths to assure that Kudler Fine Foods is the purveyor of choice for customers aspiring to purchase the finest epicurean delights” (Kudler Fine Foods, About, 2011, para. 3,). The value that Kudler Fine Foods wants to instill in the company is to treat the customer’s shopping experience like Kathy would treat her own by shopping the world for the best to provide the products not offered in other stores.

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Kudler is highly selective in regard to the team members. The goal of Kudler Fine Foods is to expand and to have outstanding growth in the fine foods and specialty industry, and continue to have high profits in the future. Analysis of the Organizational Structure After analyzing the type of organizational structure employed by Kudler Fine Foods, it is clear that their main focuses are on the customers and the company’s reputation. The company’s hybrid structure employs directors and managers with functional area expertise, geographic location focus, and product area specialization.

There are limited ps of control in this small company and communication flows are not overly complicated. The founder Kathy Kudler was tired of the large corporate world and wanted to relieve some of the stress in her life. Therefore, back in 1998 she created a business plan and obtained funding to open the first Kudler Fine Foods. Because of the clear organizational structure and mission statement, Kudler Fine Foods was a success and broke even within the first nine months.

The main driver behind that success was offering each customer a delightful and pleasing shopping outing with the fresh and finest products from all around the world. The continual success has given Kathy and the management the ability to open two more stores in the Southern California area. Kudler Fine Foods also offers home delivery and that is another key position that supports the organization structure. Because there are currently three stores open in the Southern California area and customers ordering via the Internet, Kathy needs to take a larger leadership role and rely on the store managers.

The managers of the stores need to understand clearly the organization’s mission statement and Kathy’s vision to continue with the success the organization has had since opening in 1998. The staff members at each Kudler Fine Foods location are key positions that directly reflect the vision and structure that Kathy has developed as the founder. In these key positions, it becomes essential for the store managers to ensure their staff is continuing to focus on the goals of providing customers a superb shopping experience. Each employee working for Kudler Fine Foods is in a key position to ensure the company continues its success.

Collaboration Process The success of Kudler Fine Foods depends on the implementation of a good business strategy and collaborating among the functional areas to meet the organizational goals. The proof of a successful strategy is the three stores Kudler recently opened. The goal is to implement the company mission and ”Go to extensive lengths to assure that Kudler Fine Foods is the purveyor of choice for customers aspiring to purchase the finest epicurean delights” (Kudler Fine Foods, About, 2011, para. 3,). Step 1: The business strategy goals are to capitalize on specialty products and offer products for all incomes.

The business strategy is a collaboration of the broad differentiation strategy and focused market niche strategy. The broad differentiation strategy concentrates on “seeking to differentiate the company's product offering from rivals' in ways that will appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers. ” The focused market niche strategy principles are differentiation and concentrating on a narrow buyer segment that may outcompete rivals by offering niche members customized attributes that meet their tastes and requirements better than rivals' products” (Thompson, Gamble, & Strickland, 2006, p. 14). Step 2: The complimentary strategic option Kudler Fine Foods will outsource selected value chain activities by creating global supply chain relationships that will manage low-cost and high-quality merchandise. The goal is to keep a competitive edge in the grocery and spirits departments by successfully partnering with suppliers that may create a competitive pressure for rival grocery stores and liquor stores (Thompson, Gamble, & Strickland, p. 57, 2006).

Step 3: Functional area strategy supporting the complimentary strategy is to enhance research and development by adding in-store surveys to comply with customer needs and wants. Also plot out a strategic group map that will identify competing grocery stores. Step 4: Timing a company’s strategic moves in the marketplace to create the first store of its type that is number one in the marketplace. Kudler Fine Foods is capitalizing on its niche and differentiation by opening two more stores. Along with the horizontal integration, this creates a stronger presence in the marketplace.

Step 5: To control the cost drivers, the organization will incorporate a software package to manage inventory in all three stores. The software will collaborate with vendors and customers by adding an electronic data interchange software to manage suppliers and customer orders. This will allow just-in-time orders and alleviate overstocking perishables or large quantities of expensive items. Lateral and Vertical Collaboration Vertical communication flows up and down the organization’s chain of command (Richmond & McCroskey, 2009).

Lateral or horizontal communication occurs between peers. Vertical channels are more formal and take the form of e-mail, memos, policies or procedures, posted notices, staff meetings, or face-to-face meetings. Horizontal communication is less formal and focuses on how employees feel about what is (or is not) happening in the company. Kathy Kudler holds a monthly operational review meeting to discuss customer service, monthly sales, and what new items to offer. Other than a few memos and policies, Kathy’s meetings are the best example of vertical collaboration at Kudler.

Nearly all of the vertical communication flows to Kathy. The time she spends time at each store gives line level employees some face-to-face opportunities. Department managers of each product category are “encouraged to check with their counterparts at other stores on the pricing, quality, and delivery of the merchandise they order” (Kudler Fine Foods, Sales & Marketing, para. 6). This is a good example of horizontal collaboration. Kudler Fine Foods would benefit by using its intranet site to post information from monthly operations review meetings.

An employer to employee blog is a good way for employees to make comments or ask questions. Key Stakeholders The following key stakeholders influence Kudler’s ability to achieve its goal of offering a “pleasing customer experience” with “the finest epicurean delights” (Kudler Fine Foods, About, 2011, para. 3).

• Customers: The goal cannot be met unless customers are buying products. Feedback gathered through employee interaction and through surveys provides Kudler with insights for improvement. Kathy Kudler: Establishes the company’s goals, decides how to communicate effectively with stakeholders and provides the necessary leadership and resources.

• Three administrative directors: Responsible for planning, leading, organizing, and controlling in functional areas of operations/purchasing/inventory, administration/human resources, and finance/accounting/computer Support). This group must have regular communication with Kathy and with each other. Plans are communicated down the line through meetings, e-mail, training, policies, and procedures.

Store managers: Supervise line staff and run day-to-day operations at each store. This group opens and closes the store on time, makes sure it is clean, secure, well-stocked, and appropriately staffed, resolves problems, responds to customer needs, and follows correct cash-handling procedures.

  • Department managers: Three managers at each store are responsible for the inventory in their product area. They collaborate with Kathy and other managers at monthly operational review meetings.
  • Line staff: This group is the direct link with customers. They provide assistance, check customers out, bag groceries, stock shelves, and receive inventory. They need a formal mechanism for community up the line.
  • Suppliers: Kudler is dependent on suppliers to get perishable inventory on the shelves. Kudler has a new supplier relations program in place.
  • Lenders: Kathy Kudler keeps a good credit rating and relationship with her bankers to tide her through the peak seasons and maintain cash flow.
  • Competitors: Kudler can keep an eye on what competitors are offering by visiting their stores on a regular basis.
  • Community stakeholders: Kudler can adopt and support a deserving community group to keep up a positive profile in Del Mar, La Jolla, and Encinitas.


Kudler Fine Foods uses the organization’s goals, structure, collaboration process, action plans, and key stakeholders to become successful. Kudler is now a nationwide store. Customers love to shop at Kudler because of the quality of food that is offered. Kudler established all of these accomplishments from the organizational existence and structure.

The collaboration process and action plans have clarified the objectives. These objectives made Kudler’s goals successful. The key stakeholders see these accomplishments. The key stakeholders will continue to support Kudler Fine Foods.


  1. Kudler Fine Foods. (2011). Retrieved from https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/secure/aapd/cist/vop/Business/Kudler2/internet/index. asp
  2. Richmond, V. P. & McCroskey, J. C. (2009) Organizational Communication for Survival: Making Work, Work, (4th Ed. ). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson Education, Inc. Thompson, A. A. , Gamble, J. E. , &

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