Supply Chain Students Tour Walmart Distribution Center

Posted on 10/23/2019 10:01:10 AM

On October 11, 27 graduate and undergraduate students of Prashanth Bharadwaj’s Supply Chain Management class toured the Walmart distribution center #6027 in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. Ramesh Soni accompanied the students.

This DC, built in 1993, is one of Walmart’s largest DCs in the country (1.3 million square feet in area) and has won the warehouse of the year award several times. This DC services 102 stores across Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and West Virginia.

Eberly College of Business & Information Technology students at the Walmart Distribution Center #6027 in Clearfield, PA October 11, 2019.Throughout their visit to the DC, the students observed all elements of how goods move throughout the distribution center.

Jason Wendel, a senior supply chain management and human resource management double major, discussed how impressed he was on the emphasis of environmental stability throughout the DC. He said, “Walmart is famous for being a low-cost provider, but it was refreshing to see that Walmart employees eliminate waste from not only a cost perspective, but from an environmental perspective.”

Students learned that approximately 85 percent of all packing materials get recycled at the DC, and how strongly Walmart believes in being a socially responsible organization.

Walmart Distribution Center (Clearfield) Sign October 11, 2019.Students were impressed to see Industry 4.0 technology live in action. The DC utilized an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) that placed boxes of product on a high-speed conveyor belts (12 feet/second) which were scanned through a high-speed camera. After being scanned, the boxes were sent to one of 51 conveyors, where each conveyor represents a Walmart retail outlet.

Walmart representatives discussed how it is optimal for the DC to operate on a two-shift schedule to service the 102 total retail outlets.

Aditya Hrudaya, a Supply Chain MBA student, described Walmart’s automatic shrink-wrapping machine: “I was amazed to see the working of an automatic shrink-wrapping machine in the DC. The stretch wrapping equipment increased efficiency and its self-propelled functionality reduced the risk of injury for the Walmart employees.”

All in all, this was a great day for Supply Chain graduate and undergraduate students to see the applications in the industry of the models discussed throughout their coursework. The Eberly College of Business and Information Technology provides excellent opportunities for its students to learn from leaders in industry and looks forward to continuing its great relationship with Walmart in the future. Jason Gustafson and Charles Howie Allen of Walmart have supported the supply chain program at IUP for nearly a decade.