Corporate social responsibility has become a topic of concern for many businesses. Businesses are striving to meet sales and profit goals, yet at the same time have a positive impact on society. The reason for this is that customers, investors, employees, government agencies, and communities are all influenced by business, yet they all have the ability to influence and impact businesses as well. A company’s reputation is at stake when it comes to being socially responsible, and many companies have developed a plan that ensures they are being socially responsible while still meeting their sales/profit goals. This paper will evaluate Company Q’s current policies and attitude and make recommendations to improve them towards social responsibility and in turn increase their bottom line. In Company Q’s case some business decisions need to be re-analyzed in order to ensure they are meeting their goals, as well as being socially responsible. Company Q is a small locally owned Company that has decided to close down stores in higher-crime-rate areas of the city due to the stores reportedly losing money.
Another issue is that it took many years of insisting by the customers to get health-conscience and organic goods in due to worries by the company about high cost margins. They have also turned down opportunities to donate day-old products to the local food banks because they are worried about lost revenues and fraud. The current attituds and decisions seem to be based on the bottom line and profitability of the company rather than the best interests of the community and their customers. If these decisions are not evaluated and changed the company could ultimately lose their business to a more responsive competitor. The first change Company Q should make is to re-evaluate the closing of stores in high-crime-rate areas. It is reported that these stores have closed due to lack of profitability.
An option for Company Q could be to relocate to a central location between the stores that have closed down. This would allow Company Q to reduce overall costs and give the community a local grocery store that would keep the money in the community, rather than opening the door to a local or national competitor. Another idea would be to invest in shuttle vans to operate and pick up and take people to their stores. This could be implemented at a much lower cost than having multiple locations and provide a great resource to the community. Company Q could also look into location driven advertising and sales, which would help drive sales and profits. If Company Q is concerned about theft as a main reason for losing money they could implement more security tactics and policies at these locations to reduce shrink. The next change Company Q should make is to listen to their customers and carry the products they want, even if a few are not as profitable. The company has finally started carrying health conscience and organic products at the repeated requests from consumers. Carrying products the customers want will entice them to come in and not only purchase those products, but other more profitable products as well, thus driving up total sales and profits.
This will also keep the customers from going to other grocery stores because they know they can get what they want from Company Q. Company Q can look into organic and health-conscience foods that are locally grown and produced. Buying these products will drive down delivery costs as well as keep the money in the community. The last change would be to donate the day old products to the local food bank rather than throw the food away at the end of the day. This would be a great way to get your products to those that wouldn’t normally shop at the store, but at some point may be able to. If they know that the product came from Company Q they would be more likely to purchase it from them in the future when they are able to. Since theft and fraud seem to be a concern, a program could be developed so that the manager or lead employee could check out the day old product and log the product that was given out, and the same could be done on the food bank side to check in the product.
This would curtail any theft or fraud because of the checking in and out system. They could also use their Food Bank support in advertising to strengthen their image with customers and the community, perhaps having a huge annual campaign that allows customers to donate food items they purchase at the stores as well through the store campaign. The community in which we live and do business revolves around each other and the decisions we make.
A company that is both socially responsible as well as hitting their sales/profit goals is much more apt to surviving long term in this ever more competitive business climate and changing society. The steps I outlined would allow local community members an opportunity to shop and work in their neighborhood and to have access to the types of food they want and need. It would let the customers know the store chain cares about them and the community, and has their best interests in mind. Most importantly for the chain, it increases the chance the stores are more profitable.