Walmart to subsidise supply chain management degrees for staff
Walmart has unveiled a new education programme that will allow its worked to undertake highly subsidised degrees in Supply Chain Management or Business.
The company will subsidize the cost of higher education, beyond financial aid and an associate contribution equivalent to $1 a day.
Degrees will be offered through the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University – nonprofit schools selected for their focus and strong outcomes on serving working adult learners.
The programmes are available to full-time, part-time and salaried Walmart U.S. store, supply chain, home office and Sam’s Club associates.
Walmart said the initiative is designed to remove barriers to college enrollment and graduation.
“Walmart has kicked off what might be the nation’s most scalable approach to creating educational opportunity for America’s workforce, now available to its U.S. associates and their families,” said Rachel Carlson, chief executive officer and co-founder of Guild Education.
“Walmart is also leading innovation at the intersection of workforce development and higher education by helping associates earn college credit for their on-the-job training.”
Walmart is also committed to an independent evaluation of the outcome of its new offering.
The Lumina Foundation has agreed to research and measure the impact and effectiveness of the program and will work with the Walmart team to share findings.
“Walmart is making a significant investment in its workforce that will not just help the company, but help shift how our society moves toward more affordable and accessible pathways for individuals to be recognised and rewarded for their work-based skills and knowledge, resulting in high-quality, relevant credentials. We applaud Walmart’s efforts,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and chief executive officer of the Lumina Foundation.
5 minutes with: Ivalua’s Sundar Kamak
Who are you?
My name is Sundar Kamak, I’m Head of Manufacturing Solutions at Ivalua. I’ve been with the company for around two years now, and I’m responsible for our industry solutions and our pre-sales team. Before joining Ivalua I spent almost 20 years in the source-to-pay procurement space, working for a number of providers. But I got my career started in manufacturing and supply chain, specifically in automotive and aerospace.
And what is currently taking up the majority of your professional time?
The last year I've been focused in helping organisations put together a digital transformation strategy, especially manufacturing companies, so they can continue to address some of the challenges they face due to the COVID pandemic.
The traditional approach of engineers designing their latest product then procurement going off to source no longer works
What are the biggest challenges facing your corner of supply chain?
We have a lot of clients coming from different backgrounds - aerospace, high-tech, automotive - and they’re feeling the pressure and the crunch. There’s a lack of product, lack of material availability, lack of resources, labour shortages. So, I work with the leadership in these organisations, try to understand what problems they're looking to solve and come back with Ivalua solutions that can help them address some of these challenges.
Where do the biggest opportunities lie?
If we look at manufacturing, it all comes back to procurement and supply chain being involved sooner in the process. The traditional approach of engineers designing their latest product then procurement going off to source no longer works. It’s important to treat suppliers like partners, which means you build trust, so they can participate very early on in the product design and product development process. It’s not done consistently in the manufacturing sector, but it will be key.