Walmart, Ranked #1 on Fortune’s Global 500 List, Commits to Their $250 Billion Pledge to American Business
Topping the Fortune Global 500 List for 4 years in a row (with 23 total years spent on the list), Walmart’s breadth, market share and everyday low prices continue to garner global acclaim.
Zoom into the United States — a nation where attention is devoted to ethical sourcing and responsible corporate practice. By delivering the largest initiative in the company’s history, Walmart responds to this need.
Since 2013, Walmart announced a 250 billion dollar investment into U.S.-born retail opportunities. The sum of the investment spans a decade, and will be allocated strategically until 2023.
Speaking with Jason Osborne, Senior Advisor
As one of Walmart’s certified suppliers of U.S. manufactured OTC drug test kits, Confirm BioSciences spoke with Jason Osborne, Senior Advisor to Sourcing and Supplier opportunities at Walmart in Bentonville, AR. Here, the preeminent retail entity established its first distribution center and home office location.
Mr. Osborne is a catalyst for transactional relationships between suppliers and Walmart buyers. He keeps an open eye for local suppliers big and small, attending sessions and conferences such as NACDS Total Store Expo. He shares excitement “about meeting suppliers for Walmart and the store buyer.” Once Jason gains understanding of a supplier’s mission and assesses their criteria, he connects them with a Walmart decision-maker. Ultimately, “Made in America products equals jobs in America.”
Jason remarks, “Walmart’s initiative is a driver of purchasing decisions.” The 250 billion dollar pledge to support U.S. manufacturing is a reaction to consumer demand. In their latest marketplace analysis, Walmart concluded:
- 71% of Walmart shoppers in the United States want products Made In America.
- 55% of Walmart shoppers in the United States actively seek Made In America merchandise, either through Walmart’s e-commerce platform, or via direct brick and mortar style shopping.
To date, Walmart is currently on par with their projected contributions towards the U.S. Manufacturing initiative. As reported by Mr. Osborne, finding products with a local origin is the leading factor affecting buying decisions, second only to pricing.
How Does Outsourcing Affect the U.S. Economy?
The current political climate makes international business more costly and difficult. Trade deficits are therefore a major concern when importing goods and services.
Savings are Marginal.
Money saved through overseas manufacturing is offset by international shipping and run-of-the-mill product integrity. However, goods made in America are inexpensively delivered and are designed and assembled to reach the highest standard of quality. Walmart’s emphasis on “value” is not restricted to price; quality is of equal concern to the corporation because this is what consumers ask for.
Lack of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Fair employee treatment and compensation are weighty factors when considering outsourcing. Although this is less of a concern thanks to human rights activism, geographical barriers complicate production by limiting the scope of management. A component of Walmart’s initiative is to boost the minimum wage of their workers and deliver stronger training and benefits opportunities.
Heightened Regulatory Burdens.
It is much harder to monitor supply chain mechanisms when outsourcing goods. Once manufacturing and shipping processes are sorted, offshore merchandise must be cleared through U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. This extra step in the supply chain translates to additional fees and slashes margins.
Outsourcing does not sustain the local economy, yet the globalization of technology makes this a popular business practice. Although working with foreign suppliers is touted as economical, offshoring products actually costs more in the long run. In fact, outsourcing can incite cognitive dissonance in business decision-making because of unethical implications.
Pillars of Walmart’s 250 Billion Dollar Contribution to the U.S. Economy
Locally manufacturing and sourcing goods creates a ripple effect. Efficiencies are not limited to supply chain systems. Once again, investing in U.S. business equates to minimum wage increases, incentivized training and improved employment forecasts.
Walmart’s Commitment to Boosting Employment
250,000 direct jobs and 750,000 indirect jobs will be created as a result of Walmart’s investment. Direct jobs involve production of goods, while indirect jobs support the efforts of direct jobs. One million new careers for residents of the United States is no small feat.
The Environmental Impact of Walmart’s Contribution
Executing onshore business is proven to be an environmentally-friendly strategy. By encouraging U.S. manufacturing, Walmart will be responsible for the removal of 2.5 million overseas container shipments, whose emissions are equivalent to providing energy to 400,000 homes. The whole concept of Walmart’s initiative is to allocate resources where they belong.
What Are the Next Steps for U.S. Businesses?
Despite the size of the investment (and the corporate Goliath in general), Walmart intimately supports U.S. based business. Sourcing executives like Jason Osborne not only facilitate communication between buyers and potential Walmart suppliers; they offer encouragement by being readily available and easily contactable.
In fact, Jason is one of many professionals who strive to hold individual meetings with each Walmart supplier to develop financial efficiencies, stating “we interact with suppliers to find supply chain and inventory savings and help them get their product moved.” He also expresses interest in their future endeavors.
To help businesses prepare for the ambitious opportunity ahead, they should become familiar with Walmart’s criteria for eligible suppliers.
Companies based in the United States who are interested in becoming Walmart suppliers can access a wealth of resources, including a training and certification course offered through the corporation.
Once training and relevant information is obtained, the online application process begins with simple disclosure of private certifications, including the applicant’s assigned 9-digit DUNS number. Please refer to the full application for easy to follow instructions on how to become a potential Walmart supplier.
On Saturday August 19th, 2017, Jason Osborne hosted a Meet the Industry session at The NACDS Total Store Expo, to provide more information on Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing initiative. His genuine, welcoming attitude was a perfect prelude to his talk; “I invite all in the room to join the initiative and become part of the discussion.”
Corporate social responsibility begins at home. Walmart’s latest initiative aligns with their mission, which is not only to collect wealth, but to create it.
From Walmart Headquarters, the apex of global business: “Together, we can help spark a revitalization of U.S.-based manufacturing. We are committed to American renewal.”