Wal-Mart Helps Vendors Sort Through Retail Link
By George Anderson
Wal-Mart said it will update its Retail Link information system to make it more user-friendly for the company’s vendors. The changes include a graphics update and summary “dashboard” that can be customized to include only the data that suppliers want. The improvements are intended to simplify the process of sorting through and analyzing data to supply stores more efficiently while increasing the effectiveness of marketing programs.
Dan Phillips, vice president of merchandising systems at Wal-Mart, said yesterday, “Today, Retail Link is a little bit difficult to navigate. We’re going to do some things to help with that.”
According to an Associated Press report, some of Wal-Mart’s vendors have equated the current information supplied through Retail Link as being akin to “drinking water from a fire hydrant.”
Mr. Phillips acknowledged the difficulties with the information provided by the current system. “Typically, when someone is first starting to use Retail Link, they’ll spend more time sometimes trying to find things than they do analyzing data,” he said.
Moderator’s Comment: What will the potential improvements in Retail Link mean for Wal-Mart’s vendors? What will it
mean for in-store stock levels and sales if the modifications work according to plan? How are other retailers sharing information with vendors to improve supply chain efficiency
and sales at the store-level? – George Anderson – Moderator
- Wal – Mart to Revamp Database for Suppliers – The Associated Press/The New York
Times (free reg. required)