Wal-Mart Tightens Delivery Deadlines

Wal-Mart’s new “must arrive by date” ratchets up supply chain pressure on vendors, shippers, and carriers.

Like most shippers, Wal-Mart Stores is looking for a delivery guarantee from its suppliers. Unlike most others, the world’s largest retailer now is demanding one. While many retailers were scrambling last week for any space they could find out of Asia, Wal-Mart implemented its strongest delivery requirements yet on suppliers in the United States, imposing new deadlines for getting goods to distribution centers as well as tough penalties on those that miss the mark. As of last week, U.S. companies shipping goods to Wal-Mart distribution centers must begin to deliver within a four-day window leading up to a “must arrive by date,” or what the company calls its MABD. The requirement will initially apply to suppliers shipping prepaid and truckload freight to Wal-Mart DCs.

What action’s can you take if you are a Wal-Mart vendor? We have started conversations with vendors about how to integrate together various Retail Link data with the vendors purchase order and shipping data to create exception based reports to show them when they are in danger. The key to not getting hammered by fines is going to be careful management and with the high volume of orders and shipments many vendors have with Wal-Mart careful exception based reporting is key.

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