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Products and Product Lines Manufactured and Industry in Which the Organization Operates
Wal Mart was founded based upon the belief of providing customers with something more. Started in 1945, the company began as a single store in Bentonville, Arkansas. Out of this location, the owner (Sam Walton) sought out producers and suppliers who could offer him lower prices by purchasing in bulk. This savings was passed onto consumers in order to increase their bottom line results. ("Wal Mart Stores," 2012) (Soderquist, 2005)
Over the course of time, this basic formula was used to sell various products to consumers and increase the total number of locations. As a result, Wal Mart began offering a variety of goods to cliental to include: health / beauty aids, baby products, household chemicals, paper goods, pet supplies; electronics, toys, cameras, photo processing services, cellular phones, books, stationery, automotive accessories, hardware, sporting goods, clothing pharmacy / optical services; shoes, jewelry, accessories, apparel, home furnishings, housewares appliances, bedding, home decor, outdoor living, horticulture products and power equipment. At the same time, the company has been aggressively expanding into selling grocery related items with a delicatessen / restaurant. ("Wal Mart Stores," 2012) (Soderquist, 2005)
This has resulted in the company opening different locations called Super Centers. These are large stores that offer all of the above mentioned products and services. Moreover, the company has Sam Club's retail outlets and neighborhood stores. This is giving customers lower prices by offering them an annual membership (in order to receive a significant discount). At the same time, these various products are sold to customers over the Internet. The combination of these factors has allowed Wal Mart to open a variety of retail locations around the world. ("Wal Mart Stores," 2012) (Soderquist, 2005)
An overview of the organization's supply chain management efforts, including the organizational issues involved with the supply chain such as the organizational structure, the placement of supply chain management within that structure, and supply management's relationship with other departments in the organization.
Wal Mart's supply chain is based upon having a series of warehouses within close proximity to the different stores. At the same time, they are using real time information to determine when a particular location is out of various items. To achieve these objectives, the store is able to communicate directly with drivers and warehouse employees. This reduces the amounts of time in which a location is out of critical inventory. Moreover, this decreases the transportation costs by strategically having inventory sent to the store and utilizing logistics efficiently. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005)
This is one of the most critical elements that are helping Wal Mart to maintain their cost structure. To achieve these objectives even further, the company has been focusing on purchasing directly from manufacturers and offering services that are in demand. The combination of these factors has allowed the company to continue to meet the stipulations of customers. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005)
In the case of supply chain management for other departments, these ideas are being used to effectively connect the various divisions with each other. When this happens, everyone is able to quickly make changes to the product mix and the kind of services that are offered at various retail locations. This is increasing the overall amounts of transparency and communication between staff members. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005)
An overview of the new product development process within the organization, including the supply management's role in that development, the process involved in how the current products are reviewed for either further product or removal from production and the how the organization manages for quality in products.
Supply chain management plays an active role in determining how much inventory is carried by stores and the choices of merchandise. This is because the real time inventory solutions allow managers to see what products are the most popular. When there are shifts in the economy, is the point that this could be used to change the mix inside these locations. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
The way that various products are reviewed, is executives will analyze the changes in demand. This will occur by looking at monthly same store sales and then making adjustments to the products are carried by Wal Mart. In some cases, this could mean expanding the product line and the size of the store. While at other times, this will have an impact on the total amounts of inventory inside a particular location. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
When it comes to quality, Wal Mart has a reputation of purchasing and selling various products inexpensively. However, the problem is that there is no support for what they are selling or the quality. In most locations, customers have the choice of receiving some type of refund or an exchange within 14 days. Beyond this time frame is when the company will not provide any type of support. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
Moreover, the firm has been seeing an increase in complaints about their service and the lack of professionalism inside many locations. This is because, Wal Mart is known for hiring employees who are considered to be unskilled. Over the course of time, this has resulted in the company seeing a decrease in professionalism and there is a lack of concern for customers. As a result, the firm has shifted its focus to maximizing their profit margins and reducing costs (which is adversely affecting their reputation and quality). (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
An analysis of how the organization purchased capital equipment and services needed. This should include how the company makes the choice as to when to purchase the equipment and services as well as the process involved in the actual procurement
The way that Wal Mart purchases equipment and services are to work with manufacturers / suppliers to reduce their underlying costs (by: procuring in bulk). This is providing their store with critical equipment as it is needed. When this happens, the firm is able to use their logistics chain to store this equipment. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
At the same time, the management will often outsource different services to third party providers. This helps the company to offer more products and services. While at the same time, they are able to ensure that their underlying costs remain low. When this used in conjunction with finding unskilled workers, managers can ensure that they are able to keep their expenses down. This is the point that the company can maximize its profit margins. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
An analysis of how and when the organization determines whether to outsource or make a product in house, how and where the organizations finds its suppliers and whether or not the organization looks at the international arena for purchasing.
Like what was stated previously, Wal Mart is focused on outsourcing as many services as possible. This will take place by directly negotiating a low rate with third parties and then having them provide these services to customers or the organization itself. The way that they are able to find suppliers is through having their personnel directly contact these organizations. At the same time, many firms will communicate with Wal Mart directly (based upon their ability to purchase a variety of products and services). The combination of these factors is giving the firm the ability to have a competitive advantage. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
As a result, Wal Mart has been focusing on achieving these objectives by directly contacting manufacturers in locations such as: China, India and Mexico. This is because these firms are making a host of products at a fraction of the cost in comparison with other suppliers. What makes the company so successful is executives can use this as a way to reduce their costs and increase profit margins. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
Explain how the organization deals with contract issues, including legal issues, resolving contract disputes and international contracts
The way that Wal Mart negotiates contractual issues are through a take it or leave it approach. This is because executives know that there are different suppliers and third parties they can use during the process. When dealing with any kind of challenges, they will have a strong agreement in place to achieve their objectives. In the event that they run into legal challenges, the company will use this as a way to shield themselves against litigation. (Murphy, 2008) (Soderquist, 2005) (Leeman, 2010)
As a result, their approach for resolving these disputes will be focused on denying any kind of wrong doing. They will then settle any kind of offers (if the agreement is considered to protect the firm and limit the total amounts of liability against them). However, in those situations where they are facing challenges from the other party is when they will fight them in the court system. This creates situations where the company will utilize different strategies as they are dealing with these challenges. (Murphy,…[continue]
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