You are witnessing one of history's biggest logistical and operational accomplishments when you visit your local Walmart. According to Supply Chain Digest, this global retail behemoth operates over 11,700 locations under 59 brand names, employing 2.3 million people in 28 countries and handling an average inventory of $32 billion.

With figures like these, having an effective and efficient supply chain management strategy and system is critical. The entire company is dedicated to a business model that eliminates expenses from supply chains, allowing consumers to save money and live better lives.

Walmart has grown into the world's largest and probably most powerful retailer, with the highest sales per square foot, inventory turnover, and operating profit of any bargain retailer during the last two decades. It's easy to understand Walmart's growth and impact in the retail market by looking at its stock history statistics. The company has become synonymous with the concept of good supply chain management as it has grown from a regional store to a worldwide powerhouse.

Walmart was founded on the principle of providing customers with the items they want, whenever and whenever they desired them. The company then concentrated on building cost structures that would allow it to offer low prices on a daily basis. Following that, walmartone focused on establishing a more structured and advanced supply chain management strategy in order to capitalize on and expand this competitive advantage and gain market leadership.

The supply chain has fewer linkages.

Walmart's supply chain management contributed to its success even in its early years. Walmart's supply chain innovation began with the corporation deleting a few links from the chain from the start. Before founding the first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962, founder Sam Walton had multiple Ben Franklin franchise stores and carefully acquired bulk inventory and brought it directly to his stores.

In the 1980s, Walmart began working directly with manufacturers to reduce costs and improve supply chain management.

Manufacturers became responsible for controlling their products in Walmart's warehouses under a Walmart supply chain strategy known as Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI). As a result, Walmart may expect close to 100 percent merchandise order fulfillment.

Walmart was voted Retailer of the Decade in 1989, with distribution costs estimated at just 1.7 percent of sales, significantly lower than competitors like Kmart (3.5 percent) and Sears (3.7 percent) (5 percent ).

Since then, the company's supply chain has only gotten more efficient.

Strategic vendor collaborations are at the heart of Walmart's inventory innovation.

Walmart has always used strategic sourcing to obtain the greatest products at the best prices from suppliers that are able to satisfy demand. The company then forms strategic alliances with the majority of its vendors, promising them long-term and high-volume purchases in exchange for the lowest feasible pricing.

Walmart also simplified supply chain management by establishing communication and relationship networks with suppliers in order to enhance material flow and reduce stockpiles. The global network of suppliers, warehouses, and retail stores has been described as acting almost as if it were a single company.

When does Walmart refill its shelves? Cross-docking as an inventory management strategy

Cross-docking is a logistical approach that lies at the heart of Walmart's inventory replenishment strategy. It refers to the unloading of things from an entering semi-trailer truck or railroad car and loading these materials directly onto outbound trucks, trailers, or rail cars (and vice versa) without the need for additional storage.

Suppliers bring goods to Walmart distribution centers, where they are cross-docked and then delivered to Walmart shops. Cross-docking lowers transit time and inefficiencies while lowering inventory and transportation expenses.

Walmart's truck fleet delivers goods to distribution centers (on average 130 miles away from the store) on a continuous basis, where they are stored, packed, and distributed without having to sit in storage. Goods will be transported from one loading dock to another in as little as 24 hours, and corporate trucks that would ordinarily return empty would “backhaul” unsold inventory.

Walmart's costs have been greatly cut as a result of this strategy, allowing the corporation to pass those savings on to customers in the form of highly competitive pricing.