Case Study Answers of Quality Processes at Walmart: BUSI616

{QUALITY MANAGEMENT}
[STUDENT DETAILS]
Quality Management 1
Executive Summary
Effective quality management is key for any business, as itensures cu …

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{QUALITY MANAGEMENT}
[STUDENT DETAILS]
Quality Management 1
Executive Summary
Effective quality management is key for any business, as itensures customer satisfaction and
improves the brand value of the organization. This report focuses on the company Walmart
Inc. and assesses its formal quality process and the related quality strategies followed by the
company to ensure its product and service quality. For this, the report has used secondary
sources like prior research, new articles, etc. It was found that Walmart has adopted Total
Quality Management process for ensuring that its customers are served with quality products
as well as services. Under this the company is using several strategies, like streamlining of
supply chain management, regular quality assessment of the products, effective management
of human resource. These strategies have helped the company to reduce its spending,
improve product and service quality, ensure product availability. This has helped the
company to improve its brand value and to remain competitive in the market
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Table of Contents
Quality Processes at Walmart ………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Quality Management at Walmart ………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Strategies for Quality Management …………………………………………………………………………… 4
Recommendations …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
References …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
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Quality Processes at Walmart
Introduction
The quality of aproduct can have numerous definitions based on the perspective, these can be
user-based quality, product-based quality, transcendent quality, manufacturing-based quality,
etc. Moreover, all these perspectives suggest that the quality is characteristic of aproduct,
which exceeds the requirements and expectations of the customer (Fields, et al., 2014).
Furthermore, quality management is the process of keeping acheck on all the processes that
are necessary to ensure acertain level of excellence in the product or the service. There are
numerous techniques that business organizations to adopt to ensure the product or service
delivered lives up to the expectations of the customer (Lasrado, 2018). Moreover, Walmart
Inc. is aUS retail giant which operates around 10,500 retail stores in 24 countries around the
world and on e-commerce platforms (Walmart, 2022). This report aims to look deeply into
the quality program adopted by the organization, and highlight various aspects, like strategies
selected, reasons behind the selection of those strategies, their implementations, obstacles
faced, and the final results.
Quality Management at Walmart
The US retail giant, Walmart has its presence all over the world, in form of retail stores or e-
commerce platforms. It is the largest buyer and seller of food products in the world. The
company imports approximately 60% of its vegetables and fruits, and nearly 80% of the
seafood sold at its retail and online platforms (Infinityqs, 2013). Apart from food products,
the company deals in arange of other products, which are either produced by Walmart itself
or sourced from other suppliers (Walmart, 2022). The company also offers arange of other
services like pharmacy, financial services, wireless services, etc. In such ascenario where
products are resourced from diverse sources, and services are handled by numerous
subsidiaries, ensuring the quality of each product and service becomes aherculean task
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(Walmart, 2022). Moreover, the company highly values its customers which is evident from
its vision statement, in which the company highlights its role as giving quality products as
well as saving money of the customers. This makes itextremely important for the company to
have aformal quality control process, which can ensure customer satisfaction and help in
building value for its brand (Walmart, 2022).
Walmart has implemented Total Quality Management (TQM) for ensuring the quality of its
products and services. Through this, the organization continuously detects as well as removes
the faults in the manufacturing process, streamlines supply chain management, and enhances
the customer experience by giving quality training to its customers (Mosadeghrad, 2014).
This effective monitoring of the different processes and continuous improvement in the
internal practices help the corporation to hold different parties accountable based on the final
product or service quality (Found, et al., 2018). As part of the Total Quality Management
process, the corporation sets out numerous standards which reflect its internal priorities. This
helps the corporation to focus on its vision and achieve its long-term goals. Moreover, this
also ensures that the mega-store also maintain the current industry standards. These standards
are defined at different levels and help the company to adhere to the different laws and
regulations which govern the business of the organization (Found, et al., 2018).
Strategies for Quality Management
Walmart uses numerous techniques to implement the process of TQM. One of the most
important techniques used by Walmart is of streamlining supply chain management. The
company has made great innovations in its handling of supply chains, which helps itto
closely monitor the inventories and restock them seamlessly (Aliyu, et al., 2018). Under this
strategy, Walmart has removed the middle-man and is directly dealing with the
manufacturers and vendors for resourcing the products .The company has strategic
partnerships with its majority of suppliers and vendors. Through this mechanism, the
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company resources products at wholesale rates and in return offer its suppliers consistent and
guaranteed business. Walmart is also making effective use of automation and technology in
streamlining its supply chains (Aliyu, et al., 2018).
Walmart has developed avendor-managed inventory (VMI) for further streamlining its
supply chains. This electronically backed system gives the responsibility of managing
inventories of Walmart warehouses, to the suppliers. In this system, the data regarding stock
levels in the inventory are sent to centralized databases. This helped the manufacturers to
know when their products were getting low in the inventories of Walmart stores, and when
they have to refill the stocks (Sanders, 2014). While most of the inventory management
responsibilities were transferred to manufacturers and vendors, Walmart ensures that the
transit of the goods from its warehouses is properly monitored. This reduces alot of problems
for Walmart regarding inventory management and helps the corporation reduce overall
spending. These reduced costs on operations help Walmart to keep the product costs low.
Moreover, the low product cost and product availability are key to ensure customer
satisfaction (Sanders, 2014).
Another important strategy used by Walmart for implementing TQM is continuous quality
assessment of the products reaching its stores. For this, the megastore starts monitoring the
products even from their production stage. In 2010, Walmart came up with adecision to
comply with the procedures of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) (Infinityqs, 2013).
Through this Walmart ensures that factory audit checks are conducted on all its food
suppliers to ensure the quality of the food products. It involves farm produce, poultry, fish,
meat, and foods that are ready-to-eat. In addition to this, the company also follows
communication programs to assess the quality of its own food products. These programs are
designed to further increase the safety of food products and make quality control more
simplistic (Infinityqs, 2013).
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In 2017, the company also started using an advanced quality management system named
Eden, throughout all its supply chains as well as distribution centers. This helps in predicting
the shelf life of the products, thereby reducing wastage and enhancing the quality of fresh
food products (Alaimo, 2018). The technology also helps in ensuring informed decision-
making on the basis of the freshness assessed of aparticular product ’sshipment. Moreover,
the reduced wastage too greatly saves the company ’sexpenses and help itto keep the prices
of the products low (Alaimo, 2018). Apart from the food products, the company also makes it
mandatory for all its suppliers to comply with the government laws and regulations which are
applicable on their products. These steps help the company to maintain aminimum standard
for its products, which are in line with the government-specified quality standards (Alaimo,
2018).
Apart from the product quality, Walmart is also giving alot of focus on improving service
quality at its stores. For this, Walmart is using the strategy of improving its human resource
management. The mega-store teaches its employees to anorm called “ten-foot rule ”,as per
this norm any staff member in ten feet distance of acustomer should offer their assistance to
the customer (Schuler & Jackson, 2014). The company gives alot of value to its employees
and calls them associates. From time to time the company has increased the pay of its
associates to keep them motivated. Even during the time of the pandemic, considering the
need of its employees, the company decided to increase pay of its employees (Sulaiman,
Ahmed & Shabbir, 2020).
The company has implemented an effective performance and reward policy to appreciate and
reward its employees for their extraordinary efforts. For this, ituses aperformance-linked
compensation system and also abonus structure which helps in incentivizing the employees
from the company ’sprofits and earnings. This helps in keeping the associates motivated and
encourages them to put in better efforts, which in turn enhances service towards the
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customers (Song, 2018). Motivated employees also have asense of ownership towards the
company and fulfil their responsibilities to the best of their capability. This in turn ensures
that different processes of the company are completed within time, with minimum wastage of
resources (Schuler & Jackson, 2014).
Recommendations
Walmart is certainly the best in its business, but alot needs to be done to further improve the
quality of its products and services. One key area is the monitoring of the farm produce at its
production stage. Although the company is planning to use drones in order to do this in the
future, the plan must be implemented at the earliest. Although the company has aPRM
strategy already in place, itis also recommended that itenhance the training of its employees.
This can be done by formulating astandardized process of training, keeping in mind the
necessary skills required in their business to ensure the best quality services for its customers.
Conclusion
Altogether itcan be concluded that by using process of Total quality management the
company was able to reduce its spending as well as enhance quality of its products and
services. The strategy of streamlining supply chains helped the company to overcome the
problem of high product prices. Moreover, the idea of vendor-managed inventories greatly
helped the company to reduce the challenges regarding inventory management. Moreover,
regular assessment of the product quality using technologies helped the company to
effectively tackle the challenge of low shelf life of the food products and reduce wastage.
Further, spending on human resource, has greatly helped the company to effectively tackle
the issue of low services towards customers at its stores. These strategies have greatly helped
the company to enhance customer satisfaction, and increased loyalty of the customers
towards the company. These strategies have also proved to be crucial in building value for the
company ’sbrand across the world.
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References
Alaimo, D. (2018). Walmart develops produce inspection technology to track freshness .
Grocery Dive. Retrieved 12 May 2022, from
https://www.grocerydive.com/news/grocery–walmart-develops-produce-inspection-
technology-to-track-freshness/534221/.
Aliyu, S., Tom, A. M., Haruna, I., Taiye, M. A., & Barakat, M. M. (2018). The Role of
Blockchain Technology Applications in Supply Chain Management. Int. J. Comput.
Math ,1.
Fields, P., Hague, D. R., Koby, G. S., Lommel, A., & Melby, A. (2014). What is quality? A
management discipline and the translation industry get acquainted. Revista
Tradum àtica: tecnologies de la traducci ó,(12), 404-412.
Found, P., Lahy, A., Williams, S., Hu, Q., & Mason, R. (2018). Towards atheory of
operational excellence. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence ,29 (9-10),
1012-1024.
Infinityqs. (2013). How Walmart Ensures Product Quality Through Traceability |InfinityQS .
Infinityqs.com. Retrieved 12 May 2022, from https://www.infinityqs.com/blog/july-
2013/how-walmart-ensures-product-quality-through-tracea.
Lasrado, F. (2018). Achieving Organizational Excellence: A Quality Management Program
for Culturally Diverse Organizations. Germany: Springer International Publishing.
Mosadeghrad, A. M. (2014). Essentials of total quality management: ameta-
analysis. International journal of health care quality assurance .
Sanders, N. R. (2014). Big data driven supply chain management: A framework for
implementing analytics and turning information into intelligence .Pearson Education.
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Schuler, R., & Jackson, S. E. (2014). Human resource management and organizational
effectiveness: yesterday and today. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People
and Performance .
Song, X. (2018, June). A study on management model of human resources in multinational
companies based on cultural differences–taking walmart as an example. In June
International Conference on Sports, Arts, Education and Management Engineering .
Sulaiman, M. A. B. A., Ahmed, M. N., & Shabbir, M. S. (2020). Covid-19 challenges and
human resource management in organized retail operations. Utopia yPraxis
Latinoamericana ,25 (Esp. 12), 81-92.
Walmart. (2022). Retrieved 11 May 2022, from https://corporate.walmart.com/about.

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