Walmart Warehouse Workers to Receive STEM Education

Walmart Warehouse Workers to Receive STEM Education

December 4, 2018

Walmart is preparing to open a Supply Chain Academy for its warehouse workers.  The Academy would provide Walmart’s warehouse workers with a variety of knowledge, skill, and abilities. In addition to business acumen, and knowledge to be a good operator in the warehouse, they will study STEM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

The hope is that Walmart Associates will grow with the evolution of the warehouse.  Today, most warehouse job are physically demanding.  However, as new technologies are added to the warehouse, the jobs will change and utilize more STEM knowledge.


Video Spotlight: Walmart Fulfillment Centers: Flexible Associates


This post is based on the Yahoo! Finance article, EXCLUSIVE: Walmart’s Grocery Warehouse Worker of the Future Will Have A STEM Background, by Julia La Roche, October 18, 2018, and the YouTube video, Walmart Fulfillment Centers: Flexible Associates by Walmart, May 30, 2017. Image source: Fuse/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is Walmart’s inclusion of STEM education in its Supply Chain Academy somewhat unique?

Guidance: Many organization set training to the minimum level needed for the current job.  Any training, such as STEM education, is considered to add cost to the organization for Continue reading

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Made in Italy: High Prices, but Rock-Bottom Production Costs

Made in Italy: High Prices, but Rock-Bottom Production Costs

If you think Italian luxury clothes are hand sewn by skilled workers, you are right. If you think their craftsmanship is well compensated, think again.

This New York Times investigation paints a bleak description of the working conditions of Italians working for MaxMara, Fendi, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. Most luxury brands outsource a major portion of their manufacturing. Several factors including intense competition from abroad result in the exploitation of labor, and the multi-tiered supply chain hinders transparency.


Video Spotlight: Made in Bulgaria: Luxury Fashion Brands Move East


This post is based on the New York Times article, Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy, by E. Paton and M. Lazazzera, September 20, 2018, and the Reuters video, Made in Bulgaria: Luxury Fashion Brands Move East, by T. Tsolova and M. Kahn, June 7, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Nenad Aksic

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the reasons for the “sweatshop wages” given to the Italian seamstresses making the luxury garments at home?

Guidance: Reasons include high unemployment in the region, intensive competition from Asian and Eastern European labor, contractors’ questionable ethics, luxury brands claiming ignorance about a well- known problem, “cut-throat” negotiating practices in procurement, and no government-set Continue reading

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Walmart Using Virtual Reality for Employee Training

Walmart Using Virtual Reality for Employee Training

October 14, 2018

Walmart already uses Virtual Reality (VR) instruction at each of its 200 Walmart Academies, which train approximately 150,000 employees each year.  Now, Walmart plants to expand the use of VR instruction into its stores.

By the end of the year, Walmart hopes to have over 17,000 headsets in stores, to be used in training Walmart employees on the Pickup Towers being added to many retail locations.

VR instruction uses interactive onscreen prompts and 360 degree video.  This should help better prepare employees for the introduction of Pickup Towers, because the Oculus headsets let them see and get a feel for the towers.


Video Spotlight: VR headsets train associates in-store


 

This post is based on the Tech Crunch article, Walmart is putting 17,000 Oculus Go headsets in its stores to help train employees in VR, by Lucas Matney, September 21, 2018; the Walmart blog post, Hundreds More High-Tech Pickup Towers are Headed Your Way, by Justin Rushing, April 5, 2018; and the YouTube video, VR headsets train associates in-store, by Walmart, May 30, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / franz12.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the advantages of VR instruction?

Guidance: Walmart’s use of VR Continue reading

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