Is Walmart Utilizing all of its resources efficiently?
In times of disaster, we aim to support the communities in which we do business, as well as the safety and well-being of our associates, by bringing to bear our logistics capability, technology, ability to source products, physical locations, associates and scale.
As with all our efforts, when it comes to disaster work, we aspire to improve entire systems, not just respond in the moment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation support efforts to help communities respond more quickly and effectively in the wake of disasters. We also invest in technologies and other innovations that help communities better prepare for disasters. For example, Walmart helped the Red Cross build RCView, a technology tool that helps response agencies better gather, analyze and share relevant information to improve situational awareness and collaboration on response and recovery efforts.
Walmart and The Emergency Operations Center
Walmart has an Emergency Operations Center (E.O.C.) based at Headquarters that runs 24/7, 365 days a year-waiting and tracking everything from weather to social and news medias all to be prepared while anticipating for the next major event to occur. Although life can be unpredictable, Walmart can be confident in being prepared for anything. Walmart has always made is presence known. In my opinion the E.O.C.s first big task was Hurricane Katrina. Walmart had resources available to the affected areas as early as a week beforehand but was turned away by F.E.M.A. Thankfully, this has changed and Walmart has easily helped millions of people since then.
After September 11, 2001, Walmart created its E.O.C. and gave it power to take control of Walmart assets to help our country whenever it's needed. Since then, Walmart and its E.O.C. have helped with everything from mudslides to tornadoes to droughts and even fires. The E.O.C. has a very effective game plan when it comes to all types of situations. If you look inside the E.O.C., you will notice that it's broke down into simple groups that can handle the biggest tasks. The E.O.C. has representatives from Walmart Stores, the Distribution Centers and Sam’s Clubs along with several tables of social media advisors. The “War Room" has everything you can think of, from televisions showing news channels covering the events to maps showing all Walmart trailers in the affected areas. The American Red Cross and other organizations have representatives as well inside the E.O.C to help coordinate relief efforts. This center is the definition of teamwork and collaboration. You need it, the E.O.C. can find it and send it.
When the E.O.C. calls, the distribution centers move into action to fill trucks up with much-needed supplies like food and water as well as board games, TVs, clothing and other everyday essentials. Those D.C.'s then have 24 hours to get those resources on the road heading to the location. Walmart currently over 173 Distribution Centers across the United States but 6 Distribution Centers labeled as Disaster Relief Centers to store and distribute relief merchandise during emergency situations. These D.C.'s are located in Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Virginia and Georgia. The rest of the D.C.'s do their part by picking up stores that belong to the D.C.'s affected by the emergency situation so that the stores can still get in the needed resources.
But what if Walmart, its E.O.C. and its Distribution Centers can do better? For a company thats pride is its Logistics, how can we, as Walmart, improve upon this? This is where The A.C.T. Program comes into sight.