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Online grocery business

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1: You are designing a grocery delivery business. Via the internet, your company will offer staples and frozen foods in a large metropolitan area and then deliver them within a customer-defined window of time. You plan to partner with two major food stores in the area. What should your competitive priorities be and what capabilities do you want to develop in your own core and support processes?

Is it possible for a project to have more than one critical path? Discuss the implications of such a situation with respect to each of the following aspects:

a. Project risk
b. Total available slack
c. Resource dependencies
d. Responsibilities of the project manager

2: A flowchart helps us see all of the steps in a process, which in turn helps us improve the process. It also helps us identify and eliminate any redundant steps in a process. Using Word tools (SmartArt under the Insert tab), design a process flow chart for the grocery delivery business in Question 1 above. In the discussion element of your response, clearly define the steps within the process and provide a rationale for each step. Include all elements that you feel are necessary and appropriate to the process of a singular customer. The assumption is that the process is repeatable for every customer using the service. Think of the elements that you will be addressing or answering in the succeeding questions.

3: For the grocery delivery business addressed in Question 1, the grocery chains that you are planning to partner with use differing inventory control models. Company A utilizes the Just-in-Time (JIT) inventory control model and Company B uses an Economic Order Quantity model. In reviewing your business plan, the bank loan officer has noticed this. As the loan officer is not overly familiar with either model, a request has been made of you to provide a description of each model and an explanation of why partnering with these companies would or would not create a conflict within your operations. Provide a detailed analysis of the situation in your business model.

4: A Quality Assurance (QA) Program is essential to the success of any business. In establishing your grocery delivery business, what are some of the Quality Control (QC) processes that you envision employing? Why? Provide examples of potential metrics. Justify your choices.

5: Efficiency is a critical element both in terms of individuals and machinery in any business. Describe some efficiency measures that you would implement in your grocery delivery business. What are the analysis tools that you would utilize to determine the effectiveness of these efficiency measures?

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Solution Summary

In this solution, different operational aspects of online grocery business are explained.

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B2C sites in the same industry

Using public websites to do your research, the focus will be on marketing, sales, and customer service transactions with end-consumers (B2C).

1. Choose an industry of interest in which several companies have developed online e-business strategies with public B2C sites. This industry might include traditional companies operating as bricks-and-clicks firms, as well as dot.com companies.

2. Review several websites for companies in this industry, and then select 3-4 companies that you think will provide an interesting comparison on how companies are leveraging the Internet today. Include at least 1 company that is based in the Middle East. (Hint: you might want to include one company with a website that you think is significantly inferior to at least one other company's site).

3. Analyze each of the websites in terms of the overall "look-and-feel" of the site from the perspective of the targeted consumer, as well as how well each site has addressed the 7Cs in the model developed by Rayport and Jaworski.

4. Write up your findings, including the following:
- Introduce the chosen industry and the selected websites. Explain why you selected this industry and these particular companies, including a URL for each site.
- Describe and compare the ways that these companies' websites address the 7Cs and any other characteristics you wish to emphasize. For example:
- How easy was it to identify the content or services available?
- How easy was it to navigate between pages?
- Did the site download easily?
- Was the use of graphics and animation appropriate for the target audience?
- Were the linking capabilities of the Web exploited?
- Was there as sense of "community"?
- Was a privacy policy available and easy to find?

Based on your analysis, provide some recommendations for the company whose website you considered the weakest. Be sure your ideas are appropriate for the industry you selected, and take into account whether companies in this industry traditionally have sold directly to end-consumers or not, and through which channels (e.g. catalog, physical store, or via a distributor).

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