Why would you use benchmarks for technological innovations if you were in the grocery business?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Technological innovations are critical for success in the grocery industry due to a change in consumer markets and services offered in the market. As consumers are more geared toward technology and online shopping, it is critical that the grocery industry make appropriate changes in order to remain competitive. Today's convenient...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Technological innovations are critical for success in the grocery industry due to a change in consumer markets and services offered in the market. As consumers are more geared toward technology and online shopping, it is critical that the grocery industry make appropriate changes in order to remain competitive. Today's convenient service offerings include Amazon's Whole Foods grocery delivery service, Blue Apron meal preparation delivery service, Hello Fresh meal preparation delivery service, and Freshly pre-made meal delivery service. The grocery industry is responding with technological innovations to make the in-store grocery shopping experience more convenient such as self-checkout registers and online ordering/in-store pickup options. Grocery retailers such as Walmart and Kroger offer shoppers the ability to place grocery orders online and through mobile apps, then have their grocery orders brought outside to them and loaded into their vehicles.

Today's consumer is more health conscious and prefers fresh foods over processed foods. The latest in food retail includes Robomart, a self-driving mobile grocery machine, that will offer consumers fresh produce on the go. Robomart will travel to the homes and workplaces of consumers, where consumers can make their selections and their selections will be paid for automatically through the Robomart system. Robomart prototypes are being trialed in California and Nevada. In response to this, Walmart is negotiating the possibility of contracts with Uber in order to arrange grocery delivery services for consumers.

In order to continue to remain competitive with the increasing food retail options, it is imperative that established grocery retailers utilize technological innovations in their operations.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Basically, benchmarking is a process that allows you to gauge the business environment and identify strategies and opportunities for success. If you were in the grocery business, you would use benchmarking for technological innovations to find out how your competitors use the latest gadgets to increase customer traffic and maximize profits. That way, you can streamline your processes to match theirs or improve them to make more than what you currently earn. You can also use benchmarking to compare performances and identify areas of improvement. For example, if both you and the competitor are using the same inventory management system, you can compare the metrics and work on the areas that need to be made better. That way, you make sure that your systems are running at maximum efficiency.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Benchmarking is the process of comparing a process (or, in this case, an element of technology) to best practices used in the industry by other companies and by your competitors.

Since the example you give relates to the grocery business, let's say for example that we are talking about an inventory system that keeps track of your stock levels. So, in benchmarking this system, you would be comparing it to other inventory systems to see which one works best for your company.

If, hypothetically, your current inventory system had a delay on it, meaning that it took five minutes to reflect that you'd just sold your last bag of flour, then benchmarking this system may enable you to find a more efficient system that not only didn't have this lag, but also provided you with a warning when you were down to your last five bags of flour.

By using benchmarks for technology in any retail environment, you are keeping your business on the cutting edge of the industry.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This is a great question. It is first important to give a definition of what benchmarking is. Benchmarking is the process of comparing a product or service, technology in this case with industry standards to see how the technology that is employed fares against others. As you can see, benchmarking is essential, because it gives a consumer a sense of the effectiveness of technology. 

In light of this, if you are in the grocery business, and someone or some company touts a new technology, you would want to do some benchmark tests or read about some benchmark tests.

In other words, is this new technology better than what you are using now? If it is not better, then there would be no need to change. Even if it is better, you would need to determine whether the cost of change, training people, and the like is worth the better technology. The answer might be "no".

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team