It's book review time! I just got through reading Sam Walton’s auto-biography, entitled "Made In Amerca," and I highly recommend if you are a large or small business owner, or simply enjoy entrepreneurship and inspirational success stories.
This book sheds light on how Mr. Walton built the Walmart Brand to become the largest retailer in the world employing 2.2 million people (1.5 million in the U.S.). I was motivated to read it because the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, highly recommends it, makes it required reading for his Top Level Managers at Amazon.
PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST:
I enjoyed reading how Mr. Walton places the customer first, followed closely by his employees who he calls his associates and partners (instead of employees). Since I am an injury lawyer, I have had to sue Walmart several times over the years for people who were injured by someone not obeying the safety rules. This gave me a unique perspective on the employee Walmart culture when I had to depose a few of Walmart's employees. I could feel the infectious enthusiasm in the deposition these employees had for working with Walmart. At Walmart, there is a definite comradery among it's employess which is palpable. I think it is great that Mr. Walton was able to create such an environment and become the world's largest retailer. This book reveals the secrets on how he accomplished it.
Customer experience was always Mr. Walton’s number one priority and he was the first visionary to place large retail stores in small towns that had less than 5,000 people. For example, Kmart at the time chased cities with at least 50,000 people. Mr. Walton was able to do this because of his disciplined frugality and vision. The advantage of lower pricing to generate sales volume, and his wacky promotions he used to get foot traffic is all covered.
This book is a cross between Mr. Walton’s biography and a practical business guide. It was published in 1992 and still carries the practical advice on how to properly and efficiently run a business by focusing on the customer. You will also learn how he developed his super centers, Sam’s Club, the "Walmart Greeter,” and is associate profit sharing plans he implemented in the early 1970’s which he said became one of his best decisions.
I will probably do a video book review on this one since it is highly recommended if you have business and customer service interests.
Okay, that is it for my brief summary on this great book - for now, stay strong and keep on reading!
Attorney Mark Blane