What started as an eight-month consulting stint in the United States has turned into a longer stretch for Sharmeelee Madanaopalan, who arrived in Bentonville in 1998 from her home in India.
Now she's known as the Queen of SWAS (Store Within A Store) technology, which lets department heads run their business units more efficiently. Buyers and suppliers want to run various exception reports for in-stock, out- of-stock, or any other items particular to their departments.
Madanaopalan made her mark in 2001 as the programmer who figured out how to take the increasing number of exception reports people were trying to run and automate the report-generating process with a Web-based tool. "Now when I say something's not possible, Ms. Linda Dillman tells me, 'I hate to hear that because you know it is,'" Madanaopalan says.
In her role as a strategic-applications manager, Madanaopalan focuses on delivering consistency in apps for daily inventory maintenance, planning, and replenishment. Consistency is one of the reasons it's easy for Wal-Mart to give employees the opportunity to switch jobs, from IT to buyer or any other area, she says. "If systems are consistent throughout the company, you don't have to learn new applications each time you switch."
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.