How To Dispute A Walmart Deduction
What Are Retail Deductions and Fines?
For retail suppliers, deductions can have a drastic impact on their bottom line. Deductions are fines that suppliers receive from retailers when a perceived issue has happened in the supplier's supply chain. A variety of issues, from shortages in shipping to a price difference between a purchase order and invoice, can trigger one of these charges.
Typically, these fines are usually single-digit percentage points of what a supplier invoices, oftentimes thousands of dollars lost on each deduction. However, if there are deep-rooted issues with a supplier's supply chain, such as not being able to meet supplier compliance requirements (see this article on Walmart's On-Time and In-Full (OTIF) Program for an example), deductions can multiply, and some suppliers have seen a 30% loss of what they invoiced.
Furthermore, not all deductions and fines that retailers give to suppliers are valid. So, depending on the size of the supplier, some companies lose large amounts of revenue every year to invalid deductions without even knowing it.
The good news is that most retailers have programs where you can dispute the invalid charges that you have received. This process can be time-consuming, manual, and it can take months to resolve a single dispute; however, with proper preparation, submitting a dispute is worth the effort.
Revenue Loss at Walmart
At Walmart, revenue loss is a more technical process than at other retailers. Walmart distinguishes between compliance "fines" and AP "deductions."
AP deductions, at Walmart, are fines taken off of a supplier's invoice at the end of each month, deducted from the total revenue in the supplier's invoices. Compliance fines, on the other hand, are charges sent by Walmart to the supplier via AR invoices for violations of compliance rules (see, for example, the SQEP and OTIF programs).
Revenue loss (RevLoss) can happen in a variety of ways, but these are some of the most common and devastating ways that a profit can be chipped away in the retail space.
What Kind of Walmart Deductions Can You Dispute?
Walmart allows for their suppliers to dispute, in some form or fashion, most of their deductions, but some charges are less likely to be won back than others.
Categorically, the deductions that have the highest approval rate are shipping related, for example, Code 22: Goods Billed not Shipped, Code 24: Carton Shortage/Freight Bill Signed Short, Code 25: No Merchandise Received for Invoice. These also happen to be some of the most common deductions and some of the most commonly invalid deductions.
Where Do You Dispute a Walmart Deduction?
Walmart allows suppliers to dispute these charges based on the type of code. There are three main places that supplier can dispute a Walmart deduction:
Accounts Payable Dispute Portal (APDP)
APDP handles the disputing for the bulk of Walmart's AP deductions. Most codes (such as shipping, returns, and pricing) can be disputed on APDP. These codes are associated with Walmart's Accounts Payable (AP) department; because of this, the owed amount is taken out of the supplier's next check.
To view your deductions and begin the dispute process for AP deductions, log into Retail Link and select the APDP app from the list. See our Navigating the Accounts Payable Disputes Portal (APDP) article for more help and context.
High Radius is a portal where you can dispute most of Walmart's compliance fines (AR chargebacks) such as OTIF: Code 99. These fines are typically related to Walmart's Accounts Receivable (AR) and are invoiced for the supplier to pay back.
With Your Buyer
For some deduction codes, suppliers need to reach out to their buyers in order to have the deduction redacted rather than disputed (for example, Code 11: Pricing Overcharge. These deductions are a result of a clause on your Supplier Agreement.
If a supplier believes that they have received one of these chargebacks in error, they should email their buyer with an explanation of why the fine is invalid.
As with any interaction with your buyer, taking into account the nature of your business relationship is important.
What Do You Need to Dispute a Walmart Deduction?
To dispute a deduction in APDP, some information needs to be collected on the deduction from the Accounts Payable Inquiry System (APIS) app in Retail Link. Some additional information must also be researched and provided by the supplier.
Information Collected from the Claim:
Claim # (the Invoice number)
US Walmart Warehouse (US-WM-WHSE)
US Stores (US-Stores)
US Sam's (US-SAM's)
Puerto Rico Warehouse (PR-WHSE)
US Sams.com (US-SAM's.Com)
US Walmart.com (US-WM.Com)
Puerto Rico Stores (PR-Stores)
Puerto Rico Amigo (PR-Amigo)
US Walmart Grocery (US-WM-Grocery)
Two-digit Claim Code
Additional Information to Collect:
Purchase Order #
Note: The description is the supplier's chance to explain to the auditor why the deduction is invalid, describe the documentation that is attached, and make a case for the dispute.
Documentation is essential when you go to dispute any deduction. It is important to gather any documentation that proves that the deduction is invalid. Almost all deductions need the original Purchase Order and Invoice (from your EDI service or Retail Link) and the Claim (directly from Retail Link).
The Claim from Retail Link shows suppliers reiterate on the amount, code, and quantity of deductions that they are disputing on.
For shipping-related deductions having a signed Proof of Delivery (POD) showing the correct items and quantities that were received from the supplier's carrier will expedite the approval process. In regards to shipping related deductions, having the Purchase Order shows that the amount ordered matches the amount received on the POD.
How Can SupplyPike Help?
Using the manual process described above can take up to 45 minutes per deduction:
to research the validity of the deduction,
gather necessary data and documentation, and
dispute the deduction in the correct portal.
When a company is dealing with deductions that equal 5% of their business, that can add up to hours a week.
SupplyPike has taken the manual processes of disputing a deduction and automated it. It is saving users, on average, 95% of the time it previously took to dispute a deduction with Walmart.
SupplyPike provides all of the required dispute information on hand. It's no longer needed to go to Retail Link, pull reports from Decision Support and Accounts Payable Inquiry System, and stitch that information together.
Documentation is now a breeze with SupplyPike, where claim & shipping documentation (such as Bills of Lading and Proofs of Delivery) are collected and provided alongside your deduction information. This means suppliers can save time by not digging for the correct PDF inside of the carrier's website (or worse still, their inbox).
With all of a supplier's information and documentation ready for use, SupplyPike enables companies to clear charges quickly with one-click and auto-disputing. Allowing for companies to no longer have to transpose the information from one website to another and attach documents. It all happens like magic with the click of a button.
Schedule a demo with the team today!
Written by The SupplyPike Team
About 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.Read More