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1.Based on a different organisation from the one chosen for coursework 1, critically evaluate the current supply chain management strategy and practices of your chosen organisation and the impact on the performance of the organisation.

The chosen organisation should be a multinational/global company, and students are required to use a range of theoretical materials, industry/sector/markets and company information to critically evaluate the supply chain management practices of the organisation.                   

2.Identify and justify a number of supply chain management practices that would enable the organisation to improve its performance.

Students are required to identify a number of theoretical and industry supply chain management and improvement practices that would enable the chosen organisation to elevate its performance. Recommended practices should overall address the three pillars of sustainability economic, social and environmental.

3.Applying theoretical methods, select the most appropriate set of supply chain management practices and demonstrate why they are the most appropriate to enable the organisation to improve its overall performance.

As companies have limited resource for implementation of practices, usually they would prioritise or select the most relevant set of practices. Therefore, students are required to identify some models from literature for comparative analysis of the options and critically evaluate the recommended practices. Demonstrate why the chosen practices are the most appropriate for the organisation or why the organisation should prioritise the practices.

Background of Wal-Mart Inc.

Wal-Mart Inc. stands as an American transnational retail company that functions through a chain of supermarkets, reduction unit supplies, and grocery outlets. The concern was originated over and done with Sam Walton at the year 1962. The principal sector remained in Bentonville, Arkansas, besides it is assimilated on 31st October 1969. It correspondingly possesses and drives “Sam's Club trading storerooms. Since 31st January 2018, the Company holds 11,718 outlets as well as clubs within 28 republics, functioning with 59 assorted aliases.

The business works under the tag of Wal-Mart at United States plus Canada, as “Wal-Mart de México y Centro America in Mexico besides Central America, having the name of Asda at United Kingdom, by approach of the “Seiyu band in Japan, in addition to the label of Best Price in India”. It devises exclusively well-kept-up procedures of business pursuits in Argentina and Chile, alongside Brazil, as well as Canada (Christopher, 2016).

This remarkable evolution of Wal-Mart stands accredited to its sustained attention on purchasers’ desires and decreasing cost over competent “supply chain controlling practices”. Wal-Mart is the domain's prime establishment by means of revenue – nearly US$480 billion conferring to the record of “Fortune Universal 500 at 2016 – other than the leading private company in the territory by way of 2.3 million workforces. It is a widely operated family controlled trade, owing to the monitoring of the operating zones by the members of “Walton family”. The successors possess above 50 percent of Wal-Mart over and done with their allotment of the business, the projects, besides their specific assets. Wal-Mart remained the biggest U.S. grocery dealer during 2016, plus 62.3 % of Wal-Mart’s transactional value of US$478.614 billion originating from U.S. setups and accountabilities (Corbett et al. 2012).

The corporation debuted on the Standard Exchange of stocks in New York during 1972. Through the years at 1988, Waymart existed as the utmost viable trader in the United States., besides by time of “October 1989”, the Company had turned out to stand as the leading light in positions of revenue. Formerly as per geographic foundation restricted to South as well as lower Midwest regions, through the initial period of 1990s, the establishment had supplies from the coastal parts: Sam's Club was recognized in New Jersey by November 1989 plus the chief California store was set up at Lancaster within July 1990 (, 2018). . A unit of Wal-Mart in York, Pennsylvania got started by October 1990: as the leading main supply division across the Northeastern areas.

The funds exterior to North America has realized diversified consequences: its functional processes in UK, Southern America, besides China remained highly prosperous, while projects at Germany as well as South Korea were unsuccessful (Corbett et al. 2012).

Impact of Supply Chain on Wal-Mart's Performance

Wal-Mart has persisted as a celebrated and branded organization - as a pattern designed for 21st century entrepreneurship. In that circles the challenge in examining the world's major retailer. The impact of supply chain organization on the performance of Wal-Mart lies in resolutions as regards, acquiring, manufacturing, as well as distribution of measures in and among the corporation and its dealers plus clienteles (Coyle et al. 2016).

(Source: Chaabane et al. 2012)

Figure: Comparative records of delivering goods

(Source: Hugos, 2018). 

During the primary period of 1970s, Wal-Mart befitted as unique operational division of the prominent trading businesses in the domain to “centralize” the delivery system, revolutionize the distributing structure of “hub-and-spoke” method. In the scheme, stuffs were centrally arranged, accumulated at a massive storeroom, identified as ‘distribution center’ or “hub” where from these substances were shipped to the distinct supplies (spoke). Wal-Mart highlighted the requirement to lessen purchasing prices and bid the supreme value to the client. (Holweg, and Helo, 2014). The business openly obtained the materials from creators, by exclusively surpassing the mediators. Wal-Mart confirms a acquisition deal merely as soon as it remains effusively assured that the merchandises being subscribed is not accessible to another place at a lesser expense. Wal-Mart devotes a noteworthy extent of time consulting vendors as well as understanding their price arrangement. (Kotler, 2012).

By constructing the process in translucent manner the trader can remain convinced that the producers are performing their preeminent functions to amend the prices. The harmonization of workstation processors in Wal-Mart was linked to individual suppliers. EDI allowed the dealers to transfer acquisition orders together with store-to-store evidence of involving to their retailed supplies. On unloading data as regards the deals of several products, the workers shipped the mandatory possessions to Wal-Mart’s delivery centers (Mansouri et al. 2012). An imperative level of Wal-Mart’s logistics setup remained its fast as well as approachable transportation structure.

The distribution hubs were examined by greater than 3500 business held trucks. Wal-Mart supposed that it required drivers who stood devoted and enthusiastic to serve the clients The Corporation engaged only knowledgeable teamsters who had focused on beyond “300,000 accident-free loads”, with no foremost transportation damage. To brand its delivery process further well-organized, Wal-Mart likewise prepared a logistics method termed “cross-docking.” In this arrangement, the accomplished products were unswervingly chosen from the industrial plant, organized and then responsively provided to the patrons (Mulnix, 2013). Wal-Mart capitalized comprehensively in IT besides communication patterns to successfully track transactions and stock records in supplies across the nation. Through the quick enlargement, it persisted to be indispensible to ensure a decent communication approach Therefore, Wal-Mart built up its identifiable classification of satellite broadcasting during 1983. (Robert et al. 2010). Wal-Mart remained competent to diminish infertile portfolio by permitting supplies to bring about their own frameworks, decreasing pack amounts transversely through countless product groupings, and well-timed price discounts. In its place of “cutting the catalogue” from corner to corner of the provisions, Wal-Mart accomplished full usage of its IT skills to sort more portfolios accessible in the event of stuffs that clienteles required maximum, even though dropping the general record levels (Luo, 2012)..

Supply Chain Controlling Practices in Wal-Mart

The order organization besides store replacement of possessions was completely performed with the assistance of processors over and done with the “Point-of-Sales (POS) method”. From end to end of this process, it was conceivable to display and trace the deals and goods of the supply altitudes on the stock shelves. By the year 1998, Wal-Mart mounted a voice-founded order filling (VOF) organization in its entire focuses of grocery dissemination services (Corbett et al. 2012).

Each individual liable for selection of order was delivered with a microphone or speaker earpiece, related to the transferrable (VOF) classification which could remain worn through “waist binding”. They were directed by the vocal sound to the sites of the elements in the delivery hubs. As the “carpet area” of every Wal-Mart outlet marked within 40,000 - 200,000 sq. feet, effort of transferring possessions in the stock remained an imperative share of logistics procedures (Ghiani et al. 2013). Wal-Mart arranged significant reserves in information technology to speedily find and refill merchandises at the stocks. Retail Connection attached Wal-Mart’s EDI system through an extranet, reachable to Wal-Mart’s thousands of dealers. The providers could treasure out in what way their creation was executing vis-a-vis challengers’ merchandises in a specific product classification (Euro Supply Chain Jobs. 2018). 

Wal-Mart possessed the leading and most cultivated computer coordination within the private subdivision. The corporation employed “Massively Parallel Processor” (MPP) of the computer arrangement to chase the measure of possessions and store levels. All evidence connected to sales as well as catalogues was accepted over and done with a progressive satellite message classification (Coyle et al. 2016).  Through the mid-1990s, Trading Link contributed into an “Internet-empowered SCM organization whose purposes were not restricted to record management only, but moreover enclosed collective preparation, projecting and replacing (CPFR). In CPFR, Wal-Mart functioned in organized way with its crucial dealers on a immediate foundation by means of the networking technology to cooperatively control product-wise request prediction. CPFR is demarcated as a commercial preparation for trading associates to share predictions and consequences of data over and done with the procedures of interface of Internet, with the intention of minimizing portfolio budgets despite the fact that at the equivalent time, it aims to improving product accessibility through the supply sequence (Hugos, 2018). However CPFR remained an encouraging supply chain creativity intended for a mutually advantageous teamwork amid Wal-Mart and the dealers, its tangible execution needed enormous funds in time as well as currency.

Logistics and IT Management in Wal-Mart's Supply Chain

(Source: Trujillo, 2018). 

A small number of dealers using the providers, Wal-Mart endeavored to device CPFR. They criticized that a noteworthy extent of duration was consumed on developing projections and investigating sales records. In determining to device innovative technologies to moderate prices and escalate the productivity, within July 2003. Wal-Mart requested its highest 100 dealers to stand with RFID agreeable compliances from 2005. Wal-Mart prearranged to substitute bar-code tools by RFID equipment. The business supposed that this standby would decrease its supply chain organizational expenses and improve competence. As of the application of RFID, the personnel remained no longer mandatory to physically probe the “bar codes” of possessions incoming the provisions and delivery centres, redeeming labour charge besides time (Supply Management, 2018).  Wal-Mart predicted that RFID may decrease the occurrences of “stock-outs” in the supplies. Even though Wal-Mart remained enthusiastic regarding the welfares of RFID, specialists sensed that it might execute a heavy load on its dealers. To brand themselves RFID obedient, the dealers desired to sustain a predictable value of $20 Million. On account of this, a projected 50% was assessed to be expended on assimilating the arrangement and constructing adjustments within the supply sequence with software (Suppliers and Jeff, 2018). 

(Source: Huang and Goetschalckx, 2014).

Wal-Mart dedicated to lessen carbon footprint as of its supply series of carbon dioxide since the period of 2015. The development team working to employ the accomplishment of objectives proposed to produce plans concerning the reductions of discharges conferring to the information of “Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)”.

Figure: Assortment of Product

(Source: Robert, 2016)

(Source: Supply Management, 2018)

To place it modestly, strategic preparation and mechanism are concerned with source acquisition, while deliberate planning as well as control effort on resource distribution, modification, effective planning as well as managers is anxious with commercial implementation (Holweg, and Helo, 2014). Supply chain organization has been demarcated as the "project, preparation, implementation, regulation and observation of accomplishments concerned with supply sequence with the independent foundation of net value, constructing a viable infrastructure, leveraging universal logistics, harmonizing supply by means of demand as well as assessing performance internationally.” The objective of Supply Chain Organization is to assimilate both information and quantifiable movements effortlessly across the resource series as an operative competitive defense (Langen, 2013).

Wal-Mart exposed manifold changes toward its on time distribution values for its dealers that ensure the prospect to considerably influence in what way “these thousands of dealers” approach the supply series and “logistics events with retailer”. Wal-Mart required its providers (shippers) to come across a 2day delivery window as a substitute of its preceding “4-day window”, on top of its obligatory compliance level from 90 -95% since February 2017 (Charles and James, 2011). For non-compliant distributions, its dealers pay a remuneration of 3 % of the price of merchandises of entirely non-compliant provisions, which is in influence since 2010. The 3 % “tax” likewise relates to suppliers while fewer than 95 % of merchandise circumstances are acknowledged (Kotler, 2012).

Enhancing Supply Chain Performance through IT

Wal-Mart has undergone a sequence of ruthless publicity. Information of additional record combined with unoccupied shelves has infected the retail giant's name as a perfect initiator of supply chain administration. Wal-Mart once more gives the impression to move to a novel scheme for replacement as well as inventory device. The “Global Replenishment System” presents downward projecting model that is established to swap, Update, a bottom-up arrangement technologically advanced by IBM ( 2018). Considered to afford an enhanced real-time assessment of portfolio, GRS similarly places additional stress on advertising/event forecasting.


(Source: Trujillo, 2018) 

The labeling of supply chains with strong theoretical demonstrations of office blocks, the ideal of SCOR may be utilized to refer to “supply chain management” that stand very modest or multifaceted using a mutual set of classifications. Consequently, distinct industries may be interconnected to define the penetration and extensiveness of practically any resource chain (Bauwens et al. 2013).


SCOR brings 3 levels of practice of supply chain administration in business. Every level of feature contributes in describing the option (Level 1), conformation or kind of resource elements (Level 2), particulars of components of process, counting attributes of presentation (Level 3). Underneath level 3, businesses decompose developmental features and begin executing explicit “supply chain organizational procedures”. At this phase businesses outline practices to accomplish a competitive lead, and acclimatize to varying business settings (Trujillo, 2018). 


The business’s labor dealings in positions of its individual stores and functioning circumstances comprises in its international supply sequence, the origin and efficiency of public mobilizations in contrast to Wal-Mart, as well as by what method Wal-Mart's progress is related to the occurrence of buyer-driven chains  of manufactured goods across the worldwide economy. Geographic assimilation of these purposes through physical amenities situated on any or some regions and inter-sequential amalgamation of strategic, premeditated, and effective supply chain assessments.


Bauwens, J. and Verstrynge, K. (2013). Digital Technology, Virtual Worlds, and Ethical Change. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, 17(1), pp.124-143.

Chaabane, A., Ramudhin, A., and Paquet, M. (2012). Design of sustainable supply chains under the emission trading scheme. International Journal of Production Economics, 135(1), pp 37-49.

Charles C. and James E. Hill, (2011) Advanced Supply Chain Management: How to Build a Sustained Competition to Poirier Basics of Supply Chain Management

Christopher, M. (2016). Logistics & supply chain management. 5th Edition Pearson UK. Harlow.

Corbett, C. J., Blackburn, J. D., and Van Wassenhove, L. N. (2012). Partnerships to improve supply chains. Sloan Management.

Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR) (2018). United Kingdom. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 May 2018].

Coyle, J. Langley, C. Novack, R. and Gibson, B. (2016). Supply Chain Management: A Logistics Perspective. 10th Edition. Cengage learning. Boston.

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Henfridsson, O., Mathiassen, L. and Svahn, F. (2014). Managing technological change in the digital age: the role of architectural frames. J Inf Technol, 29(1), pp.27-43.

Holweg, M., and Helo, P. (2014). Defining value chain architectures: Linking strategic value creation to operational supply chain design. International Journal of Production Economics, 147, pp. 230-238. 

Huang, E., and Goetschalckx, M. (2014). Strategic robust supply chain design based on the Pareto-optimal tradeoff between efficiency and risk. European Journal of Operational Research, 237(2), 508-518.

Hugos, M. (2018). Essentials of supply chain management. Hoboken: Wiley.

Kotler, P. (2012). Marketing management. Harlow, England: Pearson.

Langen, N. (2013). Ethics in Consumer Choice. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden Gabler.

Luo, J. (2012). Soft computing in information communication technology. Berlin: Springer.

Mansouri, S. A., Gallear, D., and Askariazad, M. H. (2012). Decision support for build-to-order supply chain management through multiobjective optimization.International Journal of Production Economics, 135(1), pp.24-36.

Mulnix, M. W. (2013) Small Business Entrepreneurship: Utilizing Open Systems Structure to Gain Global Market Share, Journal of Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, 1(1), pp. 3-49

Robert B. Handfield, Ernest L. Jr. Nichols (2010) Introduction to Supply Chain Management.

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Trujillo, P. (2018). Walmart Is Addressing Inventory Problems With a New System. [online] Wasp Buzz. Available at: [Accessed 10 May 2018].

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