Walmart Case Study: Half a Century of Supply Chain Management

3998 WordsJun 14, 201416 Pages
[;’p// Walmart Case Study: Half a Century of Supply Chain Management SCM 607 Dr. John Wu March 15, 2014 Table of Contents Walmart Case Study: Half a Century of Supply Chain Management INTRODUCTION Walmart dominates the retailing industry in terms of its sales revenue, its customer base, and its ability to drive down costs and deliver good value to its customers. After all, the world’s largest corporation, employing 1.8 million associates worldwide, takes pride in having received numerous accolades for its ability to continuously improve efficiency in the supply chain while meeting its corporate mandate of offering customers everyday low prices. Walmart demonstrates how a physical product retailer can…show more content…
Should we move this content somewhere else or leave it here? KEY ISSUES Walmart has pioneered many innovations in the purchase and distribution processes of the products it sells. Over 20 years ago, Walmart drove the adoption of Universal Product Code (UPC) bar codes throughout the retail industry; it also pioneered the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for computerized ordering from vendors. Its hub-and-spoke distribution network ensures goods are brought to distribution centers around the country and then directed outward to thousands of stores, each of which is within a day’s travel. Through the use of cross-docking, one of its best-known innovations, half the goods trucked to a distribution center from suppliers ship to stores within 24 hours. The other half, called “pull stock,” is stored at the distribution center until needed at stores. In addition, Walmart uses a dedicated fleet of trucks to ship goods from warehouses to stores in less than 48 hours, as well as to replenish store inventories about twice a week. Thus, with flow-through logistics, the company speeds the movement of goods from its distribution centers to its retail stores around the world. Today the retail giant continues to push the supply chain toward greater and greater efficiency, prioritizing customer needs while employing new technologies

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