Lawrence Jacobs, Vice President for Logistics at Rodriguez Foods, had sent the following e-mail to members of the executive committee of the company two years ago: I just returned from a lengthy meeting with Beth Watkins, CEO of BAS Distribution. She is under great pressure from her Board of Directors to continue to grow market share and improve profitability. BAS received a recent tender offer from another larger food distributor to buy the company and several members of their board have recommended that the offer be seriously considered. Beth feels that BAS can continue to improve their “bottom line” with additional changes in service offerings. Ms. Watkins met with BAS’s major suppliers and customers to discuss new services that BAS can offer to enhance the competitiveness of the BAS supply chain. She was particularly concerned with the changing demographics of their customer base, particularly the Gen-Y and Plus-55 age group. Background on Rodriguez Foods Rodriguez Foods was founded in 1952 in San Antonio, Texas, by two brothers, Antonio and Juan Rodriguez. Their parents operated a restaurant in Concan, Texas, featuring authentic Mexican cuisine. Margarita Rodriguez was famous for her culinary skills. She developed her own recipes for enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, and other Mexican food items. Antonio and Juan worked in the family restaurant prior to establishing Rodriguez Foods. The brothers felt that they could capitalize on the family recipes by selling sauces, gourmet tortillas, and other related Mexican food products to restaurants in nearby communities in south-central Texas. Their initial venture was so successful that they expanded their product line and began selling their products to small and medium-sized wholesalers and distributors throughout Texas. They built a plant in San Antonio to produce their food products and subsequently built another plant in Waco, Texas, and a warehouse in Madisonville, Texas. Current Situation The 1990s and 2000s were times of significant growth for Rodriguez. Antonio and Juan were still active in the company as president/CEO and chairman of the board, respectively. Revenue now exceeded $600 million per year, and a third plant had been built in the eastern part of Texas near Beaumont, Texas. A group of professional managers has been developed in the company to head up the major functional areas. Lawrence Jacobs was hired in 2010 to manage the logistics area which had not received much attention. Lawrence realized that the Rodriguez brothers had managed and developed the manufacturing and marketing functions during the formative years, and these two areas had been considered as cornerstones of the company’s success. Logistics was a relatively new functional area for Rodriguez but had received more attention with Lawrence’s vision and leadership. The vision of Beth Watkins for BAS had tremendous potential for all members of their supply chain, including Rodriguez Foods. Now, Lawrence has to help orchestrate the transformation of Rodriguez again to enable them to perform as an important part of the supply chain for BAS Foods. He understood that Rodriguez has to Assist BAS in meeting the challenges of the changing demographics and the competitive thread of the larger chain stores. Case Questions What are the relevant demographic changes and changes in consumer purchasing options that Rodriguez and BAS have to address in the twenty-first century? What is the consideration of these changes important for the design of logistics activities and the success of both organizations? Provide some recommendations for Rodriguez and explain why they are needed for the future. What areas/activities within logistics do you think have the most potential for Rodriguez and BAS to collaborate in order to add value for the benefit of BAS’s customers? Detail the top three potential value-adding logistics activities and provide specific recommendations that could increase customer value and/or reduce total logistics cost. Submit your response to this case, and the questions in the of an executive memo addressed to Mr. Lawrence Jacobs, Vice President of Logistics at Rodriguez Foods. See detailed instructions and examples of the Executive Memo format requirement for case study assignments within the Writing Resources navigation button in Blackboard. The memo should include a brief summary of the required tasks and a discussion of your recommendations as they relate to the questions posed. The concluding paragraph should contain your recommendations for this company. Do not forget to conclude your memo with a professionally-formatted closing. Executive memo format is similar to a letter written directly to Mr. Jacobs, so it should be written in 2nd person. You should exhibit professionalism in your writing: all sentences should exhibit proper English grammar, sentence form, and paragraph structure. Present your memo response in a Microsoft Word document, which you should submit here.
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