ook at the use of the supply chain management by Wal-Mart to enhance not only its competitive strategy but also its strategic management accounting approach. This is achieved by improving efficiency, having faster distribution and maintaining quality fresh merchandise in all the regional operations.
As illustrated in the case study, Wal-Mart has devised two distinct strategic management approaches that are interlinked and hence compatible to the firm’s overall strategy as set by its founder Sam Walton of providing high quality products at affordable prices. These include competitive strategy and strategic management accounting (SMA). There are four major elements involved in Wal-Mart’s strategic management approach. These include situation analysis, strategy formulation, implementation and evaluation (Bivens, 2006). A company’s main competitive strategy is generally based on devising methods that can bring about a competitive advantage to its market segment (Johnson et al, 2006, Pg.242).
On the other hand, SMA is concerned with providing and appraising a company with appropriate accounting information on its business operations as well as its rivals that can be utilised strategically in decision-making. According to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), management accounting is ‘the process of identification, measurement, accumulation, analysis, preparation, interpretation and communication of information used by management to plan, evaluate and control within an entity and to assure appropriate use of and accountability for its resources’ (Caplan, 2004, Pg.1).
Irwin and Clark (2006, Pg.2) identify Wal-Mart’s effective utilisation of ‘cost-saving technologies’ and advanced supply chain management is one of the key elements in the firms enviable growth. They also cite Wal-Mart global strategy, which has assisted the firm in its expansion, ease of trading, and technology. Wal-Mart is able to effectively utilise its efficient