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McDonald’s is a popular global brand and a leading fast food restaurant with franchises across the world. The company operates in a fast paced and highly competitive restaurants’ industry. McDonald’s has its headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois and operates globally in more than thirty-six thousand locations. The company has franchises in all the continents of the world. The marketing managers of the firm select their locations strategically to provide McDonald’s with a profitable share of the local markets.
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Founded in 1940, the company has snowballed to become a global brand with an average annual revenue of $5 billion. Technology remains an integral aspect of the enterprise’s operation. Various developments in the information technology sector promise cost effective ways of enabling McDonald’s to achieve its goals, objectives, and missions. However, the intake of information technology has remained sluggish there leaving the company vulnerable to various competitors. The company experiences significant struggles in its attempt to intake strategic technologies a management problem that continues to affect the company’s profitability. Creative incorporation of information technology in the administration of the company promises ways of revamping operations and improving the company’s revenue.
The company’s vision foresees technology is an integral component of the enterprise’s operation “McDonald’s to become a modern, progressive burger company delivering a contemporary customer experience” (Parnell, 2013). The vision recognizes the company’s need to safeguard customer satisfaction and adopting a dynamic approach to business to ensure that it incorporates prevailing technologies among other contemporary developments to remain modern in its operations. McDonald’s has struggled to embody progressiveness and modernism in its attempt to achieve customer satisfaction in particular through the intake of technology. However, the company continues to face numerous managerial challenges that affect the incorporation of technology in its operations.
Similarly, the company’s mission statement positions customer satisfaction at the core of the company’s operations. The mission expresses McDonald’s desire to remain a favorite place for its customers to eat and drink. The mission statement also recognizes the company’s employees and community all of whom play a critical role in ensuring prosperity. To the employees, the company promises to remain the best employer by creating a friendly work environment and motivating the employees. McDonald’s also pledges to remain a productive member of the community. The company promises to contribute to the sustainability of the community by maintaining cleanliness and taking part in various community projects.
McDonald’s is a big franchise with a global reach. Technology remains central to the successful management of the various branches in an attempt to achieve a universal quality in customer satisfaction. The company has adopted various technologies in its attempt to remain both progressive and modern. McDonald’s has strived to adopt practical technologies to enhance management efficiency and customer satisfaction. First, the company has utilized various media for official communication. The management employs various technologies including emails, telephones, and video conferencing among others. Passerini, Tarabishy, and Patten (2012) assert that the utilization of diverse communication media ensures spontaneous communication among the various publics in the company. They also improve customer satisfaction. Emails from customers provide valuable feedback, which the management strives to implement as a key way of improving customer satisfaction.
For such a big corporation, information is one of McDonald’s greatest assets. The company shares relevant information with its various publics including shareholders, managers, employees and the public among others. The company thus has an elaborate information system that facilitates the flow of information to the various stakeholders. Each of the stakeholders gets a controlled access to information. The information system utilizes the internet and various small-scale local area networks that serve single branches and branches with specific cities. The use of websites provides the company with an efficient platform to engage the public, which constitutes its target market (Manzoor, 2012). Internal memos, emails and group chats on various social media form an appropriate communication medium for the employees to engage their managers and vice versa.
McDonald’s has also incorporated the use of social media in its marketing. Social media is a modern development that offers an efficient platform for the rapid exchange of information. Various social networks have millions of users and therefore offer a cost effective access to a potential target market. The networks include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among others. McDonald’s marketing departments in various cities have created numerous groups, pages and handles on the various networks, which they use to engage their customers. The social networks provide unconventional yet effective ways of engaging the customers and markets. The managers utilize the technologies to improve customer service, to carry out market surveys and introduce new products among others.
Despite McDonald’s attempt to remain modern and progressive by adopting some of the contemporary technologies, the company continues to face myriad challenges relating to the incorporating information technology in its operations. McDonald’s, therefore, suffers at the hands of some of its competitors like KFC, Subway, and Starbucks among others. Furthermore, McDonald’s faces stiff competition from local brands a development that points to its failure to employ information technology to beat the competition. Some of the challenges the company faces include lack of flexibility in its operations and products, poor food image, and slow service (Tansey, 2003). Technology offers strategic and costs effective remedies to the challenges. However, the incorporation of technology in such a large corporation requires meticulous planning and consideration of several factors. McDonald’s has failed to do so thus remains unable to incorporate information technology strategically to enhance the company’s profitability.
Five new information technology roles
- McDonald will require an appropriate marketing department, one that understands the current technologies and their application in marketing. Contemporary information technologies offer cost effective ways of reaching and engaging the target market. The marketing department at the company must understand technologies like social media advertising and employ them strategically to improve the company’s target market and reach new markets across the world.
- Customer service can also benefit from new technologies. New channels of communication enable customer service representatives to engage the customers and collect important feedback necessary to achieve customer satisfaction. Customer loyalty programs like running a smart card require an elaborate information system to gather information from the millions of clients and harmonize the databases with the various McDonald’s stores across the world as the customers collect loyalty points among other promotions.
- Another important role that requires the incorporation of information technology and McDonald’s is company image. Latest technological developments especially the social media provides marketers with reliable media for improving the image of a company (Senn, 2003). Effective social media engagement promises McDonald’s a chance to improve its image and improve sales.
- Information technology also offers new reliable and efficient ways of communication. Communication is essential in the operation of any company. For a franchise like McDonald’s, efficient communication is crucial. The company should look for new ways of communicating with the various stakeholders effectively and securely thereby improving the efficiency of operations.
- Automation can improve service delivery. Information technologies are at the center of automated systems to ensure efficiency and customer satisfaction. Numerous rivals such as KFC have developed elaborate and equally efficient automated kiosks to improve customer satisfaction. The kiosks and drive through sections provide alternative ways of delivering service thus enhancing efficiency in operations and customer satisfaction.
McDonald’s main strength is its strong global brand. The brand is easily recognizable in any part of the world. The management has also strived to maintain consistency in its menus. The taste of a “Big Mac” remains the same whether in New York or a small store in Johannesburg, South Africa. Also, McDonald’s offers a diverse range of local cuisines in its attempt to compete with local brands. The strong brand portrays the high quality of the company’s products thereby making it easy for the company to build a large base of loyal customers across the world.
The large scale of the company’s operations in more than thirty six thousand locations across the world provides McDonald’s with diversified sources of income. With locations in about 120 countries, McDonald’s does not rely on a single source of income. The profits from one location readily offset slumps in other parts of the world. As such, McDonald’s has an immense pool of financial resources that safeguards its longevity thus the ability to maintain the dynamism to fit the various target markets.
McDonald’s biggest weakness is its negative publicity. Through its operations, the company has preserved the perception of serving unhealthy foods that are full carbs, sugar, salt and fat. McDonald’s is a fast food restaurant a feature that validates most of the claims. The American public thus criticizes the company for promoting unhealthy eating habits. Most Americans believe that McDonald’s is responsible for the increase in obesity even in children as depicted in “Super-size Me”, a 2004 documentary that hurt the image of the company.
The company also suffers from high employee turnover. The nature of the company’s operations offers job opportunities for unskilled laborers. The jobs are always low paying and therefore do not attract professionals. Most of McDonald’s employees do not take their roles at the company seriously. A significant number work for short durations as they await better opportunities. Such developments lower the performance of the employees. The company thus spends colossal amounts of money in training its employees most of who quit when they get other opportunities.
McDonald’s has numerous opportunities emanating from the nature of the marketing. The fast food industry continues to grow a feature that extends McDonald’s lifeline. The change in lifestyle globally coupled with the systemic exportation of the American culture to different parts of the world continues to grow the market. American media products like film and music continue to influence changes in lifestyle thereby opening up new parts of the world including Africa and East Asia among others. Such regions create new markets and an opportunity for McDonald’s to expand into the new regions.
The firm also has an opportunity to improve its menus in an attempt to grow its market share. McDonald’s has often tailored its menus in different parts of the world to offer local delicacies in an attempt to compete with the local brands. The management of the company has promised to revise the company’s menu by introducing low cost menus as a strategy to attract new customers. The opportunities require the company to employ unique yet effective marketing strategies to trap the new market the opportunities promise. The diverse tastes and needs of the customers further expand the opportunities by the company since it challenges the company to reconsider its products to tap on the potential markets emanating from the needs and tastes of the potential customers.
McDonald’s has two main threats, which include the rise of health conscious customers and the growing competition. Competition has heightened over the years. The rise of such global brands as Subways, KFC and Starbucks has minimized McDonald’s target market. Furthermore, the company competes with millions of local brands that operate in the various countries. The local brands serve local cuisines that attract a substantial number of people. Similarly, the rise of health conscious population across the world further lowers the potential market for the company. A large number of people continue to consider their foods with the view to avoiding some of the foods considered unhealthy. The rise of the population threatens the fast foods market since they consider fast foods greasy, uncooked and unhealthy.
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Goals for the information technology strategic plan
- The use of contemporary information technology will enhance customer satisfaction and develop customer loyalty for the company. Utilization of social media in customer service will enhance customer satisfaction while the development of an efficient information system will enable the implementation of an effective customer loyalty program like smart cards thereby building customer loyalty (Meldrum & McDonald, 2007).
- The use of social media networks will improve McDonald’s image. Poor image is a major concern for the company’s operations in different parts of the world. Effective utilization of social media offers a platform for the marketers to frame a desirable image and sell it to the public. Effective packaging of the message and transmission thro8gh the media will succeed in changing public opinions and perceptions about the company.
- Automation will improve the quality and efficiency of service delivery. Drive through vendors and kiosks will help serve millions of customers thereby relieving the stores of the immense pressure that often characterize their operations.
- Information technology will improve efficiency in communication. The use of diverse media will enable employees to interact and engage their managers among other stakeholders. The increased flow of information will enhance efficiency in service delivery and develop a highly motivated workforce.
- The technologies will develop a market responsive company. With the increased utilization of information technology, the marketers will engage their target markets by carrying extensive market researches and analyses thereby conforming the operations of the company to the feedback from the target market, which should vary in different locations.
The use of information technology presents a reliable way for the company to achieve its mission and vision. The technologies are both progressive and modern. They will position the company as contemporary business that uses the prevailing technologies to address its challenges.
The technologies will improve customer satisfaction. Social media among other online platforms provide ways for engaging customers thereby improving customer service. They also provide tools for carrying out market research and analyses that enable marketers to develop products and services that resonate with the needs and tastes of the locals.
Automation will lower operational costs while increasing service delivery. A major concern for most businesses is lowering operational cost. McDonald’s continues to endure high employee turnover. The development of automatic kiosks and drive through vendors offers opportunities to minimize operational costs and overcome the threat emanating from high employee turnover. Furthermore, the technologies will improve customer satisfaction by availing customer response services.
- Manzoor, A. (2012). Information Technology in Business. Lahore: Amir Manzoor.
- Meldrum, M. & McDonald, M. (2007). Marketing in a Nutshell: Key Concepts for Non specialists. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Parnell, J. (2013). Strategic management. New York: SAGE.
- Passerini, K., Tarabishy, A. & Patten, K. (2012). Information Technology for Small Business: Managing the Digital Enterprise. New York: Rutledge.
- Senn, J. (2003). Information Technology in Business: Principles, Practices, and Opportunities. New York: Prentice Hall.
- Tansey, S. (2003). Business, Information Technology and Society. New York: Psychology Press.