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Description: I guess those robots can’t really replace all the humans after all! Walmart has decided to fire its inventory robots. Real, live human beings can gather information on inventory as they stock items in the stores, allowing them to do at least as good of a job as the mechanical workers. Walmart’s CEO wondered as well what customers might think about encountering robots in the stores.

Date:  November 3, 2020



Discussion points:

1) Have you ever had to work with a robot or run into one while shopping in a store?

2) What is one of the big lessons we can learn from this decision by Walmart?

3) The “Accounting Matters” text box on page 6-5 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, discusses another technological innovation Walmart has made with inventory management. What is this innovation? What does it do?

2 Responses to “Nice Change for Humans”

  1. Lauren Simmons and Hayley Smith

    1) We have never had to work with a robot or have run into a robot while shopping in a store. Unless a “self checkout” is considered a robot we have never encounter one.

    2) In todays world people seem to think that replacing humans with robots will better their business. In this article we have learned that in some cases human are better than robots.

    3) Walmart discusses another technological innovation called, radio frequency identification. It help track inventory, determining where the inventory is located and who owns the inventory at a given time. This was first adopted by retailers like Walmart almost twenty years ago.

  2. Kathryn McIntosh, Sarah Merriam, Jenna Miller

    1) Aside from the use of self-checkout, no one in our group have encountered one while shopping in a store. However, we have heard of Amazon shopping that involves a robot cart that automatically charges for the items placed in the cart and avoids the need for cashiers and self-checkouts altogether.

    2) One of the big lessons that we can learn from this decision by Walmart is that machines are not always more innovative and reliable than humans. Both humans, and robots can produce errors, and there is no way for either to always preform flawlessly.

    3) In the textbook, Walmart introduced another technological innovation called radio frequency identification. This innovation helps to track inventory within Walmart and incorporates the use of other accounting features, such as who owns what specific items at given times. This can relate to FOB shipping point and destination. It can also help to keep track of the flow of inventory. This includes what items are more popular at given times, and shelf life (turnover periods).


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