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Sunday, December 19, 2010

7-Eleven convenience store network marketing strategic analysis


In today's world economy is unstoppable trend toward the integration of global markets, business competition, the direction of international development, to the Internet, knowledge economy, high-tech as the representative to meet consumer demand for the core of the new economy to develop rapidly. The Development requirements of the new economy Marketing must meet the new needs of market development, marketing, need to identify customer needs and desires, to determine an organization can provide the best services, target markets, design appropriate products, services and plans programs to meet the the needs of these markets, which aims through with key customers to establish a specific value to the relationship between the tendency to create customer satisfaction and profit. Internet marketing is using online networks, Computer communications and digital interactive media to achieve marketing goals a series of market behavior, and its essence is to exclude or reduce barriers, through the network to guide the transfer of goods or services from producer to the consumer process, which is the inevitable result of the new economy.
Founded in 1927, Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven, first known as Southern Company, the main business is the retail ice cream, milk, eggs. By 1964, the introduction of facilitation services at the time of 'initiative', will extend its opening hours to 7 am to 11 pm, since then, '7-Eleven 'legendary names of the birth. In May 1972, the Japanese 7-Eleven's first store opened in Tokyo. Since then, Japan's 7-Eleven will enter the high-speed growth period, when the opening of 15 stores, while the 7-Eleven in the United States is at the crossroads of destiny, above all, the failure of market development in the city, followed by involvement of the wave of irrational speculation, the most critical is 80 years growing competition in the convenience stores and suburban shopping malls and discount stores have emerged, making the mistake of taking the form of price discounts to rush a team, the result must be to make the competitive advantage of convenience stores lost. As a 'son' in Japanese 7-Eleven in a very short period of time, rapidly became stronger in 1987, dying in the U.S. 7-Eleven out of the woods in order to be mortgaged to the leasing company license contract in 1989, had to ask are transferable Hawaii and Canada, the U.S. 7-Eleven stores to this has been dismissive of the Japanese 7-Eleven Corporation. In 1992, as those who joined 7-Eleven Japan, the official ownership, completely took over all the work of its headquarters. Now, it operates in four continents over 20 countries and regions, a total of more than 23,000 retail outlets set up daily for nearly 30 million customer service, stable squat the world's largest chain of convenience stores throne.

What makes 7-Eleven Japan Company achieve such remarkable results? The main reason is the 7-Eleven to electronic communication with customers e strategic applications:

1, fast and easy to use computer network
        The mid-20th century, 80 years 7-Eleven has been used to monitor customer buying behavior of the POS system, replacing the old-fashioned cash register. 7-Eleven and he started to establish such a system, the hardware device manufactured by NEC, because to create such a complex software system is so difficult, finally, it turned to the U.S. software giant Microsoft to help it set up a Windows-based customization system. In 1996, the software installation to about 6.1 million computers, these computers scattered in 7-Eleven Inc. stores, headquarters and suppliers. 1998 cost of ¥ 60,000,000,000 (4.9 billion U.S. dollars) system update is completed, a straight line Microsoft's Seattle office for the new system provides real-time technical support, software support, continuous monitoring of the situation in the circumstances, if the system will be paralyzed auto repair, if there is more than twice paralysis will promptly notify the local maintenance company. Several years later analysis, to software development to Microsoft to do, is a wise move, because as the global PC, Microsoft must have the goods to become, which makes 7-Eleven's network system and the customer becomes the link between easy. 7-Eleven's network platform to fully play its function.

        Now every one 7-Eleven stores have installed a satellite receiver, satellite receivers on the ground than the use of fiber optic cable is not only much cheaper, but also for suburban stores, this is the only viable option, at a high seismic zone in Japan, satellite receiver also stores two sets of secure telephone lines, their hosts in Tokyo and large versions.

        This can be closely linked suppliers, stores, employees and the bank's internal network system, for many retail businesses, even in the Internet Technology has reduced the cost and complexity of system construction is still a dream today, the new technology systems and Japan compared to other chain retailers, has four major advantages.

        First, it can monitor the customer's requirements. 'We believe that the nature of competition is change. Enterprises do not sell the goods to the customer, but to customer demand-driven development of enterprises. '7-Eleven's director of Information systems Makoto Usui says.

        Second ,7-Eleven's sales data and software can be used to improve the company quality control, product pricing and product development and so on. With this system, companies can ,7-Eleven stores three times a day to collect all the sales information and analysis completed in 20 minutes. This makes 7-Eleven's faster and distinguish goods or packaging to attract customers. '7-Eleven's sales and product development capability is daunting. It felt new trends and the development of the capacity of high-quality products is far higher than other manufacturers. 'Now 7-Eleven companies are using these skills to increase the higher margin own-brand products.

        Third, the adoption of the new system can help predict an annual market trends. Customers are increasingly fickle, generally shorter product life cycles become the new development trend. Boxed lunch, rice balls and sandwiches almost constitute a convenience store on the 1st half of the sales was a universal phenomenon, but this trend is very short duration. 7-Eleven Inc. has claimed that it can be to keep pace with the trend in part because it has been concerned about the weather changes. From hundreds of private meteorological center reports, five times a day to reach all the shops, each covering a central area within a radius of 20 km, which in Japan is very useful, because the 40 km far away from town, the temperature can be the difference 5 degrees. Each report will be today and yesterday's temperatures were compared.
        4th ,7-Eleven's electronic Investment to improve the company's supply chain efficiency. Order flow has accelerated in the morning 10 o'clock orders, at 4 pm pick up, order the electronic processing of not more than 7 minutes. These goods were sent specifically for 7-Eleven's services, 230 distribution centers. Cargo truck drivers have to carry forward to the barcode card, when they reach the shipping points on the card can be placed on the store's computer scan. If a driver is always late, dispatchers will examine its routes or increase the other trucks to reduce the number of its delivery, the same ,7-Eleven also help suppliers and manufacturers to control their replenishment.

        7-Eleven are not satisfied with this set of technologies based on the enterprise network systems, Internet-based technology development programs already in progress, it is planning to install an Ariba e-commerce software provided by Japanese companies used for purchases of office supplies, etc., to reduce costs. This regard, it has tasted the sweetness of the past 10 years, 7-Eleven is committed to being a 'paperless' company, now an annual reduction of ¥ 70,000,000,000 management fee, the application of Internet technology will allow companies to save more. In addition, in its vast chain of convenience stores based on the ,7-Eleven make themselves into online transactions, payment point and delivery point. E-shop! Books (one in the bookselling company), many customers will choose to 7-Eleven pick up the goods and payment. That this application also helped to attract passenger traffic, making 7-Eleven average daily sales are 1.5 times the opponent.

2, using a practical method of payment, and continuously expand their scope of business

        1987 bar code identification system installed after ,7-Eleven Inc. stores it into payment of public goods (water, electricity, gas, etc.) bill places. Nearly 15 years later, this change (only need a few software systems to increase their investment) to make 7-Eleven in this huge market share of 3% of the share, while the competitors in this market, including banks and post offices in .
        Now, companies are transforming the network by store purchase, pick up points, pay bills to increase its traffic. In a consumer doubts about the Internet using a credit card, are more willing to pay in cash at the store for a country which is a smart move. Indeed, like 7-Eleven Inc. said, about 75% of online shoppers are from reality constituted by the brick store delivery payment. 7-Eleven stores daily sales of about more than its biggest competitor to be higher by 50%. Its site opened in July 2001, the website of the cooperative enterprise has another seven, including the NEC Corporation and Nomura Research Institute, the site offers an extremely wide range of goods and services, including books, CD, concert tickets and Travel services.

        7-Eleven South China General Manager Mr. Ma Shihao In conclusion, management Experience in this area, also talked about: in Guangzhou ,7-Eleven has become the first set up a 'good easy' 24-hour self-service payment terminals at retail shops, the terminal addition to providing function other than to pay various fees, but also that consumers who have bought insurance and tickets. In Shenzhen ,7-Eleven is a series of market research found that customers prefer the Shenzhen cash payment to pay phone calls, in view of this ,7-Eleven to open an alternative payment channels, the active expansion of mobile phones in Shenzhen, the cash payment service platform , becoming the first 24 hours 'real time' the collection of retail network, China Mobile call rates. Customers can simply go to Shenzhen line of 7-Eleven stores in the cash register required to pay out the phone number, payment after completion of the charge.

        In order to meet the needs of people via the Internet ,7-Eleven to use the current bill payment service platform, expanding its scope of application for the site 'e-currency' network prepaid services. And the first use of this service is to have a huge page views and registered members of Sina ( Sina last year introduced an online billing platform 'SinaPlay (Sina Yue Yuan)', the widely welcomed by the users of registered users has been upgraded to make the service more widely available, Sina through the 7-Eleven's retail network, integrate the Item brand new prepaid services networks, allowing users to more easily buy into the 'SinaPlay Sina Yue Yuan'; and business cooperation in secondary school textbooks online bookstore ordering and retrieval services, which aims mainly for parents and secondary school students provide one-stop shopping convenience bookstore; and Ji Shi Technology form strategic alliance for the 7-Eleven offers a new photo-finishing and digital video services.

        In recent years ,7-Eleven according to customer requirements, continuous supply of services, but also the use of 7-Eleven store networks will expand the eight items of a 24-hour convenience services, including: one, telecommunications related services: including all kinds of phone cards, prepaid calling card, replaced, and the provision of mobile phone SIM card charge, etc.; 2, Internet-related services: on the network card, game cards and website points Points cards, etc.; 3, ticketing services: including sports lottery, lottery cards, all kinds of concerts, exhibitions and lecture tickets, as well as the parking cards, etc.; 4, collecting enrollment: the enrollment procedures for various types of training agents; 5, subscription services: booking exam materials, the trend accessories, gifts, etc.; 6, home delivery services: According to different regions of the customer needs and provide home delivery services; 7, the traditional convenience services: sale of postage stamps, copying, fax, etc.; 8, in addition to the use of shops outside the network advantage ,7-Eleven has also used the characteristics of the counter to process transactions, becoming the first in the market to provide alternative means of payment networks, the development of payment services.

3, centralized logistics management

        A typical 7-Eleven convenience store is very small, the exhibition area on average only 100 square meters, but they are such stores offer over 3,000 kinds of daily necessities. While the convenience store supply wide variety of goods, often but not storage sites in order to enhance product sales, the sale of the venue in principle, should be great. In this way, all goods must be promptly added through the distribution center. If a consumer to patronize the store will not buy the goods in this should be the store will lose a sales opportunity, and to damage the image of a convenience store.

        First, the establishment of regional distribution centers

        In order to ensure the efficient supply of goods, the Japanese 7-Eleven had to rationalize the old transformation of distribution channels. Many Japanese wholesalers in the past often characterized himself as a particular manufacturer's special agents, only allowed to run a manufacturer's product. In this system, retailers to operate a range of commodities, then have to deal with many different distributors, each distributor must be a separate truck deliveries to retailers, delivery inefficient, and the delivery time uncertain, but people often ignore such a distribution system inefficiencies. 7-Eleven in the integration and restructuring of distribution channels for reform. Under the new distribution system, a wholesaler has been designated by the commission is responsible for a number of regional sales activities, authorized to carry the products from different manufacturers. In addition ,7-Eleven adopted and wholesalers, manufacturers signed the sales agreement, to develop efficient distribution channels to connect with all the stores.

        7-Eleven in accordance with different regions and commodity groups divide to form a common distribution center, by the Center Unified set of goods, further distribution of various shops. Geographical division is generally in the central city business district near the 35 km, the rest of the market as the 60 km radius of each region to establish a common distribution center, in order to achieve high frequency, multi-species, small units of distribution. Implementation of joint logistics, its shops daily reception of the transport vehicles from more than 70 vehicles dropped to 12. Moreover, this has made it a common distribution center fully reflect the sale of goods, in transit and inventory information ,7-Eleven gradually acquired the ownership of the whole Industry chain. Increasing price competition in the chain industry, the case of sharp ,7-Eleven by lowering costs, increase profits as a whole strive for a considerable space.

      Second, the tailor-made logistics system

        The expansion of scale, as well as the establishment of centralized logistics system, although dominated by the 7-Eleven, but the construction of the logistics system, it is the cooperation of manufacturers and dealers under the 7-Eleven's network expansion, based on their unique business processes and technology capacity body built. These technologies have set shipping online network, digital sorting technology, purchase of vehicles and special logistics standardization system, bar code technology.

        For example, in Japan ,7-Eleven snack distribution are borne by the wholesaler, A Company, initially, they use their idle warehouse for a 7-Eleven in logistics activities, and arranged a special operation and management personnel, but with the 7-Eleven's rapid expansion, A company in order to ensure that it is the right to supply of goods has increased the construction and development of logistics centers in the Kanto area has established four distribution centers. Each distribution center for its 500 or so shops in the nearby dim sum distribution of all varieties probably between 650 ~ 700. Every morning, 8 am to 10:30 from the production enterprises purchase, the purchase of goods to warehouse before noon. In order to ensure a stable supply, each distribution center has a 4-day safety stock, inventory levels of sales and production in a timely manner in accordance to add. 11:30 distribution center began to organize around the next day delivery, distribution lines, distribution outlets, distribution, varieties, shipping notices, etc. print them out in a timely manner, to the relevant departments. At the same time, through the computer department to issue digital stocking stocking requirements. Distribution process is set in minutes calculated as follows: from a group of logistics activities in the time distribution of view, a shop stocking time for approximately 65 seconds, cargo handling takes approximately 5-6 minutes; from a nod to the end of the sorting takes 15 minutes, all 170 -180 a shop to be more than four hours, that is, the entire logistics activities for about 4 hours (not trucks at the distribution center to stay to wait for departure time); truck distribution centers usually stay one night to 4:30 the next morning 5:30, from far to near according to the principles of distribution to various shops; the first one to the store truck time is 6:00 minutes, running correct, running between the shops for 15 minutes, plus 15-minute rest periods, Each store the time required for delivery of goods for half an hour; that is, no later than 9:30 in the morning, or 10:30 or so to complete the task all the shops of goods distribution. Efficiency in the distribution from the vehicle to see, except for special reasons of climate, the average amount of each vehicle distribution of goods to 75 million yen, steady loading rate can reach 80%. The average monthly supply of goods distribution center for 50 billion yen, equivalent to supply 100 million for each store merchandise. Vehicle operating costs per day of 2.4 million yen, equivalent to 3.2% of the amount supplied at the cost of management by objective value of 3.0% -3.5% range, for the 7-Eleven compressed a lot of logistics costs.

        Now ,7-Eleven has achieved three times a day delivery system. These include a special distribution, that is, when the weather is expected to change will happen the next day, another distribution of additional commodities. So that 7-Eleven stores a timely manner to all its outlets to provide high freshness and high value-added products to provide consumers with a more convenient, fresh food, implements and other convenience store business optimization, through its centralized logistics management systems, has successfully reduced the original price of goods is equivalent to 10% of logistics costs.

        Information-centric management of commodities are 7-Eleven's most proud of that. As early as 1978 ,7-Eleven began the construction of information systems, since after 4 times of Information Systems to build, at present ,7-Eleven has been developed for the Japanese retail industry information, the highest degree of automation business. Through its well-developed information system, by means of satellite communications ,7-Eleven can be carried out orders for goods segment, the shops give positive guidance, but also sub-periods of commodity management. Truly a single-product management. Precisely because of this ,7-Eleven's logistics efficiency is very high, it not only has a huge logistics and distribution systems, and its implementation of a common distribution, global logistics management practices such as effective methods and strategies by the world accepted.

        The bursting of the Internet economy allows businesses of network marketing is more realistic understanding of the Internet has its own unique advantages and characteristics, powerful communications capabilities and interactive information dissemination will help the enterprises to facilitate market research, will help enterprises pre-sale, sale in full after-sales marketing, business management, while reducing as much as possible from production to sales of commodities in the entire supply chain occupied by the ratio of costs and expenses and shorten the operating cycle; However, the Internet also has its shortcomings, open Structure can enormous amount of information, but also affect network security, particularly in electronic payment systems, in the majority of people did not accept the electronic money prior to the use of counter trading is a very practical approach; the same time, the use of networks built logistics system is very efficient, especially in chain business, logistics and its status is equivalent to the human body in the blood system.

        To sum up, the Japanese 7-Eleven Inc. 'mouse' plus 'cement' of network marketing model, the network is integrated with traditional marketing to sell anything from production into what the customer needs the concept of producing whatever to specifically for the customer's demand-driven management of information-centric business model, based on the high-tech enterprise information network marketing strategy, in a rapidly changing market competition, firmly grasp the new trend of changing trends to win the market, still stand position, for China's accession to WTO, after trying to enter the Chinese market for foreign chains, or chain of Chinese local business, have a very important inspiration and learn.

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