Wal-Mart's Management Planning Tips for Other Businesses
Wal-Mart strategies became legendary among businesses all over the world. The company's ability to keep the cost of its products low, possibly the lowest on the market for all the years of its work is wonderful. They've managed to build a loyal and big audience, providing people with essential daily products. For more than half of a century, Wal-Mart stays the symbol of stability and consistency. Marketing and logistic strategies of the company became subjects of many books, studies, and talks. Read more on https://lawaspect.com/management-planning-walmart/. But the main points of Wal-Mart's global strategy don't need a study to be understood. As with any other theories that truly work, they are simple. And you can learn them, too!
Keep a single focus
The main reason for Wal-Mart's success is following a single goal: keeping their prices the lowest. Even their slogan – to save people money so they can live better – tells this story. Each big strategic decision was made, taking into consideration its influence on the prices. Of course, this goal is way too ambitious for a smaller business. If you aren't a wholesale giant, you won't be able to keep your retail prices the lowest on the market. But you may invent another focus that will be suitable for you and your business, keep to it and become as consistent as Wal-Mart.
Think about your achievable goals. What is the unique feature you can offer on the market? Maybe, it is an unprecedented quality when each piece is double-tested and made of the best materials? Or, possibly, it is high customization, when every customer can order something unique and one of a kind? Small businesses may develop lots of advantages that are almost unreachable, even for the market giants. So come up with your own idea and keep a single focus on it!
Minimize operating cost
There are lots of notorious stories about Wal-Mart badly treating its personnel. Well, not truly badly, not in a legal sense. But the company pays a minimal wage, offers the worst healthcare plans, and doesn't encourage the employees with bonuses like lots of the other companies. Too bad for the people working there, but this is the company's strategy of minimizing operating costs.
You don't have to be cruel to your employees (especially when you don't have lawyers of Wal-Mart grade), but you can use other methods to keep operating costs low. Use automatic order placing systems, e-shops, chatbots, and so on. The artificial intelligence may be costly at the beginning, but it doesn't demand a monthly payment and a healthcare plan. You can treat your personnel well but save money by just having a few of them.
Use top-notch technologies
One of the biggest Wal-Mart advantages was the introduction of barcode. The barcoded products were much easier to process on checkout, and the speed of the whole process increased dramatically. They were among the first companies using the barcode, thus getting a big advantage over the competitors.
Of course, nowadays, the barcodes and RFID chips are just a part of our daily life, but there is always room for improvement. Any innovation you can apply may become a marketing advantage, be it a unique printing technology, the new material, or the design that beats all its predecessors. But if you run a smaller business than Wal-Mart, you should calculate the expenses carefully before implementing new technologies. Sometimes, the improvements just won't pay back fast enough to be a reasonable investment. So, what is good for Wal-Mart isn't always good for anyone else.
Manage your supply chain
The logistical expenses make a substantial part of the total expenses. Optimizing the supply chain may save you a lot of money. Wal-Mart had the possibility to build its own warehouses and distribution centers, building the whole network, considering the lowest labor and transportation costs and the good infrastructure.
But it isn't the only way to lower your expenses. Think about dealing with the manufacturers directly, browse through different delivery companies. Maybe, consider using more than one, because one can be better and cheaper with some orders and directions and the other will cover the rest. If you are constantly operating with deliveries and orders, even a few cents saved on each can result in a substantial sum at the end of the year.
Wal-Mart is the colossus of the market, but its success is based on several simple principles. These principles are applicable to any business, disregarding of its scale and area. They are so obvious that they can even be called common sense. The trick is applying them wisely and backing them up with calculations and strategy.