1. An individual firm like Wal-Mart manages supply chain by using a number of techniques. Considering that supply chains include multiple firms with potentially conflicting objectives, Wal-Mart has created very effective and innovative responses. This involves taking advantage of telecommunications infrastructures which focuses on using computerized systems that keep track of the inventory. Wal-Mart uses an EDI system that is better for record keeping and can be easily analyzed and used for a variety of tasks. This system keeps track of goods being brought to its distribution center then makes sure that they are shipped out to stores. Conflicts that could arise with this are if a technical problem happens in the system therefore calculations may be off. A supplier of Wal-Mart may not have the technology up to par with Wal-Mart therefore this may lead to a communication failure. Other conflicts that may arise are simply missing shipment times therefore Wal-Mart will charge its suppliers for not having the shipment on time.
2. Wal-Marts supply chain management system has provided higher levels of product availability and lower merchandise acquisition and transportation costs by using efficient techniques. Wal-Mart uses a Just in Time inventory system. This is when they receive less-inventory on a more frequent basis then traditional inventory systems. This leads to less lead times and less carrying cost as there is less inventory on hand. They receive a smaller amount of inventory and when need they purchase new loads which will come quickly. They also use cross docking which means that the inventory reaches the trucks and are immediately bound for stores. This is a much more efficient process and once again acquires less carrying cost for inventory. These techniques make Wal-Mart a leading innovator when it comes to efficient and effective supply chain management.
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