We must be no stranger to the name Walmart. Unlike Amazon, which started out as a technology startup, Walmart is known only for a chain of retail stores globally. Let’s find out how Walmart has made its digital transformation through the list of technologies being used by Walmart in its system.
Walmart Inc. (formerly known as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is a US multinational retail group, operating a chain of hypermarkets, cheap department stores, and grocery stores, with its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. As of January 31, 2019, Walmart had 11,348 stores and branches in 27 countries, operating under 55 different names.
Currently, Walmart is the largest company in the world with revenue of over 500 billion USD, according to Fortune Global 500 in 2018 and is the private company with the highest number of employees in the world: 2.3 million employees. Maybe because Walmart is not present in Vietnam and 65% of its revenue still comes from the US, not everyone in Vietnam knows Walmart.
In the letter to shareholders in April 2019, Walmart’s CEO shared how Walmart uses technology, and the goal of Walmart is to make the shopping experience easy, fast, friendly and more interesting.
For example, a busy mother can shop on the app or on the shop faster by finding items in her list. Thanks to the map feature on the Walmart application, customers can buy goods with Walmart Pay and skip queuing at the counter. Outside the store, customers can park at the pick-up point, asking for “personal shopping assistant” to load goods on their trunk and go.
Using scanners that automatically check the counters will help improve inventory levels. A floor cleaning tool that automatically carries a camera will help collect data about product features; then share with the FAST Unloader in the back room to prioritize storage items.
Use technology in reducing costs and increasing operational efficiency
Removing much paperwork and providing more efficient information helps Walmart save up to $17 million. Walmart also implemented smart automation with more than 500 bots using Machine Learning to complete manual and repetitive tasks in areas such as revenues, salaries, social benefits, transportation … to help employees focus on other jobs, and the company can save up to $ 30 million per year.
Walmart developed its own version of the robot: A self-scanning robot to alert employees of running out of stock. On average, this robot is 50% more productive and three times faster than humans, so it is likely to be deployed for all stores in the future.
Walmart also invests in many other technologies, especially cloud computing, data and analysis, and in the future supply chain which will be the last mile delivery.
Walmart began to see the picture of the retail industry in the future as an ecosystem. Next, Walmart will continue to test new technologies such as the open delivery platform in the US; Voice and text-based commercial Jetblack testing in New York.
The company is currently testing automatic self-scanning technology to improve storage, single-precision accuracy and automatic floor cleaning. Fast Unloader test, new technology in receiving goods that allows unloading from trucks at distribution centers. Walmart is also working on ways to automate fruit and vegetable harvests for online orders using Alphabot, helping employees work more efficiently in packaging orders for customers.
Oculus virtual reality application in staff training
We already know Walmart’s employee-centered view. To ensure consistent global customer experience, Walmart is testing the Oculus virtual reality (VR) application to train its employees.
The video introduces how they train employees with VR:
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