On Time In Full (OTIF) has been a hot topic of conversation in 2017. As we near the end of the year, Ed Oldham, (VP Flow) and Jeff Gruener, (SVP Merch Ops Centralized Solution/Execution) conversed with a group of about 100 learning more about Walmart’s OTIF initiative, where they’ve been, where they are now, and where they want to go in 2018. The two were the featured speakers at the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce WalStreet Fireside Chat held on November 13 at the Avondale Chapel.
Retail landscape has evolved. Shoppers are demanding retailers make more products available, quickly, through all points of sale. Consumers are driving the supply chain, and Walmart is not only listening to their customers, but ensuring suppliers shore up efficiency to accomplish customer expectations. Supply chain is in the midst of evolution. In-store products must be aligned with online shopping goals. Score carding supplier performance has become a complicated process and overwhelmingly, proactive suppliers collaborating with Walmart and supply chain experts are winning.
Ed Oldham and Jeff Gruener emphasized that setting the metrics and implications early was paramount to the success of the program. Communicating the benefits and penalties, early and often, means manufacturers and suppliers have no reason not to prioritize OTIF and organize a process and plan to meet the metric Walmart put in place in August.
The focus has been narrowing variability. Since February, suppliers have worked in partnership with experts, like CaseStack and Prime Distribution Service, learning about best practices for efficiently delivering products on-time and in-full. The push has been undertaken not only to eliminate any fines from the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, but also to tighten up margins including unnecessary overtime and labor.
The improvement metrics are somewhat flexible, taking into consideration events out of control from the supply chain like natural disasters. And when you move as much product around the world as Walmart, hurricanes, floods, tornados, tsunamis, and just about every other natural disaster comes into play. They back this out of the equation, adjusting both for direct shipment delays and ripple effects.
So far, On Time in Full has been a success, showing dramatic improvements and more than doubling efficiency. Leadership at Walmart is pleased with progress. This improvement is deeply rooted in customer experience.
The main focus continues to be consolidation. Expectations for 2018 include simplification through automation and technology. It’s just more efficient than trying to figure it out on the phone.The WalStreet program, through the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce is working to add value for local retail suppliers, agencies, and brokers. WalStreet FireSide Chat is a follow up to WalStreet Speaker Series and serves to delve deeper into the topics. It’s an unscripted, audience participation, question and answer forum.
Recap supplied by WhyteSpyder. For more information on the WalStreet program contact Dawn Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org