Wawa: Operations Management

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There are many responses that a company can have to troubling economic times. They can first weather the storm and survive. They can back up and get driven out of business, or they can grow. The economy has been in recession for many months. It is the job of our company to identify things that can help businesses to make it through these times and hopefully prosper.

Keeping business and other organizations doors open for business is our function and we accomplish this with many tools. Research is our most deadly weapon against business and organizational failures. After our company takes a thorough and objective audit of the business, we then make recommendations for what should be done. Our company however also tries to be proactive and innovative with our recommendations in hopes to get a first mover’s advantage on the competition.

The company that we are auditing is a regional convenient store chain called Wawa. Many local people think that the store is a cash cow that cannot do anything to hurt its profits or market share. The truth is, the company is large and successful but it is not invincible and for many reasons. The company is privately traded, meaning it cannot issue common stock to help itself get out of hard times financially. Wawa is local with stores in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Although Wawa has a good reputation with local people, out of town people are not as aware. Fortunately, Wawa distributes products that are inelastic in nature. Gasoline, food, and tobacco products for most people, no matter what the condition of the economy is or how much money they cost, they will still buy them.

This case study will address many issues facing Wawa in an attempt to make the store better able to meet and surpass consumer expectations. The first problem is the biggest problem that faces any retail business, shrinkage. Wawa food department receives food and then sells it. Because of universal food handling regulations as well as a commitment to consumer safety, Wawa will not sell any products that are out of code meaning past its expiration date and time. Any food that is out of code and thrown away is at a cost. Different products have vastly different profit ratios.

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