One of the differences between Walmart and other retailers is that Walmart tells suppliers exactly what’s expected of them. As a result, Walmart requires a higher level of accountability from suppliers than many other retailers do.
Suppliers know exactly what Walmart wants from them as partners, the retailer figures, so the suppliers should meet those expectations.
That’s what the Performance Scorecard is all about. It’s one page that tells suppliers exactly how they’re doing. On your Scorecard, you can see the sales of your items week over week — and year over year if you’ve been a supplier for more than one year. You can see the levels of profitability, and all the other metrics Walmart considers.
Your buyer can also see that data, as well as benchmarking data from other companies like yours. Your buyer will be very interested in what’s up, what’s down, and how you’re trending. You should be interested in those things, too.
Clearly, you can never go into a meeting and make it sound as though things are great if they’re not — and your buyer can never surprise you with information about how your products are doing. Everyone is on the same page.
This innovation has been picked up by other retailers by now, but when Walmart began doing this, there were naysayers. Some said that giving suppliers this degree of knowledge about their performance would change the balance of power… and perhaps it did. However, Sam Walton believed that empowering suppliers and developing partnerships based on trust would create a win-win situation.
So look at your Scorcard as a tool that helps you maximize your business and improve your partnership with Walmart. Use it to help your team set and achieve goals for improvement, and to develop your business with Walmart and with your other retail partners.