Look at the Future of Walmart Through Its Supply Chain

Topics: Sustainability, Supply chain, Supply chain management Pages: 7 (2428 words) Published: January 27, 2013
Look at the future of Walmart through its supply chain
As Gwen Ruta said, we’ve come to believe through experience that you really can create environmental progress by leveraging corporate purchasing power. And who’s got more purchasing power than Walmart? The tendency is obvious that walmart is going to play an important role in the environmental progress. In another word, it’s called sustainability. In 2008, when CEO Scott Lee went to china, he mentioned “develop sustainably”. We all know what walmart is, but do we know what sustainability is? Generally speaking, sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. However, for Walmart – a giant company, sustainability means it should develop in a healthier way, which requires it considers not only profit growth but also the impact on environment and society in a long run. In this article, I will talk about the possible paths that Walmart could take in a sustainable way: Green supply chain

Supply chain management is the “management and control process from acquisition of raw materials to delivery to the end use”. According to a survey, 9 out of 10 companies rate SCM and stock control as the most important factor to their company’s future success. As we can see, the sustainability of supply chain will decide the whole effect of the “sustainability movement”. Here let’s called it “green supply chain”. It means making the supply chain work without harming the surrounding environment. Setting green supply chain should be the first step for Walmart to face the coming future. Since no matter Walmart does, it will bring huge effect to the whole environment. Walmart has taken a lot of actions towards this direction. However, it should have a systematic plan for future. Look back to our history and look forwards, it’s obvious that if a company wants to run in a long period of time, it should think in long term. Such as Starbucks, it has done a lot of amazing things for its sustainable development. I think Walmart should start getting rid of its old image in people’s mind, which is a giant company only thinks about making money but not considering have a good impact on human society and environment. It’s time for it to make a change. From its current supply chain, apparently there are a lot of suppliers which Walmart can choose. But if Walmart thinks in a “green” way, are there still so many suppliers available and willing to make a sacrifice for Walmart? Probably not. And that's something Walmart need to work on. Regarding to the green supply chain I’m talking about, I think Walmart has to do following things to make it happen: 1. Green purchasing

Make sure the products it sells are from a clean and healthy environment. This means when it comes to the things that might affect people’s health, such as vegetables or milk, then the environment that produces it should be considered. We can call it “customer-oriented” This requires Walmart widen its connection with the manufacturers and suppliers. Building a solid and closer relationship with them is what green purchasing needs. When Walmart gets bigger, it could has its own farm and own farmers, which means they can make the whole system work in a healthier and greener way as long as they have a thought like that. 2. Green consumption

Train the suppliers and customers with product knowledge and “green” information, making sure they are knowledgeable about the things they make or sell. Because each part of the supply chain may affect each other so that it might influence the final outputs and end-users. It can be called “training”. To enhance this concept, Walmart should arrange more and more this kind of activities. Meanwhile, they can put a green tag in the product, making customers believe that's from a green...
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