It is possible to see that financial decisions influence marketing and HRM sectors, while only HRM sector has the ability to determine finance. Walmart strategic planning starts in the new financial year, when the planning and distribution of finance, as well as sales forecasts take place and strategic development perspectives are outlined. Finance directly shape marketing and HRM, and influence operations indirectly. Employees and corporate unity are very important driver for Walmart, and thus HRM can directly affect any aspect of operations. Marketing closely interacts with all spheres, and performs an impact on operations and HRM directly, and on finance – indirectly (in the effect on sales). Finally, operations are closely related to marketing and HRM, and the results of operations close the cycle, as they impact revenue, and to a certain extent shape the planning for the next operational year.
For large corporations like Walmart, functional operational structure is common (Hitt & Ireland & Hoskisson, 2009): this structure implies the relative inflexibility of the whole corporation, although local centers quickly adjust to customer preferences. Walmart, like other functional organizations, has strong hierarchy and predetermined job roles within the organization. The company hires both skilled and unskilled employees, but it is common that employees get their experience at Walmart and then leave to other companies, either because of larger salary, or with regard to limited career growth opportunities at Walmart. Currently the corporation is trying to adopt a more flexible matrix structure, thus giving the sub-departments greater freedom and autonomy (Hitt & Ireland & Hoskisson, 2009). Walmart is striving to increase exchangeability, and to outline perspectives for career growth for successful employees. However, with regard to cost cutting, Walmart wouldn’t be able compete with its more expensive rivals, offering better salaries. Thus, the company needs to offer higher salaries, and save finance by further optimization of its relations with suppliers and inventory optimization rather than by decreasing rates.
PERT is interpreted as Project Evaluation and Review Technique. It is a project management model which allows to analyze the tasks within a project, determine and optimize the critical path of the project and project duration, and the efficiency of the completion of these tasks (Bradley, 2007). This method is widely used in management; however, for Walmart this method can be used with certain limitations, and there are areas where the company would experience problems implementing PERT method. First of all, Walmart is international and to apply PERT for the whole Walmart network would be almost impossible, because of the great majority of factors and activities involved. Secondly, it would be quite difficult to apply PERT method to projects related to sales and revenues, because it is not possible to determine exactly when certain product will be totally sold, and when it would come to the end of its maturity cycle. Such measurements are not exact, but rather probabilistic, and need different approaches. However, for planning delivery and supply operations, PERT method would be quite appropriate and comparatively easy in implementation within Walmart sub-departments.
CRM techniques are a group of methods dealing with Customer Relationship Management (Bradley, 2007). Walmart could hardly utilize these techniques because the company primarily communicates with the customers indirectly. Walmart’s revenue is based on large flow of customers, to since the strategy of the company is cost-focused and not customer-focused (Bradley, 2007), reaching every customers would be too expensive and ineffective occupations. CRM techniques could be applied to working with suppliers, but using them to Walmart customers would be quite difficult and not reasonable. It is better to study customer experience strategy and preferences by analyzing sales and product trends.