Whole Foods Taking Over

Whole foods is probably the most well known company for selling organic products.  The companies strategy of selling natural foods has paid off and they have grown into an impressive organization.  The company is growing so large that it has been looking for smaller organic only companies to acquire.  Whole Foods recently had a merger with Wild Oates, a competing organic only store.  Although this may be a good thing for whole foods and advocates of all natural diets, it may hurt the farmers that have been supplying the smaller stores.  Because of Whole Food’s rapid growth they plan to consolidate their suppliers so that their supply chain will be more efficient.  This will mean that some of the farmers providing organic products will be dropped and they will not have another market to supply.  This would be very costly to these farmers because they most likely have dedicated much of their lives to their farm and a career change may not be an option.  Many people support organic products not only for the health benefits, but also for the benefit that it provides to small farms.  It makes them feel good to know exactly where their food came from and grew it.  They also feel good that they are contributing to the farmers livelihood.  Organizations like the Organic Monitor are worried that the lack of competition that whole foods faces will mean that many farmers may be out of work.



Instead of maintaining the many relationships that they now have with suppliers, whole foods wants to stream line and go with a few long term suppliers.  The fewer competitors that Whole Foods has the more power they have to choose who they buy from.  If they think a farmers prices are too high then they can just move on to the next farmer.  That farmer will have no one to sell to and other farmers will be competing for whole foods business.  Advocates of organic food are concerned that Whole Foods is monopolizing the natural foods market.  They are worried about the effect on the suppliers and also about smaller organic food stores. Whole Foods’ strategy may ultimately lower the price of organic foods and make it more widely available.  The could mean that it may be beneficial as a whole for our country, but it may hurt some smaller communities.  Would it be worth sacrificing some farms to make organic food more affordable and accessible? How could Whole Foods make their supply chains more efficient while still maintaining all of it current suppliers?  Would the opening of more organic food stores solve this problem by increasing competition for suppliers? Could the consolidation of suppliers compromise the quality of organic products or would it make them more reliable?

Software to Simplify Project Management

Learning about the aspects of project management was interesting to me because a business can be successful unless it manages it projects successfully.  I worked at a painting company one summer and our project management was directly linked to how successfully we completed a job.  The owners of the company had to assess how much time would need to be dedicated to a project and how much it would cost to complete.  They would also choose which employees they wanted to do which job.  The employees who performed the best were put on the most important projects.  Project management was successful at our company because we had clearly defined goals, each job was unique, the jobs required our specialized skills, and all of the projects were temporary but each was essential to the success of the company. 

 It was also essential for our company to use the process of planning, scheduling, and controlling.  The planning stage included figuring out what products or tools would be needed to complete a job, figuring out who would be put on the job, figuring out transportation, and other things of that nature.  The scheduling stage would include decisions like the jobs start date and the estimated end date.  They would also need to schedule when they wanted the job to be completed during the day.  Some jobs could only be worked on at night because the business could not be disturbed during the day. The controlling aspect would be making sure that everything is going according to schedule and that the quality of the work met company standards. If a job was substandard then adjustments had to be made to scheduling to fix the problem. 

The owners of the company also had to decide which projects took precedence over others.  Sometimes we would be told to put a current project on hold because more important project required more attention.  Deciding which projects take precedence is essential to the company’s success because you need to be able to understand which accounts are most important to your business so you can keep them happy. 

Keeping track of all of this would be very stressful.  However technology is being designed to make managing projects a little bit easier.  The company semYOU has come out with new project management software called sem.ProjectPoint(http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cloud-project-management-semyou-releases-new-version-of-semprojectpoint-159862105.html).  This is cloud based software so it allows you to store and easily share information throughout a company.  It also allows you to view information about your company in useful ways such as in pie charts or other forms.  This allows you to quickly find overviews of what’s going on in your organization and will help to identify a company’s needs.  Would integrating this new technology into a company’s project management process be beneficial to an organization, or would it interfere with their existing methods?