Supply Chain Philosophy: Walmart, UPS, and Home Depot

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Walmart is an extremely large international organization, arguably, one of the largest in the world.  The company’s supply chain is also well-known for being extremely cut-throat, with the retail supergiant making it very clear to all supply chain partners exactly who is in charge: Walmart.  Walmart not only makes it very difficult to become a supply chain partner with the organization, but Walmart also holds and enacts a strict policy of never allowing a single supplier to encompass all of one particular category.  The other unique philosophy, however, is that Walmart does not carry out the same philosophy for service, trends, and productivity in every country that it operates within (“For Wal-Mart”, 2009).  Rather, the organization investigates each individual market and strives to only be the best there, not the best collectively worldwide (“For Wal-Mart”, 2009).  This philosophy has achieved exactly what they were supposedly aiming not to be (“For Wal-Mart”, 2009).

UPS considers itself to be one of the best in class in terms of its supply chain philosophy.  The company’s overall strategy is to achieve the leanest supply chain possible (“UPS logistics”, n.d.).  UPS seeks to carry out its business practices as efficiently and economically as possible (“UPS logistics”, n.d.).  This means negotiating ideal rates, monitoring supply chain partners closely, and conducting regular supplier audits (“UPS logistics”, n.d.).  UPS also engages in regular process improvement initiatives, insisting on never resting on its laurels.  This means that UPS is always seeking out ways to make its supply chain even leaner, leaning on a philosophy of constant change as being at its core (“UPS logistics”, n.d.).

Finally, Home Depot operates via a philosophy of investment in regard to its supply chain (“Why is Home Depot”, 2018).  The company realizes that it needs to funnel as many resources as possible towards its supply chain in order to maintain optimum customer service levels, keep up with technology, and keep costs as low as possible (“Why is Home Depot”, 2018).  Home Depot looks at supply chain investment as being a necessity to meet long-term goals.


For Wal-Mart, being ‘best in market’ is key to global success. (2009). CSCMP Supply Chain Quarterly. Retrieved from

UPS logistics a masterpiece of streamlined supply chain management. (n.d.). Supply Chain 24/7. Retrieved from

Why is Home Depot making a considerable investment in its supply chain? (2018). Forbes. Retrieved from