I’ve had some thoughts about Walmart and how many employees they have. Walmart will most likely start investing more in their current web property. Something they have that Amazon doesn’t have is a built in distribution system between the states and its own stores. Not Amazon style but stores and regional hubs for that distribution nevertheless. Autonomous vehicles should serve as the delivery mechanism between stores.
If Walmart were to create a private cloud structure and host services at each distribution hub the advantage that would have against Amazon would be tremendous. The database would be distributed between the hubs utilizing Walmart generated blockchains. All middlemen in that transaction for inventory, P&L and sales transactions directly from store to store and distribution hub. Always available for Walmart to run metrics from any location on its own data. The control over inventory would be greater as well.
AI could be used to determine what products are purchased the most at any given location and thru Walmart’s distribution hub be able to have any product to any customer same day next day. AI could also determine which products would be best at each store location. Each store location would also house mini inventory as best determined by AI. Also, for web orders and same day delivery, Walmart should keep about 5 minivans, or slightly larger delivery trucks to meet that need.
Not sure if this would be viable but just an idea for them. Currently Walmart allows truckers and RV’s(http://www.walmartlocator.com/rv-parking-at-walmart/) a couple days free stay in the outer area of the parking lots at stores. Security is high as there are lots of parking lot cameras. What happens if Walmart offered those free day’s folks the opportunity to be like an UBER of sorts to deliver to another store in the path of their trip? Well, that’s if AI detected something needed to be delivered.
This map shows how many darn Walmart stores there are. And, there are a lot making this a damn good idea for them. J http://www.businessinsider.com/maps-of-walmart-taking-over-america-2014-1
That being said. The level of automation will definitely cut back on the number of employees that will be hired to work in the stores. Small scale robotic picking systems will be used to fulfill orders. Ah yes just one possibility.
Thoughts & Ideas,