Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Wal-Mart Success

It is a knee-jerk response on the part of many in the media, academia, and the general collection of elites in our country to defame Wal-Mart at every opportunity. They have been besieged by accusations, lawsuits, union organizers, scam artists, and failed suppliers, in direct proportion to the mammoth size of the company. Although huge in scope, modern in logistics, super efficient in applications and practice, they are in many, many ways, old-fashioned. To millions of citizens, they have been a Godsend.

I have personally been aware of them for about forty years and watched their incredible growth with great interest. Who would ever have dreamed that the tiny village of Bentonville, Arkansas could have spawned the largest company in the United States? I would bet the farm that if anyone can survive our current economic downturn, Wal-Mart will. The reason is simple; they are geared to corporate economy and super efficiency. They also demonstrate a greater sense of community responsibility than any firm that I am aware of.

Typical of their awareness of the individual communities they serve, was their response to the horrors and devastation during the Katrina disaster along the Gulf Coast. We are favored with a comprehensive discussion in a scholarly paper by Stephen Horowitz of St. Lawrence University in New York. The professor offers a dispassionate look at the preparedness that Wal-Mart had in place well before the disaster. This is not a “sound bite” but rather, an in depth look, not just at Wal-Mart’s role, but also a comparison to governmental bodies at the federal, state, and local level. I truly believe, regardless of your opinion of Wal-Mart, you will find the piece revealing. Like any capable scholar, he has supplied ample foot notes to his source material.

To enjoy his enlightening presentation, click here. To read his personal biography, click here.

I mentioned above that I thought the company’s attitude could be described as old-fashioned. I quote from company CEO, Lee Scott, in a high level meeting of executives just prior to the expected disaster. In summation, he said; “This company will respond to the level of this disaster. A lot of you are going to have to make decisions above your level. Make the best decision that you can with the information that’s available to you at the time, and, above all, do the right thing.”

“Do the right thing.” In the chaos of governmental mis-management, natural disaster, obvious self interest, one can only ask how different it might have been had everyone before, during and after done “the right thing?”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

1 comment:

htomfields said...

There is a new technology that could be quite useful during disaster scenarios. Here’s the article.

Mobile 911 System Could Be a Lifesaver