Case Analysis: Supply Chain Management at Wal-Mart

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Wal-mart Stores Inc was the world’s largest retailer and was started by Sam Walton in 1962 who named it as “Wal-Mart Discount City”. However before Wal-mart; Sam Walton owned a number of Ben Franklin Store Chains. Due to this prior experience of owning smaller variety stores and dealing with its franchised supply chain, he learnt various business concepts and also was able to selectively purchase merchandise in bulk from new suppliers and then transport these goods to his stores directly. And then he realized a new trend of discount retailing which was based on driving high volumes of product through low cost retail outlets. He also started a new concept of “Everyday Low
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As of now they have largely developed in Canada and Mexico, however when it comes to international markets something is holding back the success found on North American soil. Other constraints currently effecting Wal-Mart’s supply chain is having the competition borrowing ideas that have worked so well for them, making the gap smaller and smaller each year in overall market share.

Wal-Mart was known for its excellent supply chain management. Wal-mart grew in the 1960s to 1980s and benefited from improved road infrastructure and the inability of its competitors to keep up to changes in legislation. The main change was the removal of “resale price maintenance,” which had prevented retailers from discounting merchandise. A strong and efficient supply chain is the key to distribution and keeping their customers satisfied with the promise of “Everyday Low Prices.” Things within the supply chain in which Wal-Mart excelled at would include logistics, purchasing, retail decisions, and limiting the overall bullwhip effect of the supply chain.

Logistics is a complex process and involves several functions such as procurement or purchasing, inward transport, receiving, warehousing, stock control, order picking, materials handling, outward transport, physical distribution management, recycling, and returns & waste disposal functions.. With Wal-Mart this was started from Walton’s idea of “discount retailing.” Due to

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