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Inventory Management Assignment: Case Analysis Of Walmart


Task: Prepare an inventory management assignment performing a critical analysis on Inventory Management Practice at Walmart .


I Title Of The Case Analysed In The Inventory Management Assignment

Analysis on Inventory Management Practice at Walmart

II Point Of View

From past few years, Wal-Mart has successfully addressed the needs of its stores. It has invested heavily in communication systems in order to track merchandise inventory. With the rapid expansion, it is necessary for a largest retailer like Wal-Mart to effectively manage the sales and merchandise inventory. As per my point of view, the company has enabled to manage its own stock (Alsharari, 2021).

III Time Context

The study has taken four to five months. It has been identified that Wal-Mart has used a little gadget such as Telson to track inventory management. Throughout the time, key areas of the Wal-Mart’s inventory management practices have been examined. Gantt chart has been provided for better understanding-

walmarts inventory management gantt chart

IV Statement Of The Problem

Wal-Mart uses the SkuVault inventory management system to integrate the actual physical quantities in its warehouses. It has come up with few issues such as changing demand, supply chain complexity, limited visibility, etc.

V Statement Of Objective

The objectives of the management are-

  • To improve in-store selection
  • To minimize the cost carrying out by the inventory management practices
  • To effectively implement the model of vendor-managed inventory

VI Areas Of Consideration

Wal-Mart has been used vendor-managed inventory model to easily manage the inventory practices. However, Wal-Mart has owned the most sophisticated technological system to track the movement of sales and merchandise. SWOT analysis has been done to easily understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Wal-Mart management practices (Xin et al., 2017). However, Wal-Mart has used radio frequency and bar coding technology to manage inventory. It also uses a centralized inventory management system to track sales. In case of major breakdown, the company has already developed an extensive contingency plan. The company delivers uninterrupted services to its suppliers, customers, stakeholders, etc. Despite, its strengths and opportunities, the company has faced an aggressive competitive from growing retailers in the global market.

Table 2 SWOT analysis



·   Global supply chain

·   The most sophisticated computer system

·   Uses of bar coding and radio frequency technology

·   High efficiency of supply chain

·   Easily copied business model

·   Competitive disadvantage

·   Thin profit margins

·   Changing demand




·   Expansion in global market

·   Improving in quality

·   Uninterrupted services

·   Aggressive competition

·   Growing of online retailers

·   Problem stock

·   Supply chain complexity.

During the inventory management practices, various areas have been identified. The fishbone diagram has been discussed as follows-

Table 3 Fish bone diagram

Fish bone diagram

Further, Wal-Mart has used Atlas commerce for developing the system. In addition, Wal-Mart uses MPP (Massive parallel processor) computer system to track the record of inventory management practices in the company. Wal-Mart has used computers in its every operation. The company uses fixed optical readers and bar codes to direct the goods. However, bar coding and radio frequency technology has enabled the company to manage operations like picking, proper inventory control and receiving (Heller, 2017). Wal-Mart executes the store replenishment and order management through the system point-of-sales. Hence, these are the programs that have been operated within the largest retailer Wal-Mart company.

Vii Assumption

The most important facts identified throughout the inventory management practices are its uses of bar coding and radio frequency technology. Further, it has been identified that Wal-Mart has used the most sophisticated computer system to track orders. In addition, it also has been observed that Wal-Mart uses a centralized inventory system to forecast the exact quantities of goods. Further, the inventory data system has been updated to manage the full stock of inventories. Its point-of-sales system is also considered as the most important fact. Its centralized inventory system helps Wal-Mart to find out the level and locations of the inventories.

VIII Alternative Courses Of Action

Strategies for various business areas of the Wal-Mart are closely related to the inventory management practice. Some alternatives used by the Wal-Mart are Transit inventory, finished goods inventory, Buffer inventory and Anticipation inventory. Finished goods inventory is the most significant alternative in the business. Disadvantage of this alternative is it creates issue of data accuracy. Further, transit inventory is the type of inventory where all the company’s operations have been supported. The main role played by this alternative is to support the replenishment of the goods. Despite of its advantages, it has a disadvantage of supply chain complexity. Buffer inventory ensures the company’s adequate capacity to support sudden increase in demand. Further, it has a disadvantage of limited visibility. Anticipation inventory is used to ensure optimal capacity of the company in order to meet customer’s demand. In addition, it has an issue of manual documentation.

IX Evaluate Each Course Of Action

Finished goods inventory, Buffer inventory, Anticipation inventory and Transit inventory are the four key alternatives that have been performed under the inventory management practices of Wal-Mart. Four of them are the most significant alternatives used by the Wal-Mart in its inventory management (Marklund, & Berling, 2017). The anticipation inventory helps Wal-Mart to satisfy customer’s increasing demand. Hence, by following this trend, an action plan has been developed to evaluate the performance of these alternatives at Wal-Mart regarding the inventory management. Further, it has evaluated the key areas of the inventory management practices within the company.

X Final Decision And Recommendation

According to the SWOT analysis of the Wal-Mart’s management, it has been identified that Wal-Mart must prioritize its strengths and opportunities in the global market. The weaknesses and threats should be its secondary options. The company can improve its management standards in order to improve the inventory management practices. Wal-Mart must implement strategic plan based on its threats and weaknesses. Further, Wal-Mart should work on its supply chain management strategy (Rincón-Moreno et al., 2019). Wal-Mart should monitor its level of stock in the store, and in addition, it also needs to identify some fast moving items.

XI Plan Of Action

An action plan has been developed to address the key areas of the study. The plan has been produced for four to five months.



Time duration

Recommended action

Lower the cost of inventory

Project & product manager

20th February

Record the levels and location of fast moving items

Enter into strategic partnership

Owner & senior management

20th March

Monitor the stock levels

Find alternative revenues

Research & development

15th April

Keep tracking the inventory in stores

Effective implementation of vendor-managed inventory model

Project & product manager

28th April

Keep using the most sophisticated technological system


Alsharari, N. M. (2021). Management Accounting Practices and E-Business Model in the US Walmart Corporation. In 21st Century Approaches to Management and Accounting Research. IntechOpen.

Heller, F. K. (2017). Technological innovation applied to walmart and tesco’s supply chain (Doctoral dissertation).

Marklund, J., & Berling, P. (2017). Green inventory management. Inventory management assignment In Sustainable supply chains (pp. 189-218). Springer, Cham.

Rincón-Moreno, J., Franco-García, M. L., Carpio-Aguilar, J. C., & Hernández-Sarabia, M. (2019). Share, Optimise, Closed-Loop for Food Waste (SOL4FoodWaste): The Case of Walmart-Mexico. In Towards Zero Waste (pp. 165-190). Springer, Cham.

Xin, L., He, L., Bewli, J., Bowman, J., Feng, H., & Qin, Z. (2017). On the performance of Tailored Base-Surge policies: theory and application at Walmart. com. Com (December 18, 2017).


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