Walmart, an American department store has a well-documented history, and still, it has remained to be among the key stores that influence the new retailers regarding the profit margin and efficiency of operation. Technology has over the years played a crucial role in the global expansion of the firm consequently placing the firm on the top of every shopper's list. Walmart has successfully managed to make shopping easier for customers through technological applications. Evidently the success of Walmart is mainly attributable to its decision to go global thereby, increasing the market coverage and penetration and, technology has also proved vital in enhancing service provision to its customers all over the world. Also, key stakeholders, the mission and vision statements have also played a role in enhancing Walmart's culture of provision of quality products at low prices.
Impact of Globalization and Technology on Walmart Operations
Globalization refers to transformation and initiatives taken by a firm to move towards achieving a borderless operation as opposed to the initial traditional models. Through globalization, a company aims at extending its operation to other countries beyond the borders of its home country with the target of attaining higher profit margins. Due to globalization a firm benefits from various global market view, the sale of its products, different ideas and other key aspects which are crucial to the company's operations.
On the other hand, technology refers to the techniques, processes, equipment and the various methods that a company put in place to produce goods and offer services to meet the preset objectives. Ideally, the knowledge of the processes and such techniques which are manifested in the devices, machinery and equipment constitutes the technology. They are then handled and operated on by people with greater knowledge and skill required to produce the outcome that the organization desires.
Over the years, a huge amount of success has been witnessed and experienced at Walmart, and this is mainly attributable to the continued wiliness by the company to adapt to the dynamic new situations to maintain a high quality of products and services offered to the clients. According to Altman, 2006, higher level of technological development has influenced this with the increased global operations that have penetrated various markets with enormous potential hence leading to increased annual sales. Through globalization, Walmart has emerged to be the largest company of all times, enjoying the economies of scale and this has allowed it to control and bully the market with substantially low prices for products of high quality. Walmart's 2004 financial report had annual savings estimated to be $ 263 million for its customers. This was attributed to low supply costs, low compensation to the employee as well as the company's efficient chains of supply (Global Exchange, 2000). Globalization has, therefore, built a foundation for the company with promise for a brighter future.
Walmart has significantly benefited beyond expectation through the effective use and application of technology. Currently, Walmart operates 6,000 stores worldwide with over 30,000 suppliers of various products. All these operations are managed on a single information system which has centralized the home and global operations through the use of source codes that are common. This has been critical to the company hence giving it a competitive advance retail structure of expenses which is lowest worldwide (Lundberg, 2002). Walmart has therefore set itself distinct from the other retail store by cutting down several costs making it difficult for other stores to compete with it. According to the Neil Ashe, CEO of Walmart global e-commerce the pay Smartphone app has made shopping easier for customers by connecting mobile, store and online for the over 140 million buyers who do their shopping weekly.
Application of Industrial Organization Model and Resource-Based Model in Earning Above-Average Returns
The usage and use of industrial organization model in the operation of a company are one of the precise methods of achieving above-average returns. The model builds on the theory of the firm which examines the structure of the firm and the market. The model brings about a complication in a market model that is perfectly competitive through the introduction of market complications which exist in the real world. The market complications include entry barriers, transaction costs and information limits. These complications are often associated with an imperfect market that practicable in real modern life (Pepall, Richard, & Norman, 2005). This may be achieved through the use of a descriptive approach in which the model is applied to provide the organization's overview before making a recommendation on the appropriate way on how to employ production to achieve above-average returns.
The objective of operating at an above-average position is also attainable through the use of a resource-based model as the basis of getting a competitive advantage in the market over their competitors. However, the primary challenge arises in establishing transformation from short-run to a much longer lasting advantage since this needs several resources to be deployed, which most firms may lack. Just as the name implies, the model depends on the availability of resources to develop and come up with performance roadmaps. The resources tend to be immobile and heterogeneous and besides that, their valuable nature indicates that they are not substitutable without having a more significant impact on the production process of the company (Barney, 2001)
Walmart should, therefore, ensure that these are in place and holds so that they can use the immobile and heterogeneous resources to continue with their business hence holding their returns above the average. This is mainly the case for a company that have approximately 30,000 suppliers worldwide since the immobility of these resources led to the production of goods in localized areas. This means that the company will incur the cost of transportation which is covered entirely by their huge orders and their sizes.
Influence of Vision and Mission of Walmart on its Overall Success
The critical element attributable to the success of Walmart is the way it had stayed true to its vision and mission since 1962 when Sam Walton founded it. The progress has been attained through a generic strategy of leadership which is based on Porter's model, aggressively penetrating the market and development which is achieved through growth strategies which are intensive. The vision and mission statement of the company plays a vital role in the formulation and implementation of strategies.
Greater success of the vision statement of the company can be traced back to Sam Walton, the founder with various changes made over the years in management. The ideas put forward by Walton are emphasized in the vision statement of the company which is, "To be the best retailer in the heart and mind of consumers and employees." The success of the company can, therefore, be attributed to the vision statement since it prioritizes consumer's satisfaction.
The mission statement of the company, "Saving people money so that they can live better" manifest Walmart's clear intention of providing quality goods at substantially reduced prices to its customers. The vast network of suppliers all over the world has seen Walmart lowering its prices considerably to hence outsmarting the competitors in the market. The slogan "Save money and live better" proved to be a success to the growth of Walmart.
Impact of Stakeholder CategoriesThe various stakeholders play a key role to the strategic decisions of the company and the overall success of Walmart. Without the stakeholders the goals of the company are meaningless, and the company cannot be in existence without the stakeholders.
Customers, who are the buyers of the various products of the company and they form the most critical element of the going concern of the company. The interest of the customers is to have low prices and have the purchasing powers with maximum satisfaction (Jansen, 2017). The greater desire for quality from the customer is what keeps Walmart in the market as they continuously work to ensure customer satisfaction.
Walmart's employees are also essential as they constitute the decision-making process of the company's management. Their main interest is to get higher wages and assurance for job security. Through high salaries, employees are motivated and hence increasing efficiency in the operation and production activities of Walmart.
Another vital stakeholder of Walmart are the suppliers. They form an essential part as they enable Walmart stores to stock well. The vast pool of suppliers allows Walmart to chose from the best provider with suitable prices that will maximize returns.
The final stakeholders are the investors. Their key drive is profit maximization, and this is what propels Walmart to work towards higher profit generation through increased sales yearly. They are less likely to bring in trouble when the company is generating profits and paying off dividends annually.
Since its establishment, Walmart has made tremendous growth and development, and this is credited mainly to their willingness to adapt to changes in the environment. Walmart has gone global and fully embraced technology hence staying ahead of other competitors. Various stakeholders have also been crucial for the company's success as their oversight role in the management of the business has brought to light some of the management issues that would not have been noted.
Altman, D. (2006, October 25). Managing globalisation. Is Wal-Mart a win-win model? - Business - International Herald Tribune. Retrieved on 14th January 2019 from https://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/25/business/worldbusiness/25iht-glob25.3277611.html?_r=0
Barney, J. B. (2001). Resource-based theories of competitive advantage: A ten-year retrospective on the resource-based view. Journal of management, 27(6), 643-650. Retrieved on 14th January 2019 from https://doi.org/10.1177%2F014920630102700601
Global Exchange. (2000). Retrieved from Walmart: Leading the race to the bottom: http://www.globalexchange.org/sweatfree/walmart
Jensen, M. C. (2017). Value maximization, stakeholder theory and the corporate objective function. In Unfolding stakeholder thinking (pp. 65-84). Routledge. Retrieved on 14thJanuary 2019 from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351281874/chapters/10.4324/9781351281881-4
Lundberg, A. (2002). CIO. Retrieved from Wal-Mart: IT inside the world's biggest company: http://www.cio.com/article/2440726/it-organization/wal-mart--it-inside-the-world-s-biggest-company.html
Richards, D. J., Pepall, L., & Norman, G. (2005). Industrial organisation: Contemporary theory and practise. Thomson/ South-Western.
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