Walmart's Ability to Scan and Track Items

Essay by bhall73A, September 2008

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Wal-Mart Stores Manage Supply Chain with RFIDDiscussion Questions:1.What benefits has RFID technology provided or is anticipated to provide for Wal-Mart in the management of its supply chain?·RFID technology gives Wal-Mart the ability to scan and track products and merchandise as they leave trucks and warehouses. Wal-Mart's database is updated each time an item is scanned.

·Items that are out of stock are restocked quicker and usually 3 times faster than their competitors.

·Items that might spoil are tagged and inform the grocery and produce managers which ones might still be good to sell or throw out.

·Tags show where the items are, if they're on a truck or being unloaded. High priority goods can be unloaded quicker.

·If an item didn't sell well this technology will show the sales.

2. How do you think information systems are used to automate communications between links in Wal-Mart's supply chain?·Inventory that needs to be restocked are automatically reordered without any human involvement.

Items are packed on trucks for delivery the same way.

·Items on conveyor belts are automatically sorted which speeds up the process.

Critical Thinking Questions:1.How does Wal-Mart's decision to use RFID technology and require suppliers to adopt RFID affect other retailers and the future of RFID technology itself?·Wal-Mart saves money by using this system so therefore they pass the savings onto their customers. Savings cause the customers to keep coming back, which in turn, drops the sales of their competitors. Their competitors will have to figure out their own way to keep up.

·The items that are out of stock will be replenished quicker causing customers to return and the competitors to loose in sales or drop their own prices to retain the current customers.

2. What effect has Wal-Mart's RFID Tag Initiative had on Wal-Mart as an...