case analysis with discussion: ksf analysis—integrating internal

Case Analysis with Discussion: KSF Analysis—Integrating Internal Resource and External Ecosystems Analyses: Trader Joe’s and U.S. Food Retailing Revisited

Trader Joe’s and the Food Retailing Sector Revisited

In Week 3 you utilized the case study, “Trader Joe’s” (Ager & Roberto, 2013), to analyze the current skills, competencies, and capabilities along Trader Joe’s value chain, which included supplier- and customer-related activities. For this week’s case analysis, you will use your prior work on the skills, competencies, and capabilities of Trader Joe’s, but now you will re-analyze your findings relative to the implications of a quick run-through of both general force (P.E.S.T.) and competitive force (five-force) analysis of the food retail sector in the United States.

The goal of this week’s analysis is to compare your current skill, competencies, and capabilities analysis of Trader Joe’s with what your think the future Key Success Factors (KSFs) for the company will be, drawing on data you research about the industry.

To develop the KSFs, consider which core skills and capabilities Trader Joe’s currently has (from your prior analysis). Then, based on a quick and less formal general P.E.S.T. and competitive ecosystem five-forces analysis, determine which critical skills, competencies, and capabilities Trader Joe’s must develop or acquire in order to thrive over the next 5 years.

The logic of the KSF analysis requires you to bring strategic analysis of external issues together with an evaluation of internal skills and capabilities for the first time. Remember, ALL strategy comes down to (1) how you deploy your current skills, competencies, and capabilities, how you develop or redevelop those, and how you augment them via more investment/training, purchase, or acquisition; and (2) what you decide to do with those skills in the future.

So, this week you are moving into “future thinking” mode, and are considering “what are the Key Success Factors for the future?”

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review all required readings, including the Weekly Briefing, which provides additional guidance on how to complete the assignment.
  • Review your analysis of Trader Joe’s from Week 3 and review your original research on the company and industry.
  • Conduct additional research on the U.S. food retailing industry to obtain some insights about future threats and opportunities in the industry.
  • Identify and review all relevant readings from the Capstone Program Bibliography.

By Day 3, post a polished Key Success Factor analysis that responds to each of the prompts below:

  1. Based on your projections for the implications of FUTURE five-forces of competition, P.E.S.T. (general environment), and stakeholder support (or stakeholder challenges), what essential skills, competencies, and capabilities will be CRITICAL in order for Trader Joe’s to survive or thrive in the future? Why? Support your evaluation with evidence and reasoning linked to appropriate knowledge.

    Note: These critical areas may be the same as in the past, BUT they may not. Think this through carefully and use your innovative and economic thinking skills from prior courses. You must become futurists to be good strategists, which means there IS some ambiguity about the bets you will be making (that’s one of the responsibilities of senior leadership).

  2. Identify critical gaps in the skills, competencies, and capabilities that Trader Joe’s currently has versus what you think they will need in the future. Think about how Trader Joe’s can bridge that gap. If Trader Joe’s were to hire you as consultant to provide strategic direction in what specific skills, competencies, and capabilities the company should invest in or acquire (and how), which would you emphasize as critical and why?

Be sure to integrate concepts and quotes from this week’s readings. To obtain an exemplary assessment, you must also integrate at least one resource from the university MBA Program Capstone Bibliography as well.

General Guidance: Your original discussion post for the Capstone Forum will typically be 1 to 1 ½ single-spaced pages (cut and paste into the DQ area), excluding references. Refer to the Week 6 Discussion 1 rubric for grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use the rubric to assess your work.

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