Organizational Processes that Enable Innovation

The Panera Company is highly driven by excellent customer management processes. These involve the use of activities that are aligned towards the satisfaction of the customers’ needs (Shang & Shu Fang, 2010). This is what stirs the desire to create a range of product offerings. Innovation through product offerings is fostered through product integration done through a roll out programs the company terms as celebrations (MarketLine, 2013). Most of the recipes that the company makes are motivated by the nature and location of the customers and what dishes they refer and term to as Specialties.

However, the company can improve its process management practices by developing a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system. This would involve having details of customer trends and preferences so that the entity can offer customers treats that resonate well with their preferences (Shang & Shu Fang, 2010). One idea would be to use m-coupons to increase customer redemption of coupons at the entity’s cafes. As noted by Banerjee and Yancey (2010) targeted m-coupons can boost redemption thus help an entity to enhance its sales. Targeting may for instance be by delivering m-coupons to customer who are within a particular distance, which is enabled by sending such coupons to users receiving signals from communication towers near the entity’s premises.

Success Factors for People and Innovation

Good leadership is an essential innovation factor. Good leadership skills like fostering positivity, optimism and appreciation for the company employees tend to foster high work morale (Kumar Singh, 2012). One of the weaknesses that the company possesses is that it has poor labor relations with the employees (MarketLine, 2013). To ensure success in innovation, the management should consider offering flexible work hours to the employees, better working conditions and market rate remuneration plus packages.

Another success factor is developing a culture that is supportive of change. This would prevent a situation where past successes lead to complacency thus making the organization ignore changes in the market. As Amason and Mooney (2008) argue, such complacency after an initial success has been a core factor that has led to the failure of many entities in the last few decades. As Cohen (2004) notes, developing culture that can facilitate change involves aspects such as rewarding innovation and creating empowered teams throughout the organization. To facilitate organizational learning, the company should develop structures where new employees are linked with mentors. Through such a process, the Panera will be able to capture the expertise of the employees who could be retiring thus avoiding a skills-gap when such employees leave. Such, investment on continuous human resource development would ensure the entity competes based on an asset that competitors may not imitate easily.

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