M3A1 Process Improvement Plan: Process Proposal.
As the biggest company known for its well implemented and developed supply chain, Walmart is bound to face various challenges, mainly concerning the management of the company and how the company is viewed from the external environment. As a standard measure, each and every organization carries out a SWOT analysis in order to come up with the possibilities of how to handle the situation at hand. For Walmart therefore, the concerns that have been raised calls for an action to be put in place. Wal-Mart has made a net sales of $256.3 billion. This is 11.6% increase over net sales of the similar period last year (“Wal-Mart Company Profile” 4). Business decisions such as closing stores that were not profitable, and expanding during recessions when consumers were looking to discount stores to save money, have made Wal-Mart’s undeniable success all the more obtainable. There has been however,a negative attitude towards Wal-Mart as a retailing giant because of issues concerning wages, heath care and the environment (Walmart Company, 2015).
It is evident that Walmart made a significant improvements in its sales in the recent past compared to the other years. The official report states that; “Throughout our network, we delivered 65 million more cases, while driving 28 million fewer miles, by increasing our pallets per trailer and better managing our routes [emphasis mine]. The heavier loads have minimal impact on our fuel-efficient equipment, which includes an average tractor age of three years and the addition of more than 13,000 skirted trailers. Our network efficiency improvement equates to avoiding nearly 41,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking about 7,900 cars off the road.” (Gonzalez, 2012). The improved efficiency can be attributed to factors such as transporting goods that have the same destination once rather than making a double trip to and fro.
The advancement in Technology is another key area that should be checked so that the company continue to remain being relevant to the market. Most of the competitors of Walmart have been quick in implementing the newer Technologies into their systems to improve in their efficiencies. Walmart has followed suit and this is evident with their improved routing and scheduling soft wares, that is currently managing the supply chain process.Walmart management confessed to the fact that the company has an inventory management problem which led to the loss of $3 billion in the year 2013 which was mainly due to the out of stock merchandise as the inventory grew at a faster rate. This made the management to put the blame on the bad weather experienced at that time but the inventory problem mainly contributed to the huge losses counted (Rosenblum, 2014). This problem was addressed by replacing most of the services with the new technology in place. By doing this, Walmart could continue to be relevant to the market and be at bar with the other competitors like Tiffany.
Walmart has its main goal of expanding as wide as possible to other countries around the world. This will call for improved transportation facilities and mainly working on new and upcoming markets. The entry of Walmart into new markets like Mexico and Canada can be counted as a stepping stone and the successful integration into the new markets can be attributed to the improvement in the transportation processes as stated below in the official report;
“Over the past five years, our transportation department in Mexico has demonstrated continued improvement in the area of efficiency. In 2011 alone, our focus on backhauls, the practice of picking up a load from a vendor and delivering to our distribution centers (DC), rather than running an empty truck between our store and DC, saved more than 56,000 trips. Combined with other initiatives across our transportation department, we saved more than 86,600 trips and nearly 3.2 million miles, while avoiding 4,878 tons of CO2 emissions.” (Gonzalez, 2012).
The fact that the Company is faced with criticism from the external environment on how it handles its employees, it strives a lot to maintain the good reputation that it has had before. The company is on a plan to improve the welfare of the employees. Walmart is currently putting more emphasize on ensuring the welfare of the employees. This includes giving them enough salary and giving them various life covers like the medical covers (Rosenblum, 2014).Though Wal-Mart has been criticized for giving its employees low wages the companyis doing a lot of good for lower income people. The employee savings accounts, can save a family about $1,000 a year with their low prices. Wal-Mart can beat out many competitors with their aggressive pricing strategy. They have the ability to cut prices on some products, such as toys, by thirty percent in order to stimulate more sales. Wal-Mart has even been able to lure in higher-income customers when they open store in more urban areas. Since Wal-Mart has become the nation’s largest food retailer, people from all income levels are shopping there for their necessity items. They have even been working on a more upscale appearance of their stores to attract these customers. The service that Wal-Mart offers to its customers is a great advantage as well. They have a strong image that it is a friendly and helpful place to shop where people are always willing to make your experience a good one. The added incentives are the constant price rollback, as well as the store-within-a-store. A great deal of Wal-Mart’s success can be attributed to the fact that the company was based on identifying, knowing, and understanding what exactly customers want from a retailer.
Considering the change in process of Walmart Company it is evident that the current process will and in fact help the company to achieve its goals and objectives.
Gonzalez, A. (2012) How Walmart Improved Fleet Efficiency by 69 Percent. Retrieved on 3rd September, 2015 from http://www.logisticsviewpoints.com/2012/04/25/how-walmart-improved-fleet-efficiency-by-69-percent/Logistics Viewpoint.
Rosenblum, P. (2014) How Walmart Could Solve Its Inventory Problem and Improve Earnings. Retrieved on 3rd, September, 2015 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/paularosenblum/2014/05/22/walmart-could-solve-its-inventory-problem-and-improve-earnings/ Forbes
Walmart Company (2015) Accessed on 3rd, September from http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/
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