It offered a value proposition to consumers who cut back on high-end coffee purchases at the likes of Starbucks in favor of cheaper coffee at home. Consumers of Folgers benefited from the strength and increased visibility afforded the brand by Smuckers.
Employees have not necessarily benefited from the companys mission and objectives in recent years. Smuckers is the process of restructuring Folgers. This benefits workers in New Orleans, where a $70 million expansion is underway and it Orrville (Plain Dealer, 2010). However, workers in four other plants are losing their jobs in the restructuring (Associated Press, 2010). The strategy therefore benefits some of these stakeholders but only at the expense of others as the company is forced to rationalize some plants in order to contain costs and maintain its price competitiveness.
The company can improve its mission by lending it clarity. The companys strategy may be relatively clear, but it is not equated to any well-articulated sense of mission or any vision. The companys mission can be inferred, but employees in particular would benefit from clarification of the firms core values and its core purpose (QuickMBA, 2007). This is especially crucial during times of restructuring, as the company has entered into at present. Employees may sense uncertainty and unease about their own jobs in the wake of such job costs. In particular, cutting jobs when the company is enjoying strong profits and growth is especially likely to shake the corporate culture. Better understanding of the companys value and purpose would help the remaining employees understand the changes and their role in the firm.
In addition, a vision statement should be developed. Smuckers has no vision statement, and its annual report does not contain any long-range future statements. In part, this derives from the many years the company spend as a mature firm, milking cash cow products and experiencing incremental growth. The acquisition of Folgers marked the beginning of an expansion phase for the company, but there has been no indication that company management has a clear vision for what lies beyond the immediate time frame.
Clearly, the company has good vision — the Folgers acquisition paid off immediately and handsomely. It should articulate this vision. Doing so would give the employees a greater sense of their overarching objectives. In addition, such a vision would be beneficial to shareholders. For them, they need to understand the growth potential of the stock to help them understand the future value of the company.
Smuckers needs to formulate a more articulate mission and vision for the company. Management has a plan as indicated by its recent successes, but this plan is relatively obscure. This provides little guidance for shareholders with respect to the companys prospects. In addition, it provides little guidance for the workers who are losing their jobs at the time when the company is at its most profitable.
Smuckers website, various pages. (2010). Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://www.smuckers.com
Smuckers 2009 Annual Report. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9MzQyODkzfENoaWxkSUQ9MzI5MzkwfFR5cGU9MQ==&t=1
MSN Moneycentral: JM Smucker Company. (2010). Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://moneycentral.msn.com/detail/stock_quote?Symbol=sjm&getquote=Get+Quote
Associated Press. (2009). Smuckers profit surges after acquiring Folgers. MSNBC. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34060210/
Bhattarai, A. (2008). Smuckers to pay $3 billion for Folgers Coffee. New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/business/05folgers.html
Associated Press. (2010). J.M. Smucker to close plants, cut 700 jobs. Associated Press. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5htGgb8xaeNDphDY3DmJH__yIYDjAD9EL463G0
Plain Dealer. (2010). Smuckers unit Folgers Coffee plans $70 million expansion. Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/03/smuckers_unit_folgers_coffee_p.html
QuickMBA. (2007). The business vision and company mission statement. QuickMBA.com. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/vision/.