Groupon: Still underwhelming


By: Kelsey Pavesich,0,302142.story

Groupon launched November 1, 2008 by Andrew Mason. This company merged businesses with customers. Groupon used the concept of collective buying in order to bring businesses and customers together in a beneficial way for both sides; sellers get a large number of new customers while buyers get great deals. When Groupon launched the social impact was huge. This ecommerce impacted people’s lives by offering them great deals on anything from dinner to sky diving. Groupon stands at the fastest growing company ever created.

Now look at today. Groupon has proved underwhelming since its fast success. Stock is currently at an all time low. This has forced Andrew Mason to look at the way they do business and make some changes. Groupon laid off 80 workers this week in order to optimize their sale force. They are moving more towards a technological route that will make deals more accessible to customers. Several months ago it was announced that productivity would be increased through automation technology. The company released in a statement that they “will always aim to optimize business operations wherever opportunities are identified.” This automation is an internal tool that is beneficial to the consumer and Groupon’s merchants; it allows personalized deals for customers and can be used to predict different leads in the merchant database. Mason has said that in the last several months’ sales force productivity has improved which increased the number of deals a customer can buy. This is due to the new tools Groupon has released. Mason is quoted: “Those sorts of things are allowing us to increase productivity and continue to scale without adding the same headcount as we have in the past.”

This technology boost in Groupon shows that they are emphasizing agility and focus on the future as their main core values. Agility focuses on faster, more flexible, customized services as well as shorter cycle time for new and improved services. Groupon is trying to obtain a higher level of agility in their company by using automation technology. This allows for a single customer to access their personalized deals faster as well as improve services with merchants. A customer can now view more deals tailored to their preferences at a given time.

Groupon has received some public disappointment with their current state compared to where people thought they would go. This shows how Groupon needs to focus on the future. It has been hard for them to maintain sustainable growth after their initial launch. Their stock is currently at an all time low so they are not leaders in the market. Focus on the future might not have been one of Groupon’s main core values in the past but it needs to be at the moment if they want to compete in ecommerce.

In your opinion is this move towards automation a good idea for Groupon even though they are laying off workers?

What do you think the main core values are of Groupon?

What core values do you think Groupon needs to focus more energy on?

FIRE! Honda Recalls Almost 1.4 Million Automobiles,0,7115867.story


Safety issues have been a huge problem for Honda this week. This car company recalled around 1.4 million Honda Civics, Accords, and Pilots. The most resent account being this past Saturday. 268,000 CR-V sport-utility vehicles from the year 2002-2006 where recalled due to faulty automatic window switches, the specific cause of production variation. This assignable variation was recognized by Honda due to malfunction and the potential to start a fire. The problem with these vehicles was not discovered until 6-10 years after the manufacturing of the vehicle. I find it odd that these problems were not detected earlier. Honda said that rain or liquids that may enter into the driver’s window, dripping onto the power window switch is what is causing the problem. A constant exposure over time can “cause electrical resistance in the switch, making it overheat, melt and cause a fire.”

This is just the most resent recall of Honda vehicles. They are having problems in their manufacturing across three different lines produced from 2002-2006, so their system is not stable. This is not something that I would expect from a trusted automotive manufacturer. The continuation of recalls is going to make people doubt Honda vehicles. Since the assignable variation is a problem among multiple models throughout five years it will be a hard blow for Honda to bounce back from. With the massive amounts of vehicles being recalled by this automotive company, they are not upholding the quality that their customers expect. Honda needs to reevaluate their system in order to identify the cause of these multiple problems. Was it a manufacturing problem due to faulty machinery? Will the problem persist in new model Hondas but just has not been identified yet? These are questions that I have myself as a consumer; ultimately lowering my quality perception of Honda.

An expanded March recall of Civic sedans with wiring problems in the headlight switch was also announced; along with CR-V small SUVs and Pilots that have the same problem. Some models of the Accord where also recalled in order to fix leaking power steering hoses which could cause fires. This problem won’t be addressed until early 2013 because Honda does not have enough parts to fix such a large number of vehicles. Instead, notice has been sent to Accord owners telling drivers who experience symptoms of the problems to go to the dealership for repair. The smell from seeping fluid is the most common symptom reported. Do you think this is an acceptable way for Honda to handle their manufacturing flaws? Is there a more effective way to handle the matter?