One of the requirements to become a Walmart supplier is registration with Dun & Bradstreet. Dun & Bradstreet manages data on businesses and calculates what is essentially a business credit rating.
While there are different aspects of a company’s rating and various numbers associated with it, one of the main tools used by Walmart is the Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating (SER).
The SER is an evaluation of the risk that a supplier will become unable to provide a product as needed, because they go out of business, file for bankruptcy, or become financially unable to continue their business.
Factors considered include not only the age, size, and location of the company and its payment records but also things like volatility in management and lawsuits brought against the company.
The SER score can be anywhere from 1 to 9, and the lower it is, the better. Walmart requires a 6 or less. This means that a company with a SER of 7, 8, or 9 can’t get products on the shelf in Walmart.
Of more importance to current Walmart suppliers is the fact that a company whose SER slips up to a 7 will receive a letter giving 30 days to correct the problem. If 30 days later the SER is not back within the acceptable range, the supplier will be expected to remove all products from all stores.
A company that goes from a 4 to a 5 or a 5 to a 6 should take action at that point, rather than waiting for a scary letter from Walmart. Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp can help with monitoring and improving the SER.