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Operations Management Within Wal Mart Essay

1789 words - 7 pages

Wal-Mart is operating a mass merchandising retail store in all 50 states ofthe US under a variety of formats, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as Wal-Mart scores anumber of 'tops' in its businesses. It has the largest discount department storechain in the world, largest retail firm in the US and largest retailer in the world,the wealthiest and most powerful corporation in the world. And more recently,Wal-Mart gained the top spot of the most admired company in the world.Sam Walton, a leader with an innovative vision, started his own companyand made it into the leader in discount retailing that it is today. Through hissavvy, and sometimes unusual, business practices, he and his associates ledthe company forward for thirty years. Today, four years after his death, thecompany is still growing steadily. Wal-Mart executives, to sustain its competitiveadvantage, Wal-Mart has constantly adapt to its existing strategies to threats andopportunities in the environment. As noted by Warren Buffett when it came tocasting his vote for the most admired company in America for 2002, 'Wal-Mart isthe largest company around, and it hasn't lost a bit of the dynamism that it hadback when Sam Walton started it'.This report will analyze the internal and external factors that put Wal-Martin its current position operating in the competitive retailing environment. The flowof the analysis will start with a brief indication of the sector of business Wal-Martis operating, followed by the analysis of its internal factors comprising thecompany's strength and weaknesses. Wal-Mart's external factors will then beanalyzed on its opportunities and threats. The challenges facing Wal-Mart in thenear future will also be addressed.There are perhaps tens of strengths that had put Wal-Mart in its positionnow right from the day Sam Walton founded it. However, under the reason ofthis memo, the company's culture was built on three basic beliefs; respectfor the individual, service to customers and, striving for excellence. Thesephilosophies, in my belief, are 'religiously' nurtured into the hearts and minds ofemployees who are more known as associates in Wal-Mart.Sam Walton advocated 10 rules known as 'Sam's Rules for Building ABusiness'. These are the key factors that guide and inspire the company'soperation, behavior, ethics and practices. All levels of Wal-Mart employees alsoadhere to a corporate directive of the 'Sundown Rule' and the 'Ten Foot Rule'.This requires that an employee must reasonably answer a customer's orsupplier's request or question within 24 hours whereas the latter rule states thatstore employees must greet, smile and attend to a customer in a store whenwithin ten feet of them.Wal-Mart's weaknesses the clear dynamic prowess and success of Wal-Mart makes it hard to conceive of its weaknesses even in this competitiveenvironment. As evidenced by its position in Fortune 500, its balance sheets andits sheer size and growth. The pitfalls that befell me was gaining insight on Wal-Mart's...

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