Case Study Abstract
The focus of this case study is the supply chain of the world s largest retailer, Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart in recent years has struggled with its supply chain. The big question is: Will Wal-Mart be able to revive the competitive advantage it had in the past with its efficient supply chain? This case discusses the supply chain management practices of Wal-Mart over the years. A brief of Wal-Mart’s past distribution, logistics and inventory management processes is covered. The use of innovative Information Technology (IT) practices to enable the supply chain is discussed and highlighted. The benefits or competitive advantage Wal-Mart derived over the years from its supply chain management practices is also covered.
Table of Contents
- Introduction – Can Wal-Mart sustain its Supply Chain Advantage?
- Wal-Mart in US Retail Market
- Wal-Mart Company Background
- Wal-Mart – Timeline
Case Study Keywords: Wal-Mart, Supply Chain Management, Retailing Strategy Case Study, Logistics and Distribution, IT enabled supply chain, Information Technology, Supply Chain Partnerships, supply chain integration, information sharing, inventory management, retail store formats, cross docking, pricing and procurement, Sam Walton, discount stores, walmart.com.
Case Questions for Discussion
- Wal-Mart’s focus on supply chain management is responsible for its leadership in the retail industry. Discuss the distribution and logistics practices adopted by Wal-Mart. How far has Wal-Mart’s supply chain contributed to its competitive advantage? Explain.
- Companies that have significant buyer power and are very focused on exerting price pressure on their suppliers rather than seeking increased profitability through business process innovations. Support this statement with examples/best practices from your own field.
- Wal-Mart has always used innovative information technology tools to supplement its supply chain. In a few words, explain how use of IT tools/enabled processes have benefited Wal-Mart. How has IT impacted you/your department?
- What steps can Wal-Mart take in order to revive/sustain its supply chain advantage?
- Wal-Mart invited its major suppliers to develop profitable supply chain partnerships. Discuss how good/bad is sharing knowledge/critical information with vendors/suppliers or even customers?
- “It s not a sale; it s a great price you can count on every day to make your dollar go further at Wal-Mart. , as quoted in the article, Pricing Philosophy, posted on www.walmart.com. Comment.
Other Case Studies on Wal-Mart
- Published: Jan, 2008
- Price: 5USD
- Case Code: CS005
- Theme: Wal-Mart’s Supply Chain
- Organization: Wal-Mart
- Industry: Retail
- Format: PDF File