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Wal-Mart Information Technology Company Analysis - Research Paper Example

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Running head: WAL-MART INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMPANY ANALYSIS Wal-Mart Information Technology Company Analysis 1.0 Introduction Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer with over 9,700 stores. Its stores command a market share of 11 percent of the United States retail market…
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Wal-Mart Information Technology Company Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages Wal-Mart owes much of its success to the early adoption of an Information Technology as compared to its competitors. The store has continually evolved to adapt to changing market needs through enhancing its Information Technology strategy. This has given it a competitive edge over other retailers by enabling it to price its products more competitively. Information Technology use by Wal-Mart continues to enhance its market leadership and dominance. 2.0 Information Technology characteristics and dynamics of Wal-Mart Despite of Wal-Mart’s large size, it has one centralized information system that is developed internally giving it much advantage in operations that enables it price its products competitively in comparison to other retailers. In 95% of Wal-Mart’s Information Technology endeavors, much of the development is done by internal staff, managing programming and process engineering and not relying on commercial software or outsourcing. The company has also been able to maintain its Information Technology budget at a lower rate than its market competitors. These costs do not grow at a similar rate to sales despite the entire Wal-Mart business model relying heavily on Information Technology. Wal-Mart as a whole relies on information technology to attain its business objectives and meet the needs of its clients (Sullivan, 2004). The information system at Wal-Mart is a centralized system that manages supplier and consumer data all in one avenue. The centralized system analyzes data from Wal-Mart’s Discount stores, Supercenters, Sam’s clubs, Neighborhood markets and world wide stores from one location. The Information Technology staffs concentrate on building software for all its systems, both at home and in international markets. As a result, any new code affects the global operations of the entire retail store. This leverages the Information technology efforts resulting into massive savings in investments in the department (Sullivan, 2004). Wal-Mart’s system enables it capture all of a day’s sales and product information in real time from all of its global operations. This information is instrumental in making timely decisions as regards sales of particular products. The information is also used by buyers to make buy decisions that eventually affect Wal-Mart’s sales. Availing real time data is one of Wal-Mart’s Information System’s hallmarks. This information enables decision makers at Wal-Mart to act fast and decisively and to take immediate corrective measures where a problem is noticed. This has worked to enhance Wal-Mart’s market leadership over the competition (Sullivan, 2004). Wal-Mart also seeks to synchronize its online operations as well. This it will be achieved through the synchronization of its online sites such as walmart.com, samsclub.com, asda.com, walmartmexico.com.mx. Such synchronization will result in similar efficiencies as those experienced through the centralization of the brick and mortar stores operational information. The platform to host this system will be scalable, Java based and running on IBM’s WebSphere and Informix database. The aim of this is to achieve efficiencies in growth and enhance scalability with the ultimate goal of cost effectiveness that translates to more affordable products for the final consumers enhancing its market leadership (Sullivan, 2004). One of the more identifiable uses of Information Technology by Wal-Mart is the use of radio frequency identification in tracking stocks. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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