Profitez d'une période d'essai gratuitement

Walmart speeds up stock management with Vizpick and Blue Yonder

Through Sophie Baqué. Published on 02 September 2022 à 17h15 - Update on 21 October 2022 à 21h45

During the company’s Q2 earnings conference call (which ended on July 29, 2022), Walmart announced increased efficiency and speed for inventory management at 4,500 U.S. stores. The world’s largest retailer by sales, which has made significant investments in Blue Yonder’s supply-chain software, also shared its feedback on Vizpick. This solution, which turned store stockrooms into miniature warehouses, helped increase inventory accuracy and speed up stock turns, using automation and augmented reality.

Walmart started using Vizpick in 2021 and all the U.S. stores have now adopted it. It helps moving products from the backroom to the sales floor more efficiently. Based on a smartphone, Vizpick captures all necessary data for each product (use-by date, number of items in the back-office, on the shelf…) and selects the oldest ones when an employee comes for restocking. Fresh and ambient packages are equipped with smart labels: those with a blue label have to be taken first, as opposed to those with a white label. The app also indicates how many products are left on the shelf, to avoid unnecessary trips back and forth between the back-office and the store. This not only saves associate time but also helps avoid missing sales due to out-of-stocks. 

According to John David Rainey, CFO, “we still have about $1.5 billion in inventory that if we could just wave a magic wand, we’d make it go away today”. He estimates that inventory is still 15% above optimal levels. This is a highly strategic subject, as customers increasingly adjust spending due to inflation. “We’ve also cancelled billions of dollars in orders to help align inventory levels with expected demand”, added Rainey.

In Q2 2022, Walmart recorded an 8.4% increase in sales to US$152.9 billion. Readers will remember that sales growth reached 2.4% in Q1 (to US$141.6 billion) and 2.4% in 2021.