Question 1: Are the Employees Represented by Labor Unions or Collective Bargaining Agreements?
The Wal-Mart Corporation does not allow its workers to join the labor unions. Instead, the corporation has created collective bargaining agreement. The company's stores in the United States either discontinue or punish the workers who join the trade unions. However, in foreign countries like China and Canada the company is forced to sign collective bargaining agreements with the workers (Tilly, 2006). Both the workers and corporation agree to respect the agreement, which respects interests and legal rights of the employees, while at the same time promoting the companys development.
Wal-Marts Employees Working Outside the United States
The Wal-Mart Corporation has employees in more than twenty countries in the United States. Some of the employees are in third world countries like Malawi, Kenya, and Namibia among others. The employees are also situated in other countries in various parts of the world including the United Kingdom, India, China, Canada and Mexico among others.
Question 2: Does the Company Employ Expatriates? What are the Support Services for Such Expatriates During the Repatriation Phase?
Wal-Mart's overseas stores employ expatriates, especially during the beginning of new operations in the foreign nations. In such a case, the company conducts a recruitment exercise for the expatriates, and the qualified candidates are taken to function in the newly established Wal-Mart branches in the other countries. The expatriates are offered sufficient performance resources such as customers handling skills through regular training. This is mostly undertaken during the repatriation phase.
Question 3: In What Ways Does the Company Use the Internet for Employee Training and Development?
Wal-Mart uses the internet to offer support services to expatriate employees. The leadership and mentorship skills to managers and staffs of the corporation are done online on a regular basis. Walton Institute is responsible for offering training courses to Wal-Mart employees in the foreign markets.
Question 4: Which Wal-Marts Products Are Sold in the International Markets?
Wal-Mart sells a variety of products in the more than 6,200 stores worldwide. The items range from fresh products such as grocery, bakery, meat and dairy products. They also stock electronic appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, furniture, toys, beauty products and clothing among other assorted products. Though, the company stock similar products in almost all stores in the world, there are some products that are favored in some regions than others. For example, the Chinese consumers prefer tailor-made products as well as local products. Therefore, the company has to adapt to these consumer demands to stay in operation.
Question 5: What types of promotion does Wal-Mart use in the International Markets?
The most extensively used marketing promotion strategy by Wal-Mart in the international markets is the pricing strategies. The companys marketing slogan is every day low prices, which is an example of a pricing tactic that has increased the turnover of the companys sales in the international markets (Daddino, 2012). The corporation also uses advertising, public relations, internet marketing, social media, sponsorship and personal selling to promote its products in the international markets. These marketing strategies are similar to those the company uses in promoting its sales in the local market.
Question 6: What Kinds of Distribution Channels Are Being Employed in Your Companys International Markets?
The distribution channels used by Wal-Mart Corporations starts with the delivery of goods and services to the companys warehouse. The goods are then transported to various distribution centers and Wal-Marts retail stores located in various regions through the companys trucks. The corporation ships goods sold to overseas consumers to those destinations.
Question 7: Does Wal-Mart Practice Global Procurement?
Towards the end of 2010, Wal-Mart announced a change in its sourcing strategy. It eliminated the role of intermediaries and focused on direct procurement of goods from the manufacturers of their products (Wal-Mart, 2016). The corporation also made the global procurement process centralized. Today, the corporation sources more than 80% of its goods directly from the manufacturers. This has enabled the corporation to save millions of dollars. Their centralized procurement system involves buying of products in a large scale and then distributing the goods to their merchandising centers situated in different parts of the world (Bloom & Perry, 2001).
Most of the products procured by the Wal-Marts Corporation are imported from China. These include electrical appliances, apparels, toys, furniture, games equipment, movies, and beauty products among others. Other procured goods by the company include fruits from Canada and Mexico. The corporation also procures groceries, frozen foods, and seafood from Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and Brazil (Tsay, Nahmias & Agrawal, 1999).
Question 8: Is The Company Practicing Global Production? What Goods and Services Are Produced Globally and in Which Countries?
Wal-Mart does not perform global production. The corporation focuses on buying the products from the manufacturers and reselling them to consumers. The companys products are bought in a large scale from producers and manufacturers situated both in the local and foreign market environments. Since Wal-Mart buys most of its goods in a large scale, it benefits from the economies of scale. The margin brought by this scale forms the profit of the organization.
Question 9: Has Wal-Mart Outsourced or Insourced Any Goods or Services?
Most of the products stocked by the corporation in its United States stores are sourced from the United States. This is because it is the companys policy to support locally-produced goods or services. However, Wal-Marts stores in other nations stock products that are mostly outsourced from the China due to their low prices, and thus affordable to the consumers in those countries (Wal-Mart, 2016).
Question 10: Is The Company a Member of One Or More Supply Chains?
Wal-Mart Corporation is a member of a supply chain. The corporation is at the center of the chain, and its crucial role is to deliver goods and services to its customers. Wal-Marts retail stores receive goods from the suppliers, such as the Sams Club, and then resells the products to its customers at a retail price (Tsay, Nahmias & Agrawal, 1999). The suppliers attain the products from various manufacturers. For example, some of the clothing and shoes retailed by Wal-Mart Corporation are obtained from Disneys.
Question 11: In What Countries Does Your Company Export and Import Its Goods? How Does the Inflation of the Currency Affect Transactions, Translation and Economic Risks of the Corporation?
Wal-Mart imports most of its products from China. The products include home appliances, toys, apparels, and furniture among other products. The store also imports goods from other countries such as fruits and groceries from Canada and Mexico. It also imports frozen seafood from Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and Brazil (Zellner et al., 1997). The corporation also imports attires from Bangladesh. The corporation also exports the products from the United States such as cherries, apples and tires among others to overseas markets like Mexico, China, India, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Brazil (Wal-Mart, 2016).
The regular fluctuations in the values of the foreign currencies expose Wal-Mart to transaction risks, translation risks, and economic risks. A transaction risk takes place when there is a delay in payment in the period between the sale of the products and receipt of funds. During this period, a change in the value of the foreign currency in relation to the U.S. dollar may occur. This may cause the Wal-Mart subsidiary in that nation to incur a loss. A translation risk may also occur when the company is translating the overseas assets and liabilities from the foreign currency to U.S. dollars (Lee, 2012).
A translation risk may affect Wal-Mart Corporation in the event it may need to liquidate some of its assets in the foreign nation. The resulting equivalent from the translation process may not be favorable for the company and in turn expose the corporation to translation risk. An economic risk may occur in the event there is a foreign competitor selling or operating with a foreign currency (Lee, 2012). In such a case, the future sales of the Wal-Mart Corporation may have a reduced cash equivalent, in the event the exchange rate moves unfavorably against the U.S. dollar.
In conclusion, workers functioning in the Wal-Mart corporation do not join labor unions. Instead, the corporation facilitates the formation of collective bargaining agreement. Also, the corporation has numerous staff working in its branches situated in different parts of the globe. Wal-Mart also employs expatriates to work in its branches, both locally and abroad. It also uses the internet for employee training and development. In the international markets, Wal-Mart sells groceries, bakery, meat, dairy products, electronic appliances, furniture, toys, beauty products and clothing among other assorted products. The greatest marketing strategy that Wal-Mart uses in the international market is the pricing strategies. The corporation also practices global procurement when acquiring products in the international markets. Wal-Mart U.S. branches insource most of their products in the U.S. Nevertheless, international subsidiaries outsource their products from markets such as China. Finally, the constant fluctuations in the value of foreign currencies expose the corporation to the transaction, translation, and economic risks.
Daddino, J. (2012, September 12). Why Walmart Can Pull Off 'Everyday Low Prices' But Everyone Else Keeps Failing. Retrieved June 03, 2016, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-walmart-can-pull-off-everyday-low-prices-while-everyone-else-keeps-failing-2012-9
Bloom, P. N., & Perry, V. G. (2001). Retailer Power And Supplier Welfare: The Case Of Wal-Mart. Journal of Retailing, 77(3), 379-396.
Lee, E. S. (2012). Foreign Exchange Risks. In Management of International Trade (pp. 255-267). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Tilly, C. (2006). Wal-Mart and its workers: NOT the same all over the world. Conn. L. Rev., 39, 1805.
Tsay, A., Nahmias, S., & Agrawal, N. (1999). Modeling supply chain contracts: A review. In Quantitative models for supply chain management (pp. 299-336). Springer US.
Wal-Mart. (2016). Opportunity . Retrieved June 03, 2016, from Wal-Mart: http://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/opportunity
Zellner, W., Shepard, L., Katz, I., & Lindorff, D. (1997). Wal-Mart spoken here. Business Week, 77135, 3532.
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