Walmart-International Logistics and Supply Chain Management By [Name of Student] [Name of Institution] [Word Count] [Date] Introduction Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 as WAL?MART and was incorporated on October 31, 1969. It first traded publicly at the New York Stock Exchange in 1972…
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The chain store is renowned for its efficient supply chain management and control practices, which have enabled it to perform beyond the reach of its competitors in the consumer goods industry (Kallrath & Maindl, 2006). In particular, the company has employed state-of-the-art technologies in most of its operations to help improve service delivery. For instance, starting with bar coding to hasten its supply chain operations, Wal-Mart was among the first companies to follow up bar coding with RFID programs. Although the initial rollout of its RFID tagging programmes flopped, the current rollout, which started in 2010 is expected to be successful (Ingram et al., 2010). In fact, the latest rollout of Wal-Mart’s RFID program really excited its suppliers and vendors with the prospects of better and more efficient operations and increased profits. This paper explores Wal-Mart’s in-house fleet advantages and disadvantages, evaluates its state-of-the-art technologies and cross-docking operations. The Benefits of Cross-Docking to Wal-Mart In general terms, cross docking involves turning the demands from a company’s retail stores into purchase orders, which are then forwarded to manufacturers or suppliers (Kumar et al., 2009). The manufacturers then notify the stores about their capacity to produce and deliver the ordered goods in a timely manner. Once produced within the stipulated period, the goods are sent to a staging area where they are packed according to the procurement orders from different stores (Kumar et al., 2009). The goods are then delivered directly to the customers. The pre-requisites of docking are rather basic and easily monitored. The fundamentals pre-requisite are strong building foundations that support the entire cross docking process. The second pre-requisite is dedicated and experienced drivers who recognise and believe in prioritizing customer service above other things. Once employed, the drivers are filtered and assigned duties according to their capabilities. Further, the drivers’ reliability and competence to follow the laid down standards should be assessed. Wal-Mart also ensures that its drivers are committed to the standards set in the Private Fleet Driver Handbook. The drivers’ progress is then constantly monitored by the company so that the company is assured of the competence and reliability of its drivers. Fleet coordinators are also important in Wal-Mart’s cross docking operations as they inform drivers on expected time of arrival, departure and delivery of goods, which are quite precise according to Wal-Mart’s standards. Several changes had to be implemented in Wal-Mart’s managerial control if their cross-docking programmes were to be successful. Prior to the adoption of cross-docking, the company’s pricing, promotion and merchandising decision were centralised (Mentzer, 2001). However, with the implementation of cross-docking, focus was shifted to the “demand chain” instead of the common supply chain. That is, instead of allowing retailers to push goods into the company’s shelves; customers did more of the pulling, according to their demands, tastes and preference (Kumar et al., 2009). Cross-Docking Saves Companies Time and Money Savings on time and money are the two most obvious and far-reaching benefits that Wal-Mart enjoys from using cross-docking. First, the company has the capacity not only to receive goods immediately but also the
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