Strategic Management Assignment: Strategy Implementation by Walmart
Task: Select a company and prepare a well-researched strategic management assignment answering the following questions:
1. Describe the roles of directional,marketing, operations and human resource strategies in the overall well-being of your selected company.
2. Classify the products of your selected company based on the BCG matrix.
3. Describe at least one partnership that your selected corporation has with other company (es). Is it successful? Justify.
4. Describe the structure of your selected company.
The chosen organization for the current strategic management assignment is Walmartwhich is one of the most renowned supermarkets across the globe. The eminence and market recognition of Walmart are categorically attributed to some of its corporate strategies. A brief description of the prodigious roles of each of these strategic approaches is needed to understand how the chosen organization operates effectively and what contributes to the overall well-being of the supermarket.
Directional strategies: For a company, its directional strategy refers to a comprehensive plan that a particular business categorically decides upon and implements in order to obtain substantial business profits and revenues (Backhach et al., 2018). Such strategic approaches help a company to accomplish its target objectives faster. However, its core directional strategies focus on the overall business mission and goals.
Mission:Walmart’s fundamental choices are too an instantaneous sign of its key goals. Walmart’s corporate mission is to save people’s money so as to provide them with a better lifestyle and well-being.
Vision:Walmart essentially follows the ideologies and values of Sam Walton, its founder. Walmart aspires to be the best of retailers in consumers’ and employees’ heart and mind all over the world (Walmart.com, 2021). With its stringent beliefs and vision goals, Walmart has been able to influence millions of buyers’ and workers’ minds solely on the basis of monetary advantages.
Values:Walmart operates on the core values of customer service, individual respect, striving for excellence, and integral activities (Walmart.com, 2021). This set of values disseminate an inclusive culture that works in favour of the company and delivers prosperous economic outcomes.
Goals:Walmart’s business goal is to provide safe, quality, and reasonable products to consumers across the globe (Walmart.com, 2021). And, Walmart essentially aims to pursue the same in a way that boosts the company’s socio-economic and environmental opportunities.
Marketing strategies:Walmart ensures to generate substantial revenue collection by employing focus strategies. As a business powerhouse, Walmart’s success lies in its marketing strategies. Walmart influences customers by positioning its pricing strategies in a way that boosts sales. The retailer does not overprice its products; rather include phenomenal procurement strategies that allow the business to succinctly bargain with the most reasonable market players to keep their prices low. To pursue this, the company focuses on cost-leadership strategies. Besides, Walmart’sdiversification strategies ensure that its complimentary items trigger the sales of all other products even when one item is under-promoted (Jawad, 2017). Also, the retailer runs frequent promotions with discounted prices across all seasons to attract customers.
Operations strategies:Walmart’s operations strategy includes quality management, capacity and process selling, inventory management, and others. The company’s predominant operational goals are to provide quality products at an affordable rate to customers(Walmart.com, 2021). Its operational strategies are based on competitive assortment and differentiation so as to target a larger consumer group. Human resource strategies:Walmart’s HR strategies include recruitment of potential candidates that can contribute to the profitability and well-being of the company.
Figure 1: BCG matric schematic
(Source: Roy, 2020).
As a global powerhouse, Walmart’s product range can be categorized based on the above matrix. This helps the retailers to implement appropriate corporate-level strategies for each business unit. It is vital for businesses to have cash cow items as they facilitate the generation of more cash through sales. For Walmart, Sam’s club and its associated product segments are the company’s cash cows. Considering the club’s affordability, there is a humongous purchase of the brand’s products and merchandise among the customers (Q4cdn.com, 2021).
Stars are considered the best category as products under starts depicts the higher market growth. Walmart’ssupercenters are its star as it offers wide-ranging products including groceries, pharmaceuticals, and general merchandise.Thequestion mark is the problem child for a business that needs to be addressed. For Walmart, unlike its products, its neighbourhoodmarket is its question mark. The neighbouring market needs to be properly strategized so that its market share can be increased. The last segment of the BCG matrix is dogs. These are the break-even products whose operational shutdowns would not impact the business (Roy, 2020). For Walmart, its discounted stores and product range offered in such stores are its dogs as they do not bring many benefits to the business.
Walmart has collaborated with a few notable companies in order to establish its stronger foothold in the consumer market of the United States. In this regard, Walmart’s partnership with Instacart has been a humongous success all over the US markets. This strategic partnership aimed to provide same-day delivery services in a few markets in the US. The collaboration is predominantly a new market initiative of Walmart that remains in its pilot stage across the consumer market of Oklahoma and California (Cnbc.com, 2021). This strategic partnership was formed at a key time when the entire world was suffering the deleterious impact of the global pandemic. Consumers had to rely on grocery delivery at an uncertain rate which increased the market shares of e-commerce businesses (including retails). Hence, this partnership between Walmart and Instacart has been useful and a huge success.
Instacart now delivers items from Walmart locations into three different consumer markets across California. This includes San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles and Tulsa in Oklahoma. This new partnership has retained the market profitability of Walmart and brings plenty of items from Walmart to customer doors in as fast as just an hour and at a very affordable rate (Kimmel et al., 2020). By offering such speedy deliveries, Walmart has thus managed to secure its competitive and strong market position against potential market rivals. Besides, the company has also successfully managed its market rivalry with Amazon’s growing market eminence to a large extent.
In this regard, Walmart’s partnership with Shopify has also been a profound success to expand the online marketplace of the business. This collaboration deal opened Walmart’s marketplace to some of the small business sellers Shopify. The strategic goal of such partnerships is to ensure a higher reach of Walmart to different brands (Techcrunch.com, 2021). However, the impact of Walmart's success with the Instacart partnership is considered to be much more profound than this collaboration which benefitted Shopify more than Walmart.
The organizational structure of Walmart follows a hierarchical pattern. The company structure determines its overall business activities including retailing and e-commerce market. The corporate structure of Walmartimposes limits on how the retailer addresses its complexities. The structural characteristics of Walmart include 2 defined aspects; function-based domain and hierarchy. In Walmart, the hierarchical characteristic pertains to the overall vertical lines of corporate management across the business structure (Courtemanche et al., 2019). However, according to some reports, Walmart uses a well-defined divisional business structure comprising separate and semi-autonomous business division, each having its individual functional hierarchy.
The company’s structure can be strategically described based on its top-level and operational level. The massive size of the organization corresponds to its hierarchical structure. Besides, as a global company, it does not follow any alternative structure. The Board of Directors comprising 16 members remain at the top level of Walmart. At its topmost level, Walmart’s structure reflects a definite pattern as follows:
Figure 2: Walmart’s Structure at the top level
At the same time, owing to the diversification of the company products in different operating markets, the company also complies with a multi-divisional corporate structure. These attributes facilitate Walmart’s strategic implementations to occupy a bigger market share in the US’s retail industry. However, the predominant effect of the hierarchical structure enables Walmart management to influence uniformly across the entire organization easily (Panmore.com, 2021). From the above, one step down the hierarchy forms the executive group of Walmart. Lastly, at the core operational level, the company’s structure is illustrated in the following figure.
Figure 3: Walmart’s structure at the Operational Level
The structure of the company does not change frequently; what changes are the predefined policies and strategic insights in order to best suit the dynamic nature of the retail market and consumer demands and choices. While such a corporate structure is behind the sheer market eminence of Walmart all over the United States, unfortunately, one of the biggest downsides of this structural characteristics is the lack of strategic flexibility. Often, the lower levels of the business structure fail to adjust with the business practices owing to lengthy communications.?
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