Supply Chain Management
Wal-Mart began as a small discount retailer in Rogers, Arkansas. Recently, Walmart has opened thousands of stores both domestic and international. Utilizing the internet, employees, and their products Walmart has the ability to enhance the customer experience allowing speed, efficiency, and convenience. Walmart has become a familiar presence within local communities by adding value to the people around the world. There are currently over 11,000 locations, 71 banners in 27 countries and the e-commerce division operates within 11 countries. Within the Walmart brand there are 2.2 million associates globally with over half in the United States. Walmart’s competitive priorities are found within its ability to offer affordable pricing to the customer.
Wal-Mart emphasizes their ability to offer “everyday low prices on a broad assortment – anytime, anywhere” which is referred to as EDLP.
Walmart offers a variety of different items. Anything from digital cameras, printers, computers, iPad, MP3 players, books, diapers, baseball equipment, and picture frames, etc. Almost any essential household item is offered at Walmart at a competitive price.
The photo lab is a service offered both online and in the store. Customers have the ability to drop off their photographs at a kiosk or upload the photos on the corporate website. After the photos are prepared, customers can pick up the final print either online or have them sent to their residence. The onsite advantage is fast turnaround; prints are finished in an hour.
Walmart began offering prescription medication for as little as $4 in 2006. The pharmacy division projects a customer savings of $3 billion since inception. Customers
have the choice to either pick the medication up in the store or receive it in the mail. Walmart offers a catalog of over 300 generic medications.
Walmart offers customers “credit cards, debit cards, bill payment services, money transfer ability (western union), check cashing and check printing.” The credit card does not have an annual fee and customers can purchase money orders, gift cards, printed checks, etc. starting at $3.
T-Mobile and Walmart have a partnership offered through Walmart that allows for customers to text or talk; starting at $45.
Wal-mart corporate strategy is the position themselves to serve their customers by fixing inventory problems, being a low price leader and enhance service. The goal is to enhance the customer experience to further drive sales. The company has implemented programs such as saving catcher which allows customers to compare prices on merchandise and Wal-mart will pays them the cost difference on a gift card. Another corporate strategy is expanding opportunities for their associates by promoting from within, offer better salaries and to continue to invest in training and development. Other corporate strategy includes earning trust in communities by being committed to compliance and social, environmental and local responsibility, operating with the highest integrity not just in retail, but in all of their business. Other initiatives includes partnerships with suppliers that have significantly increased sustainability throughout the global supply chain, the use of renewable energy, healthier foods and women’s economic empowerment. (Investor annual report)
According to Wal-mart, these are the fundamental building block behind their corporate strategy. Additionally the company expects to offer comparable store sales by concentrating on