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Wal-Mart struggles to restock shelves

Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Mar 2, 2013 #1 of 146
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Is this Bloomberg story a broader warning about the world economy or simply a management problem:
    My wife and I noticed this two weeks before Christmas when looking for toys and stocking stuffers and again a month later. We don't shop much at Wal-Mart, but we noticed something was wrong - stuff we do buy there wasn't there on the shelves.

    Given the international nature of the supply chain, should this be considered a broader worry than just one big store chain screwing up?
     
  2. Mar 2, 2013 #2 of 146
    davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

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    They own the Chinese factories and shipping lines, you'd think they could figure it out. Maybe it's time they imported some Chinese management as well.
     
  3. Mar 2, 2013 #3 of 146
    Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    I think that if there is a disaster that causes a supply chain interruption, there are going to be some hungry people. We have enough food stocked in the house to feed us and my parents for a month with ease. Maybe not the best food, but we will eat. Plus there are enough deer around to feed us even longer. And we are by no means "preppers".

    The supply chain is more fragile than people want to realize.
     
  4. Mar 2, 2013 #4 of 146
    Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Back in the day when I worked part time at Walmart, we did daily instock checks with Telxons, which would generate orders when supplies ran low. Also, department managers, assistant managers and store managers had varying levels of ordering capabilities. No more. Ordering is now all done through Bentonville's automated systems. I'd be willing to bet that the systems make little or no allowance for stock turnaround times.
    The problem is a bigger one. Bean counters have the attention of corporate management, and they don't have a clue as to how to run a store.
     
  5. Mar 2, 2013 #5 of 146
    Christopher Gould

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    This is wrong. The system generates orders but you can still manual order product.

    The question is if the dept manger has time to do it.
     
  6. Mar 2, 2013 #6 of 146
    longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    That is such a true statement and it is throughout American industry. Last year I read a book by Bob Lutz, "Car Guys vs Bean Counters, the battle for the soul of American business". While the book was about the rise and fall and recovery of GM, the principles apply to all business. The key, whether it be manufacturing or just retailing is to have what people want even if it is not the most economical way of doing it. The concept that is lost on modern management is that you can make more profit even though the margin is lower. If changing something increase cost 20% but you sell 50% more you just made more money. Put it another way, I would much rather have 20% of a million dollars than 50% of $200,000.
     
  7. Mar 2, 2013 #7 of 146
    Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    The last I knew, manual ordering may have been theoretically possible, but the store manager would be reprimanded if he or any of his staff tried bypassing the system. Of course, that was several years ago.
     
  8. Mar 2, 2013 #8 of 146
    Christopher Gould

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    The system wants something like 95% system orders and only 5% manual. But you have to have the ability to order features customer wanting large amounts and of the system isn't keeping up with demand. We are told to keep shelves full. Order if you have too.

    Problem is the home office sets the order rate. Sometime it's to high or to low for the system. Then you have buyers that order stuff that won't sell.

    Right now are stock room is so full you can hardly move. When you look at the shelves it depends what time of year it is. You may walk into toys and see nothing. Could be because new modules are coming down. New stuff hasn't set.
     
  9. Mar 2, 2013 #9 of 146
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    our, rhymes with 'hour'.
     
  10. Mar 2, 2013 #10 of 146
    SayWhat?

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    This isn't about a fragile supply chain. This is about inept management. I honestly cannot figure out why anybody ever goes there for anything.

    The stores I go to don't have empty shelves.
     
  11. Mar 2, 2013 #11 of 146
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    I have to agree. There are two Walmart superstores in our area. The decor and stock supply is as different as night and day between the two.
     
  12. Mar 2, 2013 #12 of 146
    SayWhat?

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    I don't do WMs at all.

    I'm referring to the locally owned, independent stores.
     
  13. Mar 2, 2013 #13 of 146
    Christopher Gould

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    I can think of a few words that rhyme with nick too. But I'll keep it friendly.
     
  14. Mar 2, 2013 #14 of 146
    Christopher Gould

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    I will have to agree with you on this one. Sometime they can be like night and day.
     
  15. Mar 2, 2013 #15 of 146
    armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    Walmart is more for the the things that you do not need at a much lower price.

    I went there today and when I got back out in the parking lot, I took notice to how similar it is to visiting any of the amusement parks.

    The smell of pee and cotton candy in the parking lot and walking a half mile to my truck.
     
  16. Mar 2, 2013 #16 of 146
    Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    Shouldn't be for food stuff, but the food shelves can also be found empty of products.

    I been having a hard time finding Lipton 100-bag box at Wal*Mart for months now.
     
  17. Mar 2, 2013 #17 of 146
    Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    I have a choice of just two supermarkets now. There were four before Wal*Mart moved in and open their 'super' center. Grand Union, A&P, and Walbaum's have closed.

    I now have items on my shopping list, that I carry over from week to week. I sometimes now even use Amazon.com to get some household items I once easily got at supermarkets.
     
  18. Mar 2, 2013 #18 of 146
    armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    My uncle swears by Drug.com as well
     
  19. Mar 2, 2013 #19 of 146
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I don't disagree with the notion, but that was a bad example. Sure 20% of a million is twice as much as 50% of $200,000... but how much harder did you have to work to get there? IF you only worked twice as hard, then it is a good choice... but if you worked more than twice as hard to "only" double the profit, then it might not have been the best choice.

    I agree with the idea that volume sales at lower profit can be more profitable than high profit with low volume, though... and most retail stores need to operate with the goal of regularly "turning over" their inventory. There are relatively few items that you want to stock forever... you are better off 95% of the time selling inventory and replacing it with new stock than holding it even if it is non-perishable.

    All that said... We have several "super" Wal-Marts around here, and they are ran differently. None of them look "run down" or anything... but the newest one seems to be run the best, as you might expect and seems to have the friendliest employees.

    Another location, however... I was in line one night... and the cashier just left and closed while people were still in line. We were all expected to find another line because "it was time for lunch"... I said, I understood if they had a forced schedule, but in that situation a manager should put a new cashier on that post OR move us all to the next post... we shouldn't have to start all over because it was time for her to go.

    I left my cart in that line and didn't go back to that store for months after that.
     
  20. Mar 2, 2013 #20 of 146
    jeffgbailey

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    interesting thing is they still are using telxons. I worked at Walmart twice within a 15 year period (1997-1999 and last holiday season).....had Telxons back then...still use them today
     

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