What Walmart Has Added to Cart

...A complete overhaul of its digital processes

Digital Transformation | 12/18/2020 UTC
Blog Hashbrown

Image source: Wallsdesk

Walmart has successfully deployed transformation strategies across all aspects in their business processes such as shelf inventory, supply chain management, delivery, online space and have optimized the overall customer experience. The retail company has shifted its focus from re-platforming its e-commerce business to re-platforming across the board.  

Walmart is betting for the longer haul-it has re-platformed in the context of: data migration, integrations, and UX/UI.

Right from what kind of products are to be sold, to where and how they will be sourced, picked, and delivered, Walmart has designed a digital-factory like system to try and test new technologies and scale it, if the method reaches their KPI.

Shelf Inventory 

  • Bossa Nova Robotic System

It was in 2017 that Walmart announced that they would be rolling out Bossa Nova’s shelf-scanning robots in 50 of its stores. Now, the company expands use of the nova’s robot to 350 stores. 

These robots automate the inventory scanning process on the shelf space so that when customers come into the store, they will always get what they were looking for. Customers can also identify which SKU is in a slot and check the price associated with that slot. 

  • Electronic Shelf Labels 

Walmart is also testing Electric Shelf Labels in two stores in the U.S. to make price adjustment automatic, as dictated by the store management.  

Supply Chain Management  

Supply chain management is moving the right items to the right customer at the right time by the most efficient means. The multinational retail giant operates almost 12,000 stores with 2.3 million employees in 28 countries while managing inventory that is worth approximately 32 billion dollars.  

Back in 2016, the retail giant was experiencing an inventory growth rate exceeding its sales growth. The management has since initiated multiple strategies to digitally transform their complex supply chain: 

  1. Delivery Promising 

Delivery promising is the real-time estimated delivery date shown on the item at Walmart.com when customers purchase the item at a given date. Walmart’s algorithm estimates the delivery date with factors such as: 

  • The distance between the customers and fulfilment centres 

  • Inventory level of the Item 

  • Available shipping method and capacity  

  1. Order Sourcing 

Whenever an order is placed, their algorithm determines the following to better optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of supply chain: 

  • The optimum fulfilment centre to fulfil the order, or a portion of the order. 

  • The optimum carrier to fulfil an order at the lowest cost, in a timely manner. 

Transportation  

Walmart has successfully implemented data science methodology in the transportation process to optimize the overall supply chain management, with the most prominent field being lane planning. 

After the sourcing and order preparation, the shipment is picked, packed, and is ready to go.  At this stage, a shipping label is generated for the Walmart associate to sort the package and determine which dock door he must put the package at. 

Then, the specific route (lane) will be defined by the algorithm after considering various factors like source facility, delivery date, method, and destination facility. The most cost effective and on-time lane will then be generated by the algorithm.  

The Future of Retail  

 Walmart defines the future of retail with their Walmart Neighbourhood Market in Levittown, New York. It’s Walmart’s new intelligent Retail Lab or IRL. 

IRL is setup to gather information about what’s happening inside the store through an impressive array of sensors, cameras, and processors. 

The first aspect they are focusing on is the product inventory and availability. That is, they use all form of detectors to get real-time information and inform associates to know more precisely when to restock products and more. 

Today, SMEs need to adopt such strategies to stay ahead of their game and build more potential.  

We at Hashbrown Systems have developed Purchasing.ai-a tool which makes the lives of retailers easier by bringing in efficiency to everyday ordering and purchasing. With Purchasing.ai, keep track of your constantly moving inventory, ensure that the purchasing orders go on time, the demand is fulfilled and no customer leaves because of stock out. 

Contact us to know more about the solution or if you need our services to build one such tool for your business.

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