Primary communication method used by Wal-Mart executives through its satellite:
Oral communication is still the primary communication method that the Wal-Mart executives are applying when they use their six channel satellite system, however at a more formal level. Wal-Mart has launched the world’s largest private integrated satellite communication network which provides a two-way voice and date and one way video transmission between its headquarters and thousands of Wal-Mart stores. This method of communication not only allows the executive managers to give pep talks to thousands of their employees but for many other functions as well. The key goal of setting this satellite system is to link every store by voice and video which facilitates store-to-store and store-to-home office communications. Further when suggestions for improving the store operations are handed in by Wal-Mart associates, they are quickly transmitted to all stores by the satellite system. Through this satellite buyers can demonstrate for department heads in every store the precise way to display new products. It in a way proves to be a tool that assists in replacing the management’s physical visits to the store which is practically limited considering the increase in the number of stores and how geographically widespread Wal-Mart stores are.
Most importantly this satellite gives Wal-Mart executives a complete picture of their stores at any given point in the day thereby giving them increased control over the store operations and ensuring compliance to the store policies/procedures. This communication satellite system plays a key role in Wal-Mart’s management of its business level strategies by reducing their costs and avoiding unnecessary wastage of time. Developing and investing in this system helps Wal-Mart in increasing their performance by effectively managing their human capital. Definitely these well-built technological systems have helped propelled Wal-Mart to its current leadership position.
Management communication, feedback, coaching and conflict illustrated through Wal Mart Store visit:
The communication is the major topic illustrated by the store visits with touching on minor aspect of feedback. Sam Walton visited all the Wal-Mart at least once a year as he continuously wanted to look for better ideas to improve operations. This trend started by the founder and still followed by executives. These executives simply visit stores to talk to their employees (associates) and customers. By management adopting such practices, communication between the associates and the executives is facilitated. These consistent store visits provide an opportunity for the executives and associates to work together towards continuously improving their operations by open communication between them. It not only reduces time by limiting formal/written communication but also gives executives an opportunity to build employee relationship. In return employees feel they are heard which boosts their morale as executives look for their feedback and suggestions too. Effective communication facilitates bridging any information gaps between them which improves the overall store operations thereby increasing their efficiency and performance.
Communication and Coaching – the best illustration for using the satellite for merchandising:
The communication and coaching are the best and related topics illustrated for using the satellite for merchandising. Wal-Mart’s six satellite networks, serves numerous purposes, which over the years has helped them to enhance their operations, improve their organization performance significantly and consistently with increasing their geographic stretch at the same time. This satellite system links every store by voice and video which facilitates store-to-store and store-to-home office communications, which the management uses to communicate to all / some stores depending on the message. The management also uses this system to communicate and more precisely coach the Wal-Mart associates across stores with merchandising initiatives. This communication system makes it so easy for a buyer to communicate to the stores how the products are displayed and replicate it in their store at the same time or later. A picture is worth a thousand words, this system makes it very easy for the buyers to coach associates in the stores on how accurately display products which otherwise would be such a lengthy and time consuming task. This system also enables an open mode of two way communication whereby the store associates can contact the buyers if the face a major problem or have any suggestions for improvements relating to merchandising their products. This satellite system made a very challenging task of communication merchandising standards across Wal-Mart stores easy and time effective.