Walmart's Auto PO Update Program
Select suppliers have been given the opportunity by Walmart to participate in what they are calling their "Auto PO Update Program." This new program automatically updates the PO quantity when the ASN quantity is less than the original PO.
In other words, whenever a lesser quantity is stated on an ASN, Auto PO Update will adjust the PO to match the ASN. For example, if a PO line requests for 75, but on the ASN quantity the supplier states 70, Auto PO Update will update the PO to 70 from 75.
These updates require absolutely no supplier intervention or contribution. It is designed to reward suppliers who have excellent PO Accuracy, set by the standards outlined in SQEP Phase 1, by automating updates that are usually manual, tedious, and sometimes problematic for Walmart systems.
What Are the Limitations of the Auto PO Update Program?
As mentioned above, the Auto PO Update Program is meant only for suppliers with a very good record of PO Accuracy (SQEP Phase 1). Only suppliers who send ASNs for at least 95% of their PO lines, and have ASNs at least 95% accurate to what the DC actually receives are invited to the program.
Very few Walmart suppliers have such high numbers, when it comes to receiving and PO Accuracy. The Auto PO Update Program is only reserved for suppliers of Walmart already excelling at PO Accuracy itself.
Another limitation on the Auto PO Update Program is the particular PO types that it actually applies to. Only PO Type 20s and Type 30s are included in the program.
PO Type 20s are Staple Stock, generated from Walmart's system, and are commonly used for Regular Item Replenishment and Manual Orders. Type 33s are Warehouse Assembly, generated from the store, and are commonly used for Initial Set, New Stores, Features, and Tabs.
NOVA and the Auto PO Update Program
The Auto PO Update Program is also limited by the particular kind of PO issue involved. As is the case in the example above, the program can only adapt the POs to match ASNs that are shortages, not overages. The program does not apply to overages or cancel lines: those will still have to be executed manually in NOVA.
For those who are invited to participate in the Auto PO Update Program, there is no involved process on NOVA or anywhere else for setting up the process. Immediately after a supplier is onboarded to the Auto PO Update Program, ordered quantities will be automatically reduced on the PO.
A guardrail is set up on the program to distinguish between a major shortage on an ASN and a canceled line. The system will automatically update POs up to 99% short, but anything more than that would be considered. The supplier will still need to cancel the line in NOVA. The example that Walmart uses on their FAQ sheet for the Auto PO Update Program is, "if the PO line qty is 100 CASES, the program will automatically update if the ASN quantity is 1 CASE, but if nothing or zero is sent the line will not be canceled."
So, the Auto PO Update Program will not come close to making NOVA obsolete for the business of suppliers who qualify. Rather, it will simply make some of the processes irrelevant and the in-app work simpler.
What is the Potential Impact on OTIF Score?
It is unlikely that this program will have a large impact on any given supplier's OTIF or SQEP scores and fines. In the SQEP Scorecard, 95% PO accuracy is pretty rare for Walmart suppliers. So it is likely only to be suppliers with an already high-functioning supply chain, and therefore high OTIF and SQEP scores, who get invited to the program.
For Type 20 and 30 orders to which the program applies, however, there is likely to be a very small positive impact on In Full scores. This capacity isn't new to suppliers, but the program would automate it, saving suppliers time and the burden of staying up to date on accurate and timely ASN matching. In the end, the only real impact the program has for qualifying suppliers is to save them a little bit of time updating their orders to match ASNs.
In sum, the Auto PO Update Program will help suppliers whose supply chains are already very impressive. If invited, it will save qualified suppliers some time, helping those suppliers avoid updating "Adjusted Order Qty" in NOVA as much.
The support email Walmart has provided for this program is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more resources on PO Accuracy, see SQEP 101 and Deep Dive: SQEP Phase 1 for more on how PO Accuracy and ASNs impact the supplier's SQEP score. See also our SQEP Handbook and Ultimate Guide to OTIF ebooks for more exhaustive explorations of those compliance programs.
Written by Stacy Tan
About Stacy Tan
Stacy is the VP of Retail Insights for SupplyPike. She brings a decade of knowledge and experience working directly with Walmart merchandising teams.Read More