Supply Chain Design Benchmark
Wal-Mart is ranked among the best companies in the world today; its supply chain management channel has been on the growth for a long period in the market. The success of Wal-Mart is greatly dependent on its ability to harness the necessary tactics o entice its customers to have a specific purchasing abilities while at the same time reduces the costs the company uses on carrying out its operations. To ensure that it maintains its global trade growth as well as increase the level of competition with the other companies in the society, increased competitive pressures, corporations are finding they must make significant changes in how they run their global supply chain operations.
The company’s strategy strives towards implementation of the set goals and policies that aims at enabling it to diversify its product base as well as expand to become a global market leader and in the long run achieving the set goals (Jayaram, Tan & Nachiappan 2010). To ensure that it achieves its goals, Wal-Mart engages in best practices such as increasing the supply chain visibility so as to ensure transparency and speed of in its global engagements. It also aims at harmonizing the demand and supply aspects of the company by encouraging the business to business collaboration. As a preventive measure in tackling future disruptions and enhance product resilience, the company has enacted proper risk management techniques (Parnell & Lester 2008). Logistic agility is also an important notable aspect that has been seen to work in favor of Wal-Mart as it has enabled the company to successfully benchmark in a number of companies leading to the automation of the global process of supply chain management.
One of the biggest advantages Wal-Mart has over its competitors is its ability it maintain the store-level operations that are efficiently sufficient in handling logistic operations. it has been able to ensure standardized materials that have enabled a reduction in the operation costs of the company (Parnell & Lester 2008). The company’s distribution centres have detailed information about the level of stock allowing the merchandise that is added to the stores to have an automatic entry. The record keeping design adopted I the store level systems enable ease movement of items from one section to the other and also enhances impending delivery ensuring merchandising responsibility at the entry level.
To ensure transparency and accountability in the stores, the employees are required to have a updated template that are sent to various stores from the main office enabling a steady straight forward management account (Jayaram, Tan & Nachiappan 2010). The company further provides the employees with detailed information regarding the weekly, monthly sales so that they may be made aware of the company’s progress. This information is shared during a brief session between the employees and the company management in their respective departments.
The supply chain management system at Wal-Mart suggests the displaying of the various merchandise each store provides so as to enable customers have an overview of the company’s layout providing for an analysis of the previous sales that enable the company to have a specific target when carrying out market analysis and annual projections (Parnell & Lester 2008). So as to have detailed information regarding the tastes, preferences of its customers Wal-Mart categorizes the suppliers when preparing recording statements. The shelves are named with titles of specific categories of suppliers according to the type of merchandise they provide. This is evident at their retail stores specifically during allocation of shelf space.
Some of the important aspects that are critical in enhancing supply chain management is the idea of the spreadsheet. These tools enable a company to have realistic costs of operation as well as ensuring that it operates within its limits. Majority of the company management focuses on the internal departments to ensure that the set targets and achieve the set standards increasing results (Jayaram, Tan & Nachiappan 2010). Most of the companies focus on ensuring that the finished goods are able to leave the warehouse and thus engage all their abilities in consolidating the level of operations and integrating the supply chains internally and externally. To achieve this some formative steps should be employed such as establishing congruence and well thought out agreement that will root out biasness from the various departments.
By realizing the competitive advantage a company has over the others in the market the management can stir growth by maximizing on the profits and extending the collaboration with other trading partners. Customization of the type of merchandize a company deals with is also an important aspect of ensuring a unified value chain. This can be achieved through different mechanisms such as computing architectures and data definition together with performance metrics. This process requires the supply chain system to have a well developed knowledge base, company objective and relational abilities as this ensures that all the critical business processes and operations are effective both internally and externally. Unification of the supply chains’ foundations enhances integration which further provides for proper segmentation of the customer groups ensuring that all the needs and preferences of the customers are covered.
Jayaram, J., Tan, K., & Nachiappan, S. P. (2010). Examining the interrelationships between supply chain integration scope and supply chain management efforts. International Journal Of Production Research, 48(22), 6837-6857.
Parnell, J. A., & Lester, D. L. (2008). Competitive Strategy and the Wal-Mart Threat: Positioning for Survival and Success. (Cover story). SAM Advanced Management Journal (07497075), 73(2), 14-24.