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Quality Management and Customer Satisfaction

Wal-Mart’s Strategic Quality Management and Customer Satisfaction One organization that has become successful in many aspects of satisfaction and quality is Wal-Mart. This organization started out providing basic products to customers during certain hours of the day and evening, and then expanded the become Wal-Mart Supercenters by also providing groceries and becoming a 24-hour establishment. By making these changes in their organization, Wal-Mart has provided superior satisfaction to both its internal and external customers.

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To better understand Wal-Mart’s level of quality and customer satisfaction, Learning Team C has conducted a SWOT analysis of the organization, developed a vision and mission statement, and created strategic plans and objectives for the organization. SWOT Analysis Strengths Wal-Mart has a great deal of strengths which is apparent due to their incredible success throughout the years. Wal-Mart has mastered the process of production, movement of goods, warehousing of goods, ensuring goods arrives on time at the right place, and for a cheap price.

Wal-Mart’s foundation was built upon understanding, identifying, and knowing exactly what customers want from their retailer and having this information has contributed to their tremendous success. Wal-Mart is a powerful retail brand which has the reputation for providing a wide range of products all in one store, value for money, and convenience. Weakness Wal-Mart has a weakness that shapes not only their image, but the livelihood of people in many communities. In many places when a new Wal-Mart comes to their community most small retailers are forced out of business due to the retail giant.

There are many moral customers, who are concerned with the interests of the smaller retailers. This concern quickly turns to anger when they see Wal-Mart’s monopolizing capability that has gained strength in the past few decades. Because of these issues there are many people who refuse to shop at a Wal-Mart; they become anti-Wal-Mart shoppers. Unfortunately, this weakness according to some has taken a toll on Wal-Mart’s stock prices as well. Also, in the past several years Wal-Mart has had to fight several high law suits which have also affected their image in the general public’s eye.

Opportunities It would be ideal for Wal-Mart to take advantages of the opportunities to improve in the behaviors that they have been heavily criticized in by the public. Wal-Mart has the opportunity to use its resources to help our world improve its environment. The environmental programs that Wal-Mart supports have the potential to receive tremendous results because it has such a large image. In their overseas locations Wal-Mart has been worried with child labor laws, so they have been paying very close attention to its supplier’s labor practices by enforcing stricter policies.

Being the largest employer in the United States, Wal-Mart is taking advantage of the opportunity by providing its employees with a new health care plan that will increase their benefits. If Wal-Mart makes a continued effort to resolve these concerns they will ultimately increase their market share and improve their public image. Threats Dollar General discount stores are growing rapidly in the United States. Unfortunately for Wal-Mart, these stores have the ability to open in smaller communities where there would not be enough business to support Wal-Mart’s sales quota.

Dollar Generals deep discount threatens and competes greatly with Wal-Mart’s claims of having the lowest price. Wal-Mart has to continue to work hard to compete in times of ambiguity. Many of Wal-Mart’s customers are slightly affected by the economy therefore it has an advantage being it offers low prices in times of recession that appeal to its customers. However, the attempts made by the government to stimulate the economy are not directly felt by Wal-Mart’s customers. This increasingly threats Wal-Mart’s sales and vitality. Vision and Mission Statement

Wal-Mart bases it operations on integrity and customer satisfaction. In order to uphold these two main objectives Wal-Mart has developed a vision and mission statement along with guiding principles that incorporate quality principles. Wal-Mart’s mission statement is to maintain the highest quality in products and customer service, while treating its employees like family. In order to incorporate values and principles within the organization, Wal-Mart strives to always maintain a high level of loyalty to both its customers and its employees.

To stay loyal to both customers and employees, Wal-Mart uses core values such as integrity, loyalty, top service, equality, and honesty. Wal-Mart’s vision is to uphold these values and principles to keep a large flow of customers into their stores throughout the country. Wal-Mart believes that in order to keep satisfied customers and employees, the organization has to present high quality products and low prices, and show both customer and employee appreciation at all times.

To ensure this vision stays intact, Wal-Mart has open suggestions boards open to stay informed on what its customers and employees would like to see within their stores. Wal-Mart believes that the public and their employee family have a right to have the best products and services to help them live their daily lives. Strategic Plan and Strategic Objectives With Wal-Mart being one of the leading retail industries around, it’s very important for their customer service to be top notch, to keep the customers coming back and keep them satisfied.

A goal for Wal-Mart is to expand very rapidly and to expand everywhere outside the United States. That’s why Wal-Mart has been able to stay at the forefront during these economic times. Wal-Mart has become a monopoly due to the products they sell and the wide array of choice they offer for the customer. Not only do they sell furniture, clothes, electronics, etc. , they are also now expanding to a grocery store, they also house other businesses. Every Wal-Mart is different, some house salons, eyeglass stores, other eateries.

Wal-Mart strives to continually have quality goods but sell them at lower prices than any other stores; they do this by buying products in bulk that way it’s possible to sell to the consumer at the lower prices. Wal-Mart continually strives to advance farther than its competitors by keeping up with the latest technology, but keeping them at prices the public can afford and is willing to pay. The only thing Wal-Mart needs to keep up on is keeping customer service at the top of its list of things to improve upon.

Besides the low prices, and the selection of goods, quality customer service is one of the factors that will keep the consumers coming back. Wal-Mart uses different innovated tools in order to keep their customer satisfaction high. One of their main tools is keeping their prices low. This is accomplished by using a system that is set in place by Cisco. This system is based on questions, as stated by David Flanagin (n. d. ): “Will it help us lower prices,” executives ask. “How will it improve the customer’s experience? So the selection of a communications infrastructure from Cisco was part of a Wal-Mart plan to make things better for customers. “At Wal-Mart, we don’t implement technology for its own sake,” “It has to have a payback that helps the customer. ” A friendly employee is another tool Wal-Mart uses to keep their customers satisfied. This is accomplished through keeping their employees satisfied. Having available stock and other resources on hand allows their employees to have what they require at their disposal and this makes both the employees happy and also their customers.

Wal-Mart uses tools such as having every product available from clothing, electronics, pharmacy, and groceries. They are open 24 hours a day which is a great tool for everyone. Wal-Mart can measure their success in maintaining customer satisfaction through the on-line network that Cisco provides for them. They are now the largest retailer with more than 2400 stores and 100 distribution centers. Inventory management is a very successful tool used that help keep prices low. With global markets and retailers the internet has been an important part of keeping customers and allowing for replenishment of products on a consistent and at a low cost.

References

Flanagin, David. N.D. Cisco – Retail Customer Success Stories, The Wal-Mart Story Using Internet Technology to Support Everyday Low Prices and Increased Customer Satisfaction. Retrieved from www.cisco.com. Retrieved on December 5, 2010. Cramer, J. J. (2005). Wakeup Walmart.com. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Retrieved from http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/news/20050817-rmcom.html. Marketing Teacher Ltd.. (2010). Marketing Teacher.com. Retrieved from http://www.marketingteacher.com/swot/walmart-swot.html.

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