Walmart’s supply chain consolidation efforts are designed to ensure shipments are transported as efficiently as possible to meet customer needs and efficiency metrics. The Walmart Consolidation Program has been established to transport full truckloads and smaller loads throughout its supply chain. Learn more about the Walmart Vendor Pool, challenges for vendors, and how Mulder Brothers Brokerage can help suppliers comply with strict standards.
What Is LTL Pool Consolidation?
In standard truckload (TL) shipping processes, all cargo within a given truckload is from a single supplier. Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping allows multiple shippers to share a truck. When shippers have small loads that don’t require a whole truck, LTL shipping lets them rent just the space they need so the trailer is more efficiently filled. LTL shipping can reduce costs and improve sustainability, but it requires tight logistics management to stay on schedule across multiple stops. Brokers generally handle the complexities to facilitate this process.
LTL shipping transports a variety of goods, such as:
- Frozen and refrigerated meat, poultry, produce, and seafood for humans
- Frozen and refrigerated food for animals
As many of these goods are both temperature- and time-sensitive, suppliers often can’t wait until they have enough goods for a full truckload. Delaying increases the risk of spoilage, supply chain issues, and late delivery fees. LTL gives suppliers a solution for partial loads so goods can get to their destination faster.
Walmart Consolidation Program
In the Walmart Consolidation Program, multiple consolidation centers manage orders, examining them to consolidate order fulfillment routes for maximum efficiency. This allows a nationwide system of warehouses and distribution centers to ensure orders are fulfilled as quickly as possible. The consolidation program serves frozen and general goods manufacturers that supply Walmart with hundreds of different types of goods.
Mulder Brothers provides support for the Walmart Consolidation Program by configuring LTL pickup and delivery schedules so manufacturers in the Walmart Vendor Pool can quickly fulfill smaller orders placed by Walmart without having to pay for full TL shipment. We interface between suppliers and Walmart’s 47 frozen regional distribution centers by consolidating and routing shipments utilizing our consolidation centers.
By creating strict data-backed schedules for distributing goods across a wider network of warehouses, we can streamline the process, offer a consolidated pricing model at reduced costs, and increase flexibility. As part of our process, we commit to transparency and accountability by showing our performance metrics in weekly social media posts. We strive to meet and exceed Walmart’s standards for efficiency through consolidation and LTL shipping programs.
Navigating Walmart’s Challenging Requirements
With increasing competition in the market, even Walmart can’t afford customers going elsewhere if they can’t find an item in Walmart stores. For this reason, Walmart expects On-Time, In-Full (OTIF) orders from its suppliers.
Walmart’s distribution and consolidation systems are so vast and fast-moving, they can be hard to navigate on your own. Suppliers need to meet stringent guidelines to predictably fit within the wider network, minimize disruption, and ensure a good customer experience. Mulder Brothers is here to help suppliers understand the guidelines, navigate the process, and ship orders as efficiently as possible for on-time delivery.
What Walmart’s Supplier Quality Excellence Program Means for Suppliers
Walmart has developed a Supplier Quality Excellence Program (SQEP) to ensure end-to-end quality while substantially reducing transportation and supply chain handling costs. This program demands a high degree of informational accuracy for packaging details, load quality metrics, and purchase order (PO) details, resulting in accuracy fines of $200 or more for each PO infraction.
The company rolled out Phase 1 in February 2021. More recently, Phase 3 established guidelines for what qualifies as appropriate and quality loads, packaging, and labeling. Suppliers must meet these standards to ensure minimal breakage and logistics disruption. Phase 4 will focus on requirements for scheduling and transportation, but Walmart hasn’t yet released the details.
Understanding Walmart OTIF Compliance
Walmart’s OTIF initiative uses compliance ratings to assess suppliers’ ability to meet their shipping performance requirements. Suppliers must deliver OTIF orders in at least 95% of cases, and for any suppliers with a rating equal to or greater than 36% in August 2017, Walmart required those suppliers to improve by 20%.
Walmart suppliers need to be able to predictably meet their standards or else face poor ratings and other penalties for non-compliance. Suppliers may receive fines for failure to comply, such as a 3% fine for early, incomplete, or late orders.
Mulder Brothers Brokerage Services for the Walmart Vendor Pool
Mulder Brothers is an approved Walmart consolidation partner, and we’re here to help improve your supply chain operations so you can better meet and comply with Walmart’s OTIF requirements for suppliers. Contact us today to learn how we can help you ship your products across Walmart’s nationwide network of distribution centers and retain a high rating.