Management is one of Wal-Mart’s core competencies. The company has a strong management team that is able to make decisions quickly and efficiently. This allows Wal-Mart to maintain its competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Another core competency of Wal-Mart is its ability to provide low prices for its customers. The company has a sophisticated supply chain management system that allows it to source goods at the lowest possible price. This enables Wal-Mart to offer its customers the best possible prices.
Wal-Mart also has a strong commitment to customer service. The company strives to provide a convenient shopping experience for its customers. This includes offering a wide variety of products, providing helpful customer service, and having a clean and well-organized store.
These are just a few of the core competencies that Wal-Mart has developed over the years. These competencies have helped the company become one of the most successful retailers in the world.
In this book, the author defines core competence as “a set of skills and abilities that are critical to any organization’s ability to compete more effectively in its specific industry.” The author explains that while pursuing its vision, a firm may emphasize capabilities it has developed through years of experience. Core competencies must exhibit four qualities in order to be considered a competitive advantage.
The first characteristic is that core competencies must be rare. Second, they must be valuable which means that they create superior customer value. Third, they must be inimitable which means that it is difficult for competitors to copy or substitute the core competency. Lastly, core competencies should be non-substitutable, meaning there is no other resource or capability that can perform the same function (Ireland et al., 2008).
Wal-Mart Management: Management is a core competency of Wal-Mart and one of the main reasons the company has been so successful. Management at Wal-Mart put into place policies and procedures early on that allowed the company to achieve economies of scale quickly and efficiently (Lambert, Emmelhainz, & Gardner, 2011). Management also decentralizes authority to store managers which allows for faster decision making and a more responsive organization (Lambert et al., 2011).
Wal-Mart’s Customer Focus: Another core competency of Wal-Mart is its customer focus. The company has always been focused on giving the customer what they want at the lowest price possible. In order to do this, Wal-Mart uses a variety of methods such as market research, price comparisons, and customer feedback to ensure they are meeting the needs of their customers (Lambert et al., 2011).
The culture of Wal-Mart is one of its core strengths. The employees of Wal-Mart are hardworking, efficient, and process oriented. It was stated in the video “The Age of Walmart” that Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-mart, referred to his employees as associates and treated them as partners. He wanted their input and ideas on how to improve the company. Walton also wanted you to know that no matter where you go in America, you will always receive low costs, excellent customer service, and feel at ease.
This is why the company still does things like give their employees a 10% discount. Management at Wal-Mart also helps keep things efficient and low cost by using technology like barcodes and scanners to track inventory, which was cutting edge in the 1970s. By always looking for ways to be more efficient and offering low prices, Wal-Mart has become one of the world’s largest companies.
Another core competency Wal-Mart has is its global supply chain management. In order to offer such low prices, Wal-Mart has had to build an efficient global supply chain that can get goods from suppliers to its stores quickly and cheaply. This requires strong relationships with suppliers, who are often located in developing countries. Wal-Mart has been able to use its size and buying power to negotiate favorable terms with suppliers. This has allowed Wal-Mart to keep its prices low, while still making a profit.
Wal-Mart’s global supply chain management is made up of three parts: sourcing, logistics, and retail operations. Sourcing is the process of finding suppliers and negotiating contracts with them. Logistics is the process of getting goods from suppliers to Wal-Mart stores. Retail operations is the process of selling goods to customers in Wal-Mart stores.
Wal-Mart’s global supply chain management system is one of the most efficient in the world. It allows Wal-Mart to offer low prices and excellent customer service. This is a key competency that has allowed Wal-Mart to become one of the world’s largest companies.
Low-Cost Operations – According to the video, Sears was a prominent chain in the 1970s but was severely wounded by the recession. They targeted middle class families, expanded their overhead, and established shop in bigger cities.
During this era, Wal-Mart concentrated on small towns and lower operating costs. As the economy worsened, consumers sought for cheaper products and relocated to smaller communities and suburbs. Today, because Wal-Mart can generate large sales volume while still earning profits with a low profit margin, it has an edge over its competitors.
Efficient Distribution System – Wal-Mart has one of the most efficient and centralized distribution system. The company uses cross docking which is a inventory management system that allows them to unload products from inbound trucks and load them directly onto outbound trucks without storing them in a warehouse. This helps Wal-Mart move its product faster and at a lower cost. They also use information technology to track their inventory and keep track of what needs to be restocked.
Large Scale Purchasing Power – Wal-Mart is able to purchase products in large quantities which gives them negotiating power with suppliers. This allows the company to get lower prices on the products they sell which ultimately affects their bottom line.
Customer Focus – One of Wal-Mart’s core competencies is its customer focus. The company always puts the customer first and strives to provide them with the best possible shopping experience. Wal-Mart employees are taught to be friendly and helpful to customers, and the store’s layout is designed to make shopping easy and convenient.
It’s no easy task to manage the thousands of Wal-Marts around the world. As a result, every week, 25 senior Wal-Mart executives (Hitt et al., pg 289) situated all over the world video conferenced together to discuss, review company performance, focus on issues that need attention, and develop strategies to increase revenue. Its hierarchy comprises of 14 board members who plan, control, and organize their own area while eight senior officials assist them.
Management at Wal-Mart is not limited to a few individuals at the top. Management permeates throughout the company and there are several levels of management, each with their own responsibilities.
The organization has different types of managers, who manage at different levels, performing distinct roles and responsibilities in order to achieve the company’s goals and objectives. The different types of managers include:
-General Managers: responsible for an entire store or a group of stores.
-Department Managers: responsible for a specific department within a store.
-Assistant Managers:responsible for supporting the General Manager and Department Managers.
-Team Leaders: responsible for leading a team of associates within a department.
-Coordinators: support Team Leaders by overseeing the daily tasks of a team.
-Associates: responsible for performing the day-to-day tasks within a store.
Each level of management has different responsibilities, but all managers are responsible for planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. These functions are known as the “four functions of management.”
The four functions of management are essential to any organization and play a vital role in the success or failure of any business. Management must be able to effectively utilize these functions in order to achieve the company’s goals and objectives. Let’s take a closer look at each function.