Sunday, May 6, 2012

Five Disciplines for Creating what the Customer Wants)

Identify Customer Needs: Use surveys to identify what customers needs are. Ask what kind of foods they would like to see on the shelves. Ask what suppliers would like to see improved.

Solutions to Needs: Over the years, Kellogg’s has continued to introduce healthier products. Kellogg’s created the Kellogg’s Breakfast Council, which consists of “seven independent experts dedicated to helping all of us understand nutrition information…”
They have focused especially on their cereals. Now even the “sugary” cereals are nutritious. They also introduced their Heart Healthy Selection of cereals, which include brands such as Smart Start, Fiber Plus and All Bran. Kellogg’s has also introduced My Special K, which is a challenge geared towards women to eat healthy and lose weight.

Structure of Company: Kellogg’s organizational design is an International design, which I discussed in a previous post. However, their management structure consists of a Board of Directors and a Leadership Team of 13 members.

“Innovation Champions”: At Kellogg’s I believe that their Leadership Team members are al Innovation Champions. After reading through a lot of their biographies, it seems like they have all had a lot of experience and enjoy being in their leadership positions. They also seem to all have the drive to keep innovating the products that Kellogg’s has to offer.

Create Value for Customers: Kellogg’s creates value for their customers by creating and promoting programs for their consumers. I mentioned some of them above. These create value by going above and beyond just selling food and drinks. Kellogg’s has decided to get their consumers involved and are promoting healthy living and eating. 

Exit Strategy: I could not find an exit strategy on their website, but I do not know if they need one. They are a highly established company and are doing very well. I do not think Kellogg’s is going anywhere. I believe that they will keep expanding into new markets and innovating their products. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Strategic Leadership and Ethics

Strategic Leadership started with Kellogg’s founder, W.K. Kellogg, back in 1906. Mr. Kellogg had a strong commitment to nutrition, health and quality and we still see these qualities being carried out today. His vision to drive improvement in Kellogg products and processes and produce the greatest tasting, nutritious products still continues, as well. By Mr. Kellogg being an inspirational and motivated founder, he set the tone in the company early. He pushed that their purpose was to “nourish families so they can flourish and thrive.” This has been driving Kellogg’s to success since the beginning.

Kellogg’s also shows strategic leadership by empowering employees. Kellogg’s employees are their competitive advantage. They have created a culture in which employees can succeed and grow in the company. Leadership believes that the company won’t succeed unless the employees succeed. They also empower their employees by recognizing their efforts with awards through out the year.

Internal knowledge is shared through out the company. I read through some of the employee biographies and this is what I learned. Employees enjoy working for Kellogg’s because they get to work in cross-functional teams, network to share and gain information, and that everyone is truly working towards the same goal.

Kellogg’s also uses external information to make decisions about products. Since they are a global company, they have to adjust their products to the tastes and preference of each culture. In order to find out what those consumers want, Kellogg’s listens to them and makes products that fit the different cultures. They have also listened to consumers when they said they wanted healthier foods. Kellogg’s has created the most nutritious foods to meet the needs of their consumers.

Ethics are a concern in every company, however Kellogg’s has created a Global Code of Ethics to promote ethical decision-making through out the company. Their 5 key points are integrity, trust, fair, accurate and respect. It states that Kellogg employees act with integrity and show respect for themselves, each other, consumers, customers, shareholders, communities and in the marketplace. They have an Ethics Office if ethical concerns arise and need to be discussed. Every year, employees are required to take a Business Conduct Questionnaire to reflect on personal circumstances and disclose any information about ethical misconduct.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Organizational Design

Kellogg Company’s organizational design is International Operations. The three major contingencies that influence structure adopted by Kellogg’s is the type of strategy driving their foreign operations, product diversity and the extent to which they are dependent on foreign sales. As I have mentioned in posts before, Kellogg’s manufactures their products in 18 different countries and sells their products in 180 countries. They also adapt their products to the culture of the country in which they are selling their products. Kellogg’s has a wide variety of products including cereal, pop tarts, breakfast bars, fruit snacks, chips and beverages. International sales account for 1/3 of their 2011 sales, which was $13.2 billion. Unfortunately, I could not find the exact numbers for their foreign sales.

To manage their international operations, Kellogg’s uses a geographic-area division structure. A geographic-area division structure means that geographic regions group their operations internally. Kellogg’s uses this strategy because their foreign sales are a fair percentage of their total sales. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Corporate Responsibility

Kellogg’s puts out a Corporate Responsibility Report each year. It says on their Corporate Responsibility page on their website that they are, “committed to building a strong business while acting responsibly toward our customers and consumers, our employees, our communities and the environment.” Kellogg’s four key aspects are marketplace, workplace, environment and community. 
Marketplace includes producing great tasting foods that are safe, wholesome and high-quality. Kellogg’s is continually trying to improve the nutrition of their products. This section of their Corporate Responsibility Report contains information about nutrition and health, responsible marketing, labeling, product safety and quality, responsible sourcing, challenges Kellogg’s face, and where Kellogg’s is going. An award they won in 2010 is Canada’s “Most Trusted Brand of Breakfast Cereals.”

Workplace involves keeping employees their most important resource. This section of the Report contains labor standards, talent management, diversity and inclusion, employee safety, employee health, wellness and benefits, challenges they face, and where they are going. Since 2009, Kellogg’s has implemented a new leadership development program, established a new “total health management” program for all employees, and was named one of the “2011 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign.

Environment involves Kellogg’s using natural resources to create their products. This section of the Report includes environmental management, energy and greenhouse gases, water, waste, sustainable packaging, sustainable agriculture, employee initiatives, challenges they face in this area and were they are going in the future in this area. Kellogg’s set two goals for 2015, which were to reduce their energy use, GHG emissions and water use by 15-20 percent and to continue to reduce their waste sent to landfill beyond the 51 percent already reduced since 2005. Kellogg’s surpassed these goals in 2010.

Community is being involved in the community and giving to charities that support communities. These charitable contributions are funded through the Kellogg Company and Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund, which is supervised by their Board of Directors and its Social Responsibility Committee. This section of the Report includes strategic philanthropy, breakfast programs, physical fitness, community development, disaster relief, challenges they face in this area and where they will being headed in the future in this are.

In 2010, Kellogg’s donated $32 million in cash and products to charitable organizations worldwide. The company donated food to food banks and distributed breakfast food to millions of schools across the globe. Kellogg’s also donated cash and products to assist with disaster relief efforts in Haiti, Chile and Japan.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

International Strategy

According to Kellogg’s website, one of it’s greatest competitive advantages is their global infrastructure. Kellogg’s expanded into new geographies in its early years, which has led them to be a successful global business. Their products are manufactured in 18 different countries and sold in more than 180 countries worldwide. A list of countries can be found at this link for their website.

I think their strategic focus was to increase the size of potential markets. Kellogg’s wanted their cereals and snacks to be located on shelves across the world because they knew and still know they have great products. I looked at the Kellogg’s website for South Africa to get an idea of what Kellogg’s has done there. They offer many of the same products, but much fewer than in the United States. Some of the cereals are the same, but the boxes have different images on them. These two things have led me to conclude that Kellogg’s uses a multi-domestic strategy because they adopt their products to the countries they are located in. For example, in South Africa they can buy Special K Bars Red Berries and I have never seen these on the shelves in South Dakota.   

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Kellogg Company is a diversified business because they offer many different products. I mentioned their products in my last post, but I will state them again to relate it to diversification. Kellogg’s has seven different products, which are bars, beverages, cereal, crackers, fruit flavored snacks, toaster pastries, and waffles, pancakes and syrup. This makes them diversified because their products are not in one specific food area, even though most of them do fall in the breakfast category.

I found a news release from February 15, 2012 on the Kellogg’s website. Kellogg announced that it would be acquiring Procter & Gamble’s Pringles business for $2.695 billion. Kellogg’s decided to acquire Pringles to achieve their goal of building a global snacks business. The brand strength that Pringles has fits well with Kellogg’s strengths in brand building and innovation. Kellogg’s believes the transition will be smooth due to the fact that Procter & Gamble have similar a culture and similar values. The transition is said to be complete by the end of this summer.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Business Level Strategy

Kellogg’s business strategy is based on differentiation. Kellogg’s has committed to having the best brands. They provide their customers with high-quality, nutritious products. They have seven product types, which include bars, beverages, cereal, crackers, fruit flavored snacks, toaster pastries, and waffles, pancakes and syrup. They also have 29 brands, which can be found on their website.

I decided differentiation because they have so many product lines that Kellogg’s couldn’t use a focus strategy. Kellogg’s is not the low cost provider in any of its product lines, therefore it is does not use the overall cost leadership strategy. Kellogg’s has a very strong reputation. Their customers expect Kellogg’s to offer great products and they are willing to pay the price Kellogg’s has set.