Albert Heijn 1602 (Barneveld) History Context Albert Heijn is a big supermarket chain which emerged from a small grocery store that once stood in Oostzaan. The 21-years old Albert Heijn took over the store from his father in 1887. The young Albert Heijn quickly began to expand the store towards other places. Albert also started to sell his self-made cookies and self-burned coffee (Albert Heijn, 2013). Now Albert Heijn is one of the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. Quality and customers are of great importance within the formula of Albert Heijn.
For this reason all subsidiaries have to have the same style. In the small village of Barneveld there is also an Albert Heijn. This Albert Heijn was managed by Mr G. Aartsen for more than 15 years. Albert Heijn Barneveld did not experience quite a lot of changes. The only changes where changes of assortment and a small expansion of the shop. Trigger The management of Albert Heijn demands that every supermarket manager is managing for a maximum period of 4 years. This is due the fact that a manager could turn into a friend when staying too long on the same position.
Another reason is the emerging of business blindness. To prevent this from happening, all managers (except for the franchise shops) have to switch places once in a while. For example: the manager of Utrecht goes to Amsterdam after 4 years, the manager of Amsterdam goes to Groningen and so on. Philosophy The manager of Albert Heijn Barneveld was like a father to all the personnel. Mr Aartsen was often called “papa Aartsen” (daddy Aartsen). Mr Aartsen was not just the manager who commands the personnel.
He was a kind guy who often smoked in his office (while this was not allowed), he just had his own rules and it worked. When there was a lot of pressure on the personnel he always helped them. For example, during Christmas time he helped stocking the shelves. Mr Aartsen also had a good relationship with the customers. Change idea Diagnosis Albert Heijn Barneveld had the same manager for 18 years. For this reason the headquarters decided to make some changes. Mr G. Aartsen had to go. This was a big shock for the regular customers and the personnel. Change of strategy
The change of strategy was decided, there were no discussions possible. Mr Aartsen protested towards the headquarters, but their decision was final. Albert Heijn had accepted the fact that Mr Aartsen was the manager for a longer period than 4 years for a long time. However it was time for change. The headquarters wants all the shops to be the same, as well in layout as in the way of managing. Intervention plan The headquarters of Albert Heijn did not really had an intervention plan. They made up the rules and were the boss of Albert Heijn, so Barneveld had to listen.
Albert Heijn did replace Mr Aartsen, however, the headquarters were much more open about where Mr Aartsen should manage after Barneveld. This decision was made together with Mr Aartsen. The other intervention plan that the headquarters had, was the implementation of two managers in Barneveld. This way Barneveld was managed better and with good efforts. Sadly enough, things were not any more than they were. Interventions 1 With the help of the two new managers the intention was trying to introduce a new way of thinking.
However this did not work quite well. After a few weeks the headquarters decided that Barneveld had to do it with one manager again. This time the dissatisfaction was even bigger. Interventions 2 When it turned out that Barneveld did not run as well anymore as it did, the headquarters tried to bring old personnel back. An old assistant manager came back from another subsidiary. This happened to work out. The headquarters decided that Barneveld had to steer itself again. The next step was giving personnel promotions.
This way, people who worked for Mr Aartsen were able to get more influence and help each other to get over the situation. Results of change process The change process for Mr Aartsen has led to overwrought, unfortunately the changes were too big for him. For Barneveld the changes were positive as well as negative (see table 1). Positive changes| Negative changes| Albert Heijn made Barneveld a real Albert Heijn. Barneveld had struggled with the changing process, however now Barneveld was now a real Albert Heijn like all the other subsidiaries. Albert Heijn Barneveld always was a neighbourhood supermarket, now it was one of those mass city supermarkets. The changes caused the dissatisfaction of the most customers. | Table 1, Positive and negative changes Albert Heijn Barneveld Conclusion Albert Heijn headquarters did not much effort steering the change process. Due to the lack of comprehending, the change process took a lot of time. At the end, Albert Heijn headquarters succeeded in making Barneveld a real Albert Heijn. However, the headquarters did not research whether the customers wanted this change or not.