First Faculty Advisor
Dr. Teresa McCarthy
Second Faculty Advisor
Dr. John Visich
centralization; decentralization; production processes; grocery industry; power perimeter
Purpose - The grocery industry, one of the most important industries that individuals need to survive, has been pushed to the limits, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grocery stores that were able to keep food on the shelves, despite all the delays and shortages that have been occurring, should have the most success, due to the availability of their product. Every business is looking for opportunities to be more cost efficient and effective and the processes to do so are heavily researched. The decision to centralize or decentralize the production processes is different for every store. They must consider their goals and their customer profiles, in addition to the specific practices they need to adopt in order to reach those standards. Centralized structures have all the processes done in one location, while decentralized will distribute control to individual plants or business units (Tate et al. 2019). It is vital to research which type of products fall under which production process, and which type of costs that process is looking to save. Methodology - The research included multiple case study methodology in the grocery industry, covering stores of varied sizes, ownerships, and regions. The production processes of the power perimeter products have been researched in order to determine if grocery stores benefit more from centralized or decentralized production processes and why certain practices are utilized for specific items. Qualitative interviews with grocery personnel have been conducted and analyzed to discover current trends and processes that produce the most success. Findings – Research has concluded that utilizing centralized production processes is more beneficial for a cost-efficient model supply chain with the goal of reducing physical function costs and if the products used are functional, while utilizing a hybrid/postponement production processes better fits the goals of a responsive supply chain, with the goal of reducing market mediation function costs and if the products are innovative. The power perimeter products have been found to fall under the innovative category. Value - In a post pandemic world, it is vital to see which processes are the most beneficial, and which can be changed or even eliminated. It will be important to understand how each grocery store, varying in size, location, and ownership, works through the same issues. Findings of this research will help discover which processes are the best and allow for the most profit, to provide insight for future businesses as they develop.