Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 37


Wal-Marts Supply
A Business Success
Wal-Mart is the Worlds Largest
Retail Company
History of Wal-Mart
The companys founder is Sam

He was born in 1918 at Oklahoma.

In 1940, he worked for the famous
retailer, J C Penney.
History of Wal-Mart
Walton gave up the job and decided
to set up his own retail store.

He purchased a store franchise in

Offering significant discounts on
prices, he became successful and
acquired a second store in 3 years.
History of Wal-Mart
By 1969, Walton had established 18 Wal-
Mart stores.

By late 1970s, the retail chain had
established a pharmacy and an auto service

In 1980s, Wal-Mart continued to grow due
to huge customer demands in small towns.
History of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart was offering low prices,
customer satisfaction guaranteed,
and hours that were realistic for the
way people wanted to shop.
Open all night, for university students

By 1984, there were 640 Wal-Mart
stores in U.S.
History of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart suffered a setback in 1992,
when Walton died.

But it continued its growth in the 1990s,
focusing on overseas stores.
1992, Mexico (joint venture with Cifra)
1994, Canada (acquired 122 Woolco stores
from Woolworth)
1997, Germany (acquired 21 store of
Korea, Brazil, and so on.
History of Wal-Mart
This phenomenal growth of Wal-
Mart is attributed to its continued
focus on customer needs and
reducing cost through efficient
supply chain management
Hub and Spoke System
In the early 1970s, Wal-Mart became one
of the first retailing companies in the
world to centralize its distribution system,
pioneering the retail hub-and-spoke

Under the system, goods were centrally
ordered, assembled at a massive
warehouse, known as distribution center
(hub), from where they were dispatched
to the individual stores (spoke).
Hub and Spoke System
The hub and spoke system enabled
Wal-Mart to achieve significant cost
advantages by the centralized
purchasing of goods in huge
and distributing them through its own
logistics infrastructure to the retail
stores spread across the U.S.
Wal-Marts Procurement
Wal-Mart emphasized the need to
reduce purchasing costs and offer
the best price to the customer.

The company directly procured from
manufacturers, by passing all
Wal-Marts Procurement
Wal-Mart finalizes a purchase deal
only when it is fully confident that
the products being bought is not
available else where at a lower
Wal-Marts Procurement
Wal-Mart spends a significant
amount of time meeting vendors and
understanding their cost structure.

By making the process transparent,
the retailer can be certain that the
manufacturers are doing their best to
cut down costs.
Using EDI for Procurement
The computer systems of Wal-Mart were
connected to those of its suppliers.

EDI enabled the suppliers to download
purchase orders along with store-to-store
sales information relating to their products

On receiving information about the sales
of various products, the suppliers shipped
the required goods to Wal-Marts
distribution centers.
Logistics Management
An important feature of Wal-Marts
logistics infrastructure was its fast
and responsive transportation

The distribution centers were
serviced by more than 3500
company owned trucks.
Logistics Management
Wal-Mart believed that it needed
drivers who were committed and
dedicated to customer service.

The company hired only experienced
drivers who had driven more than
300,000 accident-free miles, with no
major traffic violation.
To make its distribution process more
efficient, Wal-Mart also made use of a
logistics technique called cross-docking.

In this system, the finished goods were
directly picked up from the manufacturing
plant, sorted out and then directly
supplied to the customers.
The system reduced the handling and
storage of finished goods, virtually
eliminating the role of the distribution
centers and stores.

The manufacturer directly forwarded the
goods to a place called the staging area.

The goods were packed here according to
the orders received from different stores
and then directly sent to the respective
Inventory Management
Wal-Mart invested heavily in IT and
communication systems to effectively
track sales and merchandise inventories in
stores across the country.

With the rapid expansion, it was essential
to have a good communication system.

Hence, Wal-Mart set up its own satellite
communication system in 1983.
Inventory Management
Wal-Mart was able to reduce unproductive
inventory by allowing stores to manage
their own stocks, reducing pack sizes
across many product categories, and
timely price markdowns.

Instead of cutting the inventory across the
board, Wal-Mart made full use of its IT
capabilities to make more inventories
available in the case of items that
customers wanted most, while reducing
the overall inventory levels.
Inventory Management
Employees at the stores had the Magic
Wand, a hand-held computer which
was linked to in-store terminals through a
radio frequency network.

These helped them to keep track of the
inventory in stores, deliveries, and backup
merchandise in stock at the distribution
Inventory Management
The order management and store
replenishment of goods were entirely
executed with the help of computers
through the Point-of-Sales (POS) system.

Through this system, it was possible to
monitor and track the sales and
merchandise stock levels on the store
Voice-based Order Filling (VOF)
In 1998, Wal-Mart installed a voice-based
order filling (VOF) system in all its grocery
distribution centers.

Each person responsible for order picking
was provided with a microphone/speaker
headset, connected to the portable (VOF)
system that could be worn on waist belt.

They were guided by the voice to item
locations in the distribution centers.
Voice-based Order Filling (VOF)
The VOF system also verified quantities
picked, and could respond to a variety of
requests such as providing product detail
(type, price, barcode number, etc.)

By installing the VOF system, Wal-Mart
eliminated mispicks and product labeling
costs since the system did not require
paper lists and labels to be affixed on the
Inventory Management
(quick replenishment)
Since the floor area of any Wal-Mart store
varied between 40,000 to 200,000 square
feet, movement of goods within the store
was an important part of logistics

Wal-Mart made significant investments in
IT to quickly locate and replenish goods
at the stores.
Inventory Management
(pretty darn quick displays)
The company asked its suppliers to ship
goods in store-ready displays called pretty
darn quick (PDQ) displays.

Goods were packed in PDQ displays that
arrived at the stores ready to be boarded
on the racks.

Wal-Marts employees could directly
replace the empty racks at the stores with
fully packed racks, instead of refilling each
and every item at the racks.
Inventory Management
(retail link system)
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.

Details of daily transactions (~10 million
per day) were processed through this
Inventory Management
(retail link system)
Retail Link connected Wal-Marts EDI
network with an extranet, accessible
to Wal-Marts thousands of suppliers.

The suppliers could find out how
their product was performing vis-a-
vis competitors products in a
particular product category.
Inventory Management
(retail link system)
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.
By the mid 1990s, Retail Link had
emerged into an Internet-enabled
SCM system whose functions were
not confined to inventory
management alone, but also covered
collaborative planning, forecasting
and replenishment (CPFR).
In CPFR, Wal-Mart worked together with
its key suppliers on a real-time basis by
using the Internet to jointly determine
product-wise demand forecast.

CPFR is defined as a business practice for
business partners to share forecasts and
results data through the Internet, in
order to reduce inventory costs while at
the same time, enhancing product
availability across the supply chain.
CPFR: Hard to implement
Though CPFR was a promising supply
chain initiative aimed at a mutually
beneficial collaboration between Wal-Mart
and its suppliers, its actual
implementation required huge
investments in time and money.

A few suppliers with whom Wal-Mart tried
to implement CPFR complained that a
significant amount of time had to be spent
on developing forecasts and analyzing
sales data.
In October 2002, Wal-Mart asked its
14,000 suppliers to switch over from the
existing Value Added Networks (VAN) EDI
to web enabled EDI.

VANs route and manage EDI messages for
their customers.

By implementing web-EDI, Wal-Mart can
save millions of dollars in the form of
license fees to the private VANs.
RFID Technology
(Radio Frequency Identification)
In efforts to implement new technologies
to reduce costs and increase the
efficiency, in July 2003, Wal-Mart asked its
top 100 suppliers to be RFID compliant by
January, 2005.

Wal-Mart planned to replace bar-code
technology with RFID technology.

The company believed that this
replacement would reduce its supply chain
management costs and enhance
RFID Technology
(Radio Frequency Identification)
Because of the implementation of RFID,
employees were no longer required to
physically scan the bar codes of goods
entering the stores and distribution
centers, saving labor cost and time.

Wal-Mart expected that RFID would
reduce the instances of stock-outs at the
RFID Technology
(Radio Frequency Identification)
Although Wal-Mart was optimistic about
the benefits of RFID, analysts felt that it
would impose a heavy burden on its

To make themselves RFID compliant, the
suppliers needed to incur an estimated
$20 Million.

Of this, an estimated %50 would be spent
on integrating the system and making
modifications in the supply chain software.