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The topic of the paper will be the processes of Supply Chain Operations.  It should cover the five management processes:  planning supply chain operations; sourcing goods or services; making or manufacturing products; delivering finished goods; and handling product returns.  

If it makes it simple you can choose an American Company and tie it into the processes.

Planning Supply Chain Operations

Jawad, S. (2017). A literature analysis of Walmart’s supply chain excellence in term of integration, distribution and operations.

In this article, Jawad performs a literature analysis of the supply chain process at Wal-Mart to establish whether the company has achieved success in regards to distribution, integration, and operations while still saving on costs. In his research, Jawad utilized a case study qualitative measurement technique. The findings of the study concluded that the supply chain strategy at Wal-Mart was comprised of a cost leadership method that synchronized supply and demand, supplier partnership, and customer experience. An outstanding strategy implemented by the firm is the “Everyday low prices” technique facilitated by an efficient logistic system. Jawad notes that the company has invested in modern distribution centers and ownership of a large fleet of trucks to aid movement of goods from manufacturer to distribution centers as well as to lower costs incurred. Wal-Mart has adopted a system that integrated supplier and customers through the box bar code whereby suppliers are able to identify products sold and are thus able to restart the logistic process of manufacturing and distribution of products to the various warehouses owned by the company. The author concludes that the effectiveness of the supply chain management process at Wal-Mart is reliant on specific elements such as good customer and supplier relationships, and consistent communication between the various sections of procurement.

Mollenkopf, D., Russo, I., & Frankel, R. (2007). The returns management process in supply chain strategy. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 37(7), 568-592.

Accordingly, the article aims to investigate the development of returns management in the supply chain strategy of companies facilitated by a study conducted in five firms. Mollenkopf, Russo, & Frankel characterize returns management as the activities related to returns including reverse logistics, avoidance, disposal, and gatekeeping. Returns management is seemingly characterized as reverse logistics in the supply chain process and is regarded as an important aspect in effective management of the entire supply chain. This is because effective returns management directly impacts on the relationship between the company and end-users or consumers, as well as the reputation of stakeholders. Regardless firms are still struggling with the integration of returns management in the supply chain strategy as minimal research has been conducted on the process involved in the handling of product returns. Yet, Mollenkopf, Russo, & Frankel argue that the functions of logistics, marketing, accounting and finances, and operations are actively involved in the management of returns. Specifically marketing policies and strategies of a firm significantly impact on the timing and type of product return consequently influencing the extent and nature of reverse logistics activities that a firm has to undertake. The authors found that most American firms place emphasis on cost reduction where the main focus of the returns system is time-sensitivity of returned goods, which is pertinent in making disposition decisions. In this regard, Mollenkopf, Russo, & Frankel confirm that the longer it takes to make disposition decisions, the lower the market value of the returned product in the supply chain. For instance, Wal-Mart has a strict policy that is time specific on the return of different products with the longest window period of return been ninety days. Arguably, this assessment indicates the economic value or impact of returns on supplier and customer relationships with the firm.  Using the qualitative methodology to conduct the study, the authors conclude that returns impacts on multiple functions of the firm other than cost including customer satisfaction and financial performance of the firm.

Sourcing Goods or Services

Natto, H. (2014). Wal-Mart Supply Chain Management. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 5(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijser.org/researchpaper/Wal-Mart-Supply-Chain-Management.pdf

The article by Hassan Natto asserts that Wal-Mart’s success as the largest retailers in over 15 countries is attributed to its supply chain process. Accordingly, the company has incorporated certain functions in the process including purchase of products from wholesale dealers and suppliers, distribution, and strategic approach to retailing. The company was able to improve its purchasing power by establishing offices in different location such as New York City, hence eliminating the role of wholesale dealers and mid-agents. Aside from guaranteeing timely delivery of products, this strategy has seen the company increase its profit significantly with the reduction of supplier costs. Natto asserts that successful distribution of the company is aided by the existence of over 75,000 employees in the logistics department, 7,800 private truck drivers incorporated in an informative data framework, and 114 dissemination centers throughout the U.S. The dissemination centers play an integral role in the stocking and circulation of delicate products. Wal-Mart’s retailing approach includes the use of Just-in-time supply approach, which emphasizes on the reduction of surplus by failing to stock products that are not in demand at the time. Application of this strategy has consequently ensured that the company stores only products that meet customer needs leading to the inevitable growth of the company in the U.S stock market and market share.

Nguyen, T. T. H. (2017). Wal-Mart’s successfully integrated supply chain and the necessity of establishing the Triple-A supply chain in the 21st century. Journal of Economics & Management, 29, 102-117.

The aim of the paper is to conduct an examination of dominant features of the supply chain process of Wal-Mart that have seen the company earn the title of the leading retailer in the U.S. Nguyen asserts that the success of the supply chain management at Wal-Mart is centered in the company’s focus on three major segments of the process namely logistics, procurement and distribution, and inventory management. A guiding policy for the procurement and distribution process of the company is, “Everyday Low Prices” whereby the company has eliminated intermediaries in the procurement process by opting to purchase directly from the suppliers. Prior to making a purchase, Nguyen confirms that the company enters into a negotiation process with the manufacturer which entails a discussion on purchase estimates and cost structures. Wal-Mart has likewise established distribution centers that are segmented into diverse sections where goods are stocked depending on the quantity. To ensure consistent flow of goods in the center Wal-Mart has incorporated use of radio frequency identification tags that provide real-time information on commodities stored in the centers. With these tags, employees have access to pertinent information such as date product was manufactured and expiry date as well as tracking movement of goods from manufacturer to the warehouse to stores. Successful transportation of goods is achieved by the logistics department which hosts a private trucking system. According to Nguyen, each distribution center is serviced by 3,500 trucks allowing for the timely delivery of finished goods to the different stores and replenishment of inventory on a weekly basis. A primary logistic technique utilized by Wal-Mart is the cross-docking technique that allows for the classification and transportation of merchandise from inbound to outbound trailers and factories to warehouses.  Nguyen concludes that the integration of the three departments has seen the company establish an efficient supply chain process.

Making or Manufacturing Products

Santos, A. C., Kieckbusch, R. E., & Forcellini, F. A. (2007). Product Development Process Managing in Supply Chain. In Complex Systems Concurrent Engineering (pp. 775-782). Springer, London.

The aim of the article is to determine the relationship between product design and supply chain. Santos, Kieckbusch, & Forcellini state that firms are dependent on the relationship with suppliers and consumers in the product design process in order to obtain a significant and competitive market share. Arguably, the process of supply chain commences at the level of product development since a large percentage of decisions made in this phase of the product life cycle attribute to the final costs incurred. Hence, the product development phase has significant impact on the outcome of the supply chain process. In recent years, research has affirmed that supplier involvement in this phase is beneficial for a company since firms are able to draw on suppliers’ expertise and technical abilities in order to improve product development effectiveness and efficiency. In this regard, some of the companies that have evidenced collaborative partnerships with suppliers include Wal-Mart. The company had since created resident institutions for suppliers in their headquarters where they are actively involved in the design and production of products together with suppliers. In this case, Santos, Kieckbusch, & Forcellini hold that use of supplier expertise and knowledge to complement internal capabilities results in a reduction in costs, concept-to-customer cycle time, and quality problems while improving design efforts. Yet, in light of these benefits, firms risk to face certain drawbacks including low customer satisfaction as the sole involvement of suppliers in development would eliminate input of consumers on product expectation. On the other hand, the authors hold that some firms choose to outsource products and services in independent and collaborative relationships made with other companies. In this regard, a firm should utilize information technology resources that allow for real time connections increasing the company’s efficiency through the reduction of routines and time taken to execute certain activities.

Sohn, A. P. L., Vieira, F. D., & Casarotto Filho, N. (2013). Important aspects to the development of the supply chain management to promote innovation. In 3. º Congresso Internacional do Conhecimento e Inovação.

The article aims to evaluate the relevant aspects to the development of supply chain operations in order to promote innovation. In this regard, Sohn, Vieira, & Casarotto Filho identify technologies, human talent, and processes that entail creation of value for consumers as key areas of focus in planning for the supply chain process. Variables to be considered in the planning process will in this case range over customer orientation, use of communication and information technologies, structure, knowledge flow, and degree of relationships with consumers and suppliers. In the past, logistics aspects including warehouses and transport were given first priority in planning for supply chain management, however, present-day managers focus on the management of internal changes as the initial step with the aim of reducing costs. Therefore, companies should focus on their central competencies in order to transfer productive operations to customized product and service provision. For instance, Wal-Mart opted to work directly with manufacturers instead of outsourcing products in an attempt to cut on cost and to maintain control over the supply chain process of product development. Moreover, manufacturers are able to conduct operations in Wal-Mart warehouses thus ensuring that the firm can fulfill merchandise requirement in time. Sohn, Vieira, & Casarotto Filho, therefore, confirm that the aim of the planning of supply chain operations is to ensure that the supply chain management process will achieve customer satisfaction while increasing profitability and competency of a firm.

XU, L., XU, Q., & LIU, X. (2014). Wal-Mart and Carrefour’s Supply Chain Management Strategies in China. International Journal of Business And Management, 9(7). doi: 10.5539/ijbm.v9n7p155

The article conducts a comparison of the supply chain management process of Wal-Mart and Carrefour in China in order to identify factors that have led to the success of the two organizations in the Chinese market. In this regard, the article entails individual analysis of the supply chain processes of the two companies and culminates with a comparison of the diverse strategies employed by the two companies. According to the authors, the central focus of the procurement and distribution process in Wal-Mart is the customer guided by the mantra, “Customer is the first consideration.” In this case, the company stocks a variety of products to meet the diverse client preferences and needs. To achieve this, Wal-Mart had deployed specific approaches in sourcing of finished products. The company had eliminated the role of middlemen by procuring products directly from manufacturers consequently lowering the cost incurred while increasing revenue for the firm. Regardless, Wal-Mart maintains collaborative relationships with the various suppliers through an electronic network and data interchange system where information is shared to suppliers. By establishing resident institutions for in the Wal-Mart headquarters, the company ensures that it is directly involved in the product research, production, quality control, ordering, and delivering process of commodities. The authors affirm that afterwards the goods are conveyed to the different distribution centers where they are upgraded and repacked according to the requirements of each sub-branch where they will be stocked ready for sale. Ideally, this strategy is referred to as “zero inventory” which maximizes on saving warehousing costs while reducing distribution and marketing costs.

References

Jawad, S. (2017). A literature analysis of Walmart’s supply chain excellence in term of integration, distribution and operations.

Mollenkopf, D., Russo, I., & Frankel, R. (2007). The returns management process in supply chain strategy. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 37(7), 568-592.

Natto, H. (2014). Wal-Mart Supply Chain Management. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 5(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijser.org/researchpaper/Wal-Mart-Supply-Chain-Management.pdf

Nguyen, T. T. H. (2017). Wal-Mart’s successfully integrated supply chain and the necessity of establishing the Triple-A supply chain in the 21st century. Journal of Economics & Management, 29, 102-117.

Santos, A. C., Kieckbusch, R. E., & Forcellini, F. A. (2007). Product Development Process Managing in Supply Chain. In Complex Systems Concurrent Engineering (pp. 775-782). Springer, London.

Sohn, A. P. L., Vieira, F. D., & Casarotto Filho, N. (2013). Important aspects to the development of the supply chain management to promote innovation. In 3. º Congresso Internacional do Conhecimento e Inovação.

XU, L., XU, Q., & LIU, X. (2014). Wal-Mart and Carrefour’s Supply Chain Management Strategies in China. International Journal of Business And Management, 9(7). doi: 10.5539/ijbm.v9n7p155

Cite This Work

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My Assignment Help. (2021). Wal-Mart Supply Chain Essay. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgt3121-service-operations-management/wal-mart-supply-chain.html.

My Assignment Help (2021) Wal-Mart Supply Chain Essay [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgt3121-service-operations-management/wal-mart-supply-chain.html
[Accessed 23 February 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Wal-Mart Supply Chain Essay' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgt3121-service-operations-management/wal-mart-supply-chain.html> accessed 23 February 2024.

My Assignment Help. Wal-Mart Supply Chain Essay [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2021 [cited 23 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgt3121-service-operations-management/wal-mart-supply-chain.html.

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