Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019)

known as Retail Linking $14.3 billion on sales of $30. This system, unique when initially implemented in the mid-1980s, allowed Walmart’s suppliers to directly access the inventory levels and sales information of their products at any of Walmart’s more than eleven thousand stores. Using Retail Link, suppliers can analyze how well their products are selling at one or more Walmart stores with a range of reporting options. Further, Walmart requires the suppliers to use Retail Link to manage their own inventory levels. If a supplier feels that their products are selling out too quickly, they can use Retail Link to petition Walmart to raise the inventory levels for their products. This has essentially allowed Walmart to “hire” thousands of product managers, all of whom have a vested interest in the products they are managing. This revolutionary approach to managing inventory has allowed Walmart to continue to drive prices down and respond to market forces quickly. Today Walmart continues to innovate with information technology. Using its tremendous market presence, any technology that Walmart requires its suppliers to implement immediately becomes a business standard. For example, in 1983 Walmart became the first large retailer to require suppliers to the use Uniform Product Code (UPC) labels on all products. Clearly, Walmart has learned how to use I.T. to gain a competitive advantage. Summary In this chapter you have been introduced to the concept of information systems. Several definitions focused on the main components: technology, people, and process. You how the business use of information systems has evolved over the years, from the use of large mainframe computers for number crunching, Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019) pg. 18

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