Essay by w0091953 January 2005

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No other mass retailer or trading community -- domestic, foreign, or global -- has developed a system even close to WalMart's capabilities in supply chain and distribution management and optimization. From 1987 to 1993 WalMart spent over $700 million on its satellite communications network, computers, and related equipment. However, the possibility of competitors having allocated significant resources to developing state-of-the-art data warehouses that, like WalMart's, go beyond collecting point-of-sale data to drive replenishment. The new data warehouses address and understand demographics, individual stores, and customer preferences. To continue to maintain IT as a strategic advantage, WalMart must continue development to further increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its supply chain management systems, to advance the development of its distribution management system, and add new capabilities as the technologies and customer service opportunities arise.

In looking at WalMart more closely we realize that since WalMart is a traditional company its value chain is its supply chain.

In order to strengthen its value chain we must focus on strengthening components in their supply chain. As we further analyze the company, WalMart maintains a win-win situation with its suppliers since they order large quantities and they represent one of the largest customers for their suppliers. If we were to analyze WalMart like any other company and focus on its value chain rather than supply chain, WalMart still comes out on top. And more customer service.

Walmart is one of the biggest global retailers in the world, operating in several different countries around the world, with multiple formats, all tied together by a state-of-the-art retail

distribution system known as a Retail Link. The corporation typically seeks market areas where there is a customer base of 5,000 to 25,000 and targets small to medium-sized towns in particular. Historically, the corporation avoids big city markets...