Wal-Mart is one of the leading retail stores in the world. It is ranked first in the fortune 500 list of 2011 and regarded as the 18th largest public corporation in the entire world. Its official website is www.walmart.com.
Wal-Mart‘s website is very interactive as it has links to the various departments and the different services, products and goods they sell. The website has lots of useful information including where to find Wal-Mart in ones location, new products, discounts being offered and a customer feedback area where customers can air their opinions about the store and vote for their favorite products.
Wal-Mart’s business processes and business strategy
Business processes undertaken by Wal-Mart include:
- Sales and marketing
- Finance and accounting
- Human resource
On the basis of the information collected from their website, the following business strategies have been employed by Wal-Mart stores.
Overall cost leadership business strategy
Wal-Mart employs the Overall cost leadership business strategy as seen in its lower pricing. This is a business strategy in which a company offers their services and products at a slightly lower price than any of their competitors (Kourdi, 2009). According to Basker (2009) whenever a Wal-Mart store opens in a town, three retailers in the same town close within five years. This is attributed to Wal-Mart stores low pricing.
Focus business strategy
This is a strategy in which a business offers products and services to a particular market or geographical segment (Campbell, Stonehouse & Houston, 2002).Wal-Mart uses focus strategy in their world wide business as witnessed in their China stores where they installed fish tanks for customers to select their own fish leading to a flow of many customers (Basker, 2009).
This is a strategy in which a company offers services and products that customers consider unique (Kourdi, 2009). Wal-Mart store has unique services like notifying registered customers via mail and text on discounts being offered and availability of new products.
Information systems best suited for Wal-Mart
Information systems are designed to help managers and workers analyze different issues and help them achieve specific goals effectively (Laudon &Laudon, 2009). The following two information systems are best suited for Wal-Mart stores.
Transactional processing systems
A TPS is a computerized system that records daily routine transactions at the operational level (Laudon &Laudon, 2009). These systems are used at the point where transaction takes place such as purchase points. Wal-Mart stores can employ transactional processing systems that will be able to generate reports, summaries and lists about what is happening at the different points of transactions.
Executive support system
The executive support system (ESS) is used by top management to enable them know what is happening in an organization (Laudon &Laudon, 2009). Such a system is essential as top management require a summary of information to effectively make decisions.ESS filters information and tracks critical data that enables top management to be informed at the shortest time possible about what is happening in the corporation. Wal-Mart has senior managers who have to take the least possible time to know what is happening in the entire retail chain and make effective decisions.
The Transactional processing system and the Executive support system are the best information systems that can be effectively used by Wal-Mart to give it a competitive edge in the worldwide retail store business.
Basker, E. (2009). The Economics of Wal-Mart. Web.
Campbell, D., Houston, B. & Stonehouse, G. (2002). Business Strategy. An Introduction. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Kourdi, J. (2009). Business Strategy. A Guide to Effective Decision-making. New York: Economist.
Laudon, K. & Laudon, J. (2009). Essentials of management information systems. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Wal-Mart’s website. (2012). Web.