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Production and Operation Management | Tabish Khan

1. How do customers judge the quality of a supermarket?

There are many factors that customers will take into consideration when deciding the quality of
a supermarket. Firstly, it is important for the supermarket to have a wide range and variety of
products so the customers have the ability to pick and choose from their selection. The
supermarket should be a “one-stop” store and contain a huge assortment of products so
consumers can receive a complete shopping experience under one roof. It is also essential for
customers to receive high quality of customer service when they are shopping in the store. The
attitude of customer service employees will create the ultimate shopping difference for
customers. These customer service specialists should be eager to help and be willing to go out of
their way to assist any customer. Price is also a factor that customers take into account when
judging the quality of a supermarket. The prices should be at competitive prices compared to
rivaling supermarkets. The quality of products should also be high-ranking because customers
want to make sure they are getting the best merchandise for their money. A few more
important factors that buyers take into account when judging the standard of a supermarket is
the layout, location and hours of store operation. The layout of the supermarket is important
because customers must be able to easily locate their products within the big supermarket.
Clearly labeled aisles and clean and organized supermarkets will help customers find their
necessary merchandise faster. The location of the supermarket is also important because it
needs to be conveniently located in the city. If the supermarket is a far distance away from the
suburbs or the customer’s residence it will prove to be a hassle to go there and in turn lead to
poor customer turnout. The store functioning hours of the superstore are also important and
the supermarket should stay open late to be more convenient for its customers. Lastly, it is
important for the supermarket to have an accepting manner towards refunds and returns. A
friendly return and refund policy will be highly beneficial for customers and will make them
more likely to return to the supermarket for there shopping needs.

2. Indicate how and why each of these factors is important to the successful operation of a

a. Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is necessary for the success and survival of any
supermarket. If the supermarket wants to have a competitive edge over its rivals, they
should take customer satisfaction extremely seriously because this will be a huge asset to
their marketing tool. It is also important for supermarkets to tend to the needs of their
customers at all times. Within the stores, salespersons should assist their customers while
their shopping by helping them find their necessary products and being helpful resources.
Customers should always be dealt with utmost respect and should always be satisfied with
their supermarket shopping experience.

Production and Operation Management | Tabish Khan

b. Forecasting: The supermarket should be able to forecast correctly and distinguish which
products are in high and low demand and plan their inventory levels accordingly.
Forecasting would allow supermarkets to maintain their inventory levels and plan its
finances. Supermarkets should also forecast for conditions during different seasons and
holidays. They should also be changing their products based on the times and technology to
maintain an edge over its adversaries.

c. Capacity planning: Capacity planning is important to the successful operation of a

supermarket because it allows the company to know how much stock can be placed in the
supermarket. It is also important for the supermarket to make sure that there is a good ratio
of salespersons to customers throughout the store.

d. Location: Location is an extremely important factor for the successful operation of a

supermarket. The supermarket should be accessible to customers and should also be placed
at a far enough distance from the supermarket’s main competitors. If the store is located
near its rivals, then there will not be enough of an incentive for customers to choose one
supermarket over the other. Rent should also be taken into consideration when choosing a
location for a supermarket. If the rent is high for the allotted space, the supermarket’s
management should make sure that their business would generate enough income to pay
for the rental fees and still make a profit.

e. Inventory management: Inventory management goes hand-in-hand with forecasting.

Supermarkets should make detailed inventory accounts so they know much of each product
they should hold in their stores. This would allow for low inventory costs.

f. Layout of the store: The layout of the store should be customer-friendly and allow for
customers to easily locate their products. There should be multiple visual aids throughout
the store to make it easy to find their products in a quick manner. Aisles and walkways
should not be cluttered to make it faster for customers to locate their merchandise. There
should also be sufficient lighting within the supermarket.

g. Scheduling: The supermarket’s management should make sure that there always enough
salespersons in the store to tend to the needs of customers. They should take into account
their peak hour times to schedule more workers during those times.

3. What are some of the ways Wegmans uses technology to gain an edge over its

Wegmans has attained a competitive edge over its competitors by utilizing technology in several
areas of operation. Firstly, this supermarket uses technology to manage their supply chain. This
allows for a more foolproof method of overseeing the supply chain. Wegmans Supermarket also

Production and Operation Management | Tabish Khan

utilizes technology to manage the quality of their products (e.g., meat processing facility). Lastly,
Wegmans also uses technology to track their inventory so their systems can instantly note which
products are in high and low demand.