By January 11, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Learn From Walmart About the Value of Information

Learn From Walmart About the Value of Information

I see an important ingredient missing from many organizations I deal with as a consultant. That missing ingredient is information you can use to make decisions and improvements either with internally delivered services and processes, suppliers and contractors or with your customers.An excellent example of the value of information is Walmart. Their retail success is something that all Managers can learn from. Like them or not, Walmart is the largest retailer in the world and one of the key things that made them successful is their ability to collect, manage and deliver information that they can use to make decisions. They have almost real-time information available about their business that they use to improve sales and reduce costs. Not next month, not next week, not tomorrow - today. This involves taking lots of data and making it useful. Is this a new innovation for them? Not at all. They pioneered it a long time ago and as with many things they do, they are far ahead of their competition.

I’ve seen the value of having information and the drawbacks of not having it. I worked in one company where I had information about my department’s activities at my fingertips - and could review the information by city, staff, issue and process. Then I moved to another company where I didn’t have any information. It was challenging to understand what was happening and identify things that needed to be improved, or even to identify things that worked well so I could replicate it in other areas of my territory.

This is an issue I discuss with my clients and future clients when I meet them. I am always surprised by the number of companies who are like the second one I mentioned above – essentially managing blind, relying on instinct, gut, anecdotal information and information that comes through filters from their staff.

If you don’t have the information you need to manage your responsibilities, how can you be effective. Start now and get the information you need to make decisions that improve results and reduce costs.

Here are some links with more information about Walmart and their systems:

Businessweek
Goliath Business Knowledge on Demand
The Enterprise System Spectator

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

Posted in: Productivity

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