Walmart Case Study

1737 words - 7 pages

Wal-Mart, now it is branded as Walmart is the world largest public multinational corporation by revenue in 2010, which runs a chain of large discount department stores and a chain of warehouse stores worldwide. Walmart focuses on the improvement of sales, constant reducing costs to offer goods at the best price, the adaptation of efficient distribution and logistics management systems to ensure the constant flow of the goods and the use of innovative IT and systems to accurate efficient operating processes.

There are always great distribution systems behind the successful supply chain management, and the same goes to Walmart. Walmart owes much of its past success and expectations for ...view middle of the document...

To operate the distribution centre more easily and economically, Walmart uses sophisticated barcode technology and hand-held computer systems which are well-know technologies as strength of Walmart. Thanks to these technologies, all the products information regarding the inventory level are available at real-time by every employee. They can identify the pallet and the location from where the stock had to be picked up by making two scans. The hand-held computers guide employees with regard to the location of particular product from a particular bin or shelf in the centre; therefore, they don’t need much time to manage their inventory. The employee conforms whether it was right product or not when the computer verifies the bin and pick up a product. The quantity of the product required from the centre is entered in to the computer by the employee and then the computer update the information on main server. With this hand-held computer Walmart can always have updated information. This hand-held computer is not only for inventory management, but also give the packaging department accurate information about the products to be packed. Consequently, the hand-held computer reduces unnecessary paperwork by displaying all information about storage, packaging, and shipping of products. The centre supervisors are able to monitor their employees closely, and give them direction and guide even they are on the move.
An important feature of Walmart’s logistics infrastructure is its fast and responsive transportation system. The distribution centers are serviced by more than 3,500 company owned trucks, and these dedicated trucks enable the company to ship goods from the distribution centres to the stores and replenish the store shelves in short time. The company hired only experienced drivers to operate their transport process smoothly. The drivers report their hours of service to a coordinator daily, and the coordinator schedules all dispatches depending on the available driving time and the estimated time for travel between the distribution centers and the retail stores. The coordinator informs the driver of his dispatches, either on the driver’s arrival at the distribution centre or on his return to the distribution center from the retail store. Accordingly, the transport system is well-organised by coordinators. There is a book named “Private Fleet Driver Handbook” which aims to educate the drivers with regard to the code of conduct. It also included the terms and conditions regarding the safe exchange of trailers with the store personnel and the safety of Walmart’s property. This book also contained a list of other activities, the non-compliance of which would result in the termination of the driver.
Another important feature which makes its distribution process more efficient, Walmart uses logistics technique known as “cross-docking.” In cross-docking system, the products will be directly picked up from the manufacturing supplier, sorted out and then...

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