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One of Wal-Mart’s focuses is the basic value and respect of customers, associates, and suppliers. This builds relationships. It helps in serving the communities in which they live, and build a business committed to excellence. Open communication is critical to understanding and meeting their associates’ and customers’ needs. Associates can trust and rely on the open communication. It's one of the most important parts of the company’s culture. They try very much to give each other and their customers’ same-day service that is within 24 hours. This is done by combining their efforts and depending upon each other to get things done (Ghuman 2010).
The unique culture has helped made the one of the world’s most admired companies. The 10-foot Rule is one of their secrets to customer service. Sam Walton encouraged associates or employees to take a particular pledge. "I promise that whenever I come within 10 feet of a customer, I will look him in the eye, greet him, and ask if I can assist him." Effective leaders do not lead from behind their desks. "It's more important than ever that we develop leaders who are servants, who listen to their partners – their associates – in a way that creates wonderful morale to help the whole team accomplish an overall goal,” Sam said. They believed in the power of teamwork. As the stores grew and the pace of modern life quickened, that philosophy of teamwork has only become more important over the years (Shaikh 2010).
The broad environmental goals at Wal-Mart are simple and straight forward: To be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy; to create zero waste; to sell products that sustain people and the environment. The 2011 Global Responsibility Report highlights: Performance of all our international markets; Efforts taking place from an environmental and social responsibility perspective; Wal-Mart’s continued progress toward key initiatives and goals; and a snapshot of new programs launched between February 1, 2010 and January 31, 2011 (Ghuman 2010).
Most customers always desire products that are more efficient, last longer and perform better. They want to know the product’s entire lifecycle and whether the materials in the product are safe. Is it made well and is produced in a responsible way. These desires inspired them to help develop the sustainability index. With such initiative, they are helping create a more transparent supply chain, accelerate the adoption of best practices and drive product innovation and ultimately providing our customers with information they need to assess products’ sustainability.
They introduce the index in three distinct stages or phases. Step one entails the supplier sustainability assessment followed by the creation of the lifecycle analysis database and then finally is the improvement of the sustainability performance of the products preferred by the customers (Shaikh 2010)