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Can An IT Services Company Walk the Walmart way ?





Going ahead on the same subject of trying to build a Walmart of IT Services, some more thoughts on the same.

I was asked to be more specific as regards what Walmart attributes was I talking about as regards IT Services ?

Was it Low prices ?

Was it the Global Geographical Spread of Operations ?

Which side of the Smiling Curve ?

The Left Creation Side or the Right Customer Experience Side ?

My answer is all the above and much more.

I read somewhere that there are only two industries in the world where Customers are referred to as 'Users'.

One is of course Drug Pedlars and the other is our IT Industry.

Does it say something about our approach to our customers ?

Cross your heart and ask yourself.

No need to Blush. No one's watching.



In our company, Salary Cheque Envelopes sometimes go printed with the message " This Cheque is brought to you from our customers."

I have copied the implementation of this idea I had read somewhere.

It always helps bring back focus from internal issues to the external customer.

Always a safe strategy to follow.

It rarely fails.

Coming back to Walmart, How have they become a 400++ Billion USD $ (At Last Count) Giant ?

By Always Putting the Customer First.

That's right.

Not Shareholders.

Not Employees. (It would be fair to mention that there are reports of employee lawsuits pending against Walmart).

It's always Customers first.

Some posers :

Can an IT Services Company emulate their mission of lowering their Customer's IT Costs year after year ?

(By the way, interestingly a European (I think French) Court had ordered Walmart to raise prices in some country.

Talk of Judicial Intervention. This just cannot be believed.)

Can someone provide as many broad and wide range of IT Services as the number of SKU's in a typical Walmart ?

(SKU - Stock Keeping Units - A term used in the Retail Business to signify the different items, pack-sizes, variants, etc ?

Can someone be as focused on providing a Cheerful Customer IT Experience as the famous Greeter as soon as you enter a Walmart ?

For God's sake, atleast smile once at your customer today. (She or he may be shocked.)

Can an IT Company use IT as efficiently as Walmart does ?

Someone commented that their Supply Chain Software is comparable to the US Military in terms of it's complexity.

( I think just on this issue, with the exception of a handful of global IT companies, almost all other IT companies can do with better utilization of IT.)

And can someone do the same globally, country after country and in markets after markets with different diverse cultures ?



I can sense the protests coming. What rubbish are you talking ?

How can you even compare the Delivery of possibly a Complex IT Service say an ERP SAP implementation to a product (maybe a toothpaste) sale at Walmart ?

After all, Software is not so simple.

Hardware is complex.

Our industry needs intelligent educated people, not low-hourly Walmart workers (As a personal thought - My only gripe against Walmart.)

No. It is just not possible. You had a hard week. Go chill it out. My Viewpoint.

Remember, our IT industry has been around for just slightly over half a century. (when the first computer ENIAC was manufactured in 1946).

Maybe, you ain't seen nothing yet. It is yet early days.

The Sun is still in the East. (No, that is not a pun.)

May the Force(s) be with you (As you try to figure this out) !





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Updated on 26th March 2009
Posted on 18th February 2005

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