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Alphabet Soup: SSOs, PNEWs, and SPAQs

2021-10-18
6 min read

Learn about:

  • What supplemental orders are
  • When manual orders occur
  • How to do supplemental orders

For most suppliers, Walmart relies on its Global Replenishment System (GRS) forecast to automatically order products based on a store’s need, weighed against its pipeline. However, there are times when Walmart or a supplier needs to create a manual order to supplement automated replenishment.

Some example scenarios are:

  • An item unexpectedly outsells forecast thanks to a new TikTok trend, and stores need additional inventory outside regular replenishment.
  • A Buyer decides to send an “in-and-out” promotional item to a set of stores that aren’t traited.
  • A Replenishment Manager agrees to allow a supplier to push out the remaining inventory for one of its items at the end of a modular.
  • A supplier determines there is phantom inventory at certain stores and needs to push products to help with sales.

Supplemental orders directly impact suppliers’ bottom lines. When Walmart approves a supplemental order, it puts extra money into the supplier’s pocket that goes above and beyond regular replenishment.

Supplemental orders flow outside regular replenishment, so suppliers typically receive them as a whole new order, not batched in with standard orders.

What are the common supplemental orders?

There are three common supplemental orders available to Walmart suppliers when they need to get their products into stores. These are:

  • Crossdock (SSO)
  • Staplestock (PNEW)
  • Distribution center push (SPAQ)

Crossdock supplemental orders

Crossdock supplemental orders occur when the supplier ships the merchandise to a distribution center (DC), but the DC has not slotted the product, and the shipment goes directly to the stores. These orders are also known as “Store-Specific Orders” (SSOs).

Suppliers create this type of supplemental order in increments of warehouse packs. These orders flow through the DCs to the aligned Walmart stores. Crossdock POs are PO Type 03.

Staple stock supplemental orders

Staple stock supplemental orders occur when the supplier ships the merchandise to a specified space within a distribution center (also known as a slot). For example, bottles of water typically have DC slots, as they are a high velocity item. These orders are also known as PNEW orders.

Suppliers create staple stock orders in increments of vendor packs. Staple stock POs are Type 20 POs and apply to inventory that physically resides in the warehouses and DCs.

Distribution center push orders

Distribution center push orders occur when the supplier is pushing its inventory from a DC to a specific store. Suppliers create DC push orders in increments of warehouse packs. These orders are also known as SPAQ orders.

DC push orders must go through the supplier’s replenishment manager. These orders cannot go through NOVA like PNEWs or SSOs.

Related Reading: What Are the Different Types of Pack Sizes?

How do I create a Supplemental Order?

There are different steps in the process for supplemental orders. What’s important to keep in mind is which stores need products and how to get these items to those stores.

Step 1: Identify the stores

The first step is to identify the stores that need the product. Suppliers should base this calculation on different criteria depending on what they are trying to accomplish with their supplemental order.

Some common use cases are:

  • Trying to fix instock levels: Suppliers should identify stores that have an insufficient pipeline. (Generally, these stores have zero “On Hands” and zero “In Pipe.”)
  • Trying to set a modular or promo: The supplier’s buyer will typically provide a store list for items that have new modulars or promotions, such as endcaps or displays.
  • Trying to deplete inventory at the end of a modular: Suppliers should identify top-selling stores to maximize inventory allocation.

Step 2: Determine how to stock the stores

There are a variety of ways to stock stores with products. Suppliers must decide by which criteria they want to send orders to Walmart.

Two typical use cases are:

  • By weeks of supply: This metric varies by department, but Walmart typically has an expected store-level weeks of supply (WOS) to help satisfy demand and safety stock.
  • By warehouse pack: Walmart expects a pack-and-a-half of each item to fit on a shelf (or two packs for items in Retail-Ready Packaging).

Step 3: Determine which stores do not fit the criteria outlined in Step 2

Suppliers must next determine which stores do not fit into the criteria of either WOS or warehouse packs. Some stores may require other use cases. Suppliers must spend considerable time analyzing their store demographics and needs.

Step 4: Use NOVA to submit supplemental orders

The next step is to recommend warehouse pack quantities to the identified stores in Step 3 and submit the store numbers and the warehouse pack recommendations for each utilizing the Supplemental Order template (available on Retail Link).

Pro-Tip: If the item is a breakpack item, suppliers must ensure they are sending full vendor packs to each DC. This process is called “Breakpack Rounding.”

Step 5: Upload the Supplemental Order template

The final step in the supplemental ordering process is to upload the completed Supplemental Order template to the NOVA app in Retail Link.

Pro-Tip: Suppliers should ensure they receive their Buyer or Replenishment Manager’s approval before submitting a Supplemental Order. Suppliers must proactively communicate why they’re submitting the order request, along with key metrics such as:

  • Item information
  • Warehouse packs scripted in the supplemental order
  • Store count
  • Cost impact
  • Retail impact

Use an SSO generator to do the work for you

With SupplyPike’s Retail Intelligence app, you can quickly and easily create a Supplemental Order without having to dig into Decision Support and spend hours on pulling and analyzing reports.

With just a few clicks, you can generate the template with all of your data within seconds! Easy as pie!

Retail Intelligence -- SSO Generator

Retail Intelligence – SSO Generator

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The SupplyPike Team
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The SupplyPike Team

SupplyPike builds software to help retail suppliers fight deductions, meet compliance standards, and dig down to root cause issues in their supply chain.

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