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Management Information System MIS 201

Semester 2 (2018-2019)

CASE STUDY-3-Assignment 


Case Study 3 :Walmart

  • How IT and IS may be used to help the company operate and achieve its objectives. (1 Mark)
  • Discuss the challenges faced by the CIO – which are the most important and why? (1 Mark)
  • What role does information technology play in the business? How is it helping Walmart refine its business strategies? (1 Mark)
  • Summarize the main purposes of information systems in organizations (1 Mark)

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Case Study 3 :Walmart

With the advent of science and technology, technological innovations have become a pre-requisite to achieve operational and strategic excellence. Organizations by using state-of-the-art systems, are striving for their best to achieve sustainable and long-term competitive advantage. It has become sine qua non to use modern tools for the effective achievement of goals and objectives. Its importance can also be observed from the increased spending on Research & Development in order to pace up with the todays dynamic business environment.

Wal-Mart, founded by Sam Walton in 1962, is the world’s largest retailer that employs about 2.1 million associates worldwide, in more than 8,400 stores, including 8, discount stores, 3,100 combination discount and grocery stores. Wal-Mart is serving its customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,613 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. Wal-Mart has ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2010 Most Admired Companies survey with fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion. Sam Walton’s belief was to build an empire by providing value to its customers and empowering employees, also known as associates. The way the Wal-Mart operates is so fascinating and impressive that Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric once said: “Many of our management teams spent time there observing the speed, the bias for action, the utter customer fixation that drives Wal-Mart.”

The use of high-tech Information technology has always been an essential ingredient for Wal-Mart’s growth. Since its inception, it has used the IT systems well enough for the Inventory, administrative, customers and suppliers management.

Wal-Mart’s investment in technology started with the computerized accounting systems and since then the continuous adoption of latest technologies has made Wal-Mart a market leader in the whole retail industry.

Wal-Mart developed a well-equipped computerized Point of Sale (POS) system capable of identifying each unit sold, creation of accurate sales receipt and storing all the information item-by-item for sales analysis and inventory reordering purposes. It helped company to avoid overstocking of merchandize through effective information usage and also assisted them in investing in only those merchandize that were profitable. It has also helped them figure out best selling products and prospective products that customers want. Analysts say that it is Wal-Mart’s Point of Sale system that has helped them achieve the world’s largest market share and revenues in retail industry.

Wal-Mart, in 2004, was the first in retail industry to adopt electronic radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for inventory distribution management. RFID technology, which is still being used, helps them keep track of inventory movement across its supply chain. Wal-Mart was trailing K-Mart in 1980’s but with the adoption of latest technologies, it has now become the trend setter in retail industry all over the world.

Wal-Mart is currently working on a project to make best out of wireless technology. In near future, they have plans to develop a remote system that would allow customers to just walk into their store and use their own devices (Phones or PDA’s) to get whatever they want. i.e. they might go online to their website, while at the store, and find things for themselves or just compare the products’ prices etc.

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