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January 3, 2007

News & Opinion: Wal-Smart

By: Jack @ 10:50 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

walsmart.jpgBill Marquard came to Milwaukee to visit Kate and I and we had a great lunch at the local brew pub. I have been wanting to dig into the book ever since. Finally, I have.
Wal-Smart is another Wal-Mart book but this is a little different. As he says,
"As a consulting partner at Ernst & Young, I designed Wal-Mart's first-ever strategic planning process and ran it for three and a half years in the late 1990s."
The book has all the usual amazing stats about how we all are part of the Wal-Mart world, whether we shop there or not. What sets Wal-Smart apart from other books on the topic is
"Wal-Smart is not a book about Wal-Mart. It is a book about what it really takes to profit in a Wal-Mart world: how to examine our options, how to choose the right ones, and how to win a second chance to succeed. Of course, Wal-Mart world has changed the traditional rules of the economic game. But the potential remains for all of us to raise our economic life while Wal-Mart continues to flex its economic muscle."

In the section about the DNA of Wal-Mart he talks about the practice they have of "Correction of Errors." He says:
"Correction of errors is all about identifying ways to improve customer experience, merchandise, processes, cost structure, and the company from within--before competitors beat Wal-Mart to it. The correction of errors practice carries throughout the organization. Newly opened distribution centers hold correction of errors meeting to share lessons and determine how to open the next center more efficiently. Home office leaders hold meetings to improve the loss-prevention process.
A cousin of quality management, correction of errors likely gained currency when Sam Walton read the works of twentieth-century quality guru W. Edwards Deming."

I have not finished the book and will update you as I get closer to the end.