Free Essay

Wal-Mart's Purchasing Process

In:

Submitted By MarkBieker
Words 5069
Pages 21
Title: Wal-Mart’s Purchasing Process

To: Dr. Franklin Mitchell

From: Mark Bieker

Class: Class: AC 550 Accounting Information Systems

Date: October 10, 2011

Introduction Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 with the first Wal-Mart discount store opening in Rogers, Arkansas. The company was officially incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on October 31, 1969. Currently, Wal-Mart has stores in 50 states in America and 15 countries worldwide, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. The growth of Wal-Mart over a period of 49 years is remarkable and has lead Wal-Mart to become the biggest retailer in the world. Wal-Mart also has a strong community presence in the areas the stores are located. Wal-Mart’s purpose is to save people money and to help them live better. In 2007,
Wal-Mart changed its slogan from “Always low prices” to “Save money. Live better.” This slogan is demonstrated in the products that Wal-Mart sells. Wal-Mart will not be undersold.
Wal-Mart caters to the low income and middle income people by offering goods at low prices. These low prices are demonstrated in the products Wal-Mart sells. The products include: food, drink, clothing, jewelry, electronics, automobile supplies, sporting goods, toys, and furniture. Basically, Wal-Mart offers customers a one stop shopping experience. In order to provide this variety of goods to customers at the lowest price, Wal-Mart sets up a huge supply system worldwide and has evolved into a large multinational retailer. Wal-Mart has 8,140 retail units in 15 countries and serves customers more than 200 million people per week (Thugiang, 2010). It can be concluded that Wal-Mart is a large company serving many people. It is very important for Wal-Mart to have the goods on hand that the customers demand. To have the goods on hand requires Wal-Mart to utilize a proven method of obtaining the products. This proven method for purchases is called SMART. This paper will discuss SMART and describe Wal-Mart’s purchasing method by explaining the objectives, events, inputs, and outputs of the purchasing process. The paper will conclude with an analysis of continuous auditing software and a recommendation of integrating MetricStream into Wal-Mart’s existing information technology.
Wal-Mart’s Objectives, Inputs, and Outputs
One of the Wal-Mart’s purchasing objectives would be to make timely and accurate vendor payments. To make payments on time, Wal-Mart uses an accounts payable application. This application tracks the amounts owed to another company. The objective of accounts payable processing is to pay vendors at the optimal time to take advantage of cash discounts offered and also avoid finance charges for late payments. Another objective of the purchases process would be to maintain a list of authorized vendors who offer quality goods and services at reasonable prices. One such authorized vendor would be Procter & Gamble (P & G). Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble have been collaborating in the 1980’s by building a software system to connect P & G to Wal-Mart’s distributions centers. When P & G’s products run low at the distribution centers, the information systems sends an automatic alert to P & G to ship more products. In some cases, the system communicates through real-time satellite link-ups. Just recently, P & G and Wal-Mart started using RFID technology to achieve even more efficiencies in the supply chain (Bagranoff, Norman, & Simkin, 2010).
The most important objective is to control inventory. To control inventory, Wal-Mart uses the SMART inventory system SMART is a tracking system that keeps track of Wal-Mart’s inventory. The system will automatically reorder products if inventory indicates the product is either low or empty. The SMART system is though the Telxon which is a 900 MHz wireless handheld terminal equipped with barcode scanners. When a barcode is scanned, almost instantly the item number, a short description, on hand counts, and amount on order are displayed (Seanferd, 2005).
The SMART system is an example of an accounting information system (AIS), and it triggers purchase orders automatically when inventories fall below pre-specified levels. Thus, SMART is an input for Wal-Mart’s purchasing process. Other source documents include: the purchase requisition, purchase order, purchase invoice. The purchase requisition shows the item requested and may show the name of the vendor who supplies it. As for the purchase invoice, it is a copy of the vendor’s invoice. The accounts payable system matches three source documents before remitting payment to the vendor: the purchase order, the receiving report, and the purchase invoice. By Wal-Mart utilizing a computerized accounts payable system, this AIS system can search more efficiently for duplicate payments than a manual system.
The last component of the purchasing process at Wal-Mart is outputs. The typical outputs of the purchasing process are: vendor checks and accompanying check register, discrepancy reports, and a cash requirements forecast. The check register lists all checks issued for a particular period. Accounts payable typically processes checks in batches and produces the check register as a byproduct of this processing step. Discrepancy reports are necessary to note any differences between quantities or amounts on the purchase order, the receiving report, and the purchase invoice. The purpose of a discrepancy report is to ensure that no one authorizes a vendor check until the appropriate manager properly reconciles any differences. As for the cash requirements forecast, this report is based on outstanding purchase orders, unbilled receiving reports, and vendor invoices. From these source documents, AIS can predict future cash payments and their dates (Bagranoff, Norman, & Simkin, 2010). At Wal-Mart, this forecast is easier because Wal-Mart utilizes a computerized system.
To further illustrate Wal-Mart’s purchasing process, Figure 1 listed below will summarize the purchasing process by describing the objectives, inputs, and outputs.
The Purchasing Process
OBJECTIVES
Tracking purchases of goods and/or services from vendors
Tracking amounts owed
Maintaining vendor records
Controlling inventory
Making timely and accurate vendor payments
Forecasting purchases and cash outflows

Inputs (Source Documents) Outputs (Reports)
Purchase Requisition Financial Statement Information
Purchase Order Vendor Checks
Vendor Listing Check Register
Receiving Report Discrepancy Report
Bill of Lading Cash Requirement Forecast
Packing Slip Sales Analysis Reports
Debit/Credit Memoranda

FIGURE 1. Objectives, inputs, outputs associated with the purchasing processing
(Bagranoff, Norman, & Simkin, 2010).

Wal-Mart’s Information Technology

It can be concluded from Wal-Mart’s purchasing process that information technology is a vital part of it. For example, the SMART system allows Wal-Mart to electronically order products when inventories are low. In addition to keeping inventories stocked, the SMART system has other benefits. For example, the actual database has to be enormous because
Wal-Mart offers a variety of products and tracks each one of them. Some of the products aren’t carried by Wal-Mart, but the SMART system has updates that allow the products to be scanned and provide all the relevant information. This updating of SMART is very beneficial because it allows people to return products from a “Super Center” that carries a much larger stock than non-Super Centers. Another strong point of the SMART system is that it is linked to the cash registers. When a product is sold, inventory is updated automatically. On hand counts are updated, and some products are reordered automatically, depending on how many are left (Seanferd, 2005). Despite these advantages of the SMART system, there is at least one disadvantage for SMART. The disadvantage deals with the fact that every product needs to be coded with barcodes, which can lead to additional costs.
This focus on information technology such as the SMART system isn’t new for
Wal-Mart. For example, in the 1960’s and 70’s, Wal-Mart took its first big bet by building its own infrastructure and distribution network. Before Wal-Mart decided to take charge of its own distribution, retailers traditionally depended on wholesalers, who procured, warehoused and distributed manufactured products. But Sam Walton found that none of the wholesale distributors at the time were interested in giving adequate service to a geographically remote discount retailer. Wholesalers would be shut out of Wal-Mart’s business model. Next, to take on powerful brand-name suppliers, Walton would make a massive bet in information technology. By the early ‘80’s, Wal-Mart was one of the earliest to take advantage of the bar code technology to increase efficiency at the checkout counter. The aim now was to find a way for technology to help Wal-Mart come up with the right mix of goods for its individual stores, thereby increasing efficiency and lowering the company’s inventory costs. The idea was to transmit point-of-sale information in real time to manufacturers. The information then would be used to examine consumer taste trends, gauge demand, and eliminate the need for warehousing – manufacturers would deliver “just in time.” In addition, Wal-Mart’s increased efficiency was due to its trend-forecasting software, which tracked consumer behavior. The software that Sam Walton and David Glass developed is called Retail Link. This revolutionary system delivered sophisticated information on consumer behavior, based on the data imbedded in the barcodes that passed through checkout counters. Wal-Mart shared this revolutionary software with suppliers at no cost, in order to help them meet the retailer’s needs more efficiently. By sharing Retail Link, Wal-Mart gained command over its suppliers and effectively penetrated their executive decision-making. It drew them into what Sam Walton liked to call a partnership: Wal-Mart was plugged into the supplier, and the supplier was plugged into Wal-Mart. But Wal-Mart had the upper hand in this partnership: By gaining access to its supplier’s books, the company was in a position to virtually dictate the terms of its contracts on price, volume, delivery schedule, packaging, and quality. It also allowed Wal-Mart to set the profit margin each supplier would get. It turned the supplier-retailer relationship upside-down. Furthermore, vendors had to implement Wal-Mart’s “customized business plans.” Each year, Wal-Mart would hand its suppliers detailed “strategic business plans.” Wal-Mart would then grade the suppliers’ weekly, quarterly, and annual report cards. And when it came to discussions of price, there was no real negotiation, even for household brands (Hornblower, 2004).
Wal-Mart’s Purchasing Process Wal-Mart used its buying power and its information about consumer buying habits to force vendors into squeezing their costs and keeping their profits margins low. Over time, some suppliers – especially middle-sized and smaller firms – were bankrupted; and major firms moved production overseas, and increasing to China. Basically, Wal-Mart is able to sell products at a low price to the customers because Wal-Mart controlled their suppliers. At this point, the paper will examine the purchasing process. The purchasing process begins with customers checking out at check-out lanes. Each check-out lane is equipped with a moving conveyor built so items continuously move the purchased items forward to Wal-Mart’s cashiers. As the items reach the cashier, the item is scanned by using the UPC code. At that point, the items scanned are reduced in the SMART system, Wal-Mart’s inventory system. When the system’s overhead reaches reordering point, SMART generates an electronic purchase order with the vendor. The reorder point is based on sales velocity and vendor’s lead time. Once the vendor receives the electronic purchase order, the vendor ships the products to Wal-Mart. The products arrive at Wal-Mart with a purchase invoice, and the receiving department personnel will verify that the information on the invoice is correct. If the information is incorrect, the vendor will be contacted. Once the invoice has been verified as being correct, the products will be stocked to the shelves. The accounts payable system also matches electronic documents and sends the payment if the documents match up. If the documents don’t match up, the vendor will be contacted and a discrepancy report may be completed. Other documents from Wal-Mart’s purchasing process include: financial statements, cash payment forecast, vendor listing, and management reports. The appendix on pages 10 – 11 summarizes the steps in Wal-Mart’s purchasing process.
Internal Controls
The key to keeping Wal-Mart’s prices low is having sound internal controls. It is vital that Wal-Mart has accurate inventory counts. Inventory can be off if merchandise is stolen. To control stolen merchandise, Wal-Mart utilizes surveillance cameras which is an input device and an application control because the tape from the camera can be replayed to verify shoppers’ activities. Another application control would be the use of computerized stolen logs where stolen merchandise is tracked. Furthermore, DVD and ink along with other electronic items have security devices that will set off the alarm when the customer is trying to leave the store. The people greeter then needs to deactivate the item after verifying that the item has been purchased.
The people greeter is an example of a manual control who needs to be thorough and observant. At the Hays’ Wal-Mart, we have a sticker program. The sticker program involves the cashier putting a sticker on items placed on the bottom rack of the cart to show the item(s) have been purchased. The people greeter also needs to check the receipt when a customer has purchased high priced electronics like TVs and computers.
The cashier is also responsible for controlling inventory by properly scanning items. For example, a customer buys 6 - 24 packs of Pepsi, but there are 2 Diet Pepsis, 2 Pepsis, and 2 Cherry Pepsis. The cashier just simply performs the shortcut of 6 quantity, instead of scanning each pack because these Pepsis are not the same. By the cashier not scanning each pack, the inventory counts will be inaccurate because the SMART system will reduce 6 Pepsis instead of 2 of each variety (see flow chart, third and fourth boxes). The result is that an electronic purchase order (box 5 for Wal-Mart’s Purchasing Process, Appendix) is created if inventories are low. What may happen in this example is Wal-Mart has excessive inventory of Pepsi and may lack quantities in the other varieties of Pepsis.
Another example where inventories are inaccurate is when the cashier double scans an item when the customer only purchased one of the item. This inaccurate scanning affects the SMART system (see flowchart, boxes 2 to 5 in the Appendix) by triggering the system to order the product sooner than what really is needed. The cashier may also have to handkey items when the UPC is missing. The process to handkey, a manual input process, involves selecting the correct department, a description of the item, and the price. If the process is completed incorrectly, the inventory may be off. Anytime an item is handkeyed in, a report is generated. An associate in accounting examines the report and adjust inventory accordingly.
Another key personnel that is involved in inventory control would be Asset Protection. Asset Protection personnel are trained to act like customers while detecting, observing and apprehending shoplifters. These employees don’t dress in the Wal-Mart dress code. These personnel observe and track shoppers’ activities. This manual control aims to control shrink which is unaccountable inventory. Shrinkage is the difference between amount of merchandise shown on hand in the system and the amount that is physically counted during inventory. Stolen merchandise affects the inventory counts and may delay ordering products because the SMART system will indicate more of a product then is actually on hand. The system didn’t reduce inventory because the item(s) wasn’t scanned due to being stolen. The affected areas on the flowchart would be: reducing of item, reaching reordering point, and creating an electronic purchase order. The net result of stolen items is a delay in ordering the product because inventory is incorrect by having fewer items of the stolen item(s). This manual control of having Asset Protection personnel is working because the Hays’ Wal-Mart in 2011 has - $98,349 or .11% as compared to last years’ figure of - $328,200 or .36%.
There are also two controls when receiving the merchandise that involves pallet trucks and direct receiving. As for pallet trucks, groceries from various vendors arrive at Wal-Mart with a computerized invoice indicating the quantity and price of each item. This invoice is then verified as being correct by examining Wal-Mart’s electronic purchase orders. If the amount is incorrect, a claim is filed and must be filed within 48 hours after discovering the discrepancy.
As for direct receiving, it involves vendors directly stocking the shelves with their product. Examples of direct receiving include Frito Lays and pop vendors. The manual control involved in direct receiving involves a physical check of the inventory received. The main problem here is human error by not visually verifying the inventory received or miscounting could occur.
General Information Technology Controls Wal-Mart also utilizes at least five general information controls. These controls are: point-of-sale system, bar codes, RFID, computerized warehouses, and invoicing. As for the point-of-sale system, this system is a computerized system that identifies each item sold, finds its price in a computerized database, creates an accurate sales receipt for the customer, and stores this item-by-item sales information for use in analyzing sales and reordering inventory. Aside from handling information efficiently, effective use of this information helps Wal-Mart avoid overstocking by learning what merchandise is selling slowly. The point-of-system system is an example of access to computer files because only department managers and salaried management would be able to access the computerized database. The second control would be bar codes. The technical basis of the point-of-sale system is the bar code scanner. Bar code scanners make it possible to record the sale of each item and make that information available immediately for both recording and sales analysis. The first use of bar code scanners occurred in the 1970s. After two decades of experience, accurate inventory using bar code scanners is a competitive necessity for large grocery stores and retailers. The idea of bar code scanning required that industry develop a universal product code (UPC) system, a standard method for identifying products with numbers and coding these numbers (Prentice-Hall, 1999). Bar codes are also an example of access to computer files because of the restricted nature of the reports obtained through bar code scanning.
The third control would be the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID). According to Linda Dillman, CIO, RFID has a bigger potential to change retailing than anything
Wal-Mart has ever done. This general IT control allows for RFID tags on cases and pallets to be read not only when inventory enters a stockroom, but also when those cases or pallets go to the floor and, ultimately, when empty cases go to the compactor. Much of the data collected during RFID reads will be passed on to Retail Link, Wal-Mart’s Web-based software that lets the retailer’s buyers and some 30,000 suppliers check inventory, sales, and more (Sullivan, 2004). This control would be an example of access to computer files because only suppliers, buyers, and Wal-Mart’s management would be privileged to the information contained in the RFID’s reports.
The fourth control would be computerized warehouses. Wal-Mart uses telecommunications to link directly from its stores to its central computer system and from that system to its supplier’s computers. This allows automatic reordering and better coordination. Knowing exactly what is selling well and coordinating closely with suppliers permits Wal-Mart to tie less money in inventory than many other competitors. At Wal-mart’s computerized warehouse, many goods arrive and leave without sitting on a shelf. Only 10% of the floor space in Wal-Mart stores is used as an inventory area, compared to the 25% for the industry
(Prentice-Hall, 1999). Computerized warehouses would be an example of computer facility controls because there is a central data processing center that transits reordering information.
The last information technology control would be invoices. The invoices need to be compared to the Wal-Mart’s computerized invoice in terms of quantity and price. Invoices should be properly keyed in properly and accurately to ensure that on hands remain accurate and not to create shrink. Invoicing is an example of access to computer files because only certain personnel like the affected department and also any salaried management has access to invoicing information.
Continuous Auditing Software It can be concluded that Wal-Mart uses information technology efficiently by utilizing point-of-sale system and computerized warehouses. The use of this technology has allowed
Wal-Mart to have better coordination. With better coordination, the suppliers can have more consistent manufacturing runs, lower their costs, and pass some of the savings on to Wal-Mart and eventually to the consumer. Some 3,800 vendors now get daily sales data from Wal-Mart stores. In addition 1,500 vendors have the same decision and analysis software that Wal-Mart’s own buyers use to check how a product performs in various markets (Prentice-Hall, 1999).
Thus, Wal-Mart does excel at information technology. However, Wal-Mart does have room for improvement. For improvement to occur, Wal-Mart should examine continuous auditing software.
One such software that Wal-Mart should examine is Approva. This software involves using continuous controls monitoring (CCM) applications. These applications automatically identify exceptions and control breakdowns at the time they occur. By finding and correcting errors immediately, users reduce risk, automate compliance obligations, and eliminate waste. The waste can been illustrated in the fact companies have spent millions of dollars developing and documenting their processes, policies, and controls, yet have little visibility into whether they are followed because they cannot cost-effectively monitor and test them. The use of CCM has benefits for finance, audit, and IT security. The three benefits for finance are: * Reducing risk of financial reporting errors * Identifying, preventing, and reducing cash leaks, and * Ensuring policies and processes are cost-effectively enforced.

As for auditing benefits, the benefits are: * Reducing time and costs of compliance obligations and external audits * Improving quality and efficiency of internal audit process, and * Addressing audit findings.

The IT security benefits include: * Improving efficiency and effectiveness of managing users access rights and lifecycle * Pushing ownership/responsibility for user access rights to business users, and * Addressing audit findings (Approva Corporation, 2010).

Furthermore, Approva in 2010 launched a new product suite called Approva One. With the release of this CCM suite, Approva is the only vendor that offers a complete CCM solution with a single platform that supports the entire business exception management lifecycle for both continuous auditing and continuous monitoring. With Approva One, organizations can materially reduce operational costs and lower audit-related expenses. Unlike other CCM solutions that focus narrowly on the needs of a single department or are confined to a specific business process, Approva One offers one platform that is designed and built to serve the needs of finance, audit and IT security professionals with one application that can flag what users are able to do, what they did do and how they did it. No other solution is able to monitor and correlate exceptions across user access, transactions, master data and application configuration settings. These unique capabilities translate into lower costs and greater benefits for customers by automating compliance obligations, identifying and preventing cash leaks from inappropriate payments and fraud, flagging accounting errors such as inappropriate journal entries and employee access to sensitive financial applications (Approva Media Room, 2010).
Other features of Approva software include: pre-defined audit steps, automatic notification of violations, compatibility with ERPs, audit of business transactions, and dashboard reporting. These functions are also listed in the appendix for Approva, MetricStream, and Trintech. In addition, the appendix has a visual representation of what Approva entails.
The second software that Wal-Mart should examine is MetricStream. This software provides solutions for Governance, Risk, Compliance (GRC), and Quality Management. MetricStream provides a single application environment to manage compliance with multiple regulations, corporate policies, and quality standards. MetricStream’s enterprise-wide approach makes it a system of record for all quality, compliance, and risk issues within the organization. It provides a comprehensive view into performance and risk related metrics. The software also enables a company to deploy consistent GRC and quality processes across the entire organization. Furthermore, MetricStream uniquely combines software and content to deliver solutions with embedded best practices templates, access to compliance training programs, and integration of business processes with regulatory notifications and industry alerts. Leading companies across various industries are using MetricStream today to manage, measure, and improve their key compliance and quality processes. The benefits of MetricSream include: * Effective governance with streamlined policy documentation, communication and implementation * Lower risk exposure with heat maps and data analytics serving as early warning systems * Improved control over and visibility into compliance related business operations * Better resource utilization consistent and collaborative management of tasks, processes, and data, and * Reduced compliance costs with elimination of redundant systems and inefficient processes (MetricStream, No Date).
The table listed in the appendix also indicates the following functions of MetricStream: pre-defined audit steps, automatic notification of violations, compatibility with ERPs, audit of business transactions, and dashboard reporting.
The third continuous auditing software that Wal-Mart should examine would be Trintech. This company produces Unity which is a comprehensive financial compliance software suite and includes operational account reconciliation, financial close, compliance, risk management, and financial modules that will help the business do things faster, better, and smarter across the enterprise. This software is deployable as either individual applications or an entire suite. The Unity Suite provides a Control Management Framework that enables businesses to plan, schedule, perform, manage, and report across the entire governance, risk, and compliance control efforts. The benefits of Trintech’s Unity are: * Reducing operational costs * Increase the accuracy and transparency of financial reporting * Shortening cycle times, and * Reducing the risk of material weaknesses and restatements.

The Unity Suite extends the capabilities of the existing ERP or CPM solution with next generation exception management and account reconciliation capabilities, while integrating with these tools across the financial close and reporting processes to provide a final system of record for financial data. Key functions of the Control Management Framework include: * Role-Based Security * Automated Scheduler * Workflow Management * PDF/HTML Action Plan * Email Alerts, Reminders & Escalation * Document Management * Business Rules & Scoring * Online Binders * Multi-dimensional Scoping * Reporting and Analytics, and * XBRL (Trintech, No Date).

The table in the appendix also lists the factors of: pre-defined audit steps, automatic notification of violations, compatibility with ERPs, audit of business transactions, and dashboard reporting for Trintech. The following graphic aid summarizes the features of Unity Suite.

Conclusion
It can be conclude that Wal-Mart excels at information technology. However, Wal-Mart does need improvement in ethics. Consumers’ reactions concerning ethical issues at Wal-Mart is negative. A confidential report by McKinsey & Co. found that 2% to 8% of Wal-Mart’s customers have stopped shopping at Wal-Mart “because of negative press they have heard.” As a result of customer’s opinions about Wal-Mart, there needs to be some corrective action. The corrective action can be achieved by utilizing MetricStream because there is an emphasis of ethics in MetricStream’s software. MetricStream provides a flexible framework to streamline business ethics programs, ensure business ethics compliance, and to improve accountability and communication ensuring adoption of ethical practices. MetricStream provides corporate ethics compliance solutions to organizations to continually audit their internal controls and communication processes to identify risks, validate compliance with corporate business ethics policies, and ensure that they have a mechanism to identify gaps and deficiencies as well as remedy them in a timely manner. The solution supports policy documentation, change management, communication processes, and training and awareness programs (MetricStream, Business ethics, No Date). In concluding, Wal-Mart needs to incorporate MetricStream’s ethical component so that Wal-Mart can improve its public image.

References
Approva Corporation. (2010). Continuous controls monitoring solutions. Retrieved from http://approva.net/assets/resources/GeneralBrochure_062810_Web.pdf
Approva Media Room. (2010). Approva introduces Approva One, Industry’s first complete continuous control monitoring (CCM) suite. Retrieved from http://approva.net/company/releases/approva-introduces-approva-one/ Bagranoff, N. A., Norman, C. S., & Simkin, M. G. (2010). Core concepts of accounting information systems. John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ.

Hornblower, S. (2004). Is Wal-Mart good for America? Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/secrets/pricing.html

MetricStream. (No Date). Business ethics compliance. Retrieved from http://www.metricstream.com/solutions/ethics.htm

MetricStream. (No Date). Solutions. Retrieved from http://www.metricstream.com/solutions/solutions.htm#

Prentice-Hall. (1999). Information systems: Useful cases from previous editions. Retrieved from http://www.prenhall.com/divisions/bp/app/alter/student/useful/ch1walmart.html

Seanferd. (2005). Wal-Mart’s smart inventory system. Retrieved from http://www.oppapers.com/essays/Wal-Marts-Smart-Inventory-System/62535

Sullivan, L. (2004). Wal-mart’s way. Retrieved from http://www.informationweek.com/news/47902662

Thugiang. (2010). Wal-Mart. Retrieved from http://www.bignerds.com/papers/20690/Wal-Mart/

Trintech. (No Date). Unity Suite financial software. Retrieved from http://www.trintech.com/unity-suite/

Appendix (Page 1)
Figure 2 Wal-Mart’s Purchasing Process

Vendor sends electronic invoice
A/P system matches electronic documents & sends payment
Electronic purchase order to vendor
Vendor & purchase order files SMART creates an electronic purchase order
System OH reaches reorder point based on sales velocity and vendor lean time
SMART system reduces on-hand (OH) inventory by one or more
Customer brings items to checkout where cashier scans the UPC code
Customer selects item(s)

Receiving creates electronic receiving report

Connectedto page 2

Appendix (Page 2)

Process and print reports

Management reports
Vendor listing
Financial statements
Cash payment forecast f Figure 3—Approva

Table 1—Functionality Comparison of Approva, MetricStream, and Trintech

| Approva | MetricStream | Trintech | Functions | | | | Pre-defined audit steps | * | * | * | Automatic notification of violations | * | * | * | Compatibility with ERPs | * | * | * | Audit of business transactions | * | * | * | Dashboard reporting | * | * | * |

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Wal-Mart 2011

...2. What are Wal-Mart’s Competitive Advantages? Wal-Mart’s strategy is based on ensuring customer satisfaction and high-volume sales by offering a diverse range of products at low price and with relatively good service. A key factor underpinning the phenomenal growth and success of Wal-Mart has been the way in which it has matched its internal resources and capabilities (what it does well) with its external environment (what the market demands and what the competitors offer) to satisfy customer needs, maximise revenues for shareholders and innovate and diversify ahead of the competition. Stalk, Evans & Shulman (1992: 57) maintain that Wal-Mart epitomises “capabilities-based competition”. Competencies are the collective learning, technologies and culture in an organisation which arise through the integration of diverse production skills, harmonisation of technologies, and open communication and commitment across organisational boundaries. Core competencies enable access to wide variety of markets, add customer value, and are difficult to imitate and thus constitute a source of competitive advantage (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990). Wal-Mart’s competitive advantages include: • Sophisticated logistics system – Wal-Mart’s internal capabilities in inventory management and distribution have played a key role in maintaining its ability to continuously deliver on its CVP of ensuring the maximum availability and accessibility of goods, being trustworthy, and ensuring ‘everyday low prices’. Supply...

Words: 1524 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Wal-Mart’s E-Commerce Success

...Wal-Mart’s E-Commerce Success Possibly the single greatest success story of e-business and B2B implementation is that of the rise to dominance by Wal-Mart in the North American retail market. Love them or hate them, you have to hand it to Wal-Mart for their impressive growth in such a short time span. And arguably the single most important factor in this rise was their harnessing of the power of e-business, e-procurement, and the adjustment of internal processes to maximize this advantage. So, why does Wal-Mart think e-business is important? Wal-Mart's focus on its e-commerce strategy not only allows the retailer to reach customers who don't have stores nearby, but, more importantly, the online customer is a significantly better customer than one that only shops at a store. “Wal-Mart believes eCommerce Brings Access to Customers Anytime, Anywhere (eCommerce 1)”. As customers not only do we expect to have great prices; we have grown to consumers who want products anytime no matter where we are.   Can Wal-Mart successfully adapt their model online to challenge Amazon? While Wal-Mart’s total revenue is projected to be over five times greater than Amazon’s, the e-commerce return for Amazon’s all revenue is over seven times greater than Wal-Mart’s e-commerce revenue. Wal-Mart has gone as far as establishing Wal-Mart labs in California in order to prepare to challenge the online retail king, Amazon. These labs are designed to primarily compete against tech companies by taking...

Words: 676 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Haha

...report described the logistics process of an American multinational retail corporation which is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is the world third largest public corporation. It runs chains of discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company was found by Sam Walton in 1962, and was incorporated on October 31, 1969. Wal-Mart is running Combined Supply-Chain Model, which means Wal-Mart get goods from manufacturers and sells it to retailers and end consumers. It is using a systematic logistics process in its supply chain system in term of inventory, order processing and distribution system. Wal-Mart’s process of procurement involves reducing its purchasing costs as far as possible so that it can offer best price to its customers. Wal-Mart is running two types of system in procurement which are Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Retail Link system. In the process of order processing, Wal-Mart is using three types of systems, which are voice-based order filling (VOF) system, hub-and-spoke system, and “Pretty Darn Quick (PDQ) displays”. Next, Wal-Mart is running four types of inventory process system which can ensure the control of the products along with easy packing and counting of inventories. These systems may forecasts and results data through the Internet, in order to reduce inventory costs while at the same time, enhancing product availability across the supply chain. In addition, the efficiency of Wal-Mart’s distribution systems allows Wal-Mart reduces inventory and thus...

Words: 4225 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

Wolmort Sustoinoble Advontoge

...its competitors and can be achieved in two ways: comparative advantage and differential advantage. In the case of Wal-Mart, it has achieved sustainable competitive advantage through comparative advantage by beating its competitors with the lowest cost structure. It has done so by valuing its employees, creating successful vendor relationships, and building an efficient operation management system. Walton believed that if the employees are treated well, then they would treat the customers well. Thus, Wal-Mart implemented several programs to motivate and empower their employees. For instance, in the “Yes We Can Sam” program, employees were able to provide suggestions to make processes more efficient. In 1993, Wal-Mart was able to implement 650 of these suggestions and it resulted in an estimated savings of over $85 million. In another program, Wal-Mart empowered department managers by allowing them to be store managers of their own “store within a store.” With this sense of responsibility, sales in some areas exceeded $1 million. There was also a shrinkage program that provided employees a bonus if the store had shrinkage below a certain percentage. Through this program, Wal-Mart’s shrinkage cost was estimated to be at 1.7% compared to 2% for competitors. Lastly, Wal-Mart had a profit sharing plan for employees after only one year of employment. Wal-Mart contributed a percentage of an eligible employee’s wage into their profit sharing account which the employee could...

Words: 782 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Supply Chain Management

................................................................... 8 2.1 Concept of Supply Chain Management.......................................................... 8 2.2 Elements of the Supply Chain......................................................................... 9 2.3 Three levels of Supply Chain Management.....................................................11 2.4 Supply Chain Management Technology…….................................................. 13 III. The supply chain solution for Multinational giant Retailers in China................. 13 3.1 Wal-Mart’s development in China............................................................. 14 3.1.1 When Wal-Mart first came into China............................................. 14 3.1.2 Challenges Wal-Mart met in China.................................................. 17 3.1.3 Wal-Mart’s supply chain solution in China....................................... 17 3.3 Carrefour’s development in China ............................................................. 17 3.2.1 Introduction of Carrefour ............................................................ 19 3.2.2 Learn from Taiwan’s experience entering into China....................... 19 3.2.3 Supply chain...

Words: 5290 - Pages: 22

Free Essay

Swot Analysis

...Swott Analysis Twila Clayton BUS 475 June 6, 2012 James Sternieri Strategic Plan Part 2: Swot Analysis Internal Analysis Wal-Mart’s culture includes a list of values and beliefs based on their management and employee relations. This culture that’s included are an Open Door Policy where management believes open communication critical to understanding and meeting our associates’ and our customers’ needs. Associates can trust and rely on the open door; it's one of the most important parts of our culture. Sundown Rule is a rule that management attempts to answer request by the close of business. Grass Roots Process is a belief that associates’ ideas, suggestions and concerns matter. The 10-foot Rule is a customer service tactic that greets and engages customers that are within 10 feet distance. Servant Leadership is a policy Wal-Mart uses to listen to their partners and associates in an attempt to create morale and teamwork. Teamwork is a big part of their store culture as Sam Walton believes in the power of teamwork to help grow at the pace of modern life. Wal-Mart Cheer is incorporated by all associates by shouting enthusiastically inside the store to show pride in the company. Lastly, Wal-Mart reads associates’ stories to carry out their beliefs and values as well. Company image Wal-Mart aims to help customers save money to improve their purchasing power to live better. The company’s marketing efforts are to establish awareness that they are the price leaders in their market...

Words: 1497 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Can Wal-Mart Survive China’s Growing Middle Class?

...Can Wal-Mart Survive China’s Growing Middle Class? China’s rising standard of living and its impact on the discount retail market. Abstract This paper investigates published articles, financial information and books which discuss Wal-Mart’s recent business activities in China. The activity discussed includes Wal-Mart’s increasing impact and influence on the Chinese economy as a buyer and consumer of raw materials, a manufacturer of products, and as a retailer and employer in China. This paper discusses how Wal-Mart sources its finished products and raw materials in and from China, how Wal-Mart markets to China’s middle class, and how Wal-Mart manages China’s middle-class as both its primary customer and their source of labor in China. The intent of this paper is to provide readers with a high level understanding of how Wal-Mart is conducting business in today’s China and how Wal-Mart’s manages their exposure to the various supply chains in China, its increasing dependence on products and services sourced in China and how Wal-Mart is handling China’s growing middle-class and the nationally unionized workforce in their Chinese stores. Lastly, this paper discusses how Wal-Mart’s business strategy competes and compares with Target Stores, one of their leading competitors in the discount retailer marketplace. Keywords: wal-mart, target, china, supply chain management, sourcing, global marketplace  Identification. This paper discusses Wal-Mart’s history in China...

Words: 4339 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

International Demension of Marketing

...Table of contents: 1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3 2. Critical review a well managed organization with culture of learning and innovation in international markets…………………………………………………………………….3 2.1 Literature review of a well managed organization with culture of learning and innovation in international markets………………………………..……………………………3 2.2 Examining Wal-Mart’s characteristics to the extent of learning culture and innovation …………………………………………………………………………………………………….4 3. Critical review internationalization theories and the case of Wal-Mart from 1994 onwards……………………………………………………………………………………………………….7 3.1 Theories of internationalization…………………..……………………….……………………...7 3.2 Wal-Mart’s internationalization strategies from 1994 onwards……………..……9 4. Wal-Mart entry Brazilian and Japanese market……………………………………………….10 4.1 Considerable issues of the company………………………………………………………… 11 4.2 Opportunity in those markets……………………………………………………………………13 5. Wal-Mart’s entry modes in international markets - Examining with Brazilian and Japanese markets…………………………………….…………………………………………… ….13 5.1 Mode of entry to Brazil ………………….…..……………………………………………………..13 5.2 Mode of entry to Japan……………………………………………………………………………….14 6. Summary……………………………………………………………………………………………………………15 7. References………………………………………………………………………………………………………….15 8. Appendices…………………………………………………………………………………………………………16 ...

Words: 5462 - Pages: 22

Premium Essay

Gb520 Walmart Case Study

...Human Resources Management GB520-01N Wal-Mart Case Study Contents Introduction 3 Background 3 Summary 3 Exploring Answers 4 The Secret Formula 4 The Issues 5 Recommendations 7 Conclusion 7 Introduction The purpose of this analysis is to examine domestic Human Resource strategies in contrast to International Human Resource strategies. One goal of globalization is to be able to do business across borders without stress. Similarly, as companies grow customer bases, it is important to have strategic business units in areas local to the customer base. It is what is required to successfully build a successful global presence. This analysis will attempt to highlight potential issues faced by Walmart when they opened up for business in China in 1996. This analysis will also provide a set of recommendations that may have helped to avert the issues that Wal-Mart faced. Background Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. started when Sam Walton set out on an ambitious mission to have a store with the lowest prices anytime, anywhere. In 1962 Sam Walton opened the very first Wal-Mart in Rogers, Arkansas. By 1967, they owned 24 stores and continued to rapid expanding. In 1983, they added to their portfolio by starting a wholesale/bulk retailer called “Sam’s Club” and by 1988, they started a hybrid of general merchandise stores and supermarkets and aptly called them “Super Centers.” In 1990 Wal-Mart became USA’s number-one retailer. In 1991, Wal-Mart opened its first global store in...

Words: 1566 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Rewrwerw

...Wal-Mart de Mexico Note: Most of this material is adapted from David Barstow, “Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle,” New York Times, April 22, 2012. In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country. The former executive gave names, dates and bribe amounts. He knew so much, he explained, because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Wal-Mart de Mexico. Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart de Mexico was the company’s brightest success story, pitched to investors as a model for future growth. (Today, one in five Wal-Mart stores is in Mexico. Wal-Mart now employs 209,000 people in Mexico, making it the country’s largest private employer. ) ...

Words: 1983 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Current Market Conditions Paper

...need at a lower cost. Companies all over the United States are fighting to stay competitive and are seeking ways to restructure their company and still provide for consumers the best possible prices. Companies such as Wal-Mart do not have to change their structure to fit the demands of consumers because it already offers its customers brand name items at lower prices. Wal-Mart’s basic structure has helped make it a powerful retail business, and a place consumer’s love. Market Structure Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its first discount store in 1962, Sam Walton had no idea his business would be the success that it is today. The reason for Wal-Mart’s success is their ability to create a basic structure for their business. Wal-Mart offers a variety of well-known brands and sells them at about 5-10% cheaper than other retailers. This makes Wal-Mart a powerful force in the retail business. Wal-Mart Stores is considered an oligopoly market structure. Colander (2008) defines oligopoly as a market condition in which sellers are so few that the actions of any one of them will materially affect price and have a measurable impact on competitors. With their continued success, Wal-Mart’s market structure could also be considered a monopolistic competitive structure. Wal-Mart has all the characteristics of a monopolistic competitive structure as described by Colander (2008), they have many sellers, offer differentiated products, and they exhibit multiple dimensions of competition....

Words: 2148 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Mgt Week 2

...Wal- Mart Jose Vasquez MGT 230 MAY 20, 2014 Melanie Behunin Wal- Mart In a variety of business environments around the world, four management functions are usually found. The four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Planning occurs within these functions of a business, and it helps to deliver strategic value. Organizing will build a dynamic organization and leading will mobilize people. Controlling is part of learning and changing as the organization grows. All four functions of management are the key concept to effective management. Internal and external factors influence the decision-making process that affects management. The competitive landscape is constantly changing; therefore, managers must consider people and businesses around the world. These are used from top-level management to frontline or organizational management. Globalization, technology, innovation, diversity and ethics are factors that affect these business functions. One can examine almost any organization and find this to be true. Wal-Mart is one of the leading retail organizations in the world whose management functions are affected by these factors. Opening its doors in Rogers, Arkansas, Wal-Mart started a profitable business in 1962. The founder, Sam Walton, could never have envisioned where his company would be in the present. Earning approximately $30,000 in 1962, Wal-Mart has evolved into a multi-billion dollar company earning over $15 billion in 2011...

Words: 1797 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Case Study of Walmart

...CASE STUDY Professor: Dr. Mary Flannery Teaching Assistant: Jia-Yuh Chen ECON 136 – Business Strategy February 27, 2006 INDUSTRY ANALYSIS The retail industry is dominated by few retail giants, with Wal-Mart competing in several retail categories. Wal-Mart competes against Kmart and Target in the general merchandise retailing; against Costco in the warehouse club segment; and against Kroger, Albertson’s and Safeway in the supermarket retailing. Competition among retailers centers on pricing, store location, variations in store format and merchandise mix, store size, shopping atmosphere, and image with shoppers. Further analysis provided by the following figure diagnoses the competitive environment of the retail industry. Five Forces Model of Competition Threat of Substitute Products Weak: Substitutes for big box retailers are smaller grocery stores; substitutes are higher priced relative to the performance they deliver. Supplier Bargaining Power Weak: Industry members account for a big fraction of suppliers’ total sales and continued high volume purchases are important to the wellbeing of suppliers. Rivalry among Competing Sellers Fierce: Competing sellers have triggered heated price competition and are active in making fresh moves to improve market standing and business performance. Buyer Bargaining Power Weak: There is a broad base of buyers so no single buyer can demand price concessions; buyers purchase merchandise in small quantities; buyer loyalty for...

Words: 1408 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Ikea

...Supply Chain Management – Assignment (Wal-Mart & IKEA) Are they involved in strategic alliances with major trading partners? If so, how and for what purpose? Strategic Alliances Definition of Strategic Alliance: Strategic alliances are inter-firm collaborative business models that allow firms to create value by sharing resources, obtaining market influence or access novel markets. Simply put, strategic alliance allows for projects where companies can share their resources and risks for an agreed period or project. Resources such as distribution chains, development of products, technologies or services become communal amongst alliances. In recent times, the potential positive effects of alliances are highly regarded by firms, thus, leading to an increasing trend in entering into strategic alliances with the aim of constructing stable collaborations. While the successes of alliances are plentiful, there is also evidence of many undesirable business outcomes. This section of the research paper will discuss and analyze the applications of strategic alliance for global giants in the retail business: IKEA and Wal-Mart. IKEA’s Strategic Alliances: IKEA aims to provide consumers with low-price products through fostering long-lasting business relationships and networks with its main suppliers. These relationships are a pivotal part of the development of IKEA’s products and technologies. IKEA tends to push interactions with their suppliers as far upstream as...

Words: 1882 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Marketing Management

...Activities of Value Chain in Wal-Mart Wal-Mart is one of the leading Fortune 500 companies, which is spread across the globe. It is perhaps the largest retail chain which deals with everything from food to consumer electronics. In terms of the revenue generated, it leads the fortune 500 companies like GE and Microsoft. Simply put, it has everything a homemaker can ever think of. Affordable price range coupled with aggressive online and market strategy has led to wide acceptance for Wal-Mart in towns and cities alike. Wal-Mart is probably the only largest fortune 500 corporations in the world, which directly services the common man. The major point is that all of these activities have to be in sync in order for the value chain to operate effectively. The support activities is not bound to any of the primary activities, but is supposed to serve them, the first step in analyze of intern resources is to identify how the company’s different activities makes the foundation for its competition strategy. Supportive Activities: 1. Firm Infrastructure: There are 2485 Wal-Mart stores all over the world. This includes 682 Supercentres, 457 Sam’s Clubs, 5 Wal-Mart Neighbourhood Markets and 1007 units of Wal-Mart International. Wal-Mart serves over 100 million customers weekly worldwide. There are 1035000 associates, and the company is America’s largest private employer. Wal-Mart is run from a national headquarter. The headquarter takes care of orders, and every local store has to report...

Words: 1789 - Pages: 8