Professor Thomas Hughes
April 20, 2013
University of Phoenix
Environmental scanning is the monitoring, evaluation, and dissemination of information from the external and internal environments to key people within the corporation. A corporation uses this tool to avoid strategic surprise and to ensure its long-term health (Wheelen & Hunger, 2010, p. 254). When scanning the external environment a company looks for opportunities and threats. The external environment involves natural factors, societal factors, and industry factors. These variables must first be examined. The internal environment is an organizational analysis of a company’s strengths and weakness.
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Low cost is an area that Wal-Mart has perfected in every aspect of company operations. The company’s motto is “Saving Money, Living Better.” It achieves this goal by offering quality products for low prices. Wal-Mart provides its customers the experience of one stop shopping and competitive prices, a combination that has allowed for success. Company locations are strategically planned mostly large supercenters with small town locations. “The company has tons of power with its suppliers because it buys so much of their inventory and is thus a large percentage of their supplier’s revenue. No surprise then that suppliers have lived and died with Wal-Mart's orders and would do anything to protect their business with them” ("Wal-Mart Business Strategy ", 2009). It’s size and buying power allows for a scale of economics that is unseen by its competitors. They also offer other division such as SAM’s Club which attracts a wide range of customers. Knowing how to manage your resources can take you a long way. Wal-Mart not only value its customers but it employees as well. The company’s sophisticated human resource management and development system trains, develops, and retains employees. Part of Wal-Mart’s strength lies in its core competence which involves information technology that supports its international logistics system. This enables managers to see how stores and products are