We’re also using advanced software to enable us to be more efficient and accurate in our operations. These software assistants automate simple, repetitive tasks such as reading a form, analyzing the data it contains, and routing the data to the right place. Every day our Home Office, stores and clubs receive information relating to a variety of compliance-related issues. We strive to quickly, consistently, and accurately analyze the data to mitigate any issues and report any required information to regulators. However, that process can be time-consuming, inconsistent and prone to human error. Last year we tested technology that helps our associates by reviewing hundreds of records in seconds. This technology not only reviews data quickly, it also ensures that our review is consistent across our many locations and reduces human error. We’re using machine learning capabilities, as well, so this technology gets better and more accurate over time.
We are only beginning to digitize our processes, and the past year has provided us with a strong framework to continue our work. As we continue to use technology to simplify and improve, our customers will benefit from safer products, lower costs, and increased transparency.
Reducing Corruption Risk
We have also been working to strengthen our anti-corruption program for several years. Corruption hurts the most vulnerable people and communities because it undermines the type of honest, transparent government that is necessary for sustainable growth. We’re continuing to invest in people, processes, and systems to prevent and detect corruption risks, and we are encouraging our business partners to join in the global anti-corruption effort.
In the last year we’ve made strategic choices about the companies with which we do business. We train, monitor and audit the third parties we rely upon to interact with government officials and agencies around the world. We also want to select only the most reliable partners for this work. Over the last year we significantly reduced the number of third parties that we use for these services, so we have fewer, stronger business relationships.
Enabling eCommerce Growth
We are working hard to build a wide assortment of items on our eCommerce websites. We aim to have the products our customers want and to make those products easy to find, easy to order, and competitively priced. Our third-party eCommerce marketplaces play an important part in these efforts.
As our third-party marketplaces have grown, we’ve also developed our Trust and Safety capabilities. Our Trust and Safety group works to uphold our values and policies in our online marketplaces. We have developed processes and technologies to screen potential third-party vendors, implement rules relating to what items can be listed in our online businesses, and respond to concerns such as intellectual property rights or counterfeiting. We want our customers to have confidence in their shopping experience and the items they purchase. These investments help us achieve that goal.
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These are just a few of the improvements we’ve made over the last year in ethics, compliance, and social responsibility. We’ve provided additional detail on our efforts in our Global Responsibility Report. Your trust is valuable to us, and we will keep working to earn it.
President and CEO, Walmart
April 20, 2018