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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project for Wal-Mart

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project for Wal-Mart

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project for Wal-Mart

Executive Summary

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems play a critical role in boosting operational efficiency and productivity. Many multinational corporations face challenges associated with tracking supplies and demand patterns and trends. In fact, Wal-Mart faces regular threats of possible shutdowns due to lack of products on the shelves when customers need them. The company can implement an ERP system to integrate all its primary business processes to improve and maintain a competitive position in the retail industry. Implementing the ERP project will ensure that Walmart records improved productivity and competitive advantage.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project for Wal-Mart

Description of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project

Company Overview

            Wal-Mart is one of the leading retail companies in the world. The organization operates grocery stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, and departments and discount stores. The company’s stores and outlets provide groceries and consumer goods, health and wellness services, technologies, office and entertainment, and apparel and home products.  Wal-Mart markets its products and services under different brand names such as Wonder Nation, No Boundaries, Bonbos, Mainstays, Everstart, as well as Equate. Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, the company has expanded its operations to different parts of the world (Wal-Mart Inc, 2019). Currently, the company operates in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, North America, and Latin America. In the 2018 financial year, the organization generated revenue of $514,405 million, which represents a 2.8 percent increase from the previous year (Wal-Mart Inc, 2019). In the first quarter of 2019, the company’s operating margin was 3.3 percent compared to a margin of 3.5 percent in the 2018 fiscal year (Wal-Mart Inc, 2019).

Need for the ERP Project

            Wal-Mart needs to implement an ERP system to reduce inventory and logistics challenges that it has been facing for the last five years. Last year, the company admitted that it almost shut down some of its major stores due to supplier failures and not meeting some customer needs in product design. The organization is also experiencing restocking challenges arising from higher demand from customers. As a result, Wal-Mart easily runs out of new stock fast thereby disappointing some customers. The organization has been unsuccessful in attempting to fix its system by replenishing merchandise to keep up with customer demand and continually-changing seasons. Walmart must implement an ERP system to sustain its operations in its outlets across the world.

            Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project will be implemented to address the business challenges that Wal-Mart is facing. ERP is an integrated technology that supports the management of an entire business (Jamil, Soares, & Pessoa, 2016). These technologies integrate internal and external management information systems across an organization. As a result, it embraces finance, accounting, production, sales and service, and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. The implementation of the ERP project will enable Wal-Mart to facilitate the flow of information across all business functions within the confines of the company and manage all links to external clients. Once complete, the ERP project will provide a centralized information control system that will integrate all the company’s departments and functions and integrate supply chain management (Jamil, Soares, & Pessoa, 2016). The project will operate as an integrated set of application programs that will work together as an integrated unit by providing real-time data to all departments. Consequently, the project will reduce inefficiencies in the supply of stocks and distribution of products to different outlets.

            The ERP project will result in the development of an inventory management module that calculates safety stock and the recorder points for each item contained in the database based on the demand history. The system will analyze the demand history, make forecast recommendations, and suggest safety stock levels for the organization (Jamil, Soares, & Pessoa, 2016). By integrating a large number of business processes, the organization can save time and cut operational costs significantly. Furthermore, the implementation of the project can enable the organization’s management team to make informed decisions more speedily and easily due to real-time information availed to decision-makers in time. Decision-making process is also enhanced through increases data visibility across the company, automatic synchronization of multiple systems, and database integration (Jamil, Soares, & Pessoa, 2016).  The project’s completion will improve the organization’s ability to match orders with inventory receipts, and the vendor invoice. Therefore, the ERP system will allow the organization to make better decisions based on the demand of the customers.

Wal-Mart’s Mission and its Connection to the Project

Mission

            Wal-Mart’s corporate mission is to save people money so lead a better life. The mission represents the values of the organization’s founder Sam Walton. In addition, the company’s business strategy entails utilizing price as a selling point to attract prospective clients as evidenced in its strategies. Customers save money by spending less when buying commodities from the company’s outlets compared to its rivals. Wal-Mart’s vision is to be the largest and best retail company in the world by providing the best products and services not just on time, but also through efficient services. The vision is in line with its mission of providing high-quality products at low prices in the United States and other parts of the world. Wal-Mart’s mission and vision statements underscore the firm’s commitment to providing high-quality products at low prices.

How the Project is connected to Company Mission

            Wal-Mart’s mission is founded on the desire to provide customers with quality products and services at lower prices compared to the competitors. The mission also includes enabling customers to access and purchase products in a timely fashion. Currently, the organization does not have an efficient mechanism of replacing the stocks that have already been purchased. The problem has made some customers fail to access some products on time. The problem can make some of the loyal clients to consider purchasing what they want from the rivals. Walmart needs a strategy to ensure that customers access the products they want at all times to maintain its competitive edge,  

            The implemented ERP project can be used in various ways to realize the company’s mission and vision. First, the ERP system will boost the company’s ability to link warehouse management systems with relevant labor tracking programs (Coyle et al., 2016). Effective management and coordination of labor will enable the organization to develop assignments based on the designed time standards, monitor the productivity of each worker, and audit the quality of their tasks. These labor-reporting capabilities will support performance evaluation and utilization of incentive programs to determine employees who need further training. The systems integration capability of the ERP program will enable the organization to integrate its warehouse management system with the ERP (Coyle et al., 2016). Consequently, the company will be able to coordinate and manage order and transportation management systems with ease. The newly introduced system will increase the availability of inventory and track order status, provide shipping notification services, and support timely delivery and tracking of orders and supplies. The improvements of productivity, efficiency, and accuracy of the company’s operations will enable it to reduce costs, which will allow it to provide products at affordable prices (Addo-Tenkorang, & Helo, 2011).  The ERP system at Walmart will allow the firm to monitor the production process and make adjustments where necessary, which reduces operational costs and the prices of products availed to the customers.

Financial Justification

            The process of developing and implementing the proposed ERP project will cost the company $400,000. The budget will be used to fund various activities that will lead to the implementation of the project. For instance, the organization will require human and technological resources to implement the project. Human resources will include project manager, IT experts, management consultants, and communications consultants. On the other hand, technological resources will include infrastructures such as hardware, software, and network that will enable efficient operations. A significant fraction of the funds will be allocated for regular repair and maintenance of the system. Implementing the ERP system will require costly human and technological resources and maintenance expenses.

Conclusion

            Wal-Mart is one of the leading retail companies in the world. The organization has been facing challenges associated with inefficient supply chain, logistics, and inventory management. For instance, the firm does not fill its shelves with products at the time when customers need them. The proposed ERP project will revolutionize its inventory and supply chain management system through the timely provision of stocks. The system will improve the company’s operational efficiency by cutting operational and transactional costs. Consequently, it will be able to achieve its mission of providing high-quality products to customers on time.

References

Addo-Tenkorang, R., & Helo, P. (2011). Enterprise resource planning (ERP): A review

literature report. In Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering and Computer

Science, 2, 19-21.

Coyle, J. J., Langley, C. J., Novack, R. A., & Gibson, B. (2016). Supply chain management: a

logistics perspective. Ottawa: Nelson Education.

Jamil, G. L., Soares, A. L., & Pessoa, C. R. M. (Eds.). (2016). Handbook of Research on

Information Management for Effective Logistics and Supply Chains. New York: IGI

Global.

Wal-Mart Inc. (2019). Company profile: Wal-Mart Inc. Marketline, 1-9.

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