Technology also enables it to keep inventories low, as the store can keep close track of consumer demand for specific products.
Q3.Assess Fresh Directs entrepreneurial strategy. Is the company taking advantage of opportunities to launch new products and/or enter new markets? How is it handling new competition?
Fresh Direct operates in a relatively conservative format, using word-of-mouth advertising to save on marketing costs. This is fairly easy for it to do, given its relatively narrow customer outreach in the New York area. It has used celebrity advertisements, however, to garner attention. Having close relationships with suppliers is an essential part of Fresh Directs strategy. This means that by eliminating the middleman, Fresh Direct can pass on its savings to consumers. Not operating in a physical location enables it to save on overhead operating costs and labor costs. However, it has been highly conservative in its expansion, despite the introduction of some new products, such as customized meat cuts.
Q4. How does Fresh Direct manage knowledge and intellectual assets? Which knowledge management strategy is the company following? Explain.
Fresh Directs knowledge strategy focuses on social networking and sharing. The online culture of the current market environment means that many people are surfing online casually at work. Through online grocery stores, they can multitask and grocery shop, saving time for other activities. Additionally, they can also share what products they buy with their friends by sending them a link. Fresh Direct, to survive in the competitive online grocery business, must sell even more products than an ordinary grocer to make a profit. By keeping track of what consumers purchase, it can carefully tailor its lean supply chain, marketing, and product offerings, based upon easily-accessible past knowledge about consumer buying habits.
Q5. Should Fresh Direct consider beginning operations abroad? If so, what cross-border strategy should Fresh Direct use? If not, why not? Explain.
Beginning operations abroad seems unwise. Firstly, Fresh Direct is dependent for its success upon a close relationship with its New York customers and retailers. Proximity to customers and retailers enables the company to tailor its strategy effectively to customer demands and to product availability. This might be more difficult to achieve abroad, given the Fresh Direct might not be able to determine customer demand with as great a sensitivity in a foreign culture. Additionally, Europeans, Asians, and people in many nations have a culture of shopping more frequently than Americans, and seeking out specialty shops that offer quality as well as quantity. The French idea of creating a menu around what is best at the marketplace that day seems antithetical to the Fresh Direct approach of ordering, particularly as the company requires a relatively high dollar amount of goods for the consumer to place an order.
Expanding online does offer some temptations, such as the ability to operate at economies of scale. But for a company like Fresh Direct to succeed abroad, its offerings would have to be intensely regionalized. Freshness is a popular marketing buzzword today, but different consumers in different countries tend to favor specific products and brands over others, and the company would need to constantly monitor this, for Fresh Direct to thrive in another nation as it has in the NY metropolitan market..