Sunday, February 11, 2007

I have just finished reading "The Walmart Way" by Don Soderquist, a former Walmart Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. It is a fairly good book that borders on being an advertorial and talks about the emergence and growth of Walmart and its culture. There are a few questions at the end of each chapter that looks at Walmart and its principles from different angles. Mr.Soderquist very passionately explains the story of a man who had a simple dream of owning a store and ended up creating the world's largest retail empire. It paints a very impressive picture of Walmart, something that may not amuse many people especially those who are trying to survive in a Walmart World. And then there are those who believe that there is a high price to this low cost.
The book does not spend pages discussing the most familiar allegations against Walmart which include Employee health benefits, pay or the closure of thousands of small businesses.
Anyway, this book presents several good lessons and i shall focus on those rather than what it doesn't. The book is divided into twelve chapters and each focusses on a particular facet. To summarise, the book talks about Sam Walton's Vision and how he pursued it, The Walmart culture, its focus on customer delight and how employees make a difference, Its passion for excellence and the drive to check bureaucracy,Its reliance on technology and the reinvention of Supply chain, Its efforts to forge excellent supplier relationships, to be a trend setter in Corporate social responsibility and finally about the future of Walmart.
Although you might become a little tired of hearing Walmart being praised up to the heavens and Sam being regarded a Demi God, i am sure it provides some food for thought.


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