Walmart commitment to U.S. manufacturing will impact overall supply chain

By Alex Batty, MHI Marketing Communications Coordinator |@mhi_alex

So I’ve been known to binge watch a show or two. Or spend a little time on YouTube. And if you’ve done either of those, you know that commercials come in cycles. You’ll see the same ad every break or every video for a couple days straight, and it starts to be like the “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” song road trip scene from How I Met Your Mother. At first it’s fine, then you hate it, but as Marshall points out, “It’ll come back around.”

For me the other day, this was the new(ish) Walmart commercial about them making a $250 billion commitment to American manufacturing. If you haven’t seen the commercial, here:

What first drew my attention to the commercial was the Aerosmith track. I’m always down for a little Aerosmith. And then I went through the road trip cycle as YouTube played it over and over and over and over again. As I was coming out of the “I’m so sick of this commercial” part of the cycle, I started thinking about what this meant for supply chain.

Because manufacturing and supply chain are often linked together. Manufacturing is often a part of the supply chain process because we bring them raw materials, they make stuff, and then we move the stuff. (Don’t you love how educated I sound.) While manufacturing and supply chain are distinct and discrete processes, what happens in one will often affect the other.

There may be a lot of different impacts, and you can read Walmart’s blog post on the campaign here, but what drew my attention was this little fact they posted:


That 750,000 jobs in support and service sectors? A good chunk of that is likely to be supply chain.

The jobs may simply be reviving old jobs, but are more likely to look different, because supply chain is evolving. The next generation of supply chain is digital, always on, and on demand. And whatever you may think of Walmart, it is clearly making an effort to give customers what they want to stay competitive (read about drones and pick-up orders).

If you want to learn more about the next generation of supply chain to prep for the surge of jobs, you can check out the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report on the subject.

The good news is, there will be jobs. They may look different, but they will be there and that’s what matters.