Management Case Study: Valmart's Supply Chain Management Practices
Wal-Mart invested heavily in IT and communications systems to effectively track sales and merchandise inventories in stores across the country. With the rapid expansion of Wal-Mart stores in the US, it was essential to have a good communication system. Hence, Wal-Mart set up its own satellite communication system in 1983. Explaining the benefits of the system Walton said, “I can walk in the satellite room, where our technicians sit in front of the computer screens talking on the phone to any stores that might be having a problem with the system, and just looking over their shoulders for a minute or two will tell me a lot about how a particular day is going. On the screen,
I can see the total of the day’s bank credit sales adding up as they occur. If we have something really important or urgent to communicate to the stores and distribution centers, I, or any …show more content…
Bar coding devices enabled efficient picking, receiving and proper inventory control of the appropriate goods. It also enabled easy order packing and physical counting of the inventories.
In 1991, Wal-Mart had invested approximately $4 billion to build a retail link system. More than
10,000 Wal-Mart retail suppliers used the retail link system to monitor the sales of their goods at stores and replenish inventories. The details of daily transactions, which approximately amounted to more than 10 million per day, were processed through this integrated system and were furnished to every Wal-Mart store by 4 a.m., the next day. In October 2001, Wal-Mart tied-up with Atlas
Commerce for upgrading the system through the Internet enabled technologies.
Wal-Mart owned the largest and most sophisticated computer system in the private sector. The company used Massively Parallel Processor (MPP) computer system to track the movement of goods and stock levels. All information related to sales and inventories was passed on through an advanced satellite communication system. To provide back-up in case of a major breakdown