Hershey Marketing Case Analysis

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Hershey Marketing Case Analysis

The Hershey Company

Hershey’s customer base consists of wholesale distributors, chain grocery stores, mass merchandisers, chain drug stores, vending companies, wholesale clubs, convenience stores, dollar stores, concessionaires, department stores and natural food stores. The company has made significant changes over the past decade to strengthen its relationships with these customers. Primarily, the company has worked on improving its customer relationship management (CRM) which “enables companies to provide excellent real-time customer service through the effective use of individual account information.” (Kotler & Keller, 2009). In 1999 Hershey put in place a $112 million enterprise resource planning (ERP) and CRM system. The new technology was meant to bring the company’s business practices up to date and provide across-the-board automation that would span the process from order-taking to truck-loading. Unfortunately, due to initial problems in getting customer orders into the new system and transmitting the correct details of those orders to warehouse for shipping, Hershey got behind on their delivery and consequently lost over $100 million (Turk & Bligh, 2004).

In an effort to repair damaged customer relationships stemming from the serious failures the year before, in 2000 Hershey implemented a new strategy that focused on fulfillment speed and agility. The company understood better than ever its key U.S. customers’ needs: efficient, customer-driven processes able to flex with the changing market requirements (Hoffman, 2001).

Hershey placed a major emphasis on collecting information from its core set of customers such as Target, McLane, Wal-Mart and CVS. The company used a logistics team as well as other corporate resources in marketing and planning to put together a view of these customers’ expectations for the coming…...

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