2IntroductionTo meet the requirements of the Field Exercise Report, I visited the Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 4700 North 27thStreet in Lincoln, Nebraska. While there, I met with Josh Hoage, an Assistant Manager at the location. Wal-Mart is well-known, as it is the largest retailer worldwide. Wal-Mart began operating in 1962 with just one location in Rogers, Arkansas. Today,there are over 11,000 stores operating throughout 27 countries (Walmart Corporate - We save people money so they can live better, n.d.). As Wal-Mart operates from day to day, I learned that the company relies largely on the material that has been discussed in MBA 675. Processes, or activities involving inputs and outputs, are present inside the operations of Wal-Mart. Workers, management, equipment, and facilities are examples of inputs of the processes occurring at Wal-Mart. The outputs provided by the processes are the goods and services that Wal-Mart provides to its customers. External and internal customers and suppliers are present. In Wal-Mart’s situation, external customers are the customers who purchase goods from the retail stores. External suppliers of Wal-Mart are the suppliers who provide product to Wal-Mart. Employees of Wal-Mart may serve as both internal suppliers and customers. Most would agree that at least ten critical decisions of operations management exist. The ten decisions discussed in course MBA 675 relate to Service and Product Design, Quality Management, Process and Capacity Design, Location, Layout Design, Human Resources and JobDesign, Supply Chain Management, Inventory, including Material Requirements Planning and Just-In-Time, Intermediate and Short-Term Scheduling, and Maintenance Management. While meeting with Mr. Hoage, I discovered that Wal-Mart’s operations utilize each of the ten decision areas each day.
3Service and Product DesignWal-Mart offers its customers a large number of services and products. The services offered at the location that I visited include a Pharmacy, Money Center, Site-to-Store pickup, Tire and Lube Center, Coinstar service, a Deli, and a Garden Center. In addition, the store is open24 hours per day. Competitors of Wal-Mart, such as Target and ShopKo, offer similar services. Wal-Mart’s Money Center and Tire and Lube Center seem to be unique to their store. Not all Wal-Mart locations offer the same services. Different sizes of Wal-Mart locations offer different services. Wal-Marts are typically classified as being either a Super Center, a Neighborhood Market, or an Express Market. The size of the town in which the store is being built and zoning regulations tend to decide which type of Wal-Mart will be in operation.