A.Describe the different roles in a business buying center. Then outline which individuals might play those roles in the process of buying food for a school cafeteria.
Buying centers have numerous of roles of participation in the purchasing decision process. There are users who are the people who actually use the goods and services. Their role in the consumer decision making are very important. The user may help to facilitate the purchase actions by requesting specific products and they made aid in the development of a specific product’s specifications. A prime example of this is Office Depot whose customers have influence the purchase of office equipment. A user has the buying power to change the market direction of a business. Because of this businesses are offering a more consumer friendly environment in order to maintain at the forefront of their business community.
Gatekeepers are the controllers of all the information that the buying center members will review. The gatekeeper could be the office manager in a doctor’s office that controls informational literature from salespeople from actually getting seen or read. They control of printed material, advertisements, or by making the decisions on whether or not the salesperson could speak with individuals who are making the buying decisions. The office manager or the desk clerks are the first line gatekeepers.
Influencers will shape the buying decision by supplying information to guide the assessment of a substitute product. The influencer also sets the buying specifications of a certain product. The influencer consists of technical staff like engineers and quality control specialists. There are times when a company would hire an outside consultant to help influence their buying decisions. The decider is the person who will choose a good or service that is rendered. The service specialist may influence the decision making of buying a product, but the ultimate decision to buy could come from the manager, the purchase manager, or the company’s CEO. The decider could be a designer that decides which vendor that could be met by a specification of the designed product.
The buyer has official authority to choose a supplier and to implement the procedures for securing the goods or service. The buyer will most likely take the influence and consideration of the user when they purchase a new product or service. The organization’s opinion matter when it comes to purchasing power. The purchasing manger often fills the buyer’s role and performs all details concerning the purchase order. Business-to-business marketers all have an important role to maintain strong business relationship.
Constant feedback and education about the product is needed. Meetings, conventions, and consumer in-services are a must to keep a strong business relation; especially on the part of the vendor or service provider. Let’s keep in mind that most of the decision makers are not located within the department and never will use the product at all. Therefore, these decision makers could be broad members or on an executive committee. These members could affect the overall purchase of the product or they will make a decision to take a lower bid or choose an alternative product.
B.Imagine that you are a marketer for one of the following companies: Amazon.com, Apple Computer, Starbucks, Burger King, or a nationally recognized company of your choice. Decide whether your company will expand internationally into Mexico, India, or China. Write a brief report outlining and describing the issues your company must consider regarding each of the following environmental areas: economic, social-cultural, technological, and political-legal.
Starbucks coffee would be a great business venture in Mexico because of the current business connection with most of the Latin American countries. A large an amount of Starbucks’ coffee is imported from Latin America. Starbucks coffee is not most economic cost effective coffee company that exists in the world, but the business venture would give the Mexican economy an opportunity have gourmet coffee at cheaper cost than most countries around the world.
There would be no export expense of coffee beans and the general office of Starbucks in Mexico could purchase direct from the growers in Mexico to cut cost. The presence of Starbucks would promote domestic business and will also provide more jobs within that country. Because Starbucks have most of its coffee beans exported from Latin American as a marketer I would look into building a grow and processing plant for the production of coffee beans within the country of Mexico. It would be great for Starbucks to expand more into the coffee market and promote as well as produce a better product for the world’s consumption.
Market growth is important for an expanding company like Starbucks. Farm land and a processing plant with provide a great deal of economic stability for the country of Mexico and its people. New jobs would be available and training of different jobs position would now be required. An expansion of Starbucks would also develop a social-cultural relationship with Starbucks and the newly employed Mexican Starbucks employees. Not only would Starbucks improve the economic status of the people who would be employed by the company.
A plan should be implemented to offer better healthcare and educational benefits to establish help to move forward for the struggles that directly affect the Mexican communities while politicizing youth, in the hope that their commitment to fundamental social change will be life-long and profound. A scholarship program would be great from children of family members that continue their employment with Starbucks Mexico. These types of benefits would maintain job retention, financial, economic, social-cultural stability for the employed staff of Starbucks and their families within the country of Mexico. As a marketer it is my job to study the culture, language, education, religious attitudes, and social values of the Mexican people.
In order to increase coffee bean production in Mexico a more high tech technological system would be needed to be implemented. Training of new technology is important in order to advice in this country’s industry coffee production. Through education and training the staff of Starbucks Mexico would learn more advice technical ways of coffee growing and production. Computer training would enable faster communications within the world’s business communication that will purchase Starbucks coffee for internationally resale. With every business that venture out into the international market there will be political-legal issues. A company like Starbucks would find it within their best interest not to get involved the illegal political dealings of the Mexico government. There is corruption in all forms of government, but an international company like Starbucks must remain clean.
The only way of doing such a thing is to provide the government with all the necessary documents and payments that are required to establish a new form a business within the country of Mexico. The political-legal side of dealing with Mexico in business is one of the main reasons that NAFTA was established. This act offers free trade that is beneficial to all countries that are members in North America. NAFTA eliminates agricultural trade barriers and helps to reduce the political-legal problems that may affect future business negotiations. Because of NAFTA a company like Starbucks could play an important role in the agricultural growth and development of Mexico. Avoid all political risk by establishing an internal political risk assessment team or use an outside company to evaluate the company’s political risks.
C.What are several plusses for businesses that use outsourcing techniques? What are several minuses? What can companies do to make the best of these widespread practices?There are several plusses of outsourcing and using vendors outside of the country to produce products and services. Most businesses outsource to reduce cost to remain competitive, the need to improve the quality and the speed of software maintenance and development, and the outsourcing of products and services has greater value today than ever before. Companies outsource maintain focus on the core group of the firm. It is commonplace to speak with someone in any Asian country to solve a customer service problem concerning software and anything of technical use. Outsourcing saves the company a great deal of money and will help them to remain in the competitive market, but there is a huge problem that exists.
A large number of Americans who are qualified find it very difficult to find jobs within their field of study due to outsourcing. Customer service calls are a huge problem due the language barrier and problems with understanding the service representative’s accent. A large problem for the company is when the outsourced fails to produce or deliver the product in a timely manner or even at all. A delay of a product will affect a company’s way doing business greatly. As a consumer there are other options out there and I would most likely choose another company to handle my business.
Therefore, this will create a loss of business revenue for a company that outsource. With outsourcing there is a great deal of disconnect with dealing customers who purchase certain products from companies who outsource. Outsourcing will have a negative impact on employee morale and loyalty. Outsourcing could possibly lead to work strikes from the employees and this may cause the plant or workplace to shut down.
Companies who practice outsourcing should redirect its employment workforce in a direction that would benefit the company’s market growth as a whole. Train the staff who were functioning in jobs that are greatly affected by outsourcing to do jobs within the company that would be beneficial to the company’s future development. Company’s who outsource should not in invest in only one vendor or service provider. Most hospitals within the country have different vendors that supply similar products and never find themselves awaiting a product from one vendor. As a company who plans to outsource; you must give yourself options in business.
Kurtz, Louis E. Boone and David L. “Contemporary Marketing.” Kurtz, Louis E. Boone and David L. Contemporary Marketing. Mason: South-Western of Thomson, 2006. 156-253.
Service, United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). January 2008. 26 July 2008 .