Essays on Wal-Mart's Operations Management - Waste Management, Logistics, and Supply Chain Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper “ Wal-Mart's Operations Management - Waste Management, Logistics, and Supply Chain” is an intriguing example of the case study on management. To date, there has been a certain amount of confusion on the things that do and do not constitute and operations strategy.   There have been those that have tried to identify the generic building blocks of this strategy - but even they assume that these could also be part of a tactical, operational management approach.     One of the more oft-repeated and accepted definitions come from Slack and Lewis.

They suggest that there are four basic operations strategy perspectives (Lewis and Slack, 2003): A top-down reflection of what the whole business wants to doa bottom-up activity whereby operations strategy improvements build a business strategyA translation of market requirements into operational decisions andThe exploitation of the capabilities of operational resources into chosen markets. One would have to agree to a certain degree each operations strategy is unique and individual to the firm. Furthermore, research seems to suggest that many of these operations strategies utilize similar building blocks. One would have to even then have to understand the fact that an operation strategy for any given firm in order to be effective would have to employ unique strategies.     In the core traditional sense of the term, operations management has been concerned with the management of costs, but this focus has recently changed to the management of value.

The concept builds on the premise that organizations needed ideally to compete for either at low cost or by providing differentiated products in order to be profitable and yo avoid being stuck in the middle (Lamming and Brown, 2000).

The term itself in wide in terms of the scope of its responsibilities and draws upon a range of functions within the organization and cannot be limited to a specific department. An innate and clear understanding of the nuances of strategic operations management is essential to the organization if it has to compete in the market.     Major decisions about and strategic management of core competencies, capabilities and processes, technologies, resources and key tactical activities necessary in the function or chain of functions that create and deliver product and service combinations and the value demanded by the consumer could be identified as the functional strategy aspect of the operations strategy variable 



Aptel, O., and Pourjalali, H., (2001). Improving activities and decreasing costs of logistics in hospitals: a comparison of U.S. and French hospitals. The International Journal of Accounting. 36(1). Pp65-90

Herzlinger, R. E., (2007). Who killed health care?: America's $2 trillion medical problem--and the consumer-driven cure. McGraw-Hill Professional.

Brewer, A. (2001). Handbook of supply chain management and Logistics. Emerald Group Publishing. p35

Antony, J., Antony, F.J., Kumar, M., Cho, B.R. (2007), "Six Sigma in service organisations; benefits, challenges and difficulties, common myths, empirical observations and success factors", The International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 24 No.3, pp.294

Antony, J., Kumar, M., Madu, C.N. (2005a), "Six Sigma in small- and medium-sized UK manufacturing enterprises: some empirical observations", The International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 22 No.8/9, pp.860-74

Boyer, K. K., and Verma, R. (2010). Operations and Supply Chain Management for the 21st Century. Cengage Brain. p186.

Jorgensen, B. (2005). The "Greening" of The Supply Chain. Electronic Business, 31 (6), pp. 29-30

Vance, A., (2005). IT Infrastructures Agility, in Business agility and information technology diffusion. (Eds.) Baskerville, R., Springer books. p147

Kinsella, B., (2003). The Wal-Mart Factor. The industrial Engineer . 35(11). Pp32-36

Emmet, S. and Sood, V., (2010). Green Supply Chains: An Action Manifesto. Wiley Books, pp3-5

Gunther, M. (2006, August 7). The Green Machine. Fortune Magazine.

Basu, R. and Wright, N., (2008). Total supply chain management. Elsevier Publishing. pp253-255.

Mentzer, J. T., (2001). Supply chain management, Volume 2000. Sage Publications, pp8-10

La Londe, B.J. 1999. Executing in the red zone. Supply Chain Management Review 35(2): 7–9.

Tyndall, G., Gopal, C., Partsch, W. and Kamauff, J. (1998) Supercharging Supply Chains: New Ways to Increase Value Through Global Operational Excellence, New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us