Common Assessment Walmart: Overview
Common Assessment Walmart is an individual writing task.
The Board of Walmart has employed you as a consultant and asked you to assess the company’s strategy, competitive market position and overall situation, and recommend a set of actions to help the company to manage changes in its business environment and maintain a positive revenue and net income trajectory.
As such, the major “Strategic Issue” to be considered in Common Assessment Walmart is how to steer a path for Walmart to achieve sustainable competitive advantage.
Common Assessment Walmart: Guidelines
Break the analysis into the following major headings:
- Introduction – 1 page
- External Analysis (Porters Five Forces) – 2 pages
- Company Situation (SWOT & Financial analysis) – 3 pages
- Recommendations – 2 pages
In addition, use the subheadings described in this document to break up long sections.
Use font size 12 and Times Roman Style. Do not have long paragraphs containing a variety of related but different topics—break into smaller paragraphs for organization and ease of reading. Use a topic sentence to clarify the purpose of each paragraph. Number the pages starting with the Introduction, e.g., do not include the title page.
Proof! Check your work and correct the spelling and grammar errors. Write clearly with correctly structured complete sentences. The ability to present an effective case analysis depends on your critical thinking skills AND your ability to express your ideas in writing. Students who turn in a “first draft” may not earn a grade that is desired.
Start each of the major sections with an introduction that briefly characterizes and sets the stage for the section. Also at the end of each significant section, summarize with a paragraph capturing the key strategic findings of your analysis for that section. Do not make comments like “The case did not provide information on . . .” You do not need to cite the textbook or case. Eliminate personal pronouns such as I, we, etc.
- Show Impact
Your job is not to “spill back” the facts from the case. Assume that the person who reads your write up will have read the case carefully. Support your statements of analysis with brief examples from the case information. Your focus should be on the impact, effect, and strategic implications of your analysis. Do not overlook exhibits in the case with additional data.
- Apply Tools and Vocabulary
Demonstrate that you understand and can effectively apply the tools of strategic analysis: macro environment, driving forces, key success factors, industry analysis, financial analysis, SWOT etc. An effective case analysis effectively incorporates the language of strategic analysis throughout.
Common Assessment Walmart: Structure
- Introduction – Provide a brief overview of the mission, business, markets, products and scope of operations the company is in. The past/current strategic direction of the firm can be briefly summarized but the focus should be on the most recent events that will impact the decisions and future direction of the firm. Identify past strategic actions by the generic strategy or strategies. (their strategy provides low cost).
This is NOT a long historical view. It shows how capable you are of describing the company’s business and current strategy using strategic vocabulary.
- Complete a Porter’s Five Forces for Walmart and provide a commentary of the current the most significant forces that affect Walmart today? Use the Porter model to evaluate the strength of the five forces that affect the strategic choices of all firms in the industry. Discuss the balance of power in the industry. Relatively weak forces (low threats) place power in the hands of the firms that comprise the industry, and, therefore, broaden their freedom of choice of strategic actions. Relatively strong forces (high threats) reduce the power of the industry firms and limit their strategic choices. An industry with strong forces tends to be less attractive than an industry with weak forces. Specifically state your assessment of the strength of each of the 5 forces—intense, strong, moderate or weak. Justify and show why you reached your conclusion.
- Review the financial data of Walmart and its competitors and provide a commentary on key trends of Walmart’s financial performance over the years as well as how Walmart compares with its key competitors. This should be a commentary that reflects on changes to financial performance over a number of years and please refer to the various Exhibits (table data) in the Walmart case study to support your analysis. Close this analysis by writing a paragraph that draws conclusion about the company’s overall financial situation, prospects and the impact of its financial condition on its potential strategic plans. The fundamental question you are trying to answer is, “What is the overall financial status of the company now, and what does its current financial status mean for its future strategic success or ability to grow sales?” comment on Walmart financial performance over couple of year, also look at their main competitor.
- Complete a detailed SWOT analysis of Walmart and provide a commentary of the most significant aspects of the SWOT. Discuss each of the four legs of the SWOT fully—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in this section. Be clear that events are not the same as attributes. SWOT is about attributes, not events. An attribute describes the characteristics of the company. For example, you might say, “The company isn’t profitable.” True, but what is its weakness attribute? What characteristics of the company drives its lack of profitability? A better way to express it is, “The company has not managed costs in its value chain. This is supported by the sustained increase in cost of goods sold accompanied by flat sales reflecting a weakness that must be overcome to improve profitability.” Summarize the SWOT analysis in a one-page table and place in the APPENDIX. Discuss the table in the body of the paper. SWOT is the “integrator” of the analysis. SWOT draws from the findings resulting from the Macroenvironment, Industry Analysis, and Financial Analysis. Choose most important SWOT (table + points).
- Based on their current situation, make several strategic recommendations that you believe will help Walmart to achieve continued sustainable competitive advantage? Strategy Recommendations: Identify the GENERIC and GRAND strategy recommendations. These will tie closely to the SWOT analysis. The recommendations should play into the company’s strengths and opportunities. They should minimize the company weaknesses and overcome its threats. Discuss each strategic initiative in detail including the actions required in the functional areas to support the strategic recommendations: marketing, operations, human resource management, finance, etc. based on SWOT.
Please note that all 6 points should be answered from information gathered from the Walmart Case Study. No other source
Common Assessment Walmart: Case Study
Walmart: Navigating a Changing Retail Landscape
Walmart has been a powerful force for improving the standard of living in our mostly rural trade areas, and
our customers recognize it…We feel very strongly that Wal-Mart really is not, and should not be, in the charity
— Sam Walton, 19921
Walmart was founded in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, with a focus on serving rural America with low cost goods. By 2015, it had become the world’s largest retailer and world’s largest company, with revenues of $486 billion. Walmart operated more than 11,000 stores and employed 2.2 million workers worldwide, 1.4 million of which were in the U.S.
Walmart consisted of 3 business units. Walmart U.S. was the largest, and operated stores in all 50 states. Sam’s Club was a chain of warehouse clubs. Walmart U.S. accounted for 60% of total sales, Sam’s Club for 12%, and Walmart International, with operations in 28 countries, the remainder…(c)
Source: MICHAEL E. PORTER, JORGE RAMIREZ-VALLEJO. 9-717-474, REV: NOVEMBER 21 , 2017.
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