Walmart Suppliers have been asked to make many changes to processes over the last few years. From systems updates to On Time In Full, every new initiative goes back to the common goal: getting product to the customer efficiently. As Walmart works with suppliers to plan new modulars, retail ready packaging is becoming a driving force of improvement.
Product arriving at the store ready for the shelf is nothing new, but it’s getting a new focus. Some suppliers will benefit now from examining their existing processes to get in front of package guidelines on the horizon.
Where to Start
For suppliers that have never prioritized retail ready packages, it helps to partner with seasoned professionals. Menasha Packaging has had a front row seat as retail expectations have evolved, and they provide keen insight into Walmart’s upcoming goals. Kerry Bailey, Director of Retail for Menasha, recently moderated a retail ready package summit hosted by Walmart. As Bailey explains, Walmart is working to fine tune the supply chain process. In the end, the customer comes out on top.
“Products that arrive at the store ready for the shelf is a retailer-driven initiative,” Bailey says. “What Walmart’s really doing is driving operational savings. Those savings get passed on to the customer.”
The Walmart summit Bailey helped moderate gave suppliers in one department an exciting challenge for 2018. “The retail ready packaging summit focused on items in Walmart’s Department 3 (Stationery, Office/School Supplies, Paper Goods). We left with a clear message: ‘Peg-Free Department 3!’ The goal is to have all Department 3 items off pegs by 2018.”
Many Forms of Retail Ready Packaging
The best part of Walmart’s retail ready packaging initiative is the company’s versatility. Bailey commends Walmart on not taking a “cookie cutter” approach but instead being open to different styles of packaging.
“Suppliers have the freedom to exercise innovation as it relates to their own supply chain,” he explains. “It’s a great opportunity for the supplier to connect the retailer initiatives with the supply chain teams. Working together, they can develop next dimension packaging that can run on its own automation.”
Get Ahead of the Game
While Walmart’s retail ready packaging goals are streamlining Department 3, other areas are sure to follow. Consulting with a partner like Menasha combines the experience of packaging with solid Walmart knowledge.
Menasha created a retail ready packaging toolkit to get new suppliers off the ground. Each supplier is different, and Menasha works to look at all forms of solutions to get the product to the store, ready for the shelf.