Walmart Accounting and Supplier Contracts

What do supplier contracts have to do with your bottom line? Join this 1-hour webinar for an extensive overview of how to win with your supplier agreement.


Walmart Accounting and Supplier Contracts 


[00:00:00] Peter: Okay, well, let's get into it. Today, yeah, accounting and supplier contracts, supplier agreement. This is us. I am on the SupplierWiki team. Stacy is our VP of Retail Insights. So similar kind of things that we're trying to do. Basically, we're just trying to help suppliers. know as much as they can to be as successful as they can in whatever the kind of retailer is. 

Today we're just talking about Walmart. But that's what we're here to do. That's who we are. More specifically on the agenda, we've broken it down really into two sections today, and then we're going to do our usual Q& A followed by a little bit of a product sneak peek that Stacy will walk us through as well. 

But the first two sections we've got are understanding your supplier agreement. where to find it what all's in it is this something that I need to be aware of or not, and then we'll look at Walmart invoices for that as well. A couple of questions that we get pretty often in these webinars. 

Will you be getting a copy of the slide deck? Yes. We say three to four business days. It's usually a little bit less. And that time you'll get an email with the video recording and a copy of the slide deck. So I like to take notes just to, to help myself remember, but in terms of making sure that you get every thing exactly down correctly. 

Don't stress too much about that because you'll be able to refer to it later. And we'll also post both of those on our website later on as well. And then in terms of questions, we've got two main communication forms in these webinars, the webinar chat, and then the Q& A. The Q& A is for more formal questions that you have for Stacy that I can kind of pitch to her throughout the presentation or save them for the end for that specific period. 

The webinar chat is just more public facing. You can also talk to just the hosts and panelists in the webinar chat if you want to do that too. So all of that is available to you but we like to clarify that just so that, you know if people have more kind of information that they don't want everyone in the world seeing, the, that can go in the Q& A or to the hosts and panelists instead of just publicly in the chat. 

So there's that. And then SupplyPike who are we? What do we do? Our new language for kind of summarizing our main sort of goal. We are a SaaS company, software as a service company. But what we're really in the business of doing is helping people reduce revenue loss. And we like to describe that in basically two ways. 

Kind of like a long term and a short term vision. The short term vision is just getting paid back on money that is kind of owed to you. From receiving errors or any other kind of error accounts payable or accounts receivable. How can we win that money back, track where it has gone and win back the money that you should be getting back. 

Right away, but then in the long term, helping suppliers just reduce the kinds of scenarios, do root cause analysis and reduce the scenarios that are actually causing that hemorrhaging in the first place. So that's that. Of course, we're all over the place and Walmart basically all the categories. And we're expanding it to other retailers too. All right, Stacy, take it away. 

[00:03:11] Stacy: Awesome. Thank you so much, Peter. And like Peter mentioned, if you guys have any questions along the way, please feel free to throw them either in the chat or in the Q& A section. Or if there's any interesting insight, we always recommend throwing it in the chat so other suppliers can kind of learn from you. 

We're really, really big on kind of trying to foster a learning communi community. We know it takes a village to be a supplier to Walmart, so anytime we can help you expand your village I think that's great for everybody involved and everyone can again learn from each other. So we are going to go in a deep dive into understanding your supplier agreement. 

I do want to preface this, this is a little bit more kind of 101 of a topic just because obviously if you guys have been doing business with Walmart for a long time, You know, kind of supply your agreement is a foundational step in becoming a supplier with Walmart. So I would say, you know, if you guys are doing you're brand new to Walmart, or if you're just trying to get a refresher, this is hopefully going to be a helpful webinar for you guys. 

So let's go ahead and dive into it, starting with, again, the basics of what a supplier agreement is. So, as I mentioned, essentially, if you are doing any kind of business with Walmart, just about, you are going to have a supplier agreement. And it's essentially a legal document that binds, you know, both you and Walmart to adhering to specific supplier standards, as well as different terms that you both mutually agree upon with each other. 

So, again, if you're asking, like, okay, do I need to know about this? Do I need to care about this? The supply agreement is going to apply to anyone that is supplying product to Walmart for resale, so Walmart is purchasing it from you and selling it at their stores or dot com or Sam's Club or whatever it is, you're going to have a supplier agreement and also for any agents that are used by suppliers. 

So, again, broken record, but if you are selling through Walmart, you will have a supplier agreement. So a lot of times we get asked, like, it's like, cool, like, Walmart made me do a lot of documentation, and I signed a lot of stuff, but I don't actually know where to find it. So, OSAs, or Online Supplier Agreements, are no longer available through the OSA or GSM apps. 

So, if you guys have done this for a while, You know, it used to be in the Online Supplier Agreement section and then moved to the Global Supplier Management app. But now they've moved it again. And if you want to see any of your supplier agreements, essentially what you're going to do, so when you log into RetailLink, at the top right corner, you're going to see a couple of icons across the top. 

If you click on your profile icon, you'll You'll see a dropdown that shows up, and then you're going to click on My Agreements. You can select Sign an Agreement under whichever business unit you want to see, so they'll break it out for you by like Walmart Stores, Walmart. com, and Sam's. You pick whichever one is relevant to what you're trying to look for, and then Once you click on the business unit, you'll see all of your supplier agreements listed out, and then you'll be able to view or edit it in the browser, or you can download it as a PDF. 

So one thing I do want to clarify a little bit, because I did mention you can see a whole bunch of supplier agreements. So it's, it is common for, you know, larger, more complex suppliers, especially if you're selling in multiple departments, to have multiple supplier agreements. So it's normal to sign one for each department with a different buyer, and even with Within a department, you can actually have multiple supplier agreements that have different kind of nine digit vendor numbers for you to track those agreements, because within the department, you can, you can vary how you're shipping, what your payment terms are, what your allowances are, and all that good stuff. 

So, if at any time, again, a little bit more one on one type data, but usually as a supplier, you're going to have a six digit vendor number. And then any time, you know, you're asked for a nine digit So with the two digit Vendor number, what they're asking for is your six digit Vendor number, followed by the two digit Walmart department number, followed by the sequence number. 

So again, you know, within the department, if you have multiple supplier agreements, you'll have multiple sequence numbers so that they can differentiate each one. So, if you guys are pulling data out of Luminate, out of DSS, while at a supplier, Still around. And you see that nine digit and you're curious as to how it's being invoiced or how it's being shipped or anything like that, you can tie that back to a supplier agreement and it should give you all the information that you need. 

So I will not bore everyone to debt and talk through kind of what the supplier agreement includes it. A lot of information. Usually they can be anywhere between like 15 to 20 pages long. But you can see here, and as Peter mentioned, you guys will have access to this. And again, if you're following along at the office, you can pull up your own supplier agreement and see all of the information here. 

Just so y'all know, we're basically going to be focusing on the payment terms, cash discount, and audit section. Purchase Costs and Conditions, Supplier EDI Responsibilities, and Appendix of the Supplier Agreements. Just because we don't have 8 hours to talk about every single thing on this list. But again, if you guys have any questions about anything, please feel free to reach out. 

today, or we'll be sharing our contact information towards the end, and we'll be happy to walk through, you know, your supplier agreement with you if you're curious about, you know, what certain terms mean. So the first one that I want to kind of dive into with you guys is talking about payment terms. 

So essentially, kind of in layman's terms, Payment terms refer to essentially how Walmart is going to pay you. So are they going to pay you within 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 120 days, whatever it is? And you know, are you going to give them a cash discount for paying you sooner? You know, those are all different types of terms that you can negotiate with your buyer. 

So for example, you know, if you hear terminology like, you know, 2 percent 30 net 60, and you're like, I've heard that before. I have no idea what that means. Essentially what, you know, you're committing to with Walmart is that if they pay you again, 2 percent 30 net 60, if they pay you within 30 days, they'll get a 2 percent off. 

And, you know, if they don't, that's fine, but they have basically a total of 60 days to pay you. So you can actually see on your supplier agreement what the payment terms that you've negotiated are. I always recommend, just as a best practice, you know, refreshing yourself on what payment terms are. You know, if you can, like once every six months, maybe once, Just because a lot of times what ends up happening is, you know, you negotiate some payment terms with Walmart, like, literally five years ago, and you've just been shipping off of this agreement for five years, and, you know, you don't remember, like, hey, does, do these payment terms actually make sense for me? 

Should I try and be negotiating for better terms? You know, maybe you've sold a lot more, you've grown tons, maybe instead of, you know, net 120, it's time to start asking for net 60 if your product is turning more quickly in the warehouse than it used to. So, just things to be aware of. So, kind of Walmart's expectations is that suppliers are supposed to transmit invoices on the same day that merchandise is shipped. 

I'll be sharing kind of some Best practices there in a little bit but I think the key thing for people to know, which not many people do sometimes, is that your Walmart payment terms are actually calculated on whichever is the latest date of, essentially, the date Walmart receives the PO and records receipt. 

So, essentially, when they scan it into the warehouse, so sometimes something like a gate stamp doesn't matter. It's when the warehouse actually receives the product. or the date that Walmart receives the invoice, or the MABD, or if the terms are pay from scan then the date of sale at Walmart. So usually this date is going to be the latest, because if you're invoicing the day it ships versus the day it gets received, obviously that's going to be later. 

And we all know and love the Walmart transportation system but a lot of times, you know, especially if it's collect, it's not necessarily going to arrive on the MABD, usually it's going to arrive. A little bit after that, a day or two after that and that is really when your clock starts ticking to get paid. 

So I like to clarify that just because a lot of, especially smaller companies where cash flow is really important to understand, they'll go like, well, you know, they sent us the P. O. on, you know, April 1st. Is that when the clock starts? No, it actually starts whenever, again, Walmart receives the money. Again, whichever is the latest, but most of the time it's going to be this particular date. 

So even if you got a PO on April 1st, if they received it on June 1st you know, maybe it was a promo or something like that, your payment term clock doesn't start until June 1st. And then it goes to the 30, whatever it is that you've negotiated. So just, again, something to be aware of. And then the cash discounts, which again, that's SQEP. 

Usually something you negotiate with Walmart to say, hey, if you pay me sooner than that you'll get, you know, 1 to 2 percent off. That is going to be calculated on the gross amount of the supplier's invoice. So if you are, you know, invoicing Walmart for 100 You give them a 1 percent cash discount to pay within 30 days. 

If they pay within 30 days, then, you know, they will only pay you 99 because they got that 1 percent cash discount. This is a little bit kind of getting slightly more into the weeds, but just something I've learned over time. Walmart very, very, very often will take cash discounts even when they are not paying you within the cash discount payment period. 

And so, you know, those are called unearned cash discounts. Some suppliers fight them. Some suppliers take them as the cost of doing business with Walmart. I would say it kind of just depends on if that's a hill you want to die on. So I tend to recommend not negotiating cash discounts. Either doing that or negotiating them and understanding they're just going to be taken no matter when Walmart pays you because again, that's just kind of how Walmart does it. 

So they will, you know, take the 2 percent even if they pay you on day 60. So just be aware of that, either have that kind of baked into your pricing and understand that or again, don't include it. Or, if you're going to fight it, understand, like, you're going to be responsible for pulling essentially all of the data so that you can go and dispute that with Walmart. 

So again, that's a little bit more 201 type stuff, but just stuff to think about, like, as you are negotiating new supplier agreements with Walmart or trying to renegotiate terms on any existing supplier agreements. So, unearned cash discounts, definitely something to look at if you've not started looking at that already. 

So another. Part of the supplier agreement is the purchase cost and conditions. This is kind of basic stuff in that essentially they're saying that the supplier is responsible for the accuracy of any costs, discounts, and allowances on any of the POs. So essentially if Walmart is sending you a PO at the wrong cost or you are invoicing at the wrong cost it is your job to notify Walmart if there are any inaccuracies. 

24 hours, no less than 24 hours prior to shipment and if merchandise ships prior to discovery of an error on the order, then you are supposed to reach out to Walmart within 48 hours to figure out what to do from there. So, let's just say, for example you know, Walmart submits a P.O. to you for 5. 

Your pricing should actually be six dollars. You essentially need to go work with the Walmart team ASAP and let them know that you can either do like a PO edit or you can cancel and re transmit a new PO. To Walmart, if you ship on an incorrectly sent PO, they're basically saying that you acknowledge that that PO is correct. 

It's supposed to be your responsibility to check on that. So I always, always recommend making sure that your team is super in the know of what your, again, discounts allowances are, so that you're not invoicing or shipping on things that are incorrect. Now there are paths to kind of correct this and get money back. 

If let's say a situation like that exists, but it becomes, yeah, again, only with love, but with Walmart, it does become quite a battle, because again, you know, Walmart would say to you, well, if we had transmitted the P. O. incorrectly, you should not have shipped on that P. O. By shipping on it, you acknowledge that it's correct. 

So you do have to escalate that to your buyer and oftentimes your DMM above your buyer. So. Just want to make sure that you guys are aware of that. And again, why it's important to understand what the terms are on your supplier agreement. So things that are in the appendix, which has always made me laugh because these are very important things, but they're in the appendix section for some reason are your standard purchase order allowances. 

So for example it was very, very common for you to see something called like, 10 10 1 1. So you'll get like a 10, you'll give Walmart a 10 percent discount to fill any new stores for product for that. So let's just say Walmart builds a new store in Iowa or something like that to fill that store and get that mod set. 

You will give them a 10 percent discount on all of the product that's going to that store because essentially that's Walmart's kind of way of saying like, Hey, we're meeting in the middle. We're giving you new store placement. And so, in order for us to set the mod, you know, we need a discount for that. 

There's also, so that's like usually like going to be a type 33 item. So, anything that's like flowing through the DCs. A type 20 item, so anything that lives in the DC will probably also get kind of a 10 percent discount. So, that's to say, Hey, we have a new DC or your product is now becoming a Type 20 item. 

We may need a 10 percent discount to help set the DC, and then obviously any orders after that will be normal. But again, we're giving you additional placement, or we're making you a Type 20 item, so the compromise is that we get a little bit of a discount for that. And then you'll also see what's a WA or a QD, both usually at 1 percent allowance. 

So, a WA is a warehouse allowance and a QD, I believe, is a quality or quantity distribution. And essentially, both kind of mean the same thing. And essentially, Walmart is going to expect a 1 percent allowance for using their network. So, they're going to say like, Hey, because we are Walmart and we have one of the best supply chain networks in the world, honestly, which is true you know, you're going to give us a 1 percent discount to utilize our system. 

Now, usually for each supplier agreement, you're only going to pay either for the WA or the QD because one of the Type 20 item, which is the warehouse allowance. So that's you staying and living in the D. C. and then they ship to stores from there. And the Q. D. is going to be for any assembly type item. 

So it just, you know, kind of flows through the D. C. and immediately flows out to the store. So you should not get charged 2 percent for each PO that follows that falls under specific supplier agreement. You should only get. One of the two. Same thing for either the New Store or UDC, typically. But yeah, so just wanted to give you guys context. 

Again, if you have ever looked at your supplier agreement and there's a table at the very end and you're like, I don't understand what these letters mean just to give you guys some context there. So you'll also have things like your payment terms, which we talked about. So, you know, it will literally list out, you know, any cash discounts that you're giving to Walmart, when they need to pay you by to get the cash discount, and then just when the net payment terms are to just pay you, period. 

You'll have things like your shipping terms. So are you shipping collect? Are you shipping prepaid? Are you going to be direct import? That will all be listed on your supplier agreement. So that is something that is key to understand. Typically like Walmart expects like one shipping method. per supplier agreement. 

So you, if you have direct import business and domestic business, it's very common for you to have two separate nine digit vendor numbers. Because again, that allows Walmart to understand, like, how to bill for these particular forms of transportation. Then you'll have things like your product chemical information. 

So that is just stuff like, hey, you're, you know, signing and confirming that you're not shipping any hazardous material, or if you are, that you're going through the proper methods and channels to get that checked on return policies, actually very, very important. I think we have a lot of webinars on that, so I won't go too far into that, but essentially, you know, you will be confirming in the supplier agreement for return policies you know, let's just say a customer returns an item, do you want them to donate it? 

Do you want them to ship it back to you, or do you want them to destroy in field? So it really depends on what, you know, I would say generally speaking most of the time, if it's like a larger, more expensive item, like TVs most of the time, they're going to, you're going to say, hey, ship it back to me because, you know, either you can refurbish or you want to take a look at what happened a lot of times, like, cheaper stuff, you know, if it's 10 or below. 

Most suppliers will choose to either donate or destroy in field. I think a key thing to note for return policy is the handling charge. So you will get a handling charge for, you know, depending on, again, what you negotiate with Walmart. The standard is 10%. You can negotiate that down. And a lot of people don't know that. 

So they'll just take the 10%, which again, if you have a more expensive item, Very, very painful to have to pay a thousand dollar item. You're paying a hundred dollars for them to even sometimes just destroy it. And you're like, okay, that doesn't make sense. So just be aware of that. Returns are also kind of where you talk about what your defective allowance is. 

And there's a whole other rabbit hole we can go down for defective allowance. Shipping instructions, distribution method, condition of sale. These are more just like, again, you're. Adhering to Walmart's standards on how you'll be shipping, what it should look like when it gets to Walmart, when it gets to the product and things like that. 

So, I would say kind of the top 5 to 6 are usually going to be the ones that most suppliers care about and think about when you are negotiating things like this with the Walmart team. So, you know, kind of moving on to a different section of the supplier agreement, talking about EDI responsibilities. 

For Walmart, they do require all suppliers to utilize EDI to submit to receive POs, to send over invoices and all of that good stuff. They are pretty agnostic about who you use as a provider. They actually have their own web EDI that you can utilize. A lot of smaller suppliers do it. It's free. 

It is more manual. And obviously, you know, as with all free things, it comes at a cost of you having to, you know, take more time. I mean. You're going to have to be responsible for making sure all the settings are correct. Very, very common for others, you know, for, you know, once you usually have like two items and up, then it starts to make more sense to work with an EDI provider. 

You know, SPS Commerce, TrueCommerce are just examples of some of the larger providers out there. But yes, again, Walmart does expect you to utilize the EDI system for invoices. We did note that Walmart does, in very, very rare cases, you know, can sometimes agree to waive EDI requirements, but then they will send you orders through overnight mail at your expense. 

And it just, it's a lot of work, guys. I would recommend use EDI if cost is a concern. Use Web EDI, it's free. So just want to throw that out there. Essentially, you know, by you signing the supplier agreement, you are committing to Walmart that you are agreeing to the EDI responsibilities so you have to accept the terms and requirements. 

And again, won't kind of bore you guys there. It's all basically saying like EDI is safe and secure. You need to make sure that you have a unique login info for each user. And all of that good stuff. So again, if you guys have been doing business for a while with Walmart using EDI, and again, if you're using an EDI provider, they should know all of this and be able to handle all of this for you. 

Web EDI is where it starts. Again, you need to be a little bit more involved in that but because it flows through Walmart, you know, again, most of the time it's going to be fairly, you know, So, you know, it's a little bit within their expectations of the documents that are being transmitted. Okay, cool. 

So that is the Walmart Supplier Agreement in a nutshell. Again, in the interest of time, we kind of went really, really fast. But if you guys are curious and want to know more about different parts of the Walmart Supplier Agreement, feel free to reach out to Peter or myself. We love hearing feedback from you guys on, you know, what Do you wish that we could, you know, educate the team or educate the supplier community more on? 

But I'm going to go ahead and switch gears to talk about Walmart invoices. So the supplier agreement, you can kind of think of it as like step 0. 5. So that is all the terms that you are setting, you know, beforehand before you even ship your first PO or even receive your first PO from Walmart. And then once you kind of get The first PO, then you need to start invoicing Walmart. 

And so we're going to talk through kind of what that process looks like and how it relates to the supplier agreement. You will hear us preach this a million times. It is so, so, so important to get these early steps correct. Your supplier agreement. We just did a webinar series with 1WorldSync talking about item management and content creation. 

This is all very, very tedious stuff, unfortunately, but it will really, really help make sure that you are set up for, you know, kind of down the road what that will look like for your team. So Walmart invoices, as I kind of mentioned, Walmart has an expectation that EDI is how you are going to send and receive POs and invoices. 

So this is going to be consistent across Sam's Club, Walmart Warehouses, Walmart Stores, and Walmart Supercenters. 

Why EDI is important to understand. This is how suppliers get paid. Invoices that don't match the PO will sit in limbo until fixed, and I'll show you guys kind of what that looks like. And it's not uncommon for suppliers to get deducted for EDI issues. So kind of that example that I mentioned, let's just say again, you know, Walmart issued a PO for 5. 

And you invoice them through EDI for $6 because your item set up is either incorrect or there, you know, there's some sort of mismatch going on. Walmart will basically, you know, receive your invoice and they'll deduct you for that and they'll say like, wait a minute, we sent a PO for $5. Why are you invoicing us for six? 

We're gonna deduct you a dollar for every unit on this particular po. So really, really important to make sure that your EDI is matching your invo, your invoices are matching the pos and that, you know, kind of one step. Kind of even removed from that is that all of your item set up is correct. So that when Walmart does transmit the POs, it is transmitting what you expect to see. 

I've talked a lot about things like pricing today, but even things like when you talk about item set up and item management, even things like case pack sizes, because that'll come across on a PO and an invoice as well. You know, if you have an item that's set up as a 12 over one, but it should be a 12 over four. 

Or whatever that is you know, that can cause a lot of mismatch in how you're invoicing Walmart and how they're paying you. So really, really, really important to get that particular part right. So, you know, we always try to make things a little bit more tactical for, for folks that are on our calls. 

All of this is really great in theory, but like, how do I actually, you know so if you are, again, newer to Walmart, or maybe you're newer to the finance space in Walmart I would say that it's really important for you to get to know a couple of different tools in RetailLink. So the first one is called APIS the next is Accounting Scorecard, and then the third is APDP, and I'll kind of talk through what each of them is. 

So for APIS, PayableInquiries. com. PayableInquiries. com stands for the accounts payable inquiry system. And this is where you can view and pull any of your payments, your invoices, your checks and your claims from Walmart. So if you log into RetailLink, you can go to the app. You can literally type in APIS, search for that or CTRL F it and you will find APIS and you should have access to it out of the box. 

If not, you can always talk to your RetailLink admin and if they don't have access for whatever reason you can always contact the RetailLink helpdesk. Desk and they'll make sure that you have access to this. This isn't something you like need permissions for as a company. You can of course control who within your retail link kind of users have access to it, but just as a company, you should all have access to this. 

This is kind of what this system looks like, and I'll go back to that really quickly but you can see here, essentially, there's VendorSearch, PaidHistory, InvoiceDetailClaims, Checks, WebEDI, and InvoiceSummary. So, your PaidHistory is going to show any of your past payment details. Your invoice details is obviously going to show anything that you have sent over to Walmart. 

Your checks is you're able to pull two years worth of check information so you can actually see what Walmart has paid you. And then this is kind of where a lot of people like to go look. Your claims are deductions, essentially. So if Walmart thinks that you didn't ship them in full or you have a pricing issue or an item setup issue, then they can issue a claim against a particular invoice, so your check may not be exactly what you've invoiced for. 

So again, apologies if this is a little kind of basic 101, but essentially you invoice Walmart for 100. Let's just say they think they didn't receive product in full, they will leverage a claim or a deduction against you for let's say 20, so then your check will actually be 80 against that PO because Walmart thinks that they did not receive everything. 

I really like to spend a lot of time kind of talking about and talking through APIS because, again, a lot, a little bit more one on one, but a lot of new suppliers don't really understand, like, that deductions can happen and they'll never go into APIS and, and they'll just be like, our checks are smaller than what we expected. 

Why is that? Without realizing that that's not true. There's kind of a whole world of, you know, how you can lose money to Walmart. So really, really important. If you have never been in APHIS, now's the time to start getting into APHIS and understanding again, what are you invoicing? What Walmart is paying you and kind of what claims you are receiving. 

So kind of beyond APIS, and, you know, I'm kind of glossing over this pretty quickly. You, again, we have a million resources, eBooks, articles, and webinars on navigating this particular section of RetailLink. But, you know, try and treat this a little bit more as an introductory, you know, jumping off point so you know what resources to go look for. 

Next so beyond APHIS, Accounting Scorecard is actually one of the, you know, less known apps within RetailLink. And this particular app will measure invoice accuracy through invoice match and EDI accuracy. Candidly speaking, a lot of times, like, this is more of a below the fold type app, meaning If you aren't having a lot of issues with claims, like you don't have a lot of like code 10s, code 11s, things like that, which are like pricing discrepancies, I would say like accounting scorecard is not something you need to like hop into every day to make sure that, you know, everything is going well. 

This is more, you know, again, treat, I would treat APIS like a jumping off point to go like, oh my gosh, we're getting deducted a lot on like, Pricing discrepancy issues or allowance issues and things like that. That's when you start digging into accounting scorecard a little more. So you can see here this is, you know, kind of a screenshot of what that looks like. 

They will tell you what your accuracy is against EDI. So you know, again, if there are any issues with specific types of codes, this is a really nice place to go in and go, hey, is it happening at the item level, the invoice level, or the department level. You know, they'll show you a summed up yeah, or a rolled up summary by all departments. 

They'll even break it down to you by department as well. So the invoice match rate is basically, as I mentioned, kind of an indicator of the percentage of invoices that are processed through invoice payment and matching the system automatically. So if your match rate is 95 percent or lower, that's when I would recommend that you start looking into what is causing issues. 

And as I mentioned, You can view invoice match rate by line item, individual department, total department, and things like that. So, a lot of fun information to get into on that. For EDI performance, you know, the question that this particular app is helping answer is do your invoices require manual processing? 

So, if so, review EDI invoices that have been rejected as well as the reason code for the rejection. So, again, I'm kind of using a broader brush stroke. Usually If you have done business with Walmart for a while, your EDI should be pretty keyed in, but I would say if you're newer to the space you know, we, this is something you should probably, you know, try and check in on as you're starting to like ramp up with Walmart to make sure that all the POs and all the invoices are getting transferred correctly. 

And then the last one that I want to touch on is EDI. APDP. This is one of the newer portals for RetailLink. So if you guys have done this for a long time like me, sadly you used to dispute deductions in something called direct commerce. Walmart sunset that about two and a half years ago now and moved everything internal to APDP. 

Again, Accounts Payable Dispute So in APHIS, kind of going back a little bit, if you receive any claims, so if you do get deductions and you're like, wait a minute, like, let's say you got a shortage claim and you're like, that doesn't feel right. I know for a fact on PO12345, I shipped in full. What you would do is you will go into APDP to actually dispute that deduction. 

And then the expectation for that is that you're able to essentially, there is a. Kind of template that you fill out online and then you also have to provide document proof documentation on why you disagree with that deduction and then that gets sent off to a third party company called Genpact and they will review your dispute and basically say, yes, you're right. 

Are bad, we should have paid you. Versus no, actually we didn't receive the product. Your proof is insufficient, or whatever it is. So we're going to deny this particular dispute that you're sending us. So this is what this particular portal looks like. You can see here. Again, we have a lot of resources on this, but I'll kind of give the high level overview. 

But you can understand like any of the drafts, any dispute drafts that you've created. Supplier action refers to anything. So let's say you've submitted a dispute to Walmart and they kick it back because they need additional information. That will be in supplier action. GoNoGo. And then kind of approved. 

Obviously, Walmart did agree with you. You should have gotten paid back on that, so they'll pay you back. And then denied means that you did not provide sufficient proof, you know, for Walmart to reverse its decision. And then you can search by claim numbers, invoice numbers, PO numbers, all of that good stuff. 

I will say, you know, again, if you guys are newer to this space, just so that you have some line of sight, this portal is pretty manual. It is It is better than direct commerce, but it is still pretty manual. Again, we have a lot of resources on step by step how to go through each one, but we find on average, suppliers take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes per deduction to research, validate, and process. 

Get proof documentation and then submit the actual dispute. So, you know, if Walmart is saying you shorted them, you of course have to actually, you know, make sure like, hey, did we really short this PO? You have to check your own ERPs. Okay, we didn't short this PO. You know, now I need to go log into my carrier or 3PL portal to find my bill of lading or my proof of delivery to attach to the dispute and then, you know, fill in all the details and then send that over. 

So just a heads up on that that it can be a little bit manual. There is a process to get money back, but it does take a little bit of time there. So, Using all of these tools together, essentially kind of a general workflow is, you know, a counting scorecard is a great temperature check for invoices. 

Again, I would say if you have been doing this for a while, eventually this is a step you can drop but if you're early on and ramping up with Walmart, good first place to check. From there, APIS, this is normal for folks to be in like once a week again, just depending on how large you are of a supplier. 

Really, really large suppliers will be in daily because they'll have multiple review days for orders, multiple invoice dates within a week, multiple check dates within a week. But again, if you're kind of a smaller supplier, usually you'll get kind of that one PO a week. So once a week is totally fine. And then if you see any claims that you're like, I don't agree with that, we should have gotten paid in full, then you would go to APDP and then that's where you actually execute your dispute for deductions. 

So. Again, it's a real fun workflow if you've not done this side of Walmart before, but really, really key. You know, I used to be in the supplier space and I know the sales and replenishment part is like the fun part, you know, a lot of planning and strategy and everything. But if you aren't really honing in on APIS and APDP and your supplier agreement, even before all of that you know, there's a lot of opportunities for dollars to fall through the cracks. 

So just something I would really recommend that. So as far as kind of, again, things that you can take away for your teams, if you're newer to Walmart, or again, just trying to get a refresher, is I would really look at kind of the invoicing checklist. So you want to make sure, you know, kind of step one, every PO should be accurate before shipping. 

Again, you want to make sure that. All of your case facts are correct. Your UPC is correct. Your target BC is correct. Your cost is correct. Allowances are correct. Just because kind of the downstream effects of any of that being wrong is painful because now you have to kick start you probably a deduction dispute. 

And then again to help contextualize why it's important to get it right early. The deduction disputing, you know, it can take a really long time, because this is something that Walmart has outsourced to a third party. So, on average, we have found earlier this year, they were a little bit slower to respond. 

There's a whole reason, long list of reasons behind that. But essentially, they were taking about 60 to 75 days to get back to you on a deduction dispute. Now, we we've seen that it's gone down closer to about 45 to 60 days, which is great. But that's just something that you need to think about, you know, not only is Walmart paying you short, but even if you were to go dispute it, which a lot of folks. 

You know, again, don't have time because you're putting out fires every day. So let's say you go and dispute it, you know, 30 days later, and now it's going to take another 45 days to get paid back. You're floating that cash for about 90 days. So again, you know, I've, I am preaching to the choir, but make sure your POS, your supply agreements, all of that, and your invoices are accurate before you ship any product out would be, you know, my recommendation. The next one is don't transmit an invoice until the MABD. And honestly, I have seen a lot of success with suppliers adding even more buffer time after that. Like, I would recommend if you can float it, like MABD plus three. I've seen some people do MABD plus seven. 

And again, The reason behind that is, you know, number one, it doesn't matter when you send the invoice, right, because Walmart's payment terms are going to hit the moment they receive the item. So, it doesn't really matter. Obviously you don't want to invoice it too late because again, remember they'll, they'll do the latest of the dates. 

But MABD is a pretty healthy one, or again, MABD plus three to seven. Another thing to think about for Walmart, Especially if you're a collect supplier is so how it works when they're looking at paying a supplier is essentially they'll look at the date they receive the invoice and they'll compare it to the PO, right? 

So let's just say, make it easy. You invoice Walmart for 100 units. And you send that out, you know, let's say before the MABD. What Walmart will typically do is they will actually pull up that PO. So you invoice them on PO 54321. They'll look in their system and go, okay, PO 54321 ordered 100 units. We've received nothing because it's not past the NAPD therefore, you know, we're going to dock you on a code 25. 

So they'll dock the entire cost of the invoice saying we received nothing. Why would you invoice us when we didn't get any product and they won't pay you for that invoice at all. And then if you want to go and get that money back, it is your responsibility to then go into APIS See if you got a code 25 and then go into APDP and fight that code 25. 

So again, why we recommend trying to wait until the MABD is because that is one product should arrive at the DCs. So, you know, you invoice on the MABD, Product has arrived on the MABD. Walmart goes, great. Okay. I can match that. That makes sense. I'm going to pay you for this invoice. So again, you guys have to do what makes the most sense for your business. 

You know, we don't, this is kind of our we are not financial advisors but we have seen just working, you know, with about 500 customers that this is a really, really key part, especially if you're receiving a lot of code 25. So just something for for you guys to think about and understand. You want to make sure that you're preparing, labeling, and shipping orders according to Walmart's guidelines to aid in accurate receiving. 

I've talked a lot today about more of the AP deduction side. So shortage issues, pricing claims, things like that. Walmart has a whole other arm of revenue loss around compliance programs and compliance programs are kind of. arbitrary in that Walmart will set whatever rules they want, and you basically either follow those rules or you don't. 

And if you don't follow those rules you can get fined for things like that. So OTIF, I'm sure many of you guys are familiar with the on time in full program. They just recently revised the rules, so now you have to be 95 percent in full and 90 percent on time. It used to be 98%. for both. But for this particular bullet point, it's really important to understand Walmart's newest compliance program called SQEP. 

That stands for the Supplier Quality Excellence Program. There are four phases in SQEP. We have a lot of documentation on that on SupplierWiki as well but they basically give you rules around your POs, around your labeling, and so like your cases and your pallets and things like that. And very soon they're going to be launching Phase 4, which is around transportation requirements. 

So Walmart does have a document called the Secondary Packaging Standards Guidelines. You can just Google that, or we can throw that in the chat. But that is where Walmart will kind of give their expectations around, like, what a UPC should look like. what a GTIN should look like you know, like, do you know you need two barcodes for every carton? 

If not, that's an SQEP fine. So just being aware of what that is. Now, I'll give you fair warning. This document is like 250 pages long. It's awful, but I will say it answers 99 percent of the questions that a lot of folks have. So just making sure that you are aware of what All the requirements and rules are for your particular department. 

Other things you need to do is making sure that you're reconciling your payments, reviewing claims and deductions. Again, for those of you guys who are newer to the world of Walmart, if you didn't know, now you know. You need to go into APHIS and understand what claims you're getting hit with and then kind of Also, building off of the compliance discussion, you need to also be checking your OTIF scorecard as well as your SQEP scorecard. 

And these are three different apps within RetailLink. One thing that I'll throw out there as a cautionary tale, I realize I'm very Debbie Downer in this webinar, so I apologize. But I think it's always better, I, I like to say, if you understand the rules of the game, you can play it a little better, right? 

So OTIF scorecard, you can understand, like, which of your POs are not following you know, are not compliant with Walmart's rules. Same with SQEP. And then along with SQEP, there's actually another application called Fixit, which I would also recommend that you check out. So again, SQEP is around things like barcode and labels. 

So if you are not, you know, affixing a barcode correctly or whatever, they actually are supposed to take pictures and they will upload it to the Fixit app for you to review. So, you know, again, we only have so much time, I know we're about to actually get to the end of today's webinar, and I'm throwing a lot of information at you guys but hopefully this is helpful, again, if you're newer or just getting a refresher, to just start asking these types of questions of like, hey, how are we reviewing invoices? 

How are we reviewing POs? Are we setting aside a cadence to check through APIS, check through O2 scorecard, check through SQEP scorecard? And hey, if you guys are doing all of that, awesome. If not, now is the time to start. And, and one thing, you know, kind of add on top of that thought is making sure too that you understand kind of the rules to dispute all of these fines and chargebacks that you receive because these actually fall into three completely separate departments at Walmart. 

So a common question that we receive, it's like, hey, if I got a shortage deduction on a PO and, you know, that same PO got an in full fine, if I fight the shortage deduction and it gets reversed, will the in full fine automatically be taken care of? And the answer is no, you actually have to fight them separately. 

They're completely different processes. And then another thing that a lot of newer suppliers don't realize is, realize is all of these fines can stack. So on the same PO, you can get a shortage, you can get an in full fine, you can also get, let's just say your labeling was incorrect, you can get an SQEP fine and it can add up very, very quickly. 

So again, not to scare everyone but just wanting to make sure everyone is kind of aware of how Walmart, again, structures how they receive their business and how they finance things, so you can understand how to play their game a little bit. And then the last one, which I think is really important, just as a general supplier to Walmart, is really understanding, like, are there common and repeated claim types that you're receiving, so that you can figure out what's going on at the root cause. 

I like to, the metaphor I use is like the hamster on the wheel. If all you're doing is like getting a deduction, fighting it, getting a deduction, fighting it, and not understanding like, Hey, we're getting a lot of code 24s or we're getting a lot of code 10s, let's figure out why that's happening to stop it at the root cause. 

You're just, you know, you're going to be fighting that. every single PO. So it's always really important to try and get into the data whenever you can, again, to understand what's happening, identify the issues, and then put a strategy in place to make sure that you're kind of countering any of those root causes. 

Okay, I talked, A lot. Hopefully, that was all helpful information. I don't know, Peter, were there any questions or anything that we can support with?  

[00:46:43] Peter: Yeah, no, the only question that we had was about the secondary packaging guide. So I just I attached the Most recent version of that. I know that sometimes people will upload that to Google to kind of un gate it from a retail link. 

But I think the most recent one is not the most up to date one, which was released at the end of January, I want to say, or early February. But that one that I sent in the chat is the most recent one. And yeah, I think that's it. So if you have any kind of remaining questions, please get those in now or, or let them kind of percolate over the next couple of minutes. 

So so that we can get those in and address those before the end of it. If you think that you might have some other questions, but you're not totally sure about it, you can take our emails down here now and email us as Stacy mentioned earlier too. But if that's not it, then I think that we can get into our product preview. 

[00:47:43] Stacy: Okay, I'm gonna stop my share for two seconds to make sure. And I'll keep this one quick so that you guys can go and, well I guess it is technically during lunch hour. Hopefully everyone is enjoying a good meal. I think I gotta go find lunch after this, Peter. Are you, have you eaten yet? 

[00:48:03] Peter: I did, yeah. I got it in before. 

[00:48:05] Stacy: What'd you get?  

[00:48:06] Peter: I'm starving. I had a nice lentil soup, actually. It was really good. 

[00:48:11] Stacy: I am, Jerry's still out on lentils for me, so I really, I'll have to go find something later if you guys have any recommendations, throw it in the chat. But yeah, you know, as Peter mentioned, we always like to kind of tie, tie everything back to what we do here at SupplyPike. 

I think, you know, obviously I'm a little biased, but I think we have some pretty, pretty cool tools that. relate to a lot of the content that we talk about in webinars. So you know, we, as Peter mentioned at the top of the call, support with deduction and essentially chargeback management. So pretty much any way that you are losing money to Walmart, be it in AP related deductions or overages or OTIF or SQEP fines, we help to automate the whole process of actually pulling all of that data, cleaning it for you Validating whether these are valid or not, attach, we even attach the proof documentation for you and submit it so that all of this is automated rather than you having to live in those four apps we, we kind of throw it, we kind of pull it all together for you. 

And actually. For all of these different applications, we're pulling from about 12 to 13 different apps in RetailLink to stitch all of the data together for you. I will say, you know, I think Walmart does an excellent job at actually providing the data. The challenge has always been that you have to go to like eight different places to try and like get all of it in one place. 

And, you know, it's pivot tables and, you know, VLOOKUP's galore. So Beauty of software is we can do all of that for you. So you're not having to do any of that, but I'll just take three minutes to talk about our deductions page. And if you guys are curious, again, feel free to reach out or check out our website. 

But essentially what we're doing is we can show you you know, every dollar that Walmart has taken off of every check that you've sent over the last two years. Cause again, that's as far back as Walmart allows you to go. So as an example, this is our dashboard. On the dashboard page, we'll show you every deduction you've received, what is still on the table to go after, anything that you've fought and is awaiting repayment, anything that's been paid back, and even your win rate. 

What I really like about the dashboard, I know I talked about that hamster on the wheel metaphor, is we show you like, hey, you know, that's not great to know, but again, let's understand why we're getting these deductions. So we will show you by claim code you know, and you can sort by count or by dollar amount, haha. 

Where are you losing the most money? So this is obviously a demo account, but let's just say, you know, hey, if you're getting a bunch of code 25s, usually that's going to talk about or refer to an invoice timing issue. And that is to us like very low hanging fruit to go, hey, if we just adjust our invoice timing, guess what? 

In the future we should, you know, hopefully eliminate a majority of these deductions that we've received for a code 25. And then you can start to do very similar kind of thoughts for, you know, the remaining codes. If we're getting a lot of concealed shortages or price differences, what is going on there and why? 

We'll also show you trends over time. We'll show you your claim lines by age. Item number, even by location, so is there a particular DC that is standing out and hurting you guys, and then even by amount. So, why I like to kind of show this is because a lot of times, you know, I mentioned every deduction takes 10 to 15 minutes to go after. 

So, it's very, very common for suppliers to go like, hey, anything under 100, anything under 500, 

So we're just going to write that off and we can actually highlight that for you. So let's just say you had a 1,000 threshold, which there actually are suppliers with 1, 000 thresholds. We, you know, can tell them, hey, you would have lost about 160, 000. just because you wrote them off and didn't go after them. 

So that's the dashboard page, which obviously shows you kind of a high level summary of everything. We will also show you individual line deductions. And again, we'll pull everything from the last two years. And kind of the nice part of this is, as I mentioned, we're pulling from, for this particular app, about six or seven different apps in RetailLink. 

So we will show you, you know, what code you've received will give you the validity. So, Hey, this. It just feels likely invalid because the shipped quantity matches the invoiced quantity, so you should fight that. We'll show you again kind of what the deduction was by item, you know, by, we'll even pull in like what you shipped on an ASN, what you invoiced for, and what the warehouse received. 

And again, all of this information kind of on one page. I think kind of the magic of the app that a lot of people really like is that we're all automatically pulling all this documentation for you. So we have connections with about 150 different 3PLs and carriers. So your ODFLs, UPSs, FedExes of the world, we can automatically sync to that account for you and pull in a bill of lading so that you are not having to now, Oh no, I have to go search for this PO and find it, whatever. 

We'll attach it for you. And essentially all you have to do is hit submit dispute. So we take that 10 to 15 minute process down to literally. And that's if you want to review every deduction line by line. We also provide the ability to bulk dispute up to 100 at a time, or what a lot of our suppliers do is they will actually do auto disputing. 

So for, All of these different codes, you can set the criteria, so very, very common for us to see teams do like, Hey, for codes 25, you know, if they're invalid or likely invalid and they are under, you know, 500, go ahead and automatically submit that for me. I don't even want to look. Usually if it's over a certain dollar threshold, then, you know, understandably the accounting team or supply chain team wants to have eyes on that to be like, Hey, I want to understand, like, why we got this shortage so that we can prevent it from happening in the future. 

But anyway, I know we're right at time, so I'm going to kind of end there. Last thought that I'll leave with everyone. is, so we do actually offer a completely free two year audit where we will pull your data into the app and show you all of this information. We'll do a full walkthrough, help you understand, like, what opportunities exist, what root causes are happening, what items are, you know, giving you the most pain and we'll do it completely for free. 

I always recommend it, again, I know I'm a little biased but to me it's like More information is always better than less information so I always say like, hey, pull the data in, get the free audit, you know, worse comes to worse, you've gotten some really good, insightful information that you can take back to your team and, you know, if you don't want to work with us, that's totally fine, you'll still keep the data or, you know, hey, This is something that's interesting to you guys and you want to further the conversation and how we can help with automation. 

So again, I recommend it. It's free. It's two years worth of data. Pull it, get it, take it, use it. And again, if it's something that makes sense, we're always happy to carry on the conversation. If not, again, at the very least, you've gotten data in the app. So that is all I have, Peter. Again, I know I talked a lot. A lot for a long time. So I will stop now. 

[00:55:22] Peter: Thank you so much for that walkthrough. It was all really helpful. And thank you all for joining us today. We will see you next time.


  • Stacy Tan

    Stacy Tan

    SVP of Retail Insights

    Stacy is the SVP of Retail Insights for SupplyPike. She brings a decade of knowledge and experience working directly with Walmart merchandising teams.

    Read More
  • Peter Spaulding

    Peter Spaulding

    Sr. SupplierWiki Writer

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

    Read More



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