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Wal-Mart: Solution-Oriented Decision Models

Select a real company (not a retailer). Identify 4 decisions that the company makes at different levels of the organization. Describe the policies, procedures and decision-making tools that might be used to make each of the four decisions. In each case, explain why the decision-making methodology would be appropriate to this specific company's strategy.
For example, Wal-Mart makes decisions about:
a) where to locate new stores;
b) which additional businesses to include in its stores (travel agent, bank, optician, etc.);
c) specific products to discontinue selling;
d) who to hire (and fire);
e) how many cash registers to have open at any given time;
f) accepting a specific item for customer return (for example, an article of clothing that appears to have been worn).

Who would make these decisions? What criteria would they use? How might the criteria have been established? Would they use any kind of quantitative analysis? If so, which specific quantitative methods might be appropriate? How much discretion would the decision-makers have? Who would review or evaluate their decisions?

The process must - at some point - identify some alternatives (no less than 2, and no more than 6) and a way of choosing just ONE of them.

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Solution-Oriented Decision Models
Businesses are plagued with decisions that need to be made on a regular basis. These decisions could prove significant to the organizations short-term and long-term goals. Although some leaders are naturally gifted with making decisions at the spur of the moment, most cannot accomplish this task without thoroughly reviewing the decision and comparing that decision to alternative decisions. There are many individuals involved in the process before a decision can be made. This helps develop an environment where the decision can be though out in detail before a final decision can be made. Coin Star Incorporated is one company like all others challenged with making decision on a daily basis. This essay will show how this organization goes through the decision making process.
Coin Star according to its website was founded by a Stanford graduate student with a big idea. He wanted to provide machines that turn coins into cash for a fee. The machines were first placed in supermarkets where they became well loved by many. These machines eventually started popping up all across the country, Canada, and United Kingdom.
Over the years the company has been able to successfully market its products through rigorous marketing. The company also branched off to other self-service machines such as DVD rental kiosk and amusement vending equipments. Their products can be found in supermarkets, drug stores, financial institutions, convenience stores, restaurants and universities.
In order for an organization to continue to grow, decisions must be made as to how the company should move forward. Some of the decisions that Coin Star must make at various levels include what locations to place its machines, who to hire to manage its routes, what type of technology will be used to generate real time reports, and should franchise licenses be sold. In considering these decisions, the company must follow policies and procedures put in place as well as utilize decision making tools.
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What locations to place its machines
The company has been very particular with where machines are placed in previous years. With the addition of new vending kiosk and machines the company has been able to branch off and place its products in other less traditional places. Locations are crucial when it comes to coin operated machines. Without appropriate traffic, the machine would not provide the revenue stream the company desperately needs in order to grow the organization. Middle level managers and route employees would have the most amount of beneficial information pertaining to this particular decision. They should be included in the process so their opinions can be heard before a decision can be made.
Who to Hire
Determining who to hire to run the various routes all over the world is very important. Some organizations like to hire individuals with known experience who have a passion for the business. Others believe in hiring individuals without experience is the only way to go. At Coin Star they are challenged with making this decision on who to hire. Both options here will impact the bottom line. The bottom line is what usually determines what decision will be made however that shouldn't be the only thing that determines what decision will be made. What seems like a sure bet today can prove to be the worst decision made tomorrow.
Use of technology
In today's fast changing world technology is extremely important. Many in the vending market has opted to install technology that allowed management access to real time reports about which route is making money and which aren't. Some have even adopted ...

Solution Summary

The solution examines solution-oriented decision models. for organizations. The expert determines where to locate a new WalMart store.

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