Sandy Chen Fedor
Former Director of Product, Last Mile Delivery, Walmart
Delivery has a huge impact on the supply chain. There's multiple aspects of a delivery network, and all the pieces have to be locally optimized and aligned in order for the system to work. I think now, given how customers' behaviors are changing and how competitive the delivery space is, we need to think about our customers’ needs and think about how to build backward from that to ensure that our supply chain is helping solve their problems.
By Betsy Verecky
Sandy Chen Fedor T’15 remembers what it was like to step into her role as director of Product Management for Walmart’s online grocery pickup and delivery segment just as the pandemic began in 2020.
When Walmart had just started to ramp up selling groceries online a few years back, Fedor recalls, “We were asking ourselves questions like: If we put bananas on our website, would customers be ok with having a random stranger pick out their bananas?”
It turned out consumers absolutely wanted bananas, especially during the pandemic. They also wanted milk, bread and plenty of other staples delivered to their doorsteps. Fedor was thrilled to help design product experiences that would make consumers’ lives better.
“The behavior of customers pre-pandemic to post-pandemic has changed so drastically, and the fact that we have to keep up with that is such a fun challenge,” Fedor says. “It was definitely stressful in the beginning, but it was also very motivating to come to work every day and know that what we’re doing is impacting people. During those first three months of COVID, when we were trying to figure out how to serve the needs of our customers and how to deliver products as fast as humanly possible, it really felt like we were helping save lives.”
As Director of Product for Walmart Last Mile Delivery, Fedor is designing what the next generation of delivery will look like for Walmart, whether that means investing in Cruise Automation or employing drones.
“We’re definitely playing around with all the different tools out there that can enable the capabilities of delivery and create a better experience for customers,” Fedor says. “I think the key will be: How do we put those pieces together in a way that makes the most sense so that we can solve our customers’ problems?”
Fedor enrolled at Tuck with a keen interest in entrepreneurship, and she’s still using what she learned in her courses to this day, from negotiating with stakeholders to using competitive strategy when building a product. She even worked with the Tuck Startup Incubator (which gives students the chance to develop their startup ideas from the ground up) to create a meal kit subscription service.
“Having the opportunity to test my idea and then develop literally every piece of it was super eye-opening, and it gave me a strong understanding of all the nuances of operating a business,” Fedor says. “It’s really paved the way for all the experiences I've had since.”
This alumni profile first appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of Tuck Today as a part of “The Great Supply Chain Disruption.”
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