Ridiculous Wal-Mart is Ridiculous

Wal-Mart Beijing

Even China has Wal-Marts

A lot can be said about Wal-Mart. The company is a contra­dic­tory mess in every sense of the word.

On the one hand, it’s well known they underpay employees, destroy the envi­ron­ment, and regularly conduct a plethora of seedy business practices.

On the other hand, they are often the first respon­ders during natural disasters – saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people after Katrina struck Louisiana. In addition, they employ more people than just about any other business and their donations to charity are mind­bog­gling high.

The other day, I found another ridicu­lous wal-mart contradiction.

My Wal-Mart Story

My wife and I are looking for a new bed frame. We’re paying for it with both a gift card and a debit card and since we can’t use two forms or payment online, I called Wal-Mart to find out if they had the bed frame I want in the store.

After being trans­ferred – twice – I connected to the right part of the store and asked them some questions. When I finally asked if they had the bed frame the woman told me something crazy: they have no way of looking up what’s in the store.

Why is that crazy? Because Wal-Mart has one of the most advanced inventory manage­ment systems in the world! Their just-in-time system has redefined the way product is shipped and their use of RFID chips will even­tu­ally turn inventory manage­ment into a computer-run precision science.

All that to point out how ridicu­lous it is that the company with the world’s most advanced inventory manage­ment system doesn’t let their employees to use it.

She couldn’t search the computer for the item (or a similar item) that I wanted. All she could do was tell me she couldn’t help.

Why This Matters

It’s a horrible way to run a business – having the world’s best tools at your disposal and not being able to use them. But it shouldn’t surprise me – you do it every day.

At this website alone, you have tools are your disposal that could change your life. I’ve given you:

And while you may regularly read the blog, you’re letting these resources pass you by.

And I’m not the only site that can change your life:

  • Dan Miller has every­thing you need to find or create the work you love.
  • Dave Ramsey’s endorsed local providers will do every­thing from filing your taxes to finding your health insurance to selling your house.

You have more power, knowledge, and skills at your finger­tips than ever before. But like Wal-Mart, you’re ignoring the power of these resources and living with the stress and frus­tra­tion that comes with it.

Try Something New

Don’t be like the employee who couldn’t use the world’s most advanced inventory system. Take advantage of the oppor­tu­ni­ties at your disposal and enjoy the freedom that comes with it.

6 Responses to “Ridiculous Wal-Mart is Ridiculous”

  1. Loren Pinilis January 30, 2012 at 8:44 AM #

    That is really strange. I didn’t know they couldn’t look things up like that. Can’t you just look it up online? I think my wife and I have done that before when we were purchasing something.

    But to your main point, this is a great way of putting it. We have so much at our finger­tips. And I can’t help but go the spiritual route. Not only do we have practical infor­ma­tion, but we have access to the Holy Spirit and to God’s word.

    • Alex Humphrey January 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM #

      I found it online, but there is no way to check if it’s in the store from online.

      Part of me hopes she just didn’t under­stand what I was asking.

      And you are so right about God’s gifts. He has given us more than we could ever ask for, all we have to do is take hold of what’s already there.

  2. Brent Pittman January 30, 2012 at 3:14 PM #

    Sometimes it’s hard to steer a big boat.

    • Alex January 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM #

      Very true

  3. ixnayonthetimmay January 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM #

    While I certainly don’t claim to speak for Wal-Mart, I will say that my expe­ri­ence has been that when a major retailer (like the one I used to work for, Walgreens) rolls out a new system, all Hades can break loose if the employees aren’t properly trained on how to use it.

    Working in the photo lab, I was person­ally excited when new processing equipment or software was installed, but not all of my fellow push-button picture people were as keen, and it was not uncommon for the photo lab to be down sporad­i­cally as a result.

    My guess is that Wal-Mart must have started this inventory process recently and is working on making sure it’s reliable before letting the regular employees use it. Even so, it is a policy that will burn them if they keep it up for too long.

    • Alex January 31, 2012 at 8:16 AM #

      You will probably be saddened to learn that most of the infor­ma­tion on Wal-Mart’s use of RFID chips to boost their inventory system is from 2005 — 7 years ago.

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