Really, the official part of the meeting takes a backseat to everything else we do, and a couple of timeswe've been having so much fun that we've actually forgotten to convene the real meeting. We gather ourassociates early on Friday morning, around seven o'clock, for a real rousing warm-up, a premeetingmeeting. We do our cheers and our songs, and raise all sorts of cain. We salute retirees. We bring in allthe department managers whose departments have the highest percentage of sales relative to their stores' From day one, we just always found the folks who had the qualities that neither Bud nor I had. And theyfit into the niches as the company grew. Then every so often, we needed even better talents than wesometimes had on board. And that's when the David Glasses would come along. But there's a time for allthese things. I tried for almost twenty years to hire Don Soderquist away from Ben Franklin. I evenoffered him the presidency one time, and he didn't come. But when we really needed him later on, hefinally joined up and made a great chief operating officer for David's team. At any company, the timecomes when some people need to move along, even if they've made strong contributions. I haveoccasionally been accused of pitting people against one another, but I don't really see it that way. I havealways cross-pollinated folks and let them assume different roles in the company, and that has bruisedsome egos from time to time. But I think everyone needs as much exposure to as many areas of thecompany as they can get, and I think the best executives are those who have touched all the bases andhave the best overall concept of the corporation. I hate to see rivalry develop within our company when itbecomes a personal thing and our folks aren't working together and supporting one another. I remember those days mostly as a time of always looking around for ideas and items that would makeour stores stand out. Sometime in there the Hula Hoop fad hit real big, and they were flooding thebig-city stores. But the genuine articles, which were made of plastic hose, were pricey and hard for us toget. Jim Dodsonthe fellow who wouldn't sell me the Siloam Springs storecalled me and said he knew amanufacturer who could make hose the same size as the Hula Hoop's. He thought we should go infifty-fifty and make our own Hula Hoops. We did. We made them up in his attic, and sold a ton of themat his stores and mine. Every kid in northwest Arkansas had to have one. Later Jim ended up managing aWal-Mart for us up in Columbia, Missouri, for about fifteen years. If I've given the impression so far that Wal-Mart has occupied most of my competitive energy over theyears, that's not completely accurate. I've pursued my other passions all along, too, mostly quail huntingand tennisand I pursued them both very competitively. A lot of businessmen seem to prefer golf, but Ialways thought it was a little too country club for me and it took up too much time and wasn't reallycompetitive in the same way that tennis is, you know, in a give-and-take, head-to-head way. 三级黄色_未满18岁禁止入内_性感美女_三级黄;色_日本黄大片免费播放 鈥淚 stole out,鈥?said Lucy, almost in a whisper, while she sat down close to Maggie and held her hand, 鈥渨hen papa and the rest were away. Alice is come with me. I asked her to help me. But I must only stay a little while, because it is so late.鈥? "As a result, we assembled the top ten officers of both companies in Bentonville for two days ofsoul-searching and thinking, and within three months we had created a P&G/Wal-Mart team to build awhole new kind of vendor-retailer relationship. We formed a partnership to conduct our business, withone of the most important outcomes being that we started sharing information by computer. P&G couldmonitor Wal-Mart's sales and inventory data, and then use that information to make its own productionand shipping plans with a great deal more efficiency. We broke new ground by using informationtechnology to manage our business together, instead of just to audit it."Following the P&G/Wal-Mart partnership, many other companies began to view the supplier as animportant partner. The partnership was also a model for many of our other vendor relationships. In oursituation today, we are obsessed with quality as well as price, and, as big as we are, the only way we canpossibly get that combination is to sit down with our vendors and work out the costs and margins andplan everything together. By doing that, we give the manufacturer the advantage of knowing what ourneeds are going to be a year out, or six months out, or even two yearsout. Then, as long as they arehonest with us and try to lower their costs as much as they can and keep turning out a product that thecustomers want, we can stay with them. We both win, and most important, the customer wins too. Theadded efficiency of the whole process enables the manufacturer to reduce its costs, which allows us tolower our prices. We do a lot of things to take care of our own. Some of them you already know about. Our associateshave almost $2 billion in their profit sharing fund, some of which I suppose the company could have givento charity instead. We have a relief fund for associates who are the victims of natural disasters. And eachyear, every Wal-Mart store sponsors one student in its community to a $1,000 scholarship.