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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 11/28/2012 06:35 AM

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To begin with, Walmart (the American multinational retailer corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores), has earned its reputation as the largest retailing company in the world. The man behind who started everything and laid down the basic principles and philosophy to be emulated by Wal-Mart people is Sam Walton, who found the company in 1962. Last year, Wal-Mart's annual sales were $350 billion and it had more than 8,500 stores in 15 countries and with over two million employees.

It was in the early eighties that, in order to follow their business model based on a low price strategy, Wal-Mart placed heavy emphasis on developing and implementing tight supply chain solutions which has catapulted them not only to the top of the retail channel but into the history books.

The four core principles that engulfs the overwhelming success of Walmart are; the focus on the improvement of sales, constantly reducing costs such that they will be able to capitalize on cost saving opportunities to be passed on the customers, the adoption of efficient distribution and logistics management systems to ensure the constant flow of the goods and the use of highly advantageous innovative information technology (IT) tools that makes the operating processes even faster, efficient and up to date.

The key for the phenomenal growth of Walmart rely on the emphasis being placed in the customer needs and the reduction of cost through efficient supply management practices as Walmart’s core principles in running and competitively staying in the business.

1. What is supply chain Management?

A supply chain consists of all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in fulfilling a customer request. Quinn (1997) defines the supply chain as "all of those activities associated with moving goods from the raw-materials stage through to the end user. This does not only include the retailer and suppliers, but also transporters, warehouses, manufacturers, and customers...