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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Hard Brexit May Stop Toyota Production

Hard Brexit May Stop Toyota Production

October 25, 2018

Toyota’s just-in-time production stands at risk with the looming “hard Brexit” in March 2019.

Last year, the Burnaston plant in the U.K. made nearly 150,000 cars, and 90 percent were sent to EU nations.  Normally parts are delivered every 37 minutes but if these parts are held up in Customs in Dover and Calais when Brexit kicks in, production could stop for hours or even months.

Other auto makers express similar concerns and are developing alternatives and contingency plans.


Video Spotlight: Toyota Europe CEO: We face logistics problems in case of hard Brexit


This post is based on The Bloomberg article, Carmakers in Paris Issue Stark Warning on Risk of No-Deal Brexit, by Oliver Sachgua, Elisabeth Behrmann, and Tara Patel, October 2, 2018; and The Newswheel article, Toyota warns “No-Deal” Brexit would lead to unprecedented production stalls, by the editor, September 29, 2018; and the YouTube video, Toyota Europe CEO: We face logistics problems in case of hard Brexit | Squawk Box Europe by CNBC Life, October 2, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / nito.

Discussion Question:

1. Why is a just-in-time system more at risk with a hard Brexit than a traditional batch-push Continue reading

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Is Walmart Dropping Drop Shippers?

Is Walmart Dropping Drop Shippers?

September 29, 2018

Walmart is experimenting with its policies for online orders involving items that are drop shipped directly from the vendor to the customer.  Specifically, it is considering changes to products called “everyday consumables.”

In the past, Walmart would pay for UPS ground shipping to have the item shipped from the vendor directly to customers.  However, as the retail giant searches for increased profitability in the fourth quarter, it has dropped this policy on lower-priced items (items with a wholesale price of $28 or less).

Many vendors have seen their items on Walmart’s web site display as “out of stock,”  even when these items show as “in-stock” in internal Walmart databases.  This has resulted in zeroed sales from the Walmart web site for many vendors with lower-priced items in the everyday consumables category.

This post is based on the Talk Business & Politics article, Walmart.Com Tests New Fulfillment Protocol for Consumables, Some Vendors in Limbo, by Kim Souza, August 30, 2018. Image source: creativenature © 123RF.com.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is Walmart changing its policies?

Guidance: This relates to the problem that many online retailers are facing—the last mile delivery.  Free shipping (for 2 Continue reading

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