Can Albertson's Trounce Wal-Mart

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1) Albertson's has created some positive effects within it's value chain. Johnston has recognized that it is important to keep prices as low as possible. One thing he has done to achieve this is consolidate distribution centers. They are also using the web to coordinate shipments and reduce billing & invoicing costs. Albertson's has also upgraded several IT systems including its financial and human resource software. The use of RFID tags on product shipments has also helped to decrease their costs.

While several things have been done to help their value chain, there are still several areas that need updates/changes. Automated check outs seem to be working for Albertson's as well as others in the industry. Investing in this new technology would be a benefit for Albertson's. One other area they need to consider updating is how they transmit information & orders to suppliers. By making the ordering & inventory reporting systems faster & more automated, Albertson's could drastically reduce costs and become more competitive with Wal-Mart.

Albertson's main competitor is Wal-Mart. The biggest component in this rivalry is product cost and price. Because of their superior supply chain and extreme buying power, Wal-mart is able to sell at lower prices and obtain higher profit margins. Another area of competition between the companies is the location and services available. Due to the extended services Albertson's offers such as a butcher, baker, and gourmet coffee bars, they are able to outperform Wal-mart in urban areas. Other than the current contenders in this market, I don't feel that Albertson's has any major worries such as new entrants or other substitutes.

2) Information systems plays a very significant role in Albertson's business strategy. From corporate office functions to customer interactions, they are committing to providing leading edge technology. They are taking their core business functions and enhancing them with technology...
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