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.
Throughout their visit to the DC, the students observed
all elements of how goods move throughout the distribution center.
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
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
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.