Wal-Mart Corporation Mission and Vision Statement Analysis Capstone Project

Excerpt from Capstone Project :

Wal-Mart Corporation

Mission and Vision Statement Analysis

Linking Wal-Mart's Mission and Vision to Their Strategic Goals ands Objectives

Assessing the Link Between Wal-Mart's Financial Performance And Its Strategic Goals

Wal-Mart Competitive and Marketing Analysis

Wal-Mart Marketing Analysis

Selecting An Appropriate Strategy (low cost, differentiation or niche) For Maximizing Organization's Return on Shareholders

Potential Wal-Mart Merger & Acquisition Strategy

Incentive and Reward Strategies for Wal-Mart Employees

Evaluating How Current Strategies Define Ethicacy Levels at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Ratio Analysis

Income Statement Analysis, 2007 -- 2011

Wal-Mart Capstone Analysis

Mission and Vision Statement Analysis

The foundations of the Wal-Mart value chain and its global success is predicated on how well this company aligns every internal system and strategy to their unique value proposition of Low Price Everyday (LPED) leadership. This unique value proposition galvanizes the mission and vision statement of Wal-Mart and is one of the foundations of their success and continued growth. Their competitors give lip-service to price competition yet only Wal-Mart has engrained the LPED value proposition deep into their logistics, supply chain management (SCM), supply chain planning and optimization, advanced pricing, real-time logistics and most of all, in-store retail operations. Wal-Mart also is a very analytics, and metrics-driven company, measuring every aspect of their operations with a focus on continual process performance improvement. Wal-Mart sees the LPED value proposition as critical to their functioning as a continually improving business, continually striving for greater efficiency and performance gains over time. Wal-Mart evaluates each product line, retail location, distribution center and supplier with a strict series of analytics and metrics to ensure performance meets standards while also looking for opportunities for improving the area itself (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012). Wal-Mart believes passionately that all of these factors must be captured in analytics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to support their mission statement which is "to help people save money so they can live better" (Mcginn, 2009) (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012).

What galvanizes and energizes the Wal-Mart employee base is the belief and evidence from analytics that their many efforts to keep operating costs low translates into their core customer base being able to make ends meet. In a sense the Wal-Mart employees see themselves on a mission to make their vision and mission statements a reality for their customers., many of which are just making ends meet. This is why the mission and vision statements are so successful for the company. They are all concentrated on the core segments of their customer base that need the low prices to keep their family budgets balanced, making sure they make ends meet every month. Research indicates that the company's core business segment is the Price Value Shopper, which at 16% of the total customer base, generates a disproportionate amount of the revenue and the majority of in-store visits (Frazier, 2006). This segment also averages a per capita income of $47,000 a year, right at the median U.S. income, and is dominated by women running households on their own or with their husbands (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012). It is important to see the woman as the primary purchasing influence at Wal-mart to understand how much saving money and delivering value to their families relates to their self-evaluation as wives and mothers (Frazier, 2006). Based on an analysis of the filings Wal-Mart has made over the years with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012) an analysis of their customer base has been completed and is shown in Figure 1. This figure is a map fo the Wal-mart customer base by percentage of sales by psychographic segment. Wal-Mart has found that using psychographics is powerful for understanding and gaining greater insights into how their customers make trade-offs from one product to another (Tsai Lee, 2009). As the analysis shows, The Price Value Shopper visits Wal-Mart store up to ten times a month and is responsible for generating 16% of total revenue, in addition to delivering the majority of insights about which new products to stock and serving as the inspiration for making the vision and mission statements a reality across the global corporation (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012). The Price Value Shopper is also where Wal-Mart executives turn to for feedback on how they are doing and how their customer service is trending (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012).

Figure 1: Wal-Mart Psychographics Segmentation

Based on an analysis of:

(Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012)

(Frazier, 2006)

The central role the Price Value Shopper plays in the ecosystem is a strong indication of how critical this customer base is to Wal-Mart, and how their needs have become the catalyst or galvanizing force that makes their vision and mission statement a reality. The success of Wal-Mart uniting their mission and value statements is also reflected in the financial performance of Wal-Mart even in the midst of a global economic recession. Please see Appendix A: 2012 Wal-Mart Ratio Financial Analysis to see how the company has performed through their latest series of fiscal years, beginning in 2006 and through their latest full fiscal period, 2011. As is evident from the ratio analysis, the company has found a way to translate the momentum of their mission and vision statements to exceptionally strong asset management, quick operating cycles that are above average operating margins. Their Return on Equity (ROE) continues to show strength even in the middle of a global recession, which is a testament to how effectively the company is managing its entire value chain (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012). It's clear from this analysis that Wal-Mart has been able to successfully galvanize their mission and vision statements into operating processes that deliver exceptional financial growth and stability.

Linking Wal-Mart's Mission and Vision to Their Strategic Goals ands Objectives

The basis of Wal-Mart's competitive advantage is the ability to align many diverse support functions into one cohesive series of strategies that all contribute to the mission and vision being accomplished (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012). While the company is extremely well-known for its discount retailing operations and storefronts globally, its core strengths are in the areas of supply chain management (SCM), logistics, operations, discount -- based marketing and mass merchandising including value-added services specific to their core markets. Wal-Mart has been able to synchronize all of these diverse departments together into a unified value chain that continually fulfills the mission and vision statements of the company. Please see Figure 2, Wal-Mart Value Chain Analysis, for a graphical representation of how the company has been able to meld together all of these diverse aspects of their business into a unified global operation. Fueling this area of their strategy is the reliance within the company on analytics and real-time reporting of logistics, supply chain, and pricing strategies, giving the company greater competitive advantage than many other discount retailers (Christopherson, 2007). This aspect of Wal-Mart's performance has forced its competitors to continually and heavily invest in advanced analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) technologies to stay in step with Wal-Mart's insights and intelligence. Wal-mart for example uploads pricing analysis every evening through their satellite network and calculates pricing analysis in real-time, so the next morning their executives can evaluate overall performance (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012). Wal-Mart is the only discount retailer who can manage this task with such quickness and accuracy, with impressive results. The Wal-Mart culture is very strong on analytics and business intelligence to unify their overall value chain, making it more efficient and focused on the unmet needs of their loyal customer basses including The Price Value Shopper (De Santa, 1998) (Powanga, Powanga, 2008) (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012).

Figure 2: Wal-Mart Value Chain Analysis

Sources: (Christopherson, 2007) (Gosman, Kohlbeck, 2009) (Powanga, Powanga, 2008) (Wal-Mart, 2011)

Wal-Mart relies on its supply chain as the strategic catalyst for continually getting greater cost reductions from suppliers and further cementing its unique value proposition, mission and vision statements. To accomplish this, Wal-Mart continually invests in streamlining their global supply chain management, pricing optimization analysis, and streamlining their retail inventory planning and execution strategies (Wal-Mart Investor Relations, 2012). In addition to these internal initiatives, Wal-Mart continually uses their strong analytics and business intelligence expertise to better manage supplier alliances, strengthen global partnerships, and better manage their 3rd party logistics network which is critical to synchronizing their global operations (Sodhi, Son, 2009). Wal-Mart has been able to actually grow in a recession due to these factors.

Assessing The Link Between Wal-Mart's Financial Performance And Its Strategic Goals

Wal-Mart's financial performance continues to be strong even in the middle of a global recession. The company's focus on exceptional cost control, continual pursuit of operating efficiency and its heavy reliance on analytics all contribute to the company's ability to continually grow. As their latest full fiscal years provide the most solid foundation for analysis, they are used in this section of the capstone paper. The discussion in this section is based on the financial analyses completed in Appendices A and B, which detail full fiscal year results from 2006 to 2011.

What is immediately noticeable from evaluating their performance is…

Sources Used in Document:


Nabil Alghalith (2005). Competing with IT: The UPS Case. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 7(2), 7-15.

Jonathan Birchall. (2009, October 23). Walmart set to focus on growth outside U.S.. Financial Times,16.

Susan Christopherson 2007. Barriers to 'U.S. style' lean retailing: the case of Wal-Mart's failure in Germany. Journal of Economic Geography: Transnational Retail, Supply Networks, and the Global 7, no. 4 (July 1): 451-469.

Richard De Santa. (1998, January). Technology. Supermarket Business, 53(1), 18.

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