Wal-Mart’s Supply Chain Management Practices (B): Using IT/Internet to Manage the Supply Chain

Wal-Mart’s Supply Chain Management Practices (B): Using IT/Internet to Manage the Supply Chain

Understand how IT/Internet could be effectively used to enhance the efficiency of the supply chain thereby by reducing costs

The US-based Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, is believed to be the best supply chain operator of all times. Much of the efficiency achieved by the company in managing its supply chain is because of its proactive use of IT and Internet-enabled technologies. The case discusses in detail the supply chain management practices of Wal-Mart and explains how the company employed IT/Internet to enhance the efficiency of each function of supply chain including procurement, warehouse and logistics management, inventory management and demand forecasting. The case focuses particularly on some of the important technologies used by the company and their benefits including EDI, voice-based tools and applications and the Retail Link system. The case also examines the use of Internet-based technologies by Wal-Mart in implementing collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR), global sourcing and EDI-INT. Finally, the case describes Wal-Mart’s plans to implement Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, its benefits and the problems being faced by the suppliers to implement it.

Issues:

» Understand how IT/Internet could be effectively used to enhance the efficiency of the supply chain thereby by reducing costs

» Get insights into some of the latest supply chain management technologies including CPFR and RFID and their applications in the retailing industry

 

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