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Walmart: Supply Chain Management

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This case focuses on the supply chain strategy of Walmart. Set in 2019, it provides a detailed description of the company's supply chain network and capabilities. Data in the case allows students to…

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  • Publication Date: Jul 8, 2019
  • Discipline: Operations Management
  • Product #: W19317-PDF-ENG

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This case focuses on the supply chain strategy of Walmart. Set in 2019, it provides a detailed description of the company's supply chain network and capabilities. Data in the case allows students to compare Walmart's source of competitiveness with those of other retailers-both online including Amazon.com and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Target-to develop insights into the management of a large, complex, global supply chain network. As competition between Walmart and its online and offline competitors heated up, a key challenge for the company's president and chief executive officer was deciding what changes made to Walmart's expanding supply chain would best support its strategic objectives. What supply chain capabilities would Walmart need as its business model continued to evolve?

Learning Objectives

This case can be used in an undergraduate or MBA course in supply chain management, operations management, business strategy, international business, logistics, purchasing, or marketing. It can provide an introduction to supply chain management using a company with which most students are familiar. In doing so, it allows students to learn how Walmart has built up its supply chain capabilities over the past five decades, and how the company leveraged these capabilities to become the world's largest retailer. Combining the Walmart case with the "Amazon.com: Supply Chain Management" case (W18451) in back-to-back classes provides a powerful illustration of the differences between two leading companies and demonstrates the importance of alignment of supply chain competencies with organizational strategy. After completion of this case, students will be able to: Assess Walmart's supply chain and identify its key competitive advantages. Quantify Walmart's ability to generate value from its supply chain. Identify potential opportunities and challenges for Walmart to improve its supply chain. Analyze the effects of the opportunities and challenges facing Walmart on its growth and evolution.

Jul 8, 2019 (Revised: Sep 9, 2019)

Discipline:

Operations Management

Geographies:

United States

Industries:

Retail trade

Ivey Publishing

W19317-PDF-ENG

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case study on supply chain management of walmart pdf

Walmart: Supply Chain Management

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This operations management case study focuses on the supply chain strategy of Walmart. Set in 2019, it provides a detailed description of the company’s supply chain network and capabilities. Data in the case allows students to compare Walmart’s source of competitiveness with those of other retailers—both online including Amazon and traditional brick–and-mortar retailers, such as Target—to develop insights into the management of a large, complex, global supply chain network. As competition between Walmart and its online and offline competitors heated up, a key challenge for the company’s president and chief executive officer was deciding what changes made to Walmart’s expanding supply chain would best support its strategic objectives. What supply chain capabilities would Walmart need as its business model continued to evolve?

Learning Objectives

This Walmart Supply Chain Management case study can be used in an undergraduate or MBA course in:

  • Supply chain management
  • Operations management
  • Business strategy
  • International business

It can provide an introduction to supply chain management using a company with which most students are familiar. In doing so, it allows students to learn how Walmart has built up its supply chain capabilities over the past five decades, and how the company leveraged these capabilities to become the world’s largest retailer. Combining the Walmart case with the Amazon.com: Supply Chain Management case in back-to-back classes provides a powerful illustration of the differences between two leading companies and demonstrates the importance of alignment of supply chain competencies with organizational strategy.

After Completion of This Case Students Will Be Able To:

  • Assess Walmart’s supply chain and identify its key competitive advantages.
  • Quantify Walmart’s ability to generate value from its supply chain.
  • Identify potential opportunities and challenges for Walmart to improve its supply chain.
  • Analyze the effects of the opportunities and challenges facing Walmart on its growth and evolution.
  • Additional Details
  • Supplemental Products
  • Supporting Materials

case study on supply chain management of walmart pdf

The Impact of Blockchain on Food Supply Chain: The Case of Walmart

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  • First Online: 07 December 2018
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case study on supply chain management of walmart pdf

  • Bowen Tan 14 ,
  • Jiaqi Yan 15 ,
  • Si Chen 15 &
  • Xingchen Liu 15  

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNISA,volume 11373))

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  • International Conference on Smart Blockchain

11k Accesses

49 Citations

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Blockchain technology has become increasingly popular and attracted interests from many innovators, technologists and scholars in recent years. Beyond the financial sector, the blockchain technology is promising in addressing the current limitations in food supply chain management. As the adoption of blockchain in food supply chain is still in an early stage, it is significant to have a thematic framework for understanding the impacts of blockchain technology. This paper aims to exploring the adoption of blockchain technology in food supply chains with a thematic analysis. A desktop research is conducted and all the data is collected from online databases, including Factiva, Nexis, and Google scholar. Then we carry out a qualitative thematic analysis, according to the investigation processes suggested by Creswell. The findings illustrate four categories of impacts of the adoption of blockchain on food supply chains.

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Acknowledgement

This work was supported by Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC No. 71701091) and the Chinese Ministry of Education Project of Humanities and Social Science (No. 17YJC870020).

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Jiaqi Yan, Si Chen & Xingchen Liu

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Tan, B., Yan, J., Chen, S., Liu, X. (2018). The Impact of Blockchain on Food Supply Chain: The Case of Walmart. In: Qiu, M. (eds) Smart Blockchain. SmartBlock 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11373. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-05764-0_18

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Home » Management Case Studies » Case Study: Supply Chain Management of Walmart

Case Study: Supply Chain Management of Walmart

The world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in the year 1962. He opened his first store in Rogers, Ark. On 31st October 1969, the company was incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores. Key success factor was the guidance of Sam. Presently they are operating in fifteen countries with more than 8,000 stores with 2.1 million employees (2009). Major features of Wal-Mart stores are its store area, cleanliness and its shelves which is filled with varieties of quality items that includes health care products, family apparels, electronic items, automotive products, hardware items, jewelry etc.

Wal-Mart is giving more emphasis for customer needs and tried to reduce cost through the effective usage of supply chain management system . In the year 2009, Fortune Magazine ranked Wal-Mart as first among other retailers in its survey. Sales were about 401 billion U.S dollars in the FY 2009. Sam Walton claims that Wal-Mart’s vision had always been to increase sales through lowering the costs through organized distribution system with the help of the Information Technology. It is said that Wal-Mart’s extreme success could be attributed to its effective supply chain management.

Wal-Mart’s efficiency in supply chain management was due to two key factors namely automated distribution center and the computerized inventory system. This brought in minimizing a lot of time the later not only reduced the checking out time but also recorded the transaction which is much needed to know envisage demand. Demand forecast is a constant issue which could be a threat when not handled properly. This is due to the fact that demand prediction is always inaccurate. Aggregation would be a remedy for this unpredictable demand.

Wal-Mart’s focus has always been to sell goods at a lower price to the customers. They ensured direct purchase form the companies bypassing the intermediaries. This by passing is one of the ways to reduce cost. Wal-Mart preferred small vendors to the big players however the vendor who provides the best price qualifies and gets the deal. This applies to the giants like P& G as well. Their practice these days had been choosing few vendors and they literally negotiate the best price the one that comes up with the best price qualifies. This does not blindly mean that they have been ruthless. Wal-Mart also work with the vendors for improving its supply chain efficiency.

Wal-Mart with its power distribution system made quite innovative changes like reducing paper work, reduced its lead time drastically, used bar codes to bill which recorded inventory levels and the access to the stock levels served as the valuable data for management. The movements of products are systematic and strategically aliened in a way that it reduces the most valuable time and cost and results in efficiency. Wal-Mart had a very effective rather responsive and flexible distribution system to transport goods from docks to stores. It educated the drives with the ethics and code of conduct which pictures their supply chain responsibility. Cross docking is one lethal weapon that was used by Wal-Mart in their SCM.

Cross Docking: Cross Docking is a method of handling goods. This happens when vendor and the company work together. This is the method of supplying the product in the right time and the said quantity. This cut down a lot of time. This also changed Wal-Mart’s way of looking things. This transitioned Wal-Mart from being a centralized management to almost decentralized system took a major turn in focus of pull strategy than a pull strategy.

Cross-docking is one of the techniques used by Wal-Mart. It means there is no unnecessary storage or little storage in between the loading and unloading of goods so that customer can enjoy the quality of the goods by first hand. Wal-Mart have logistics infrastructure which is very fast transportation system wherein the distribution centers are being serviced.   Wal-Mart assured that their drivers are capable of doing their jobs accordingly and do not cause unnecessary delays that can hamper the efficiency of the distribution operations.   To deliver it on time, the coordinators give information to the driver the expected time of arrival or delivery of the goods.

Point Of Sale: Information sharing is one of the most important things when it comes to SCM. P&G with its Pampers requested Wal-Mart to share its point of sale so that it could predict its demand more or less and work on the information to bring in efficiency. When Wal-Mart shared this information P&G could plan in advance and it with its efficient supply chain management could supply pampers to Wal-Mart on time.

Wal-Mart did not want to dedicate lot of space to pamper in its warehouse of shop store either. Instead the supply was taken care by P& G. This led the initiation of working with the vendors and coming out with huge efficiency by maintaining lower inventory and satisfying demand without stock outs. Thus point of sale sharing would be a key element for any company for its further scope of improvement and also when there is further scope of improvement there is a role for Supply chain management.

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This case focuses on the supply chain strategy of Walmart. Set in 2019, it provides a detailed description of the company's supply chain network and capabilities. Data in the case allows students to compare Walmart's source of competitiveness with those of other retailers-both online including Amazon.com and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Target-to develop insights into the management of a large, complex, global supply chain network. As competition between Walmart and its online and offline competitors heated up, a key challenge for the company's president and chief executive officer was deciding what changes made to Walmart's expanding supply chain would best support its strategic objectives. What supply chain capabilities would Walmart need as its business model continued to evolve?

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Case Study: Walmart

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Purpose – The purpose of this article is to provide academics and practitioners a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the benefits, barriers, and bridges to successful collaboration in strategic supply chains. Design/methodology/approach – A triangulation method consisting of a literature review, a cross‐functional mail survey, and 51 in‐depth case analyses was implemented. Senior managers from purchasing, manufacturing, and logistics were targeted in the mail survey. The break down by channel category interviews is as follows: 14 retailers, 13 finished goods assemblers, 12 first‐tier suppliers, three lower‐tier suppliers, and nine service providers. Findings – Customer satisfaction and service is perceived as more enduring than cost savings. All managers recognize technology, information, and measurement systems as major barriers to successful supply chain collaboration. However, the people issues – such as culture, trust, aversion to change, and willingness to collaborate – are more intractable. People are the key bridge to successful collaborative innovation and should therefore not be overlooked as companies invest in supply chain enablers such as technology, information, and measurement systems. Research limitations/implications – The average mail‐survey response rate was relatively low: 23.5 percent. The case study analyses were not consistent in frequency across channel functions. Although the majority of companies interviewed and surveyed were international, all surveys and interviews were managers based in the US. Practical implications – This study provides new insight into understanding the success and hindering factors of supply chain management. The extensive literature review, the cross‐channel analysis, and case studies provide academics and managers a macro picture of the goals, challenges, and strategies for implementing supply chain management. Originality/value – This paper uses triangulation methodology for examining key issues of supply chain management at multiple levels within the supply chain.

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  1. Walmart: Supply Chain Management

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    Researchers often highlight the role of innovative supply chain management in retail. Walmart's more than 150 distribution centers have played a central role in strengthening its business. Its distribution system is one among the largest in the world and serves a large number of stores, clubs and also caters to the customers directly.

  6. 7

    7_Walmart Supply Chain Case Study - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. Comprehensive Analysis of Walmart from Strategic Cost Management Perspective

  7. Supply Chain Management

    The document provides a case analysis of supply chain management at Walmart. It discusses how Walmart established early competitive advantages through efficient logistics and purchasing strategies like cross-docking and standardizing packaging. This helped reduce costs and limit the bullwhip effect. The document also examines Walmart's use of collaborative planning practices with suppliers and ...

  8. Walmart's Supply Chain: A Detailed Look at How They Manage It

    What's more, Walmart spent $14 billion in 2021 on supply chain automation. This begins with automated warehouse management and control systems, which are software, and automated picking, sorting and putting systems, which are hardware. The software handles inventory control of the bewilderingly large assortment of Walmart's various online ...

  9. Case Study

    Discuss in detail the distribution and logistics system adopted by Wal-Mart. No tC 2. The use of innovative information technology tools had benefited Wal-Mart's supply chain management. In the light of the above statement, briefly explain how IT benefited Wal-Mart's logistics and inventory management. 3.

  10. PDF An incisive assessment of Walmart's supply chain management

    efficiency of its supply chain management. The final objective of the paper is to discuss the challenges that Walmart currently faces and the scope for improvement in a particular area. Keywords— Walmart, Global supply chain management, Case study, Global influence, Business, Logistics, Challenges 1. INTRODUCTION

  11. Case Study: Walmart: Supply Chain Management

    This operations management case study focuses on the supply chain strategy of Walmart. Set in 2019, it provides a detailed description of the company's supply chain network and capabilities. Data in the case allows students to compare Walmart's source of competitiveness with those of other retailers—both online including Amazon and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Target ...

  12. (PDF) Effective Supply Chain Management: A Review of Wal-Mart Meltem

    This study examined Wal-Mart's supply chain management (SCM) process, cross-docking, (IT) information technologies, Scanner-Technology and the use of RFID and sales and pricing as cost dimension.

  13. The Impact of Blockchain on Food Supply Chain: The Case of Walmart

    3.1 Case Study. Wal-Mart is famous for its efficient supply chain management through large distribution centres and advanced information systems such as Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID). ... instead of looking for the news directly about Wal-Mart supply chain, this ...

  14. Case Study: Supply Chain Management of Walmart

    Sales were about 401 billion U.S dollars in the FY 2009. Sam Walton claims that Wal-Mart's vision had always been to increase sales through lowering the costs through organized distribution system with the help of the Information Technology. It is said that Wal-Mart's extreme success could be attributed to its effective supply chain management.

  15. HOW RFID TECHNOLOGY BOOSTS WALMART'S SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

    This study explored the role of RFID in WalMart's supply chain for obtaining information; RFID technology and the supply chain, components of RFID, the integration into the supply chain, the benefits, and how it can boosts and enhances Wal-Mart's supply chain management.Potential benefits against inventory inaccuracy problems, the bullwhip ...

  16. A Case Study of Wal-Mart's "Green" Supply Chain Management

    Wal-Mart: Staying on Top of the Fortune 500 A Case Study on Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Patrick Hayden. Download Free PDF. View PDF. Green and Sustainable Supply Chain Management Practices- A Study of Wal-Mart. Neeraj Anand. Supply Chain Management has emerged as one of the major key area for companies to gain competitive advantage in the market.

  17. PDF Retail Supply Chain Systems Analysis: A Case of Walmart

    Walmart's supply chain information management uses information technology as the foundation and tool, applying it to every aspect of supply chain management to maximize efficiency at each stage.

  18. Walmart Supply Chain Management ( Case study)

    Walmart has highly effective supply chain management practices that have contributed significantly to its success. It uses procurement strategies like direct sourcing from manufacturers and vendor managed inventory. Logistically, it employs cross-docking and a hub-and-spoke distribution model. Walmart also pioneered the use of IT in supply ...

  19. Walmart: Supply Chain Management

    Publication Date: July 08, 2019. Source: Ivey Publishing. This case focuses on the supply chain strategy of Walmart. Set in 2019, it provides a detailed description of the company's supply chain network and capabilities. Data in the case allows students to compare Walmart's source of competitiveness with those of other retailers-both online ...

  20. (PDF) Case Study: Walmart

    An Analysis of Current Supply Chain Best Practices in the Retail Industry with Case Studies of Wal-Mart and Amazon.com. sara desh. Download Free PDF. View PDF. International Journal of Business and Economics Research. A Case Study Approach for Developing Supply Chain Management Models. 2014 •. Ashfaque Mohib. Download Free PDF.

  21. Adoption of Blockchain Technology: A Case Study of Walmart

    The case study on Walmart is being conducted on the bases of their market shares. as we have taken the market share value of different companies such as Walmart, Hindustan Unilever, UPS, VISA ...