Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA).

The general results of a supply chain performance and the business environment are directly linked to Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA). In many business organizations, Leaders depend on VUCA to assess any incompetency and improve efficiency at work (Gardner, 2013).  The main aim of this essay is to evaluate and explain how VUCA can be used to solve a business problem in McDonald fast food restaurant using Panera situation as an example. Besides, the paper will explain how the effects of VUCA can be dealt with in business to remain competitive in the challenging market environment. Also, the aspect of how critical thinking is important in making vital decisions of a business organization.

VUCA in Business

The estimation of fluctuations of the security price is known as Volatility.  The instability and the unpredictability of the equity and the market currency are associated with volatility. Uncertainty is the lack of assurance of how the inflation index calculation might be in case of any changes in the market (Gardner, 2013). Complexity is a clear understanding of the complexity of the financial regulations and instruments, which helps to deal with the competitive market. Ambiguity is attributed to the overall causes of volatility, uncertainty, and complexity.

Panera situation

In most organizations, time management is a vital requirement such that many employees only have a thirty-minute break for them to have their lunch. Therefore, eateries in which consumers have to wait longer than fifteen minutes for a simple hot dog or fries is unacceptable. The mosh pit problem as recorded by chief executive Ron Shaich involved extreme lines that Panera Bread had and its impact in the whole customer experience. Long lines forced customers to wait for about eight minutes to place their orders and still ended up with wrong orders. These issues forced the company to rethink and restructure its service model. Panera went for an online ordering system as a solution to the “Mosh pit” problem. The new online ordering system reduced the waiting time from eight minutes to one minute.

McDonald’s case

According to recent research by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), McDonald’s customer service is still very slow, and most of the clients are not happy about the delay (Carden, Maldonado & Boyd, 2018). The complex menu offered by the food franchise seems to be the main reason why customer traffic is experienced. Do you think that removing the complicated menu would be the best decision to take in reducing congestion? I do not think so. This is because the consumers expect nothing but the best. Eliminating the dish is not an option; the company might lose many customers.  The best way that I think this issue can be addressed is by incorporating technological help in the preparation and the presentation of the food.

A typical day at McDonald’s seems to be overwhelming even to the employees. The workers receive hundreds of orders at once, and this seems so unrealistic to handle within ten or twenty minutes (Carden, Maldonado & Boyd, 2018). Some customers order from home, others wait at the restaurant, and at times, it becomes unbearable. The best way to quicken the delivery and the service process would be to group deliveries according to the places or the distance a consumer is. Once the process is complete, the deliveries can easily be done to avoid confusion and wastage of time. In addition, the company can incorporate the use of operated delivery drones to quicken the delivery process. The traffic experienced on the road can make delivery a long process, especially with the strict traffic rules. For the satisfaction of everyone, drones can be used to deliver food at specific places because traffic is never experienced in the air.


The business organization strives to remain competitive at all times. Therefore, keeping up with the latest trends and advancements is a serious concern that every organization should understand. Technology can solve most of the needs of man regarding time. A method to react to the needs of consumers is by seeking help from technological methods.  For instance, the use of social media platforms and software applications to help consumers place their orders can be a great deal in reducing congestion in restaurants. Traffic can affect the performance of employees because they feel pressured. That is why, at times, consumers receive their packages without all the contents listed in the packages. Hence, technological techniques ought to be sorted for in solving some problems.

Fast foods need instant deliveries, which may sometimes require online delivery, according to Panera Bread Co. At times, drastic measures should be taken, like the suggestion of drone deliveries to ease the service provision process.  Panera Bread Co has implemented the use of online applications to order food.  The online help has enabled consumers to order food directly through the app, receive alerts at their Oder’s arrival, and rate the delivery services regarding the quality of their food and services. The company has made used of the VUCA strategy by making sure that its delivery process is improved, thus fixing the complexity. Critical thinking plays a vital role in division making as In The Case Of Panera Company. The top officials were able to settle on one decision to implement online deliveries, which has improved their services.


VUCA is a strategy that, when considered keenly, can bring a lasting impact in an organization. Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity are essential aspects of identifying a limitation and changing into a competitive advantage. The aspect of service upgrade and customer care services are important to assess the expectations of the consumers and their needs. VUCA explains how businesses can strategize in the incorporation of suppleness to meet the supply chain standards.


Carden, L. L., Maldonado, T., & Boyd, R. O. (2018). Organizational resilience: A look at McDonald’s in the fast food industry. Organizational Dynamics, 47(1), 25-31.

Gardner, R. (2013). VULA the acronym of our time. Red blog, [web log]

Retrieved from: http://blog.redington.co.uk/Articles/Robert-Gardner/August-2013/VUCA-the-acronym-of-our-time.aspx

Jargon, J. (2017). How Panera solved its mosh pit problem. The Wall Street Journal.

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