One of the differences between Walmart and other retailers is that Walmart tells suppliers exactly what’s expected of them. As a result, Walmart requires a higher level of accountability from suppliers than many other retailers do.
However, the world’s largest retailer never expects the supplier to simply figure it out on their own. Walmart makes every effort to set their supplier partners up for success by developing innovative tools, applications, and processes for each step in the supply chain.
Tracing the shipment, placement, and sale of each unit behind the scenes is all available to each supplier through Walmart’s proprietary systems. Making it efficient to track, analyze, and improve is what the company wants to provide for suppliers each week.
That’s what the Performance Scorecard is all about.
What Is the Walmart Supplier Performance Scorecard?
The Walmart Supplier Performance Scorecard is one page that tells suppliers exactly how they’re doing. On your Scorecard, you can see the sales of your items week over week — and year over year if you’ve been a supplier for more than one year. You can see the levels of profitability, and all the other metrics Walmart considers.
Your buyer can also see that data, as well as benchmarking data from other companies like yours. Your buyer will be very interested in what’s up, what’s down, and how you’re trending. You should be interested in those things, too.
Why? As a Walmart supplier, you are given tools like the Performance Scorecard to make your case to your Walmart buyer. The buying team will expect you to know and understand your store performance. You may be asked more questions about your scorecard than you expect!
Clearly, you can never go into a meeting and make it sound as though things are great if they’re not — and your buyer can never surprise you with information about how your products are doing. Everyone is on the same page. . .literally!
By keeping one version of the truth on both sides of the table, Walmart is in a position to work better with suppliers to improve sales, performance, and resolve issues in a timely manner.
An Innovative Tool with a Skeptical Start
The Performance Scorecard was not a popular idea at first. But Walmart has never been known to shy away from risk if it meant a win for the company, supplier, and customer.
The idea of a scorecard for suppliers has been picked up by other retailers today, but when Walmart began doing this, there were naysayers. Some said that giving suppliers this degree of knowledge about their performance would change the balance of power. . . and perhaps it did. However, Sam Walton believed that empowering suppliers and developing partnerships based on trust would create a win-win situation.
So look at your Scorecard as a tool that helps you maximize your business and improve your partnership with Walmart. Use it to help your team set and achieve goals for improvement, and to develop your business with Walmart and with your other retail partners.