Prashanth Bharadwaj took students from his Supply Chain Management class and IUP-PES India MBA program to visit the Wal-Mart Distribution Center (DC) #6027 in north-central Pennsylvania on Friday, October 10, 2014.
The 35 students met with Kevin Robinson, head of human resources, and with Charles “Howie” Allen, a retail store manager of a nearby DuBois Wal-Mart. Built in 1993, this facility is larger than most of the nearly 150 Wal-Mart DCs in the country, measuring 1.3 million square feet in area and servicing 102 stores. It has won the Wal-Mart warehouse of the year award several times.
The students learned that the Wal-Mart infrastructure includes primarily three entities: its home office and data center in Bentonville, Ark.; its distribution centers located strategically around the country; and retail outlets/stores spread across the country. The warehouses are at the heart of their logistics network, managing a majority of the tens of thousands of stock-keeping units that are sold in the retail outlets.
“The students learned more about the workings of the Wal-Mart logistics, experienced first-hand many supply chain aspects, and also learned about Sam Walton’s business philosophy which helped him build Wal-Mart,” said Bharadwaj. “They obtained a good understanding of the different echelons of the supply chain, including retailer, distributor, manufacturer, and supplier.”
“This was a great opportunity to see first-hand the logistics systems of the company and observe the many moving pieces that make Wal-Mart such a successful company,” said Cassidy Neal, a general operations and human resources management senior. “We were able to observe the shipping and receiving operations and how the employees were able to move swiftly throughout the warehouse to move products to the appropriate locations.”
The Regional Wal-Mart organization has representation on Eberly’s Business Advisory Council.
Eberly College of Business and Information Technology