Wal Marts Global Procurement Department Management Essay

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton and included in 1969. Walmart has been retaining its position as the most significant grocery store in the U. S. The business functions at more than 8, 500 retail products under 60 different banners in 15 countries, and reported sales earnings of $405 billion in 2010 2010. The company strives to firmly commit to its assurance to the customers; "Every Day Low Prices. " In order to deliver low-priced goods and make the customers' lives better, the business particularly leverages working charge and improve its global competence. From another point of view, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is one of the primary buyers for most suppliers if they are local or international makers, and if they are of a little scale or a major scale. To lessen the bottom-line costs, the company has been vigorously attempting to reduce product costs and travel costs.

International Purchasing

As the company's business dramatically grew, it created Global Procurement department in 2002 to better manage the international purchasing activities. The department makes decision on and oversees immediate business transfer and manufacturing plant purchasing off their international suppliers in many different locations around the globe. To name a few, Wal-mart obtains global procurement office buildings in Bangladesh, Dubai, India, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, Shanghai and Shenzen in China. These offices allow international suppliers to apply for direct transfer program by which they could create the supplier relationship with Wal-mart, following the thorough exam.

Wal-Mart's Global Procurement Division

Headquartered in Shenzen, China, the department is in charge of identifying new attractive international suppliers, sourcing services as necessary, and keeping good supplier romantic relationships with the prevailing suppliers. In addition, it handles the global resource chain of Wal-mart's direct imports. A lot of the staffs are found in Shenzen, China as the business has the biggest supplier platform in China. By setting up the Global Procurement division, the business gained better insights into their international suppliers. Through the program, the company could understand the problems of global sourcing and suppliers and work at solving them to be able to assure quality. Being a company maintenance process, the global procurement offices are also in charge of conducting manufacturing plant inspections, and offer the workplace benchmarks training that align with the business's own criteria.

International Distributor Selection

Similar to the company's very thorough domestic supplier selection, the global procurement undergoes the selective process. The best gain that the international immediate transfer brings is reduced costs. Because of high labor costs, many of the U. S. factories cannot offer Wal-mart competitive costing. Because of this, Wal-mart explored its options in Pacific-Asia/Asia. In lots of Asian countries, manufacturers reap the benefits of relatively low labor costs. Among those international dealer, Chinese suppliers are definitely the business's biggest supplier bottom part. To guarantee the quality of products in addition to lessen costs, the global procurement department strives to help them adhere to the expectations and make manufacturer inspections/audits. Also, the company has its ethical standards placed for its potential and existing suppliers as an important requirement. Reliability and trustworthiness are also important requirements to diminish the delivery inability and delay rates. Through the company's own global resource chain, it handles the vehicles of goods from international suppliers to the U. S. warehouses.

Supplier management system

There is no need to tell what lengths has already reached Walmart on the resource chain management. To make sure its customers' satisfaction is the best, the largest worldwide retailing company provides a Supplier Training program. Once a supplier has been accepted and has browse the Proposal Packet which presents the business school of thought and practices, a training program managed by Accenture must be used. In 2005, Walmart and the Retail Industry Market leaders Connection (RILA) created a web retail supply chain documentation for suppliers. A web-based training program for Chinese language factories to audit scores and production is also included. A lot of area businesses like 8th Walton offer services and answers to support organisations who wish to do business with Walmart.

Intertek Group - factories inspection, manufacturing plant audits

In August 2009, Walmart declared its partnerships with Intertek to guarantee the quality of the suppliers' product. The spouse supplies the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substance) certification by way of a cost-effective program to make sure the product compliance. The process includes records review, process audit and lab testing.

Local Suppliers

The Local Provider program was devote place to satisfy local demand for specific products. A whole process must be completed from the store manager to the Divisional Items Director. Also, a particular program for ladies managed business and minority businesses. Benefits are present for the chain: "Wal-Mart's local sourcing strategy has been seen as a move to succeed the favour of its customers". Walmart known that local suppliers are usually more aware of national trends, customers' likes and local needs. That helps create links with the populace as well.


A lot of requirements must be fulfilled by suppliers to be part of the best empire retail system. First, all businesses must abide by the RetailLink system which is a website to plan perform and examine the production. Moreover, suppliers must include EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to their system for real-time delivery of business documents. EDI is area of the Vendor Management Inventory (VMI) which, through the use of sale information, suggests purchases to Walmart. "Over the years, EDI has actually shown to be one of the most effective and effective ways for Wal-Mart to perform business using its suppliers". That contributes to oversight the inventory programs of both the distributor and Walmart.

Despite these technical requirements, lab tests labs might be asked to ensure the finest quality and basic safety: "we use different independent third party tests labs to give a safety net test". Also, there is a total prohibition of any sort of gifts or present to Walmart managers. The business asked for industry knowledge and integrity from its suppliers. Finally, suppliers must meet rules differentiations among countries by making use of the Office for Regulatory Compliance (ORC).

Some standard have to be reach as well: the conformity with regulations, the no-child labor program, hiring and career procedures, compensations (wage), freedom of relationship and barging, health and basic safety, environment, conflict-free appealing, anti-corruption and financial integrity. Violations of the criteria can be reported in virtually any country confidentially.

Insurance requirements

A product Commercial Basic Responsibility insurance must be purchased by the company for a minimum of $ 2 million. An employee's insurance has to be bought for at the least $1 million. An employer's responsibility must be included.

Benefits of Global Sourcing

Cheap Labor & Resrouce Costs

One of the reason why for Walmart pursue international purchasing is there are cheaper labor electric power available abroad. Looking at hourly reimbursement cost of the world by USA Division of Labor, you can clearly see that there are numerous nations that provide cheaper work force than that of the united states. Suppliers in countries with cheaper labor are likely to provide cheaper products which would benefit Walmart in expense saving. Walmart is trying to decrease labor costs further by starting programs such as job search engine optimization and regrouping program

Some resources are actually cheaper in certain countries and Walmart could reap the benefits of such difference by purchasing resources from cheaper regions. Moreover, in some instances, scheduled to such distinctions in expense, there is really no competitive local supplier available which makes it inevitable to purchase internationally.

Diversification of Dealer Base

Also, by purchasing internationally, Walmart can diversify its resource base. Using this method, Walmart not only can buy various products with cheap price but also ensure ecological and less volatile resource base. For instance, in recent devastation in Japan, even though Walmart's business in Japan has taken some destruction, it is improbable to damage overall company as their source base is varied. Regarding the problem, Moody's Traders Service's Senior Analyst Charles O'Shea said, 'While Japan may be an important market for Wal-Mart, the company has other international opportunities that contain more growth probable over the future. ' As you can see in the example, Walmart benefits greatly by diversifying its source base globally. Not just that, Walmartcan improve its bargaining position towards domestic suppliers by diversifying its resource foundation. As Walmartcanpurchase from suppliers beyond your US, it does not depend on domestic suppliers providing it bargaining power to push local suppliers to provide contracts better conditions.

Risks of Global Sourcing

Transportation Cost

Despite benefits mentioned above, international purchasing comes with some hazards and costs. To begin with, there are vehicles costs. As international suppliers have to deliver products, it's important to minimize travel cost. Walmart will try to avoid unneeded transportation cost with benchmarks and requirements when selecting distributor. By selecting distributor that will fit the expectations, Walmart can avoid potential additional expense. Also, Walmart offers distributor information manual which its suppliers must follow as explained in contract with Walmart. The agreement also states plainly that it's suppliers'responsibility to deliver products well-timed and in case of delays, compensations are to be able. Walmart also will try to avoid such failures by educating its suppliers through supplier training programs.

Reputation and Quality Control

Walmart also offers to ensure its reputations are protected when working with international suppliers. If products from international suppliers are of incompetent quality or if their suppliers have moral issues, Walmart's reputation would be could damaged. To prevent any potential problems, Walmart procedures audits to its suppliers. For instance, Walmart completed unannounced audits to factories of its company in China. To Walmart's delight, it found out that the factories possessed unsafe work tactics which caused staff injury. If it weren't for these audits, Walmart's reputation could have been damaged for coping with unethical dealer.

Corporate cultural responsibility

As one of the most significant world companies, Walmart does not have any choice to look on the impacts of its activities. But, "because Wal-Mart only immediately manufactures 8 percent of everything is offers, the solution is for the most part with the suppliers". Walmart asked to its 100, 000 suppliers 15 questions for sustainability regarding energy and local climate, material efficiency, natural resources and people and community in the goal to enhance into a lasting products rating for customers. Walmart also pursues 3 major environmental goals: to be supplied 100% by green energy, to generate zero waste and sell products that sustain people and environment.

Established in 1992, the Ethical Standard Program, a division of the Global Procurement, is accountable to confirm if suppliers are in conformance with Walmart criteria and local law. The company experienced some troubles in China relatively to management style ("well-run prisons") and to the labor exploitation.

Child labor and Labor/manufacturer conditions

In 1993, Walmart was accused of its first violation of international labor protection under the law in Bangladesh: "Children in Bangladesh were obligated to be employed by five cents one hour while Wal-Mart falsely suggested that their apparel have been "Made in USA" consistent using their 1985 image campaign". Despite many work, in 2006, around 250 children were found working in a stock. Bad treatments, physical, moral and financial were also reported. The problem can be rejected to suppliers, the key problem, and Walmart could stop the abuses by halting its lowering and jogging. Various violations have been reported on the minimum wage, compelled labor, overtime paid, bathroom breaks or rights to 3rd party unions.

Against renewable initiatives/sustainability

Walmart set up a Sustainable Value Network to seek alternatives for an eco-friendly environment. The company started to see "environmental sustainability as a way to achieve two goals: improve Wal-Mart's bottom line and its own reputation". Attempts are powered in this path, but there continues to be too much to do. Some say Walmart acquired employed in these actions, seeking to its important thing.


Better Company Relationship

Walmart has been criticized by public that it pushes its suppliers to cut down costs and operations. While this methods have helped Walmart to accomplish its business motto, 'Every Day Low Price (EDLP)', it also led to somewhat harming its connections using its suppliers. For example, study by RetailingToday. com exhibited that Walmart's current suppliers imagine Walmart will not help its suppliers to comprehend the business enterprise and operations nor will it make information and resources open. This sort of data demonstrates Walmart's over-compulsive requirements has led to distrusts between it and its suppliers. For Walmart to efficiently survive in future market, it is vital to create sustainable relationships with its suppliers.

Green Walmart

For similar reasons mentioned previously, Walmart has been criticized for not environmentally friendly. As Walmart pursues cost minimization, it slightly neglected environmental issues which is damaging its brand image. You will discover demonstrations and movements that argue never to obtain Walmart because than it is harming environment. For Walmart to better its brand image, it is important to 'go renewable'.

Ethical business

Other issues include ethical problems. It is again related to Walmart's goal of minimizing cost. To meet with Walmart's demand of cost minimization, some suppliers from growing countries using child labor. Not merely is itself unethical, additionally it is morally being criticized because Walmart will not actively prevent this. As mentioned above, this is also harming Walmart's brand image.

Overdependence on Chinese suppliers

Currently, Walmart is depending greatly on provider from nations with cheap labor and cheap resources like China. However, China is not a country of infinite resources or will its labor always stay cheap. Ultimately, Chinese labor cost and reference prices will rise. If Walmart stay over-depending on China, potential threat will always stay. To prevent such danger, it requires to more diversify its supplier base.

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