Jan 282018
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Walmart Logistics

Walmart Logistics is one of the components that made Walmart what it is today.  I had the pleasure to work for Walmart Logistics years ago and can honestly say the system runs like a well tuned race car.   Below are some great quotes by Sam Walton that will help people understand why the Walmart Supply Chain is what it is today.  I am going to add some of my own personal experiences while I worked for Walmart Logistics.

“Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them.  You never know who’s going to have a great idea.” ~Sam Walton, founder of Walmart.

This quote was truly engrained in the culture of Walmart.  People were always looking at ways to make things better.  Always looking at ways to improve.  The performance of the associates at the Walmart Distribution center I worked at was outstanding.

Walmart Logistics

“What we guard against around here is people saying, ‘Let’s think about it.’  We make a decision.  Then we can on it.”  ~Sam Walton

I had been with Walmart Logistics for a short time.  My General Manager comes up to me and says “What’s the one word you should always be doing?” Without pausing the word “Execute”  came out of my mouth and I waited to see if I was right.  My General Manager smiled and walked away.

Walmart Logistics

“You can learn from everybody.” ~Sam Walton

During my time with Walmart Logistics they tried to hire the managers in an equal proportion from three areas: right out of college, those that had experience, and associates that had proven themselves.  Everyone was treated the same.  I am not sure who said this quote but it comes to mind when I think of my time with Walmart Logistics:  “I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.”

Walmart Supply Chain

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel.  If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” ~Sam Walton

At the time Lee Scott was Vice President of Logistics, he later became the CEO of Walmart.  He came to visit our distribution center and was speaking to us.  He said the other retailers had the same technology that Walmart did.  The other retailers could go out and buy whatever Walmart could buy to improve their logistics network.

Walmart Logistics

“We’re all working together; that’s the secret.” ~Sam Walton

My very first day with Walmart Logistics I came in and for whatever reason many people had called in sick and it was a super busy day.  They took me into the General Managers office and he had a back support belt on.  At that time if you were doing any lifting in Walmart Logistics you wore a back support belt.  He explained what was going on and said this isn’t what I imagined for your first day but are you up to it.  So I loaded trailers for the rest of the day.  All the managers, including the General Manager, worked all day loading/unloading trailers, pick freight and moving freight to be sure we met the goals for the day.  Whenever I see the quote below I always think of that day.

Walmart Distribution Center

“High expectations are the key to everything.” ~Sam Walton

This was no joke.  Everyone had very high expectations.  The distribution center I worked at won some type of an award for being the most improve distribution center.  I think we moved to the 5th best distribution center in Walmart.  At that time would probably equate to one of the top 10 best distribution centers in the world.  The General Manager gave a little speech to us and closing the speech it was all about getting better.  We have done great but we need to do even better.  I can remember thinking “can we at least enjoy this for a bit.”  I have taken this listen with me and expectations have to be high and there is always ways to improve things.

Walmart Logistics

“I probably have traveled and walked into more variety stores than anybody in America.  I am just trying to get ideas, any kind of ideas that will help our company.” ~Sam Walton

If an idea would help improve operations there was no problem in trying it out.  One of the things I picked up at Walmart is that you didn’t become the best by being lucky, you became the best by working your butt off and always keeping your eyes and ears open to improve things.

Walmart Logistics

“If you want a successful business, your people must feel that you are working for them – not that they are working for you.” ~Sam Walton

For my second interview I went out and interviewed with numerous managers at the distribution center.  The Loss Prevention Manager is walking me down one of the long distribution center ailse and during our walk he saw two small pieces of paper and he picked then up.  we then came across a third piece of small paper and I picked it up.  The managers I worked with managed with example.  This is a great lesson for anyone.

Walmart Logistics

“To succeed in the world, you have to change all the time.” ~Sam Walton

What I take from this quote during my time at Walmart is that you do need to change and improve all the time.  Most of the time the changes are small improvements.  But sometimes you need step function improvements or entire ways of doing things different.  Always keep an open mind to change and making things better.

Walmart Logistics

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