Decision Human ResourceHuman Resource
Copyright 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. Due to electronic rights, some third-party content may be suppressed from the eBook and/or eChapter(s).
Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not materially affect the overall learning experience. Cengage Learning reserves the right to remove additional content at any time if subsequent rights restrictions require it.
If you’re looking for the best Parmesan cheese for your chicken parmigiana recipe, you might try Wegmans, especially if you hap- pen to live in the vicinity of Pittsford, New York. Cheese depart- ment manager Carol Kent will be happy to recommend the best brand because her job calls for knowing cheese as well as managing some twenty subordinates. Kent is a knowledgeable employee, and knowledgeable employees, says Wegmans’ CEO Danny Wegman, are “something our competitors don’t have and our customers couldn’t get anywhere else.”
Wegmans Food Markets, a family-owned East Coast chain with 83 outlets in 6 states, prides itself on its commitment to custom- ers, and it shows: It ranks at the top of the latest Consumer Reports survey of the best national and regional grocery stores. But com- mitment to customers is only half of Wegmans’ overall strategy, which calls for reaching its customers through its employees. “How do we differentiate ourselves?” asks Wegman, who then
proceeds to answer his own question: “If we can sell products that require knowledge in terms of how you use them, that’s our strategy. Anything that requires knowledge and service gives us a reason to be.” That’s the logic behind one of Carol Kent’s recent assignments, one which she understandably regards as a perk: Wegmans sent her to Italy to conduct a personal study of Italian cheese. “We sat with the families” that make the cheeses, she recalls, “broke bread with them. It helped me understand that we’re not just selling a piece of cheese. We’re selling a tradition, a quality.”