SIDE: The New Item Data Compliance Program at Sam's Club

2024-02-27
3 min read

In the 2022 Sam's Club Supplier Summit, Sam's Club announced that they were initiating compliance programs in which suppliers would get billed for costs resulting from incorrect data that they had shared with Sam's.

They began with a program that addressed incorrect UPCs (Uniform Product Codes), but they are now looking to expand that program with others under the new Supplier Item Data Excellence (SIDE) initiative. Unlike other, broader compliance programs at Walmart (i.e. SQEP or OTIF), SIDE is focused only on item data, trying to minimize supply chain issues that result from incorrect item information.

In the 2023 Sam's Club Supplier Summit, Sam's announced the new program and elaborated on the rationale behind it. Inaccuracies in product dimensions and weights have led to labor and facility inefficiencies as well as inefficiencies at DCs. These inefficiencies create the need for manual intervention for both Home Office and brick-and-mortar store employees.

Billing for SIDE will begin on March 1, 2024.

Billing Breakdown for SIDE

The supplier will receive a written warning for the first instance of an inaccuracy. After that, each subsequent error will incur a flat fee of $637.97 (the charge for Home Office intervention) for each affected item as well as a fee of $122.21 for each location affected.

The locations that can be affected by these fines are individual stores (Sam's Clubs), Fulfillment Centers (FCs), Import Distribution Centers (IDCs), Dry Goods Distribution Centers (DCs), and Sam's Distribution Centers (SDCs).

Inaccurate dimensions for eComm shipments will also be fined, given that they cause modifications in the shipping arrangement and incremental shipping expenses. These fines will be in addition to the above. 

Defining Incorrect Dimensions and Weights

In the FAQ document that Sam's released on the subject, incorrect dimensions and weights are defined as "discrepancies between the actual measurements and weights of items moving through the Sam's Club Supply Chain and the data provided by the supplier in the Sam's Club item file system."

However, Sam's has also listed a threshold tolerance of 10% on dimensions and weights. Anything below will not result in a fine, and anything above will. 

Charge Examples

Sam's offers five charge examples in their FAQ document designed to give suppliers a fuller sense of what these fines will look like and what some common errors may be.

Note: If the Supplier has submitted inaccurate dimensions for an eCommerce shipment, causing a modification in the shipping arrangement, the Supplier will be held accountable for compensating the incremental shipping expenses incurred by Sam's. This sum will be in addition to the charges specified earlier.

Consult the full SIDE FAQ document for details that may be helpful for your understanding of the new program. For questions related to the Incorrect Dimensions and Weights program, Sam's recommends reaching out to s.merch@wal-mart.com

Further Reading and SupplyPike's Help

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Written by Peter Spaulding

About Peter Spaulding

Peter is a Content Coordinator at SupplyPike. His background in academia helps to detail his research in retail supply chains.

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Peter Spaulding

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