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SCM 486 Iowa State University Business Prioritized Objectives Exercise Report

What to do:  Beneath each company listed, rank the priorities in the order that each company executes the four priorities of Increasing Customer Service, Increasing Gross Profit, Increasing Sales and Reducing Expenses.  Please put them in a numbered, vertical list.

Next to and below that ordinal list of company prioritized objectives, choose three ways in which the company either:

  • Operationally supports their top two priorities or
  • Fails to operationally support it’s bottom two priorities.

You may use any combination of priorities to fulfill your three observations.  Sum up each of your operational observations in two to four sentences.  Each summation must include:

  • the objective supported or lacking support.
  • A clear explanation of the operational aspect of the company that supports or does not support the priority.
  • A clear explanation of how that operational aspect supports or does not support the priority.

Example:  If Starbucks was a compnay on the exercise, my response might look something like:

  • Sales
  • Gross Profit
  • Customer Service
  • Expense Reduction

Starbucks supports its first-priority objective of Sales by licensing close to 15,000 retail locations in the united states and over 31,000 globally (  Starbucks utilizes a strategy of deploying numerous retail locations in heavily populated areas to gain a dominant share of the coffee market through location convenience and brand awareness.

(From a case competition that I was involved in where we directly interacted with Starbucks leaders) Starbucks has not traditionally had a heavy focus on logistical efficiencies or supply costs.  In 201? They shared that one of their logistical innovations for the year was drop-lots.  They also shared that they sourced shipping containers locally.  This is representative of their lack of focus on Expense Reduction.

From personally calculating an estimate of Gross Profit based on purchasing supplies at the full retail price, I’ve estimated Starbuck’s Gross Profit on a venti mocha to be over 2,200%.  From my knowledge, this is a high Gross Profit – even for the food industry.  This supports their second-priority objective of Gross Profit.

Where to get your information for your observations:You should perform an online search and physical visit (where possible) to successfully complete this exercise.

Your search should include:

  • Exploring the company’s website.
    • Pay attention to their marketing tactics and messages.
    • Read their corporate message if you can find one.
    • What images do they most prominently show on their website?
  • Ratings and Reviews
    • What do you find regarding reviews on the company? 
    • What is their rating? 
    • What are common complaints relative to low ratings? 
    • What do customers rave about?
  • A search on the company whereby you click on the “Images” tab.  What priorities are represented by the images most frequently shown?
  • A general search related to the public image of the company.  Does the company have an, “I hate Company XYZ” devoted to it?  What tone of social media chatter do you find on the company?

Many of these companies have brick and mortar retail locations in your area.  If you have not visited all of the retail locations of the companies in your area, you should do so.  If you have already visited these locations, it might help to revisit them with this exercise’s objectives in mind.


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