Dealing with a major retailer

Many smaller businesses have products they wish to sell to large retailers. There is a summary of Youtude video put out by Walmart in this article in Supply Chain Digest: http://www.scdigest.com/ontarget/13-08-21-3.php?cid=7335. (The Youtube reference: Walmart channel 8thandwalton: Walmart Senior Buyers on what makes a good supplier) With large retailers there are multiple bottom lines which decide if your products get on the shelves.

Bottom Line Number 1

The key issue purchasers ask is will this increase the sales of the store if we sell your product. Just changing sales from a displaced competitor with no net revenue gain is not enough  It is about them not you. That is bottom line number one, but not the only one.

Bottom Line Number 2

To make their supply chain efficient, safe and to avoid legal problems all large retailers have a large set of procedures the supplier must meet to be able to sell to them.  Lets use Walmart as an example but other large retailers could also be used as an example.

Walmart is legendary for setting requirements for their customers. It is important to realize that they do this so their processes are efficient. Importantly, they have a policy of helping suppliers meet their requirements. There are some large retailers whom this so not a policy and they do not help suppliers meet their requirements,  leaving the supplier to guess and muddle through hoping to meet requirements and oh yes, in the process fumbling along increasing costs beyond what is necessary.

Bottom Line Number 3

The supplier must meet Walmart’s delivery metrics.  In order not to be surprised with a bad report card, your firm should be collecting these metrics yourself. Failure to meet metrics will mean heavy fines and lost profits and eventually the supplier would lose the account.

What is true for Walmart is true for other large retailing chains including grocers.  South Loop Logistics can help your firm resolve these problems and making the processes of the supply chain efficient and replicable.

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