MT435 Operations Management
Create a scenario where the impact of COVID-19 on consumer product selection directly impacted online buying behavior, qualitative forecasts and Break Even Analysis. Select an industry of your choice. Provide evidence from literature about the strategies used by organizations to revise their operations & to meet the new consumer demand (or lack thereof). Original scenarios Please (no repeats scenarios allowed this week).
Please provide empirical support from sources other than the text in your response. Include a paraphrased summary, with cites and references from at least 2 peer reviewed journal articles. These can be found either in the library or by selecting the pdf link to the right of your http://scholar.google.com search. Provide cites and references for each of your discussion responses.
Early in 2020 people across the nation and across the globe were going about their daily lives, oblivious to the ominous future that was imminent. Families were taking planned vacations, sports arenas filled up to capacity every weekend, restaurants had waiting lists for a table was at least 30 minutes. One company, though, was preparing for battle like the ancient Vikings used to do centuries ago. Instacart was trying to stay ahead of what was sure to be a historic year. The company, which started 8 years prior, was poised to be on the frontlines of the impending battle and no one knew it was coming or what to expect (Huet, 2020). In previous years, during Instacart’s growing years, the average wait for a grocery delivery was less than 2 hours on the same day that it was ordered. That benefit is one of the key features that made Instacart so popular. However, halfway through the first quarter of 2020, with quarantine mandates looming and people retreating to their homes, Instacart saw an almost 280% increase in need for shoppers in a matter of only 8 weeks, an unprecedented jump (Huet, 2020). Despite the additional shoppers and inevitable long work hours and days, the wait time to receive groceries increased to several hours and at times days for a delivery of the grocery wares. Even with that increase in available shoppers, each shopper worked, often times, 18-hour days, seven days a week. With no relief in sight, some shoppers staged a walk out in April and May to possibly improve working conditions and ensure the safety of shoppers amidst the sea of people they were encountering in the stores despite mandates for social distancing of 6 feet apart and masking (Acosta, 2020).
Fast forward 6 months later, summer is nearly over, and Instacart is at the forefront of everyone’s mind when it comes to easy, fast, safe, and convenient grocery delivery and pickup. Instacart has made several improvements to their platform that has allowed them to become the leader in grocery delivery and at some stores, curbside. Meanwhile, Instacart’s counterpart, Shipt added 100,000 new shoppers to its shopper fleet to meet the increased demand (Redman, 2020). Now one year later, and online grocery services are a common feature on the COVID landscape and shows no signs of stopping or slowing. The question ahead of us all, should be, is there enough competition in the online grocery game to ensure that customers are receiving a fair price for this seemingly new and innovative way of doing an age-old household chore and task.