Why Is Wal-Mart so Successful?

3388 WordsOct 8, 199914 Pages
Sam Walton, a leader with an innovative vision, started his own company and made it into the leader in discount retailing that it is today. Through his savvy, and sometimes unusual, business practices, he and his associates led the company forward for thirty years. Today, four years after his death, the company is still growing steadily. Wal-Mart executives continue to rely on many of the traditional goals and philosophies that Sam's legacy left behind, while simultaneously keeping one step ahead of the ever-changing technology and methods of today's fast-paced business environment. The organization has faced, and is still facing, a significannot amount of controversy over several different issues; however, none of these have done much…show more content…
In fact, the founder of Kmart once claimed that Walton "not only copied our concepts, he strengthened them. Sam just took the ball and ran with it" (Thompson & Strickland, 1995, p. 859). <br> <br>Wal-Mart has invested heavily in its unique cross-docking inventory system. Cross docking has enabled Wal-Mart to achieve economies of scale which reduces its costs of sales. With this system, goods are continuously delivered to stores within 48 hours and often without having to inventory them. Lower prices also eliminate the expense of frequent sales promotions and sales are more predictable. Cross docking gives the individual managers more control at the store level. <br> <br>A company owned transportation system also assists Wal-Mart in shipping goods from warehouse to store in less than 48 hours. This allows Wal-Mart to replenish the shelves 4 times faster than its competition. Wal-Mart owns the largest and most sophisticated computer system in the private sector. It uses a MPP (massively parallel processor) computer system to track stock and movement which keeps it abreast of fast changes in the market (Daugherty, 1993). Information related to sales and inventory is disseminated via its advanced satellite communications system. <br> <br>Wal-Mart has leveraged its volume buying power with its suppliers. It negotiates the best prices from its vendors and expects commitments of quality merchandise (Thompson & Strickland, 1995). The purchasing agents of

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