Profiles in Innovation: Making Great Ideas Come to Life

By Jacqui Canney
February 21, 2018
Walmart Associate Archana Sristy Speaks With Teammate in Walmart Home Office

Being named one of the top 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company is a recognition that everyone who works at Walmart owns a piece of. I’m incredibly proud to work alongside so many associates who wake up every morning thinking about how to innovate for our company, our customers and our communities.

We are working together like never before, empowering associates with the technology and tools they need to deliver for our customers, grow in their jobs and have the opportunity for advancement and success. And, everyone at Walmart has the opportunity to do that at a scale that drives significant change and impact.

There are many stories that highlight the great ideas coming to life at Walmart, and I want to share just a few of those with you. These talented associates are passionate about their work and show there’s simply no better time to be a part of Walmart.

Shirpaa Manoharan, personalization engineer, Walmart Labs

Whether shopping online or in stores, our customers expect highly personalized experiences – essentially custom-tailored service just right for them. Shirpaa tackles the challenge using machine learning techniques to understand shopping behaviors and deliver customized experiences based on shoppers’ preferences. The work she does incorporates a variety of data points including weather, location, local events, and previous shopping history to show unique products and relevant content. “One size does not fit all. Knowing what customers want and need helps keep them happy and engaged, and it’s a challenge I love working on every day,” says Shirpaa.

Archana Sristy, director of engineering, Digital Solutions

Archana and a team of Walmart technologists are partnering with our food safety teams to use blockchain technology to track food products through the supply chain and improve the traceability of the food items from farm-to-fork. “We started with small team and a pack of mangos,” says Archana. “After several weeks of rapid prototyping, we had a proof of concept that reduced the time it took to trace the origin of the mangos from about six days to 2.2 seconds.” She credits the ongoing success of the program to the team’s focus on bringing value to our customers and always thinking three steps ahead.

Todd Phillips, senior project specialist, Associate Digital Experience

Todd is working to save millions of sheets of paper each year by digitizing the associate onboarding process in our stores and clubs. Currently a pilot program at Sam’s Club, Paperless Onboarding not only helps to save trees, it’s made the whole process more efficient and saves hours of unnecessary “paper work” in the hiring process. “At the onset, we used design interviews and process mapping to help identify gaps that weren’t initially obvious. It’s really helped to streamline the process for the associate and the company” says Todd. “I’ve been with Walmart nearly 20 years and this is truly the most exciting time I’ve experienced. It feels great to grow my skills and make a difference while helping transform how we operate.”