Walmart’s current approach toward its value chain management can be regarded as directed at international expansion. Specifically, the inbound and outbound logistics of the company have reached the global level, the company having thousands of suppliers all over the world (Nguyen, 2017). In order to enhance its performance rates, Walmart uses the latest information technology (Natto, 2014). Technological advances also help Walmart to embrace the radical changes that the retail industry has been undergoing.
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The firm has also been extraordinarily successful in its marketing approach. By positioning itself as the cheapest organization within the industry, Walmart has managed to remain the undefeated champion thereof (Nash, 2015). Armed with a unique brand image and a well-established presence in the global economy, Walmart has designed an impeccable marketing approach. Similarly, the after-sales procedures are aimed at maintaining the company’s success, popularity, and recognizability within the global market.
Particularly, the after-sales activities include the reassessment of the current human resource management (HRM) approach, the update of the technology and equipment used within the supply chain, and the improvement of Walmart’s infrastructure (Nguyen, 2017). The identified steps lead to a gradual rise in Walmart’s performance levels, which helps the company remain highly competitive in the selected niche.
At present, Walmart is doing an impressive job of reducing the expenses taken to perform key logistics-related operations, market the firm’s services, and execute any other essential corporate objectives. Walmart owes a significant part of its efficacy to the application of IT innovations. For instance, it uses a network that embraces 42 distribution centers simultaneously to enhance the quality of data management and prevent cases of misunderstandings and delays (“The Walmart distribution center network in the United States,” 2017). However, there are other IT-related approaches for reducing costs within the supply chain of the organization.
For instance, applications that allow tracking the completion of minor logistics-related procedures in real-time will contribute to greater precision and increased efficacy (Tiwana, 2017). After the application is tailored to Walmart’s line functions, the expenses associated with delays, misunderstandings, mismanagement of supplies, and other undesirable scenarios will be avoided (Jetha, 2018). Likewise, the tracking and control of shipping and transportation of products with the help of vehicles will also have to be established for Walmart to reduce the percentage of waste and, thus minimize the expenses.
Although Walmart is currently at the top of the retail industry, it needs to deploy innovative approaches in order to remain relevant and popular among its customers. To add more value to the services that the organization delivers, one may consider focusing on improving customer service. Specifically, responsiveness and communication should become the two main priorities of the company. Walmart will have to shape its current corporate philosophy to place a heavy emphasis on using emotional intelligence in communication with its customers.
Furthermore, Walmart may need to focus on updating its image from the cheapest retailer to the company that changes lifestyles and challenges its buyers. Particularly, Walmart has the power to reinvent the concept of price and prestige in the contemporary mass culture. Cheap products will no longer be associated with poverty and, instead, will be seen as reasonable investments due to the price-quality correlation that the company offers. Thus, the added value of the services that Walmart offers will rise.
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At present. Walmart’s value chain functions rather well, especially given the demands for high quality within the global market. However, the connection between some of the value chain elements has to be revisited and altered to help the firm retain its popularity and increase its competitive advantage. At present, the firm uses the minimum amount of links between the elements of its value chain to make it mobile and flexible (Nash, 2015).
Furthermore, Walmart’s approach toward handling its external linkages is worth noting as exemplary. For instance, the company has standardized the shape and labeling of boxes in which their products are shipped (Nguyen, 2017). However, to increase the quality of its performance and avoid possible issues such as delays and data mismanagement, one will have to introduce new linkages to the existing system. Specifically, Walmart will require a more coherent linkage with its suppliers and retailers to ensure a consistent data flow and prevent any misunderstandings. Thus, products will be moved faster and with greater efficacy, reducing the number of delays.
Because of the focus on technological innovations and the willingness to incorporate new approaches to managing its value chain, Walmart has been showing impressive performance rates. However, to maintain its competitiveness, the firm will require slight improvements in its value chain design and the management of its supply chain. Communication with buyers, retailers, and suppliers is the top priority at present since the mismanagement of data and the failure to identify emergent problems will inevitably lead to a drop in customer loyalty rates.
Therefore, Walmart will need to shape its approach toward communicating with customers and partners. In addition, since the current technology allows monitoring the state of task execution in real-time, Walmart has to use this opportunity to ensure high quality. Thus, the firm will retain its competitive advantage and stay at the top of the retail market.
Jetha, K. (2018). MAN6830: Week 7 – IT strategy ch. 5. Web.
Nash, K. (2015). Distribution centers dedicated to online sales are part of a new logistics strategy as the retail industry sees customers take sales online. Wall Street Journal. Web.
Natto, H. (2014). Wal-Mart supply chain management. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 5(1), 1023-1026.
Nguyen, T. T. H. (2017). Wal-Mart’s successfully integrated supply chain and the necessity of establishing the Triple-A supply chain in the 21st century. Journal of Economics & Management, 29, 102-117. Web.
Tiwana, A. (2017). IT strategy for non-IT managers: Becoming an engaged contributor to corporate IT decisions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.