Innovative Thinking in a Business: Theory-Based Strategic Experiment (Kudler Fine Foods)

Utilizing the same virtual organization from the measurement and reward System, design a theory-based strategic experiment based on one of the following problems associated with the organization:


Kudler Fine Foods

With rising food prices, particularly for whole grains and seafood, Kudler Fine Foods has noticed a considerable increase in their costs to stock their stores. Not only have food prices affected their budget in terms of purchasing, Kudler has noticed a decrease in revenue over the past six months. It is time for Kudler Fine Foods to find ways to save money to maintain their staff and continue to offer unique, specialty food. What steps can Kudler Fine Foods take to offset the rising food prices?


Kathy Kudler recently saw a report on the communities in San Diego County. The report indicated that opinion surveys held in the various communities showed that the majority of people in La Jolla were interested in the environment, but did not rate it as one of their top five priorities. The majority of people in Del Mar were concerned about the environment, but it averaged only 4.3 on the list of the top five priorities. The majority of people in Encinitas were very concerned about the environment and the environment averaged 1.4 on the list of the top five priorities. Kathy is personally involved in environmental causes and would like to do some things in the stores that are related to promoting and protecting the environment. What are some things that could be done and how should they be structured?


Kudler Fine Foods has a van at each one of its stores that is used primarily on catering jobs and, occasionally, to make customer deliveries. The catering operation runs on a very tight profit margin. How can they deal with the higher fuel costs while still being competitive with their catering business?

Riordan Manufacturing

One of Riordan Manufacturing’s largest customers purchases a number of different styles and types of a polycarbonate drinking bottle. The formulation for this particular bottle style contains Bisphenol A. Due to highly publicized, recent news stories concerning the safety of reusable plastic containers, Riordan’s customer has advised them that it will no longer be purchasing bottles containing Bisphenol A. Some time ago, the purchasing department found an attractive price on a bulk purchase of many of the components that went into the manufacture of the bottle. Around the same time, the operations department foresaw a period of unused plant capacity in the China plant. In order to keep the plant running at peak efficiency, they had the China plant do a number of production runs of the polycarbonate bottle in the most popular sizes and colors. No one saw an issue in producing the bottles without an existing purchase order given the customer’s history of purchasing large quantities of these bottles in the past. The bottles are currently being stored at the China plant, but the warehouse space will soon be needed for other orders. The bottles have not yet been scored with volume markings or the customer’s logo. What can Riordan Manufacturing do with the bottles?

Riordan Manufacturing uses Huffman Trucking to ship their products all over the United States. With rising fuel costs, several trucking companies have gone out of business or have substantially raised their rates. Huffman Trucking has innovated a way to stay in business without having to raise their shipping rates for customers. In turn, Huffman has also picked up many new shipping contracts from other businesses. With the increased business at Huffman, Riordan Manufacturing has noticed a decrease in their timeliness and customer service. Several orders have been distributed or picked up late, adversely affecting functioning at Riordan. What can Riordan do to solve this problem? Keep in mind that Riordan and Huffman have a 5-year contract with little room for renegotiation and Huffman continues to have the most competitive shipping prices in the country.

A majority of employees at the Pontiac branch of Riordan Manufacturing work at the production level. While the company expects a higher rate of employee turnover for those positions, they have recently seen a substantial increase in the turnover rate. In turn, production managers have had to increase their time spent interviewing and training new employees. This affects their time spent managing the day-to-day quality control, sales, and safety aspects of their positions. The managers have agreed that they must establish a way to better retain their production employees. What can they do?

Huffman Trucking

Rising fuel costs are affecting the operations of Huffman Trucking. The company would like to refrain from passing on the fuel costs to its customers, but in order to do so it needs to find other ways to cut costs. How can Huffman cut costs to supplement the rising fuel prices?

Being a successful company in a competitive business that is easily affected by fuel costs, Huffman would like to continue to set itself apart from other trucking companies. With the growing and highly publicized concern by all for the environment, Mr. H. Huffman is interested in adapting to a more eco-friendly approach, as well as potentially adapting their brand and marketing efforts to illustrate the company’s commitment to the environment. What are some things that could be done and how should they be structured?

Huffman Trucking has consistently been successful as it relates to shipping large amounts of cargo for longer distances. However, they have also consistently lost business in the ship-same-day or ship-next-day markets. To remain competitive during slow economic times, Huffman must find a way to increase business in the same-day and next-day markets or they must enter a new market completely. What can they do?


Create a 7- to 10-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation, with detailed slide notes, on your strategic experiment. Incorporate the following into your presentation:


Present two innovative ways to solve the problem.

Address the following six changes involved with theory-based planning in your process and presentation:

Level of detail: Focus on the most critical market, technology, and unknown costs.

Communication of expectations: Base your predictions on theory and include a description of the theory used to generate your predictions.

Nature of predictions: Predict the trends, rather than the specific numbers.

Frequency of strategic reviews: Set a strategic review schedule.

Perspective in time: Consider the history of the organization when devising the experiment. Focus on long-term history, rather than just recent changes in the organization. Use information available through the virtual organization to gain insight on the historical background of the organization. Some examples of helpful documentation are a strategic plan, company history, employee handbook, sales plan, or internal memos.

Nature of measures: focus on leading indicators

Based on your theory-based planning, state what other factors need to be analyzed and what other steps must be completed to determine the best solution for the organization.

Include three to four scholarly references.

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.