• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code :
  • University : Melbourne Polytechnic
  • Subject Name : Supply Chain Management

Assessment 2: Professional report

Executive summary

Supply chain management is evolving with geometric growth and is impacting the way organizations manage their supply chain processes. This study draws key underpinnings of assessment 1. This study provides a professional report that analyses the supply chain management of Walmart and Woolworths in the context of Australian supply chain and e-business environment. This study will be segmented into ten principal sections. The initial section of the study will build a background of the report. The following section of the study will provide a background operational description of Walmart. It will discuss the business model, important customer types, suppliers and current supply chain management process. The third section will similarly build the context of Woolworths. The fourth section will compare and contrast the organizations’ supply chain management process. The fifth section will depict a succinct discussion with the help of literature. The sixth section will provide an analysis of Walmart and simultaneously the next section will discuss recommendations and conclusion for the organization. The eighth section will provide an analysis of Woolworths Australia and the next section will provide a valid set of recommendations and conclusion for the organization. Concluding section will provide a list of references and sources that are used to justify the study.  

Section1: Introduction

Supply chain management has been established as the critical business concern of organizations. Enactment of robust supply chain management is still in its embryonic stage and needs to be boosted up to achieve competitive advantage. It is cardinal to analyze the supply chain of originations to construct solutions to foreseeable issues in the supply chain and thus, develop adaptability and flexibility in the supply chain. As an extension of the assessment 1, Walmart and Australia will be taken into consideration to build the professional report. The study will follow a logical manner and will gradually unknot the key recommendations that can be suggested to the organizations. As a business analyst, this study will analyze and evaluate the supply chain management operations, logistics processes and employment of e-business technologies by Walmart and Woolworths. 

Section 2: Description of Walmart 

2.1 Business model

Walmart has diverse segments and each of those segments are a spring of monetary resources. Business operations of Walmart are segmented based on principal segments of its business model. The key elements of the business model of Walmart involve its sufficiency in maintaining a lead in price (Hugos 2018). It continues to focus on its suppliers and hence continues to maintain leadership of low price. Another key element of its business model is investing to differentiate on access. It focuses on improving the accessibility of the customers to physical stores and in maintaining user-friendly platforms for online shopping. The third element of its business model is to remain competitive on a wide array of products. The fourth element stresses on delivering a virtuous and lingering experience to its customers.  

2.2 Important customers types

Walmart is the United States' largest retailer which has gained enough recognition in the field. It operates a chain of 4300 stores in the country. Based on customer segmentation, it can be inferred that the organization makes use of different variables such as demographic factors, psychographic factors and behavioural factors to determine the potential customers. As per the sales and consumption of products, on an average people falling in the age group of 35-50 are the most loyal cutometers of the organization.

2.3 Key suppliers

Walmart is one of the most stable giants in the country has built robust relationships with its suppliers. Key suppliers if Walmart is Plug Power, Funai Electric Co., CCA Industries, Green Dot Corporation, Primo Water Corporation etc.

2.4 Current supply chain management

Supply chain management of Walmart is initiated with the enterprise resource planning wherein it makes use of integrated computer-based software and system to keep a track of the internal and external resources incorporating the perceptible assets, monetary resources and human resources. Planning is followed by advanced enterprise resource planning, procurement, manufacturing, distribution, warehouse management systems and customer relationship management.

Section 3: Description of Woolworths

3.1 Business model

Business model of Woolworths Australia incorporates its key partners, group of brands Thomas Dux, Caltex Woolworths and ALH Group. Key activities of the organization are merchandising direct purchasing, sales, supply chain managing, inventory management and updating product offering. The value proposition of the group incorporates wide array offers and products, virtuous pricing and management and integration of supermarkets across Australia.

3.2 Important customer types

Supermarket chain of Australia operates around 995 stores across the country. Its chief customer segments involve small businesses, households and price-sensitive customers. 

3.3 Key suppliers

Since the business has established itself as a prime giant of the country. It has numerous suppliers with whom the company integrates and operates. Its suppliers in obtaining the fruits and vegetables involve local sourcing of banana, apple and grapes from New Zealand and New Melbourne Distribution Centre.

3.4 Current supply chain management

Supply chain management of Woolworths is segmented into three manor sections involving the physical procedure, ordering process and enabling the process. These processes undertake the demand and replenished planning, inventory management, distribution centre planning, reverse logistics, vendor communication and network planning.

Section 4: Comparison of supply chain management

Supply chain management of Woolworths Australia is aimed at defining new ways wherein it can implement et the B2B practices to compete in the global market. In the year 2008, the organization procured assistance from Volition and IMPERIAL Logistics Refrigerated Services and redefined the logistics by quantifying them. This practice aided the organization in outstanding from its competition. It has continuously incorporated the inbound and outbound distribution which has become a virtuous alternative to the traditional practices (Christopher 2016). The organization wishes to further inflate its operations across different international borders and for doing so, it has increased its supplier adoption events since the year 2010. It has been observed that the performance of one of its one in the country is not performing efficiently. This is related to the issues in service process design and improper management of demand and capacity.

However, in case of Walmart, on comparison with Woolworths and its inflating incorporation of B2B and digital marketing tactics, it has been observed that the organization is witnessing slower digital growth from the year 2017 onwards. But with the help of robust integration of the performance management teams. Unlike Woolworths, it has a wide array of suppliers. It stocks its supplies from 70 different countries. The supply chain of Walmart is more diverse and incorporates fewer links is contrary to Woolworths. Walmart operates 5358 stores in the United States which is far integrated and efficiently managed as compared to 995 stores of Woolworths.

Section 5: Literature review

Supply chain management models are incorporated by organizations to ensure ample flexibility in their operations and performance. Numerous models in the literature depict the supply chain of the organizations. According to scholars Ntabe et al. (2015), supply chain operations reference model is a supply chain management model that addresses the issues of the supply chain and communicates valid recommendations to the organization that can be resolved with the suppliers as well as customers. It has been often stated that it is the most useful and reliable model for managing the supply chain. It can be applied to Walmart as the organization has recently been facing issues in accelerating digital growth. Scholars say that this model can dive deeper into the levels of supply chain and identify the issues associated with each link of the supply chain. A similar opinion is expressed by authors Akkucuk (2016) that state that this model aids in leveraging the capital investment and creating the supply chain road map. To deal with inefficiency in the supply chain of Woolworths, an efficient supply chain model can be incorporated. Scholars Azadi et al. (2015) state that this model aids in inflating efficiency and building a robust competitive advantage. It is also stated by them that this model lays prominence in ways to cope up with the volume and maintain cost-effectiveness. 

Section 6: Analysis of Walmart

6.1 Analysis by supply chain operations reference model

supply chain operations reference model is a model sanctioned by the Supply Chain Council. This model can be applied to Walmart for analyzing its current supply chain process (Ardito et al. 2019). It can identify the current state of processes that are constituted in the supply chain of the organization. This model is grounded on six distinct pillars. Based on these pillars, the process of the organization can be analyzed. According to Evelin Cruz, department manager at the Walmart Supercenter in California, stated the gaps that are incurred in the supply chain of the organization are majorly related to the absence of the merchandise (Kshetri 2018). Moreover, he also stated that for the replacement of the merchandise, more than months would be required. It can be assessed by contrasting against the sixth pillar of the model i.e. Enable. This pillar of the model is known to control inventory management and manage facilities and contracts.  

6.2 Analysis in context of Australian supply chain and e-business environment

The organization has efficiently cooperated with tech teams in Silicon Valley and has efficaciously reduced duplication and has thus, strengthened its supply chain. It is known to manage an inventory of about $32 billion which itself depicts its robust supply chain strategies. In comparison with the Australian supply chain and with the e-business environment, the organization has been highly criticized for its labour and employment policies which are not legally accepted in the markets of Australia. There many reasons for which Walmart is failing to match the standards set in the Australian market. It involves accusations of unlawful termination, the opposition of labour union and poorly run stores. On comparing with the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia, it is imperative to deliver the value to Member Supply Chain and recognize the best practice for the country and the employees which are not seemed to fit in with the operations of Walmart.

Section 7: Recommendations and conclusion for Walmart

It can be inferred from the above analysis that the practices of the organization are overlapping and complicated as well. The organization has expanded its innovativeness to get access to the fluent flow of communication systems (Hepworth and Newman 2019). The organization is failing to stand strong on the grounds of employability and union laws which is becoming a hurdle in its expansion and is consequently restricting its supply chain process. Furthermore, its digital marketing is also witnessing sluggishness and is also incurring issues in its inventory management (Fernie and Sparks 2018). Certain recommendations can be suggested to the organization to address these issues.

Supply chain operations reference model can be applied to the organization to deal with the issues of inventory management. “Enable” is one of the crucial elements of the model and it certified in upholding and handling the inventory. It will optimize and will aid in replacing all the missing merchandizes which is a key issue in supply chain management of the organization. It will further help in rolling-out the value of price cost inventory. Digital growth can be accelerated by screening and keeping a track of the social channels. 

Section 8: Analysis of Woolworths

8.1 Analysis by efficiency supply chain model

The efficiency of Woolworths is associated with its core standards and principles. It has been witnessed that its operations are inefficient and thus, lowering the efficiency of the supply chain management. Its efficiency can be accelerated by incorporating an efficient supply chain management and supply chain operations reference model. On contrasting with the standards of the efficiency supply chain management model, it can be inferred that the distribution network is not efficient enough.  Moreover, the gaps in the product range of the organization can boost a competitor to foothold the market. By contrasting against the supply chain operations reference model, the “Deliver” element suggests that the organization is failing to deliver finished goods. 

8.2 Analysis in context of Australian supply chain and e-business environment

Woolworths comprehends the fact that it needs to improve its efficiency in supply chain operations to deliver fresh food items to millions if customers. In comparison with the Australian supply chain management, the organization has chosen SPS commerce as a strategic companion for its B2B operations (Rajabian Tabesh et al. 2016).  Moreover, after the implementation of the e-business partnership, the organization has partnered with other partners to get the most out of B2B plan. The company has made use of the SPS to foster technological growth in the organization and 

Section 9: Recommendations and conclusion for Woolworths

It can be inferred from the analysis that it is incorporating gaps in the process of delivering the products. Due to inefficiency in the delivery and distribution of the goods, it is facing issues in the inefficacy of the whole branches of Woolworths. From the study, certain recommendations can be suggested to the organization. 

The organization can employ the efficient supply chain management model that will further aid the organization in developing better ways to cope up with the increasing demands. Moreover, the organization can maintain efficient operations in the supply chain by strengthening the B2B integration platform. This will further improve the integration with its key suppliers. Jason Steiner, Senior Project Manager for e-Business has stated that SPS will boost up the efficiency of the organization. It can be recommended to the organization to incorporate the same efficiently to tap the prevailing issues.

Section 10: References

Akkucuk, U. 2016. SCOR model and the green supply chain. In Handbook of research on waste management techniques for sustainability, 108-124.

Azadi, M., Jafarian, M., Saen, R.F. and Mirhedayatian, S.M. 2015. A new fuzzy DEA model for evaluation of efficiency and effectiveness of suppliers in sustainable supply chain management context. Computers & Operations Research, 54, 274-285.

Christopher, M. 2016. Logistics & supply chain management. London: Pearson UK.

Hugos, M.H. 2018. Essentials of supply chain management. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Ntabe, E.N., LeBel, L., Munson, A.D. and Santa-Eulalia, L.A. 2015. A systematic literature review of the supply chain operations reference (SCOR) model application with special attention to environmental issues. International Journal of Production Economics, 169, 310-332.

Ardito, L., Petruzzelli, A.M., Panniello, U. and Garavelli, A.C., 2019. Towards Industry 4.0: Mapping digital technologies for supply chain management-marketing integration. Business Process Management Journal, 25(2), pp.323-346.

Kshetri, N., 2018. 1 Blockchain’s roles in meeting key supply chain management objectives. International Journal of Information Management, 39, pp.80-89.

Hepworth, K. and Newman, F., 2019. Trade Unions v. Social Audits: Addressing Labour Exploitation in Woolworths Domestic Food Supply Chain. Hum. Rts. Defender, 28, p.14.

Fernie, J. and Sparks, L. eds., 2018. Logistics and retail management: emerging issues and new challenges in the retail supply chain. Kogan page publishers.

Rajabian Tabesh, A., Batt, P.J. and Butler, B., 2016. Modelling the impact of environmental and organizational determinants on green supply chain innovation and performance. Journal of food products marketing, 22(4), pp.436-454.

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