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Case
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Reference no. 9B11M042
Authors: Robert W Keidel
Published by: Ivey Publishing
Originally published in: 2011
Version: 2011-05-19
Length: 14 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

Wawa was founded in 1803 and incorporated in 1865 as a textile manufacturer. In the early 1900s, the company opened a dairy; in 1964, Wawa Food Markets' first store was established as an outlet for dairy products. By mid-2007, Wawa, headquartered outside Philadelphia, had grown into a chain of 564 convenience stores (200 of which sold gasoline) within a 250-mile radius. A privately-owned firm, Wawa employed over 16,000 people. 2006 sales were $4.673 billion, an increase of 19.6 per cent over the prior year. Wawa was widely admired as a highly effective and humane organization with a loyal and expanding body of customers. This case addresses Wawa's supply chain management (SCM) in the context of strategic direction, organizational design, and future growth opportunities. Over an eight-year period, Wawa had transformed its supply chain from a disjointed array of pieces into a coherent, high-functioning system. Issues before the company now included (1) the relation between SCM & competitiveness; (2) the nature of the typical store, and store manager; and (3) possible expansion beyond Wawa's current area of operations. Another question concerned Wawa's stores. Historically, these places had featured a friendly, ambience where 'everybody knows your name' but the company was moving towards larger, more standardized units with fewer offerings, with the goal of minimizing customer throughput time. What would this shift mean for the role of the store manager, and for the overall customer experience? Finally, to what extent was Wawa 'landlocked' in its concentrated, middle-Atlantic market? Could-and should-the company attempt to export its distinctive value proposition, culture, and methods to other geographic areas?
Location:
Industry:
Size:
Large
Other setting(s):
2007

About

Abstract

Wawa was founded in 1803 and incorporated in 1865 as a textile manufacturer. In the early 1900s, the company opened a dairy; in 1964, Wawa Food Markets' first store was established as an outlet for dairy products. By mid-2007, Wawa, headquartered outside Philadelphia, had grown into a chain of 564 convenience stores (200 of which sold gasoline) within a 250-mile radius. A privately-owned firm, Wawa employed over 16,000 people. 2006 sales were $4.673 billion, an increase of 19.6 per cent over the prior year. Wawa was widely admired as a highly effective and humane organization with a loyal and expanding body of customers. This case addresses Wawa's supply chain management (SCM) in the context of strategic direction, organizational design, and future growth opportunities. Over an eight-year period, Wawa had transformed its supply chain from a disjointed array of pieces into a coherent, high-functioning system. Issues before the company now included (1) the relation between SCM & competitiveness; (2) the nature of the typical store, and store manager; and (3) possible expansion beyond Wawa's current area of operations. Another question concerned Wawa's stores. Historically, these places had featured a friendly, ambience where 'everybody knows your name' but the company was moving towards larger, more standardized units with fewer offerings, with the goal of minimizing customer throughput time. What would this shift mean for the role of the store manager, and for the overall customer experience? Finally, to what extent was Wawa 'landlocked' in its concentrated, middle-Atlantic market? Could-and should-the company attempt to export its distinctive value proposition, culture, and methods to other geographic areas?

Settings

Location:
Industry:
Size:
Large
Other setting(s):
2007

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