Walmart Supply Chain

Topics: Supply chain, Logistics, Supply chain management Pages: 5 (1512 words) Published: November 11, 2010
Retail super-giant Wal-Mart has fought its way to becoming the world's largest company. Wal-Mart’s legendary supply chain technology has allowed them to break the three-day barrier that some economists in the eighties felt that it was unbreakable. In other words, Wal-Mart is often able to replenish items on the Wal-Mart shelf in less than three days – not from the central warehouse to the shelf, but from the manufacturer to the shelf. With quick and reliable 2-day turn around, Wal-Mart is able to maintain lower levels of inventory and still meet customer demand. These lower inventory levels result in either a reduced floor plan with lower carrying costs and lower interest expense – or a greater diversity of products on the store shelves.

Much of Wal-Mart’s success can be attributed to providing a vast assortment of products at exceptional prices all under one roof. Wal-Mart began operations in 1964 and has since become the world leader in retail. Today, Wal-Mart is visited by 138 million customers per week at their 4,750 stores. Wal-Mart operates under four basic rules in order to satisfy such a large number of customers: Respect the individual, provide the best service to their customers, strive for excellence, and exceed customer expectations. Their corporate mission focuses on a global growth strategy through concentrated integration. The company continues to expand its existing discount stores, warehouses, and super-centers. The company maintains two goals: First, Provide the customer with what they want, when they want it, all at value and secondly, team spirit through total dependency on associates to treat customers as they would want to be treated. Their business strategy is to provide well-known name brands at an everyday low price. Wal-Mart has a wide range of products offered. They offer everything from electronics, movies, books, toys, games, gardening supplies, home supplies, photo development, gifts, jewelry, and at some locations even automobile, optometry, and grocery shopping centers.

Wal-Mart is in the business of selling everything customers need in their everyday lives. This includes the consumer goods listed above as well as food-service items. Even still, Wal-Mart pursues multiple strategies. Concerning concentration, Wal-Mart continually finds more consumer goods to sell at its stores which can take money from competitors. Additionally, when Wal-Mart entered into the food market, it quickly consolidated and held to good, saleable products. Wal-Mart never forays too far into a market and only sells what will make it a profit.

Supply chain Risks in Asia
Corporations face supply chain risks associated with natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods; non-natural catastrophes such as fires or explosions; and poor physical asset management, whether at company-owned facilities or at a partner’s facilities. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, earthquakes and flooding in China, tsunamis in Southeast Asia, and other events have shown the impact of rare but catastrophic events that shook companies’ supply chains around the world. Thus, their destructive can affect not only individuals, families, and communities but also whole economics. Supply-chain surprises are rarely good news. Fires, explosions, accidents, ship sinkings, and other problems creates costly delays and requires expensive remediation efforts-repairs, relocation, last-minute sourcing changes, and more. Man-made disasters have certainly troubled companies in recent years. Several companies suffered from large-scale catastrophes like the September 11 attacks-a man made disaster of extraordinary proportions.

Asian countries are recognized for the high quality and low cost of their products. The competitiveness of internationally traded products is greatly influenced by various factors related supply chains. All goods bought and sold move through supply chains of some description, making the security of goods in transit an...
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