"Load Stability: Shifted or Unstable" Defect
What is "Load Stability" at Walmart?
Load compliance is one part of SQEP's Phase 3 program, the others being other Packaging and Pallet compliance.
In the updated Secondary Packaging Supply Chain Standards (SPSCS '23), Walmart defines "Load Stability" as "Shifted, unstable, not palletized, or other load stability defects."
What is the "Load Stability: Shifted or Unstable" Defect?
Within "Load Stability" are two main sub-defects: "Not Palletized" and "Shifted or Unstable."
"Load Stability: Shifted or Unstable" is defined by the SPSCS '23 as "Freight is leaning or has fallen over inside the trailer and requires rework before being removed from the trailer."
Proper loading helps the automated processes run smoothly. When cases fall or are unstable, it is considered completely unacceptable. Items that have a lean more than .5" from the base of the pallet are or are stacked in different height orientations is okay, but it prevents automation from happening.
For more on load stability, see pages 235-240, 296, 362-364 (Appendix C) in the SPSCS '23.
Note: these page numbers are the ones at the top of each page in the SPSCS '23, not necessarily the PDFs page numbers.
How to Prevent Valid "Load Stability: Shifted or Unstable" Defects
Appendix C (pages 362-364 of the SPSCS '23) covers ISTA 3 Series tests, which are "advanced tests... designed to challenge the capability of a package and product to withstand transport hazards throughout the supply chain." Having a clear sense of these tests and what they are designed to reveal will be key in preventing this defect.
Unfortunately, most of the SPSCS is relevant for this defect and being familiar with the entirety of the document will be helpful for making sure loads are securely packaged. The key to prevention is also learning from mistakes and taking corrective action in FIXit.
Can the "Load Stability: Shifted or Unstable" Defect be Disputed?
Yes, in HighRadius, just like all other compliance fine disputes at Walmart.
How to Dispute "Load Stability: Shifted or Unstable" Defects
If the fine is invalid, assign the FIXit ticket back to Walmart with the dispute reason. Sometimes FIXit tickets will disappear after this if the dispute reason is valid and Walmart accepts it. Even still, it's a good idea to follow up in the SQEP dashboard and then dispute in HighRadius, if the fine exists, with the ticket number to make sure that the charge disappears as well.
You will also need:
Detailed Dispute Reason
As always, attach any proof documentation to further validate the dispute reason. When filing a dispute, fill in the information for "Dispute Reason," "Amount to be Disputed," "Comments" (if applicable), and "Attachment" (for relevant documents). In the case of pallet compliance, the photos attached to tickets in FIXit will likely be essential to (1) knowing if the fine is valid in the first place (2) and for making a convincing case when the fine actually is invalid.
For the "Load Stability: Shifted or Unstable" defect, the pictures attached to tickets in the FIXit app will be important for successfully overturning invalid disputes.
Disputes can also be monitored and updated in HighRadius under the "Disputes" tab.
More SQEP: Continued Learning and Our Solution
For an exhaustive resource on all things related to SQEP compliance, download our SQEP Handbook.
If you would like more insight into your SQEP performance and a way to quickly and painlessly dispute invalid SQEP fines, schedule a meeting with a member of the SupplyPike 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.
SupplyPike helps you fight deductions, increase in-stocks, and meet OTIF goals in the built-for-you platform, powered by machine learning.View SupplyPike's Website