Among the public corporations of America, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the largest private employer as it contains chains of retail stores both domestically and internationally. The corporation has also embraced the advanced technology because it also operates e-commerce activities greatly increasing the scope of its customers. The rapid growth of the corporation has increased job opportunities to the community and lowered the prices of commodities. The corporation also offers a wide variety of products which include the basic commodities such as food and apparel and luxury staff such as household commodities among others. The corporation also offers food stamps to the less fortunate members of the society who cannot afford to provide food for themselves because of the low wages they earn or lack of employment (Brunn, 2006).
However, to sustain this success and strive the stiff competition it is facing the corporation should engage in constant research to enable effective strategies which will enable the business to adapt to changes in the market forces such as economic, political and social are formulated. For example the corporation faces many wrangles which arise due to criticism from the community, women’s rights groups and labor unions because of its policies which includes; low rates of health care insurance cover, disregarding workers unions, sexism and the management forcing employees to vote for the mangers political preferences or lose their employment contract. The corporation also has to research ways in which they can make the government, society and critics understand their policies and fulfill their desires to maintain their good reputation which seems to be tainted by the plethora of reports in the media (Carson et al., 2001).
The large size and diversification of the corporation challenges the leadership of the management in the corporation. This has made the corporation to rely on research to help improve its leadership skills regarding employees, customers and the profit margin of the corporation. Wal-Mart has embarked on research conduction to be able to effectively control costs without deteriorating the quality of services provided, improve customer services and further simplify its business approach. Furthermore the corporation wanted to be well versed with risk management as this is one of its core activities, as the corporation is known to implement business approaches that are less favorable to many business organizations. The director of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton believes research replicates business benefits and therefore helps an organization to maximally use the company’s resources while protecting the company’s assets. By relying on this principle wal-mart has been able to climb up the ladder of success at a faster rate than its competitors (Brunn, 2006).
Wal-Mart greatly benefits from the research it conducts by using the information collected to devise mechanism that will place it on better grounds in terms of market forces and customer preference than its competitors. The corporation has formed business ties with manufactures who engage in mass production because they sell their products at cheaper prices. This has enabled Wal-Mart to re-sell the products at lower prices that are suitable to the customers. The low prices also increase the scope of market as potential customers are lured. The corporation has also devised ways of maintaining the pressure and conditions of the suppliers of their products. This has enabled the corporation to retain them and thus lower costs that build up as a result of poor supply resources. Wal-Mart also relies on the market theory of diversifying its market to earn more customers and thus be able to sell products at cheaper prices (Carson et al., 2001).
The corporation was also able to shift the retailing paradigm which made it grow rapidly to exceed the competition prevailed by Woolworth, Montgomery ward and Sears retail corporation among others. Through the research that Sam Walton had done the need to serve the rural sector of America was evident as most stores were located in the metropolitan areas. The management formulated rural retailing discount strategies by opening big stores in the small towns. The early day low price strategy helped the corporation to attract more customers, compete effectively, and incorporate advanced technology than its competitors (Flora et al. 2007).
The corporation has also been able to improve its business management and human resources management department by incorporating its finding mainly focusing on the peoples division on staffing, training and relationship. This has enabled the corporation to hire qualified and competent employees, provide efficient training to them and thus create an organizational culture which helps to effectively cater for the needs of the customers. The strategies that have been adopted to incorporate the information collected from the research has helped the corporation to improve its business plan, organization culture, staffing, management, communication and incorporation of interpersonal skills into their operations (Carson et al., 2001).
Wal-Mart intends to increase its market share in its major category of commodities which include food and apparel. It also aims at venturing into new market both internationally and domestically for example gasoline and selling commodities out of their customer’s expectations for example vehicles. The management plans to conduct research that will enable the corporation to provide approximately one-third of the food consumed in the world, improve its existing businesses in US and customer preference to help it diversify its gasoline market in the country (Flora et al., 2007).
The corporation also plans to use its annual survey on the shopping trend of its customers in regard to apparel to detect their preferences and habits and thus plan effectively for the coming years, to be able to expand this department. Plans on how to formulate business ties with companies and organization that make exclusive labels which reflect fashion interest in the market are also underway. Other successful corporations offer multi-channel services by operating other smaller business in an attempt of expanding their scope of customers. Wal-Mart intends to carry out research to determine the effectiveness on performance, growth and cost of multi-channel business delivery system. The corporation also intends to build good relationship ties with the government, society, and critics to make them understand its policies and to also satisfy their needs in an attempt of dealing with the grievances aired (Brunn, 2006).
Therefore, from the above information it is clear that research is an effective business tool as it has enable Wal-Mart to accomplish its goals, mission, vision and objectives of revolutionizing global retail business by dominating the market in a consolidated manner, without straying from its core strengths and limiting its expansion. Upcoming small businesses and potential entrepreneurs should use this business tool to be able to devise and implement strategies that will favor their organization in terms of management, marketing, business culture, employee engagement and employment relationship among others to effectively strive in the market where stiff competition is depicted.
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Brunn, D. S., (2006). Wal-Mart World: The World’s Biggest Corporation in the Global Economy. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Carson, D., Gilmore, A., Perry, C. & Gronhaug, K., (2001). Qualitative Marketing Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Flora, B. C., Jan. L. F. & Fey, S., (2007). Rural Communities: Legacy and Change. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.