An e-Business Analysis of Walmart.com Term Paper

Executive Summary

This paper analyzes e-business at Walmart.com E-business is the carrying out of business on the Internet, not merely through buying and selling, but, as well, teaming up with business partners and serving clients.

Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, and the earliest Wal-Mart discount store became set up at Rogers Ark. The utilization of information technology was a vital element in the growth of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart gets dedicated to assisting persons’ live better through leading on social matters that affect their consumers and partners.

The company tackles society needs and support openings in workforce development, education, health, as well as environmental sustainability. Wal-Mart employs the WMS warehouse management software to follow its inventory via RFID’s radio frequency detection.

This tracking method has vertically incorporated its supply chains and decreased inventory shelf phase. Besides, Wal Mart uses passive knowledge management systems like the EDI system. Wal-Mart employs two metrics including information sharing metrics and fulfillment systems metrics.

Too much domestic Internet regulation makes significant qualms for businesses running on this international medium and has a distressing effect on business communication. Wal-Mart posses fire walls instituted to aid guard threats against the integrity and authenticity.

Wal-Mart also employs a technology known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL encrypts susceptible data ahead of the data transmission to the Internet. So as Wal-Mart can obtain orders to its clients promptly, the company uses an IDS which checks network traffic for invasion efforts, and reports such occurrences.

Company History and Background, including Stage in the Company Life Cycle

Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. The first Wal-Mart discount store was set up at Rogers Ark. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. integrated into the business in 1969.

In 1970, Wal-Mart became public, and in 1972, the business became programmed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1977, Wal-Mart executed its earliest noteworthy achievement when it purchased 16 Mohr-Value stores in Illinois and Missouri.

Wal-Mart expanded swiftly in the 1980s because of the fast development and diversification of the business (Hayden, Lee, McMahon, & Pereir, 2002). Wal-Mart focused on small-towns before attempting to enter popular cities.

The corporate management strategy of Wal-Mart entails vending superior quality and brand name commodities at the least value (Vance & Roy, 1994).

So as to maintain low prices, Wal-Mart reduces overheads by the use of superior warehousing and electronic technology. The company as well agrees on deals for products from producers, directly getting rid of the middleman (Vance & Roy, 1994).

Wal-Mart is the leading retail store in America which is bigger than any other retail corporation all around the globe. Nowadays, Wal-Mart runs above 4,150 retail facilities all over the world (Hayden, Lee, McMahon, & Pereir, 2002).

Wal-Mart holds the first position categorized by its entire sales. Wal-Mart offers broad products including health & beauty aids, family apparel, electronics, household needs, crafts, toys, fabrics, shoes and jewelry.

Wal-Mart is at the stage of rapid growth in the company’s life cycle (Higgins, 2007). Wal-Mart increased its revenues to $421.8 billion for its financial year ending January 2011; more than 3 percent compared to earlier year sales of $408 billion (Cope, 2012).

While the rate of growth lessened for Wal-Mart throughout 2010 and 2011, it still increased by over $13 billion in a stressed economy (Cope, 2012).

The Need(s) the Company Addresses and the Customers it pursues

Wal-Mart gets dedicated to assisting persons live better through leading on social matters that affect their consumers and partners. The company tackles society needs and support openings in workforce development, education, health, as well as, environmental sustainability. Wal-Mart, besides, supports persons with disabilities, catastrophe relief efforts and veterans/military families. Wal-Mart supplies its customers and associates over 200 million clients in around 10,130 retail units, which fall under 69 diverse banners in 27 states, every week (Ayers & Odegaard, 2007).

The Role of the Internet in Strategy/ Knowledge Management Strategies the Company Uses

The roles of the new digital world strike every industry. Each action, which customers make, can be examined to make enhanced commodities and intelligent demographic promotion. The benefits of enhanced technologies touch even those who do not participate via the internet.

Wal-Mart employs the WMS warehouse management software to follow its inventory via RFID’s radio frequency detection (Piasecki, 2006, July). This tracking method has vertically incorporated its supply chains and decreased inventory shelf phase.

Such savings get conceded on to all customers, irrespective of whether they utilize the internet.

Wal-Mart uses passive knowledge management systems like the EDI system. Such knowledge management systems can be differentiated by their focus on the “present” and apt to become used with channel affiliates like suppliers, in order to plan component deliveries narrowly, cut inventories, lessen cycle phase and reduce the costs of production depending on the existing behavior of sellers and buyers.

EC Metrics that Wal-Mart Employs

Wal-Mart employs two metrics, including information sharing metrics and fulfillment systems metrics.

Information sharing metrics determine the capability of the website to gather and analyze data on clients or products, flawlessly, in offline and online channels (Troy, 2008). For instance, Wal-Mart lets its clients access their accounts both offline and online.

Fulfillment systems metrics mention a company’s capacity to deliver on a client’s order, regardless of whether the order became sited offline or online. For instance, Wal-Mart allows its customers to confirm their order condition both online and offline, irrespective of the means that they have used for making the order.

The Online User Types for Wal-Mart and the E-Commerce Considerations

The online users of Wal-Mart include clients and other commercial computer users. Wal-Mart utilizes an Ethernet card, which is the most popular network interface card.

This card links to a switch or center, which enables individuals to utilize cables with diverse wiring. At a relatively small charge, Wal-Mart stores can utilize links between adjoining stores and amid workers.

Some e-commerce considerations include first impression, visibility of merchandise, rotation of the inventory and recording of names of emails. First, the home page for the site must be striking and clean, as well as, be first enough, so as not make the client wait for a long duration. Second, the picture of the product should be clearly visible on the internet.

Third, different products should be featured and promoted daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the volume of sales. Lastly, names of buyers or other clients who log in into the websites should be recorded.

To conduct a credit card order using the Internet, the client must complete a small form including the name and address. For Wal-Mart and other business, this acts as a perfect chance to maintain contact with their customers.

The Impact of Internet Regulation

Too much domestic Internet regulation makes significant qualms for businesses running on this international medium and has a distressing effect on business communication. Censorship, for instance, has several limitations. Wal-Mart values products that are friendly to the family (Quinn, 2000).

Hence, if a TV-show, series or film has “mature content”, the corporation will be reluctant to stock and sale it Hayden, Lee, McMahon, & Pereir, 2002). This is a source of criticism, to the company, from a range of groups.

EC Security that Wal-Mart Uses

The main values of network security include authenticity, integrity, availability and confidentiality. Authenticity implies that data originates from the claimed source. Integrity means that the information has not been distorted. Wal-Mart posses fire walls instituted to aid to guard threats against the integrity and authenticity.

Confidentiality implies that data can be acquired merely by those who get an access. Wal-Mart employs a technology known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL encrypts susceptible data ahead of the data transmission to the Internet.

Availability implies that a resource or service is accessible when required. So as Wal-Mart can obtain orders to its clients promptly, they use an IDS which checks network traffic for invasion efforts, and reports such occurrences.

Prevention and intrusion exposure systems operate through having information regarding various network attacks and tracking an attack that is upcoming.

Competitive Advantage that Technology can Provide Wal-mart

The utilization of information technology was a vital element in the growth of Wal-Mart. Ten years ago, Wal-Mart pursued K-Mart, which could allow low wholesale prices because of its volume.

An ingredient of Wal-Mart’s tactic for coming up was a point-of-sale system, a programmed system that makes out every item vended, locates its price in a programmed database, makes and correct sales receipt for the buyer, and keeps this item-by-item sales data for utilization in scrutinizing sales and reorganizing inventory.

Efficient use of this data enables Wal-Mart to shun overstocking through realizing what product is selling slowly apart from handling data competently. Wal-Mart employs telecommunications to connect directly from its supplies to its main computer system and, then, to the computers of its suppliers.

This enables superior coordination and automatic reordering. Coordinating directly with suppliers and being aware of what is selling well precisely enable Wal-Mart to use less money in inventory as compared to most of their rivals.

Barriers to Global E-commerce

First, government regulations and legal restrictions interfere with global e-commerce. Such regulation involves the content that a company can post to the internet, as well as copy right issues. Such laws are usually local, although e-commerce is worldwide.

Second, language barriers obstruct global e-commerce. Most of the material on the internet is written in English; however, not everyone who knows this language. Business client on the internet are apt to procure commodities when the Web site uses their language.

Cultural barriers obstructs global e-commerce as well. Cultural practices and customs can hinder the use of the Internet. In most Confucius nations, business becomes carried out on a private basis. It is difficult to become identifiable with local markets on top of local cultures through the internet.

The fourth barrier is the ownership of personal computers. In several rising markets, possession of personal computers is low. Hence, slow Internet access is a key predicament in several states.

Lastly, high costs of Internet access in several nations may discourage users. Internet access rates differ across states.

References

Ayers, J. B. & Odegaard, M. A. (2007). Retail supply chain management. London, UK: Averbach Publications.

Cope, K. (2012). Growth and the business life cycle. Web.

Hayden, P., Lee, S., McMahon, K., & Pereir, M. (2002). Wal-Mart: Staying on Top of the Fortune 500. Web.

Higgins, R. C. (2007). Analysis for financial management. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Piasecki, D. (2006). Warehouse management systems. Web.

Quinn, B. (2000). How Wal-Mart is destroying America and the world. Berkeley CA: Ten Speed Press.

Troy, M. (2008). The World’s largest retailer. London: Sage.

Vance, S. S. & Roy, V. S. (1994). Wal-Mart. a history of Sam Walton’s retail phenomenon. New York. Twayne Publishing.

An e-Business Analysis of Walmart.com

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