Wal-Mart’s Successfully Integrated Supply Chain

Introduction

Walmart is the largest chain of retail and wholesale stores in the world. The company has gone through periods of growth and recession, but it continues to expand nationally and globally. Walmart is currently managing more than eleven thousand stores worldwide and implementing strategies for developing online shopping websites where users could order goods via the internet. To determine whether those innovations and strategic decisions are successful for the company’s operations, it is necessary to assess the impact of globalization, technologies, vision, mission, and stakeholder management on Walmart operations.

Globalization

Currently, well-developed infrastructure, logistics services, technological innovations, international trade regulations, and low entry barriers create a favorable climate for organizations to upgrade their operations to the global level. Walmart has taken advantage of such an opportunity and expanded its commercial activities to more than 20 developed and developing countries on different continents (Bonakele, Beaty, Rasool, & Kriek, 2014).

Walmart chose and implemented the most appropriate entrance strategy for each state, considering its political, social, and economic climate. In most cases, the outcomes were positive, but the case of Germany was the contrary. Walmart could not stabilize its operations in the German market because many local specific features were ignored (Bonakele et al., 2014). It was not a failure of the company, but that situation hopefully helped Walmart to make certain conclusions.

Technology

Walmart’s success owes much to the implementation of modern technologies and innovative approaches to managing internal and external business operations. In particular, the radio frequency identification (RFID) project became a real sensation for the company because it introduced a smarter way to track shipments, timely deliveries, and keep inventories (Kosasi & Saragih, 2014). This system provides real-time data for tracking the movement of goods across the supply chain which makes the process of supervision more efficient and transparent.

RFID technology conceals a great potential for the company itself and its stakeholder groups because the system performs an analysis automatically, which requires less human effort, reports the current situation to suppliers, and predicts customers’ demand. That way, Walmart benefits from RFID greatly because it allows saving costs and creates competitive advantages for the organization.

Industrial-Organizational Model

Based on the industrial organization model, the external environment along with its opportunities and threats is more significant than the internal operations of a company. Walmart is operating in a highly competitive industry where it is pursuing leading positions both in domestic and international markets. However, the competitive rivalry remains a powerful driver to invent new strategies or optimize the old ones. Thus, Walmart needs to strengthen its competitive advantage and focus on cost optimization further to increase its profits.

Resource-Based Model

The resource-based model implies that a company needs to take advantage of its tangible and intangible resources to stay competitive and profitable in the market. In the case of Walmart, RFID is a key resource that drives business value and differentiates this organization from other competitors in the industry (Kosasi & Saragih, 2014). Thus, Walmart needs to implement and advance technological solutions in its stores all over the world to optimize its supply chain, predict demand, and manage inventory efficiently.

Vision and Mission Statements

Apparently, the primary mission of Walmart is to supply customers with quality goods at low prices, so their lives would be better as they would consume tasty food and save money at the same time. The organization indeed follows its mission and makes beneficial agreements with suppliers and grants discount programs for customers constantly (Nguyen, 2017). The vision of Walmart is to be a leader in the industry, stick to the principles of sustainability, and grant the best experiences for both customers and employees.

It is obvious that the company could not handle the implementation of the vision statement because its employees do not get decent salaries and social benefits (Nguyen, 2017). If Walmart does not provide enough benefits for its workers in other countries, it may not succeed there as many world countries have a strong legislative basis that protects the rights of people and employees.

Stakeholders

The overall success of Walmart s largely dependent on primary stakeholder groups, including investors, suppliers, customers, and employees. Investors are interested in growing revenues of the organization, while suppliers want to procure a greater amount of goods. With the help of RFID technology, the supply chain is more transparent, while suppliers can envision the actual demand. Customers throughout the world tend to prefer the e-commerce environment, so Walmart is gradually launching an online service. As a rule, the governance model of international companies is the same in various divisions, cities, and states (Bonakeke et al., 2014).

Walmart established uniform operational standards in its stores to share information about the company’s operation with all the employees and minimize miscommunication between coordinators and workers (Nguyen, 2017). Overall, Walmart attempts to develop stable and reliable relationships with all stakeholder groups.

Conclusion

Walmart analysis has illustrated that both internal and external forces influence the overall success of the organization. That way, globalization has introduced new opportunities for development, while RFID technology helped to optimize supply chain management. Based on the vision and mission statements, Walmart develops its relationships with different stakeholder groups, but there is still room for further improvement. Owing to its business model, Walmart managed to enter new markets, however, its strategic goals should be adjusted in each country accordingly by taking political, social, and economic factors into consideration.

References

Bonakele, T., Beaty, D., Rasool, F., & Kriek, D. (2014). Examining the entry of Walmart into South Africa: A stakeholder management perspective. South African Journal of Labour Relations, 38(2), 78-89.

Kosasi, S., & Saragih, H. (2014). How RFID technology boosts Walmart’s supply chain management. International Journal of Information Technology and Business Management, 24(1), pp.29-37.

Nguyen, T. T. H. (2017). Wal-Mart’s successfully integrated supply chain and the necessity of establishing the Triple-A supply chain in the 21st century. Journal of Economics and Management, 29(3), 102-117.