Walmart Going Toe-To-Toe With Prime?

Walmart Going Toe-To-Toe With Prime?

November 12, 2018

Walmart’s supply chain is becoming more customer-centric. Starting in November, customers can expect free two-day shipping with orders over $35 and in-store returns of items purchased online.

The in-store returns, in particular, are giving Walmart a competitive edge over Amazon which lacks a strong physical presence.

This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, Walmart will expand 2-day shipping, in-store returns, by Shefali Kapadia, October 23, 2018 Image source: © David Schaffer / age fotostock.

Discussion Question:

1. What are the strategic impacts of Walmart’s service design changes?

Guidance: Free two-day shipping with orders over $35 and in-store returns are offered on items purchased from both Walmart and its third-party sellers.  These changes provide Walmart customers with a more seamless and uniform retail experience than its competitors like Amazon.

2. What are the supply chain impacts of Walmart’s service design changes?

Guidance: Faster shipping and easier returns will increase the demand for trucking capacity and present a major logistical challenge to Walmart’s supply chain

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Microsoft Pushes Paid Family Leave Down the Supply Chain

Microsoft Pushes Paid Family Leave Down the Supply Chain

September 13, 2018

Offering better employee benefits is now a requirement for Microsoft’s suppliers and business partners.

The benefits include a minimum of 12 weeks paid leave for new parents in addition to providing 15 days of paid sick or vacation time.  The policy demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to investing in the people who work for the company and its supply chain partners.

This post is based on the CNBC article, Microsoft will start requiring partners and suppliers to offer paid family leave, and it will help cover the costs, by Sara Salinas, August 30, 2018. Image source: © travellinglight / Alamy.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the reasons for Microsoft requiring its suppliers and business partners to implement a better employee benefits policy?

Guidance: These reasons include: recognizing people as the key to Microsoft’s success; ensuring companies that are doing business with Microsoft also place the same value on its human capital; increasing Microsoft’s competitiveness with a healthy workforce.

2. What are the costs and benefits of the new paid parental leave benefit requirement for Microsoft’s suppliers and business partners?

Guidance: Paid parental leave increases labor costs but increases productivity, increases morale and lowers turnover rates.  It Continue reading

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