Walmart Settlement 101

Gain valuable insights into the ongoing impact of Walmart settlements on suppliers and learn effective strategies for navigating AP deductions in this 1-hour webinar!


[00:00:00] Peter: We have a lot to cover today as well, concerning settlement at Walmart, a very storied and controversial topic, just like a pineapple on pizza.~~ so~~ this is us. we work on the SupplierWiki team and our job is to make sure that you guys, feel provided for in an educational sense. So whatever it is, whatever the kind of, supplier facing documentation that Walmart has, come up with for whatever that you feel like needs to be interpreted or, or kind of, contextualized whatever the new kind of program is that Walmart has or the new app and retail link that you're confused about. 

Our job is to, is to try to make all of that less confusing. and this is about Walmart today is what we're talking about, but we really cover a variety of topics and, and a few of the major retailers. recently opened up Home Depot. and we've started exploring that area a little bit more too, so if there's anything at Home Depot that you find confusing, let us know. 

A project that I've been working on a lot lately that we're really excited about is we just, released an e book on Luminate, a little kind of guide. to all that. And I'll put that in the chat here in a little bit, for any of you who are interested in that. but yeah, that's what we're doing. 

Like, Luminate is something that a lot of people have been a little bit nervous about for a long time. So, so we're trying to kind of create, a lot of content, around those particular areas. That's what we do on SupplierWiki. So, if you have any requests or any kind of questions, feel Please let us know. 

We'll have our emails at the end, but you can let us know in the chat as well, too. So, that's us today. we've broken it down into three, kind of, sections. So, we're gonna do a little bit of, like, an overview, kind of, like, a history of Settlement at Walmart for the first, for the first part. we'll talk a little bit about The kind of money side of things for settlement. 

what is, what is that impact, on the individual business? What's kind of the business logic behind it? and then we're just going to kind of translate that into a larger topic, about AP deductions generally and what is the future looking like for settlement. what precipitated this webinar is really just that Walmart has started doing one time settlements again. 

so. but we'll get into all of that, later on, and then we'll have the Q& A portion at the end, so you can get those questions in. How do you get those questions in? Well, we've got a Q& A tab, and you can also use the chat as well. we tend to get a lot of questions on these, so using the Q& A tab is, is, more helpful generally for us to be able to kind of filter those out or contextualize them in, in different spots along the webinar. 

but the chat is helpful for the more kind of like public facing information. If you're answering one of our questions or if you have some kind of essential insight that you want to share. with everyone else, if you have a hot take on, pizza toppings, that's what the chat is for. So, but if you have a more formal question for Ali or myself, you can put that in the Q& A section there. 

Another question that we get, pretty often during these webinars is, will you be getting a recording, or will you be getting a copy of the slide deck? Yes, you'll be getting both of those in your email in three to four business days. It's usually a little bit less than that. And then another thing that I like to always shout out here as well is, we have a YouTube, SupplyPike on YouTube, if you just, if you Google it, you'll be able to find us. 

that's gaining some traction in terms of the subscribers as well. So, and we're going to be building out that page a little bit more too in the near future. So, if you never want to miss a webinar, or if you want to just kind of stay, on top of, of what we're doing, then, subscribing to that, YouTube, channel will be, one of the best ways to do that as well as our newsletter. 

but yeah, SupplyPike, a bunch of you are, or some of you, I think are current customers, so you're a little bit more familiar with, what we're doing in, in the retail space in an actual business sense. but basically we kind of got our, we, we, we started out in the AP deduction space by, learning how to do validity checks on AP deductions automatically, and to help people dispute those automatically too. 

We've now been expanding into just revenue loss generally. so that's why we're talking about settlement. It's a very kind of, it's a very. important subtopic in the revenue loss conversation for retailers, for suppliers in, in the major retailers, but in Walmart especially. So, now anything related to kind of money that suppliers are losing that they really shouldn't be losing, or that they should be kind of aware of. 

is, is what we're doing. We have a motto of get paid and get better. So we want you to win back the money that you should, that you shouldn't have lost in the first place automatically, but now what we're doing is we're kind of expanding into the revenue loss in the larger sense. how can you save time, doing research? 

with a, with a dashboard that will give you a broader kind of sense of what all is going on. But that's what that is. If you have more questions about the product itself, we're, we'd love to talk about that too. but today really what we're going to be focusing on is the subject at hand settlement. 

so With that, I think that's it. Allie, if you want to take us away. 

[00:06:11] Allie: I can do that. we just wanted to add this disclaimer slide because Luminate is a new product of Walmart and so we're interpreting, sorry, I'm talking about Luminate because I'm thinking about the new Luminate book that Peter's going to share in the chat. 

But this is a webinar on settlement. We want to just say that we're, you know, interpreting these supplier facing Walmart materials. and we want to just provide general education for CPGs that are working with Walmart and other retailers, but we are not Walmart. And that's a question we get sometimes is if we're affiliated with Walmart. 

not, we are not, and we don't speak authoritatively for them, but wanted to just kind of outline that because this is kind of what we're seeing from some of the suppliers that we work with as well as, interpreting those documents that we're seeing from Walmart. All right, so let's get started. 

Let's get into settlement disputing. First, we're going to start off just talking a little bit about, where settlement disputing began and kind of the AP deduction space at Walmart and provide that context so it makes sense as we're talking about, what's happening presently. All right. So if you are an OG supplier, you've been working with Walmart for a while, you'll remember DirectCommerce. 

That happened back in 2021 when it was actually replaced by APDP. So why are we talking about APDP when this is a settlement webinar? So APDP, you know, if you're looking at this timeline, you're going to see the introduction of APDP helps kind of build that Bring Away Settlement Disputing. So once APDP was launched, there were multiple updates to APDP for a better disputing process. 

and that's going to be different from settlement. Settlement, the term, is going to be, you know, a bulk dispute of a, group of claims in a certain time period. APDP, you are able to do that, but in a different way. So, it's a little bit more manual and more by line of dispute. And then in October of 2022, there was an announcement that settlement disputing was ending. 

This gave suppliers, as well as Walmart, six months to phase out settlement disputing, and then they said in May 1st of last year, that they were moving to individual disputing on APDP. However, some of the conversations we've seen, from suppliers is that there are still some one time settlement disputes that are happening. 

So, you can see that this has kind of been a A drawn out process, but really the key takeaway is that APDP has kind of been on the rise once it replaced direct commerce. It is now the primary tool for suppliers to dispute their AP deductions. So let's talk a little bit about what settlement used to look like. 

So this was The primary way that, some suppliers were disputing, they weren't even going into APDP and had not had any training or, even been in the application in Retail Inc. Settlement disputing, is sometimes the preferred version of disputing for suppliers because it can help expedite the dispute process. 

If you're a larger supplier, you're You're going to have exponentially more SKUs and more products that you're shipping into Walmart. So that means you're going to have a correlation with the amount of disputes that you have as well. so that makes sense for larger suppliers. If you're a smaller supplier, you may, not have even heard about the settlement disputing process, especially if you're newer, just because that's not necessarily a process that would make sense for you now that there's APDP. 

Other things with Settlement. It, was designed to negotiate repayment for deductions in a certain time window. I believe you can go back about two years with, the way that Settlement was processed before. And usually it was kind of bucketed into quarters. So, say, you know, we're going to dispute 2022's Q4, disputes. 

And then that third point there is it's to help kind of dispute all those open shortage deductions in bulk. so going through and saying, hey, you know, let's negotiate that you're going to get 70 percent back on these. and then 30 of these were probably valid. So that's, that's the old way of settlement and how it was used. 

And it was only applied to a small amount of codes. So, if you ever see a code at Walmart in the AP deduction space that's in the 20s, it's probably going to be some kind of shortage, or a damage that resulted in a shortage, or there were no product received, as well as, settlement. Worked with Code 30s, which is a duplicate invoice, and then 87, which Walmart refers to as Other. 

But you can actually find that in some of our documentation, and essentially what an 87 is, is like anything else, but it's usually a bulk group of the same types of disputes. Typically, we see those as shortages. So if it's formatted differently, that may be just The person at Genpak who is distributing that, or however it was filed. 

So, always, this is kind of an aside for code 87. If you receive one, ask for more context because you could likely dispute it if you kind of figure out what that bulk group of claims, is associated with. So that's the old way of disputing. and settlement disputing was beneficial. Like I said, it was successful for some suppliers. 

we'll talk a little bit about the strategy of how you can make AP disputing successful for you. And one of the reasons this was successful for certain suppliers was that you don't have to attach shipping documents. You're really just negotiating with, the Walmart team, whether that's Genpak or your merchant team, saying, hey, we're going to accept, you know, 70 percent of that money back from shortages, and we'll call those invalid. 

And then, we'll say that 30 percent are valid, and we'll, we'll get that money back. Now, when I have this bullet point here that some saw 70 plus percent of shorter deductions won back in settlement with minimal proof documentation, know that that's the high end. That can really just depend on a myriad of reasons. 

It could be, you know, someone looked at your claims and they were just obviously wrong. It could be, you know, a negotiation that you do, in line with something else that you've got going on with Walmart. It could be who you are, Your category leader, maybe you'll get a higher percentage, back. Really, it can depend on different things, and there's not a formula that says, you know, this is exactly what you're going to get back from settlement. 

So it's very case by case, and context is key. Crucial, to kind of get that percentage. and then, kind of just second that, for those who could access shipping documents, individual disputing is actually preferable because you're going to get maximum recovery because you can actually have proof documentation saying, actually, no, you know, I'm not going to accept 70%, from settlement because I have all the proof documentation saying that I should get 90. 

so, yeah. It really does depend on, you know, if you have access to your shipping documents, what size you are, how many claims you have, the access that you need to cash flow. Factors like that will kind of depend whether before, if you were choosing settlement or if you were choosing, individual disputing. 

And just to clarify, some suppliers weren't even given the option of settlement due to their size or other factors, just depending on the type of supplier they are. All right, so this is how settlement affects all suppliers now that it's ending. So even suppliers, currently disputing on APDP that were individual disputing, weren't disputing on settlement, are going to feel the effects of settlement, now, of settlement ending. 

So why is that? If more people are coming to APDP, so that's the dispute platform, and there's more submissions, there's a potential for longer, response from Walmart. And this is a slide that we used before APDP ended, and we did see that. We did see that there were longer response times from Walmart, just because of the influx of, submissions and, submissions to APDP. 

Now, Walmart did prepare for this. they did add some new APDP features and best practices for disputing manually. And just to clarify, they've updated a couple different things. so if you used it like two years ago, you may not have the full visibility into all the capabilities that are added there. 

And so we would just suggest, going in and playing around, as well as some of the trainings that we've done on AP deductions, like our APDP 101 course is really great. So where did settlement disputing not apply? This is a question we get pretty often. Wanted to include it in here, for types of suppliers. 

If you're a Walmart Canada supplier or direct import, you're not going to be affected by this. So You won't necessarily see any effects. and then the types of claims. I won't go through this whole list, but just know that, the ones I really want to call out is, you know, your accounts receivable chargebacks, like your OTIF, SQEP, and RAP. 

Especially for OTIF and SQEP, those are actually disputed in HighRadius, which is outside of RetailLink. and if you aren't looking at your AR charges, that's, something else that I would consider. And then another one I want to call out is, you know, your co ops and allowances, your post audits. Pricing Disputes. 

Those have to be handled through different channels, and I would go review any documentation that you can find, whether it's on our website or within APDP, of what you can actually dispute on APDP because it has changed, in, the last couple of months. Alright, so now let's talk about the impact on suppliers. 

We got into how settlement changing and ending, affects suppliers, but there's even more details besides just longer response times. So, we're going to kind of go back in time a little bit. These are the three focuses that we measured for supplier impact. and really now we're in the looking forward stage. 

But we wanted to still include this slide. So, you know, some suppliers who are maybe still on settlement, because that's something that we are hearing that there are still some settlements going on. This is how you make that transition. If you still have settlements that are being processed or in, Yeah, being processed and haven't been completely resolved, you then move to looking forward. 

But this is where a lot of suppliers are now because they haven't been offered any one time settlements. but we'll just go through, through this, just kind of talk through some of those changes. So our recommendation and the suppliers that we saw, really adapted to this well, we're reteaching those dispute workflows. 

And by that, I mean, If you're using Settlement, you really understand the processes and some of the intricacies of that system. When it comes to disputing an APDP, there are going to be different, different workflows. It's going to have different lead times, different ways to contact for help, different proof documentation, since Settlement didn't require that. 

So it's going to require retraining teams that directly touch that, as well as maybe teams that help pull proof documentation, or are in supply chain and could be affected by those, those deductions. And then the initial change is making sure that you're, you're tracking those lagging dispute metrics. 

So comparing where you are in settlement to how you're disputing. in your current situation with individual disputing on APDP, are you seeing the same win rate? Are you seeing the same dispute resolution time? Are you, is it lower? So is your win rate lower? Are you not seeing as many wins? How can you fix that workflow as well as dispute resolution? 

Is there a way on your end as a supplier to Work through a quicker dispute resolution time. Does that just mean more manpower, more automation? What, what's the need there that you can impact on your end? There's not much you can do on Walmart's end, except for just checking in on those disputes, but really owning what you can change in that process. 

And then if you're, you know, if settlement's ending, And kind of sitting into that current situation, asking yourself as a supplier, is settlement actually gone? Are you being offered a one time settlement? That's something that we're seeing for some suppliers. how can you use that one time settlement? 

when the word, I'm saying the word one time, but we have seen suppliers, receive one time settlements several times. So it's really like a one time settlement. Third time's the charm. So, using that if you're able to still use settlement as a process for clearing out that dispute log. Also checking for those, APDP updates. 

There's been a couple changes on features, as well as, you know, including or, removing specific codes that you can dispute, in APDP, and that kind of takes it back to reteaching dispute workflows. Maybe you were disputing a specific type of claim in APDP, and now it's being moved to a different place. 

process and making sure that your team is aware of that so that you are, still seeing that win rate in that dispute, that dispute approval time as well. And that's kind of, that's third point there of those lagging dispute metrics. Still tracking that, still making sure that that's something that you're seeing. 

but, Knowing your current situation, if settlement is still available to you, if that's a better option, rather than disputing in APDP. And then looking forward, this is where some of the best in class suppliers are now. How do you optimize those dispute workflows? What If you've been disputing on APDP for, a certain amount of time and you've kind of learned some of those intricacies or, details, how do you share that within your organization? 

How do you get better at disputing? How do you get, Faster, whether that's that dispute approval timeline, how are you seeing those disputes actually won? Is that something you can reapply to a claim that's similar? whether that's, you know, an OTIV claim, in, in High Radius, do you have similar documentation to kind of overlay in a different area? 

Is that something you could reapply at a different retailer? The retailer disputing processes, have some similarities? Are you learning a process that could be applied at Amazon or at Target? So that's where our best in class suppliers are kind of sitting at right now if we're benchmarking. All right, and then we want to talk about some of the challenges that suppliers have seen coming off of settlement and maybe coming off of settlement, coming back on to settlement, if they're offered that option, and then going back to individual disputing. 

The first is just the volume of manual work. if you're not offered a one time settlement to kind of clear that backlog, there may be claims that are timing out. Walmart usually holds the APDP claims specifically for about one and a half, two years. so, you know, prioritizing How you can get through as many claims, as optimally as possible, even though that work is pretty manual and it's going through having usually three screens open with your proof documentation, any communication that you want to copy paste over, any context that you need to, unpack just to understand where the claim is coming from. 

It requires a lot of manual work. Typically, we've seen a lot of disputes in our time, and It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete one type of dispute. So one claim. So you can just see that that will really add up. Multiply that by your backlog and you'll see about how long it'll take your team, which can be a little bit frustrating. 

Second is just navigating the complexities of that research and dispute process. We're going to talk about that in this third section coming up, but if you are on settlement and usually you worked through that process and didn't have to research or apply, language to, help push your case through to be approved with disputes. 

It's going to take kind of a different muscle, when it comes to disputing. So understanding that and then applying that to your teams because there are some suppliers who are doing this manual work and it's one person on their team, but others are taking the approach of throwing as many bodies as possible, as much, human resources, to go through and dispute these. 

And If you're not having everyone on the same level, you're not going to see the same win rate for each dispute. So just sharing that and keeping those internal learnings alive. A third point here is just difficulties accessing granular data. I think this is a great place to talk about the Reliance of DSS and now Shifting to Luminate. 

There's a lot of shifting that's going on in the applications and the, processes of Walmart. So if you were a DSS whiz and you knew how to pull those reports, that's going away. I believe it's coming up here in April. They changed the due date. And that's something that's really frustrating suppliers because there were documents and reports that you could pull in DSS that would help kind of unpack that story and give context to your disputes. 

now with Luminate being the primary source that, Walmart is asking suppliers to use for reporting. If you haven't learned any, of those processes or built some of your reports, Peter can send lots of resources that we have. We've been building that out as we're learning it and all of that is free. 

I will say, since we're talking a little bit about, dispute workflows here in a second, like I said, reporting can be extremely helpful for kind of getting some of those, those details out. And we'll, we'll share some of those resources we have. Fourth point here is just lack of insight into root cause. 

Like I said, some of that data you can unpack can give you access to what, what happened. and I'll, I'll leave a call out here is if you are disputing, Using Walmart's data as the single source of truth is going to be extremely helpful, but if that data can only tell so much of a story. So having other ways to kind of look into and understand where, where the issue lies in your supply chain process will help you uncover if it's, if it's true. 

Truly, your accountability as a supplier, you've made an error, you've set up something wrong, etc. Or, if Walmart has, in, has created an invalid claim, to an issue that they've seen in the supply chain, and it should be the responsibility of them, or it's not even a true issue and it's being reported incorrectly. 

So that's another issue that can, if you're toggling from using settlement, where you didn't have to, Look too much into root cause, you really just were using a different process to decide that and negotiate that number. Root cause is going to be your best friend even though it's really hard to Fully see that, that picture. 

And then last year, I think I've spoken to this, but lack of cross team communication, this is extremely important with, recovering revenue. It requires more than one team. It needs to be a focus of, across teams, not just your accounting or finance team, but it would be required to be something of your supply chain teams, your logistic teams, your teams that negotiate with, with Walmart. 

Even if that's all one person, or you have a myriad of teams supporting that, making sure they understand the importance of having access to this proof document, that proof documentation. Being able to dig into internal data to find root cause. It really is a team effort, and sometimes those channels just aren't set up, and it takes a while to get that ball rolling. 

So we've talked a lot about those initial challenges. Hopefully those are not something, those aren't things that you're seeing currently, but if you are, we can talk a little bit about how to remedy those issues. And then this is something we shared when settlement first ended. I won't necessarily read through all of these, but I do want to just Kind of sit here and frame up how you could use this to talk to your team about coming off of settlement, or disputing an APDP better. 

something just to kind of be aware of from what I said on the previous slide is you may be the AP team and you're not talking to your AR team if you're, you're, organization is larger. So do they know about dispute claims in APDP? There may be crossover and you may be able to tag team, getting some of those AR and AP claims disputed and have a great win rate for both. 

Is there to the second point, people in handle, people in place to handle that additional work, if you're seeing an influx of charges, and how long is that ramp up to train them? Do you even have internal training processes, to dispute well, or is it one person who is, you know, You know, holding those keys and what's the cost of adding a new position or training? 

a couple other things is, you know, we talked about compliance, but, audits is, are you seeing, you know, the claims that you're disputing? Maybe you're seeing a great deduction rate, a great win rate on your deductions, but, you know, in a quarter or two, you're going to get a post audit and it's a lot of those claims that you disputed because, there's something faulty. 

on there, and it shouldn't have gone through in the first place. So how can you kind of manage that life cycle of the claim and making sure that it's not brought up again? And if it is, you've got your proof documentation saved and your teams are able to mobilize to that. So that's just a couple points that I wanted to talk about. 

And you can read through this. We'll send you this deck afterwards, obviously. But, I know this is kind of the initial preparation checklist that was when settlement just came out, but it is never too late to start, especially if you are coming off of settlement, in those case by case settlements as well. 

So, to kind of answer some of those questions, some of the best in class suppliers that we've seen that are handling their AP individual disputes well, or have handled, toggling between settlement and then disputing individually, and then maybe getting a one time settlement, and then clearing out the rest of their backlog with APDP, it's, it's a two pronged approach. 

So, you're going to need to build your internal. process. You need to have a system for storing, saving, and then easily accessing proof documentation. There has to be a communication plan for teams, whether that's check ins or a designated, communication channel, and then just having free resources for team training. 

you know, creating processes internally requires a lot of manpower, but What's nice is that there are free resources out there and paid resources if you feel like that's something that your team has capabilities for. And then obviously there's also external solutions that can help, such as software and automation, which is what, what SupplyPike does, and we won't get into that because it's not a sales pitch, this is education, but want to just say that that's, that's an option that's out there for Walmart. 

there's also third party education and guidance. You can create those internal documents, but see if you're able to access something that's already created that's an easy lift to just distribute across your teams. And then we have seen some suppliers who have done additional hiring or contract work. 

Automation is not something that they're choosing, or they're doing a mixture of both. that can be something if you have the capability to hire more, but that again takes, you know, ramp time and requires some onboarding and, different resources applied to that. So, that's it. We've seen suppliers do a mix of both, more internal, more external. 

Again, just what works for you and your team. All right, and like I've alluded to before, some suppliers are still receiving settlement, and this was born out of Walmart seeing the lead times for approvals start to grow, longer and longer, and like I said, some of those one time settlements have become one time settlements. 

two or three times. we don't have any necessarily information about what type or amount of suppliers are being offered settlement, but if that's something that you're seeing or not seeing, that, that would just kind of be Where you would, you would place yourself. some suppliers have the option to negotiate their percentage and date range for their settlement. 

we want to call out that that is levers that you can pull, again, know your mileage with the team you're working on and kind of what you have, but. If you can present proof documentation, we have seen specific suppliers be able to negotiate for a higher percentage. And if you're a customer, talk to your CSM about how SupplyPike can assist with this. 

If you're seeing settlements, if not, we'd be happy to set you up to see if we can work with you in the future. All right. So you could choose to accept a settlement or you can not. I think it's important to call out the options. Just like we said, you can negotiate, you can try negotiating for a higher percentage or, a wider date range. 

You can also choose to not accept a settlement and dispute them, individually as well. So let's talk about those pros and cons. The pros of, bulking disputes into one settlement is you can clear your backlog. You can go back, dates, months, quarter, days, months, quarters, years. That's a possibility. 

Again, you're also at the discretion of what Walmart wants to provide, but that's, that's a availability, especially if you are Strapped for time, strapped for, human resources, and maybe even, you know, just want to focus on increasing cashflow and stop the bleeding or just having a debt balance that could be affecting your Walmart business. 

And that third point there is the ability to focus on current deductions or other revenue loss buckets. So maybe you've gotten an influx. of deductions in this month, and you want to focus on that. You may want to just accept just a settlement to not have to focus on what's in the past, and kind of see what's, you know, more in your purview. 

Or maybe you have a myriad of other claims, like a large Post startup that you want your team to focus on, or, AR compliance, so your OTIF fines or your SQEP fines, that would make sense too. Cons of bulking disputes into one settlement is you could be risking losing dollars that would be considered invalid. 

just because you, have a settlement, Doesn't mean you should necessarily accept it, especially if you see that percentage. And you're looking through the claims included, and it should be higher. That's where you could, you know, decide to accept it, but ask to attach proof documentation, or that's a situation where maybe it makes more sense to just individually dispute. 

once you have, you know, bulked, disputes into a claim, you don't have the ability to dispute that claim once it's included in a settlement. It's kind of within the confines of that settlement and it's not an option to dispute moving forward. something we've seen with some suppliers who have accepted settlements or thought about accepting settlements is that inability to invoice for overages when a settlement includes shortages on the same POs. 

So, Because those are attached to the same PO, you may have two different claims on it. And if this is wild, go look at our Optimizing for Overages webinar. Peter can share that in the chat. But essentially, that means that you're, you may be getting counted for one. So in that settlement dispute, they're saying, okay, that is, You know, invalid will pay you back for that, but the overage you would still have to pay for, even if that's included, unless you could, you know, work through that process. 

We haven't necessarily seen a specific, success for disputing both, but usually when it's included in that claim, the PO number, you're unable to dispute that again for a different claim number. So just, Remember, remember that and weigh that option. and then lastly, unless specifically stated, these claims would still be valid to be deducted in a post audit. 

So it's not, omitted from being in that post audit and could come back again. You haven't collected that proof documentation. Maybe the way that your organization is set up is you don't even have those shipping documents anymore because they're no longer saved after a certain period. So that can put you in a position with a post audit that you're actually, you know, left vulnerable because you decided to dispute it and you hadn't collected proof documentation or you hadn't dug into that claim specifically. 

So, pros and cons for both. You can kind of see both sides. And we did want to talk about some of the resolution lead times on disputing overall. as of January, 2023, 82 percent of Walmart disputes were acted on from SupplyPike users. And we're, we're seeing that Walmart is being able. to respond to those claims overall. 

So you can kind of see, those numbers are going down. that we, we believe kind of the trend of where things are going is that settlement will most likely be used to clear out that backlog of 2023 and then will kind of be used as a, As on a need basis. So, we were seeing those claims being, you know, much longer, and hadn't been disputed, but as we've been going on, that that number has gone down. 

Alright, and then, here's some of the win rates on disputing. So, Just to kind of show you if you're thinking about those metrics, we are saying that resolution times are trending down. So you're having a less of a lead time for those resolution timelines. So that's great. Most suppliers are seeing that shorter timeline. 

But let's talk about win rate. So suppliers are able to dispute 800 times in one day with Mass Dispute Creation. Mass Dispute Creation essentially is, you can bulk claims, you can't dispute proof, you can't submit proof documentation, and really we, the way I would refer to it is throwing spaghetti on the wall, so seeing what sticks, and then, you, you can kind of see what, what sticks with those, and then most of those aren't necessarily coming back. 

So over the last year, the approval rate that We've seen that we've been able to track is around eight to 19%. So let's just use the high end of that and say that you were disputing 800 disputes, a claims a day, and you got a 19% approval rate. You may see 152 of those disputes won. So depending on the odds for me, I would personally say I would love to see a higher dispute rate if I'm disputing 800 and I only get 152 back, but maybe your approach is to just, you know, you want to see what is able to stick and move on, which there's, there's different strategies, so. Overall, to kind of summarize the two metrics there, resolution times are coming down, win rates are still stable staying pretty small. So maybe in this case, you'd want to see if you can negotiate for a higher percentage on a settlement rather than disputing, through APDP. So again, that's really speculation. It may depend on what kind of supply, what, options you have. If you do have a settlement, if you want to focus on claims and you have, time and resources to devote to individual disputing on APDP. 

But looking forward, suppliers should identify the types of claims or timeframes that are not included in their settlement and triage those remaining AP deductions. also cross reference any of those AP deductions that aren't, that are included in other AR fines. That's a really key way to make sure that you're not getting, a triple dip of AP deductions, OTIF fines, and SQEP fines, because that can happen on one PO. 

Spend time finding documentation that can support your argument with settlement, or apply that to disputing individual claims, and then consider the cost of not billing for overages within that one time settlement window, like I referred to. So these are kind of the ways that we're saying, you know, if you are going to focus on settle your one time settlement or you are going to focus on, disputing individually on APDP or a mix of both, here are the things we'd ask suppliers consider to work to be best in class. 

Alright, giving myself a quick time check, I'm going to move through this a little bit faster. But this is essentially the section where we're talking about, Okay, Allie, you've talked about settlement, you've talked about dispute rates, I want to see, you know, how I can actually apply and practice good dispute workflows and processes.

I've referred to, deductions a lot today. And you may have heard me refer to compliance fines as well as audits. So I want to just clarify, before I get into it, because I, if you're on an AR team or you handle audits, it's not always apples to apples across the different, Revenue, loss, areas that could be affecting your company. 

So with deductions, just know, very quickly, I'll, I'll refer to this, is that you can dispute deductions, and they can be one with the right documentation, and you'll dispute those through APDP or a one time settlement process. Compliance, compliance fines are different. they're considered AR charges rather than AP charges. 

OTIF and SQEP are going to be the primary programs that you would be seeing, or what would be referred to if you're talking about your AR fines at Walmart. and these are going to be disputed through high radius, and sometimes we have seen cases where Before Walmart was using HighRadius especially, you could just beat with your buyer. 

and that's a case by case basis, but really focusing on using HighRadius, which is external from RetailLink. And then lastly is audits. that's going to be a retroactive deduction that are in a larger bulk, which means they're for a larger time period, they're multiple claims, and they're usually for large amounts of money too, they can be anywhere from, we've seen them at, you know, 50, 000 to 100, 000 or more, and those are going to be performed by third parties on behalf of Walmart. 

And those are disputed directly with a third party and not using a, platform or application in any way. It's usually email based or correspondent based. Alright, so, let's talk about, AP deductions and kind of the who's who when it comes to, the RetailLink apps. So, these are going to originate from Walmart's Accounts Appayable department. 

A deduction is going to be an amount held from a check. So, let's say that you saw a check coming in, an invoice coming in that says, you know, you're supposed to be paid 100 by Walmart. But you receive it, and it only has 80, and you're wondering What is going on? That's a deduction. So, other, other details with that is that the claim number is typically going to be the invoice number, and that you can find backup information available on APIS, Accounts Payable Inquiry System and Retail Link, which is really helpful to have pulled up when you're just feeding through APDP. 

Every claim is going to include a deduction code and a description on the check itself. You may have a code come through and say code 22 and it says GoodsBilledNotShipped and you say, I think I know what that means, but can someone, you know, spell it out for me of what GoodsBilledNotShipped means? We have lots of documentation on that. 

Peter can send some resources. And there are about roughly 75 AP deduction codes, so, usually you'll see, Code 22s, Code 24s, 25s, those are, those are pretty regular, those are kind of your shortage claims, but there sometimes will be an oddball one that you may want to just look up and not have memorized. 

And then most And the, the keyword there is most are disputed through accounts payable dispute portal. There are some that are now not included, due to just the way that APDP processes disputes. All right, what are some of the ways, what are some of the categories of Walmart deductions? Like I said, there's about 75 AP deduction codes and you can start to see some of the trends, like shortages and shipping related issues, pricing discrepancies, allowances, returns, and then. 

It's always good to have miscellaneous in there, just to, you know, cover all your bases. like I said, Peter can send the, Walmart codes book e book that we have that kind of details all of those. We don't have time to go into 75 different codes, but know that in that book it goes through, you know, can they be disputed, what proof documentation you need, etc. 

and we can always answer questions of any of those today. Pivoting to the tools, cause this is extremely important to understand how you build your dispute workflow. These are the retail apps that may be helpful for suppliers to understand how to dispute, how to find proof documentation as well. So first I'd say start with the accounting scorecard. This is a good temperature check of how your invoices are performing that, and by performing I mean what's the accuracy of that invoice? Is it matching through invoice match? And then making sure that those EDIs are pulling through correctly and delivering correctly. 

So that's a good temperature check. Maybe your issue isn't on invoices and you want just more information on that particular claim. So go to the APIS invoice. AP is Accounts Payable, Inquiry System. It's got information on on your claims, and you can view, pull payment invoices, checks, and claim information. 

It will usually have, the code and then, you know, that description like I mentioned before, and that can be a good starting place of, okay, where do I go find this, this invoice or this BOL? You can kind of start your, your research from there. And then once you've put your research together and you feel confident, you can go into APDP and actually execute on those deductions. 

so submit those to Walmart and then have them review those. That's your dispute portal for deductions. So we've talked a lot about APDP, but we haven't actually looked at it. So this is a screenshot of what that application looks like when you go in. And this is how you dispute some deductions. you can actually just search for a deduction. 

You can describe the reason for a dispute. you can provide additional details. It's bolded here. You can attach proof documentation. And this is where you'll also check for approval or denial of claims. You can see on that dashboard, there's different sections. You can draft claims, but they only stay there for about 14 days. 

Supplier action is going to say, you know, Walmart's, handing that particular claim line back to you to handle. Walmart research means they're looking at that. That's something that's in their queue to review. And then you can see just approved or denied in there as well. And I mentioned this before, I won't go into too much detail here because I know we're coming up on time. 

But there are two paths to disputing an APDP. You've got your individual disputes, which is, you know, a traditional dispute going through that process, which we outline in our APDP webinars. You can dispute one claim at a time, you attach your proof documentation, and then you wait for that automation, sorry, you wait for that human review of proof documentation. 

and that, the team that handles that is Genpact on behalf of Walmart, Walmart. Or, you can use mass dispute creation. So, they've actually upped it. It used to be 500 claims. It's now 800 claims. and that is where you don't attach proof documentation and it's automated view only. So, if it's denied, your only course of action is then to dispute individually with proof documentation. 

So again, this is kind of a walkthrough of how you could dispute individually. You can search for the claim, you provide details, and it can take about 15 to 20 minutes if it's something that you've seen before. if you're, you know, bulking them by, hey, I just want to dispute code 22 today, you can get on a rhythm. 

but for more complicated or your first time, it usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes. And then we did just want to clarify Mass Dispute Creation, now that we've kind of walked through what that looks like, it's not alike for, like, replacement. So with Settlement Disputing, it's, it was, you know, you're getting a certain percentage. 

Mass Dispute Creation is going to have a lower win rate from what we've seen historically, and you're, you may have to ultimately dispute those individually anyways. So wanted to just clarify that those aren't necessarily apples to apples. and we've talked through this a little bit, but You can, you can use mass dispute creation. 

It is a helpful tool. from the suppliers we've talked to, you know, what's great is that you're not waiting for a quarterly settlement. You have some claims that will go through that you're not having to put too much, lift into. But that auto approval rate is going to be about 19%, which is far less than normal settlement offers. 

You can't attach proof documentation, and about 81 of those claims require separate action to be resolved anyways. So it can depend on what you need. Again, it's up to the discretion of the supplier. Here's kind of what we recommend for the workflow. So if you are disputing an APDP, here's what we would suggest you do. 

I would We would suggest reviewing deductions daily or weekly, so going into the application and seeing if any disputes are coming through, researching those as soon as you get them, just so you don't build a backlog of disputes and they don't have access to the documentation you need. And as you're researching, you're doing a validity check. 

You're saying, is this a valid claim? Is this something that, as a supplier, we're accountable for? Or is this not valid? If it's valid, go ahead and review that, save the proof documentation, communicate key learnings with your team, write it off, and, you know, kind of learn and communicate through. It's going to happen. There is no supplier who is 100 percent squeaky clean when it comes to having no AP deductions or no AR deductions. 

Revenue, recovery, and these types of fines are a part of the situation when you are a supplier. But let's say that you do your research and that claim is invalid. Go ahead and organize that proof documentation. Dispute. And I would say even communicate that to teams of what is working and where you are finding invalid claims. 

And then remember that the work is not done even though you dispute it. There are still things you can do afterwards. So let's say that there is a dispute resolution and it's denied. That may be money lost and maybe your key focus there is, okay, let's Let's prevent it. Let's, you know, save that documentation for later claims. 

Let's share those learnings of why it was denied, and possibly even apply those learnings and try to re dispute. You can actually dispute in total what we've seen about three times. After that, usually you are not able to dispute again. If it's really a hefty fine, or deduction, maybe that's something that you can, you know, bring up as a, a case to the, support team, but oftentimes you might as well just kind of apply those key learnings. 

But let's say this goes the other way and you are paid. you, it can be approved and then not paid. That could be an option. We don't see that too often, but you want to make sure that you are getting paid on approved claims, so make sure you follow up. And then even if you're approved and paid and it feels simple, Prevention is still very important because that could come up in a post audit, even if it's approved, and even if it's paid. 

So save that proof documentation for later. And if you're seeing wins on disputes, apply that to your other deductions that are of the same, Code type, or just apply those general learnings to make sure you have a higher win rate. Alright, and then lastly from the suppliers that we work with, here are kind of the best practices to leave you with. 

Focus on those winnable dispute categories. If you know you can go after code 22s, code 24s, do that and focus it by bulking, Hey, I want to dispute all of the code 22s today. Some suppliers suggest don't focus on resources on disputing under 500. Again, if you only have claims under 500, we know that those can really stack up and you should definitely go after those. 

But if you're pressed for time and you have just a backlog of disputes, those are sometimes the ones that suppliers will focus on less. Timeliness and disputing matters. So you do technically have roughly two years, but the faster you can get those pushed through in a timely matter means you have, you know, more of a chance because you have access to that proof documentation and any other details or correspondence that you may need. 

You must, must, as a supplier, have a process for saving shipping documents, invoices, etc. That's going to help with a myriad of the revenue, revenue issues that you may have and help you recover that, that, from retailers. The other is, you know, create tracking in your own database. We are seeing some suppliers who build out their own tracking for that and are able to apply it across other retails. 

Retailers as well, and their revenue recovery teams. this other point here is create processes to not lose out on aging disputes. Again, that kind of goes to timeliness. another key is don't let portal access be a roadblock. If I've been talking about RetailLink and you don't know what I'm talking about, or APDP, and you're not seeing that in, in your retailing account, go talk to your site admin and make sure that the right people are, have access to those, those applications that can help you win back money. 

Last two points here is consider search time for proof documentation. That's going to add to the time it takes to actually just submit something, and maybe that needs to be organized differently on your team. Maybe one person is just researching claims and someone else is disputing. Just think about how you're organizing your team for the best possible outcome for your disputes. 

And then lastly, if you are confused or you have questions, you are always welcome to bring them to the SupplierWiki team. We would love to help, as well as, we use the Walmart Supplier Support Group. We've seen a lot of suppliers have success, by just hearing what other suppliers, think is helpful, as well as if you can connect with someone on the Walmart, AP team. 

There are some, some Walmart AP team members. in Walmart Supplier Support Group, and sometimes they'll answer your questions as well. So, reviewing those, getting context, seeing what other suppliers are doing, learning from each other is really important. All right, I talked a lot. I'm welcoming Peter back if we have any questions in the chat, because we've got a little bit of time here before we end today's webinar. 

[00:57:38] Peter: Yeah, thanks for that, Allie. I think that was, Really helpful and thorough. get any questions in now if you, if you haven't already, we've got one here, which is kind of like, I think really the main, the main question. but for a one time settlement, how does Walmart offer this option to a supplier?And then, is there a process to request a one time settlement? 

[00:58:06] Allie: So, that's a great question. Peter, add your context, and if you've had, you know, you've heard something differently. From what I have heard, Walmart usually extends a one time settlement via email, through your, usually a contact through your merchant team, or, you know, someone through their AP accounts team. 

I would say I haven't seen a supplier reaching out for a one time settlement. if you feel like, I think that's where I would, I would leave that question to you, Peter. I don't know of a supplier actually asking for that, but that may be something that if you're approached or find the right contact, you can get more context on. 

[00:58:50] Peter: Yeah, I, that's the extent of my knowledge too, is just that it's not something that Walmart has created a, a, formalized pathway for yet. So, like, with everything else, that would mean, if it is possible to, initiate a one time settlement, that might be something that will be done through a buyer. 

Again, depending on that relationship, depending on, on, you know, how, if that makes sense, with that relationship that you have, it's not something that we would necessarily recommend or not. But yeah, Walmart has certainly not initiated, they've kept it pretty close to the to the chest after discontinuing settlement. 

but I think it's something that they've done really just because their, APDP is overwhelmed. So I think that they're starting to, with some larger suppliers, I think they're starting to kind of reach out for this one time settlement stuff. But, yeah, that's, that's the extent of my knowledge on that subject too. 

All right, I think that's it, in terms of questions. thank you all for joining us. We've got some, some resources. I mean, I've been blowing up the chat with the resources, so I think you guys, you probably know about a lot of those, but, go to or, reach out to us by email if there's any kind of requests that you have, for future content or if you would like a little bit more detail on a particular kind of a particular section of this, webinar. 

if there's more kind of questions that you have about settlement, send them our way too. but yeah, I think that's it for us today. thank you all for joining us and we will see you next time. 

[01:00:40] Allie: Sounds good. See you guys. Thanks.


  • Allie Welsh-Truong

    Allie Welsh-Truong

    SupplierWiki Content Manager

    Allie Welsh-Truong is an NWA native with a background in the CPG industry. As Content Manager, she develops and executes SupplierWiki's content strategy.

    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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