General Mills Feedback
Very interesting class. Thanks for the opportunity to see Gen Mills use technology in action.
I think the class went very well. I can see how the use the technology to test and do lots of R&D that would be effective in real life. I see this as a competitive advantage for them in the future, especially in relation to how they work with their retailers. As presented, this tool would be invaluable to a retailer as they look to optimize their store space. I knew that retailers and manufacturers were very particular in their SKU settings, but I can better appreciate the amount of detail time and thought that needs to go into this exercise. We didn't discuss in class, but I can see how the marketing department could use this to optimize new product roll-outs and figure out how to supplement the major "Icon" brands with something new to innovate.
Once a tool like this can be scaled into the workplace, I could see a shift in customers needs from going to the grocery store to more of an internet shopping experience. I have not used Simon's Delivers in several years but I go back to the fact that a tool like this could be a tremendous time saver for families that need to grocery shop. While it may decrease the "impulse buy" that a retailer is looking for, I think it would allow consumers to make more educated and healthier food selections than they normally would choose.
Plus, as all parents know, bringing along two small children to grocery shop is about equivalent to having your teeth cleaned. It's not my idea of a good time.
As far as the class goes, I think the presenters did very well. I took this class to be a part technology / part business strategy type of discussion. I certainly can see how Gen Mills looks at the consumer market better.
One recommedation would be a little more discussion of how they came to the decision to build this technology. Was this something that they were being pushed to innovate from the retailers or was it an internal decision in order to more effectively utilize its R&D? Also, how did they come to the execution and development of it (red dot?). It would be good for a group like ours to understand how to undertake a large project like this? Such as, taking a vision, selling it to upper management and then getting it executed.
Extend my thanks to the Gen Mills group, I enjoyed the experience.