Technology's Role In Wal Mart's Success Essay

839 words - 3 pages

TechnologyWal-Mart Stores, Inc. has continued to lead the retail industry year after year, and technology plays an important role in Wal-Mart's success. From the very beginning Sam Walton wanted to know what inventory was selling, what stock was not selling, and to what the customers purchased. This pioneer of the retail arena was an early adopter of technology that electronically linked stores with suppliers. By adopting cutting-edge technology to track shopper habits, and to buy and deliver goods more efficiently and cheaply to the consumer, their success is unrivaled. Wal-Mart suppliers are required to use mandated technology solutions, such as ASN (advance ship notice), Wal-Mart Barcode Reading, Barcode Scanning, Global Data Synchronization through 1Sync, and Wal-Mart RFID (radio frequency identification) technology (Wal-Mart RFID & Wal-Mart EDI Guide, 2007). Wal-Mart can instantaneously track the shipment, delivery, and ordering of every item it sells.Planning for the future has been a key to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s ability to stay on top. With the invention of the tracking and identification system, called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has exerted control over their entire inventory and enables the workers to identify and locate merchandise more readily for the customers (Wal-Mart RFID & Wal-Mart EDI Guide, 2007). E-Commerce has increased the ease of purchasing for consumers. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a web site that allows for the ease and convenience of purchasing almost every item in the store over the Internet.Sam Walton was a leader to be revered and admired. More than 20 years ago one of his subordinates proposed a $24-million investment to put a satellite network in place, in order to enable Sam Walton to keep in touch with his rapidly expanding business. At that time, Sam insisted on visiting every store personally. However, with the growing number of stores it was harder and harder to visit each store in person. Satellites would let him beam pep talks to his associates. The clincher for Mr. Walton was the satellite's ability to access company data. Satellites enabled him to monitor inventory, track a day's sales at any particular store, and track success and failure of new products.In 1987, Sam Walton addressed a video-camera in an old Wal-Mart warehouse, and the broadcast was beamed 22,300 miles and received at roughly 1,000 Wal-Mart stores. The world's biggest private satellite network gave Wal-Mart a huge informational advantage and the power to combine size with speed. Sales growth went through the roof. Continuing their technological upgrades, they had equipped 90% of their stores with barcode readers...

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