On February 1, 2021, Walmart launched phase one of its Supplier Quality Excellence Program (SQEP) in an effort to improve supplier accountability. A key part of phase one of this program was Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN) compliancy which requires suppliers to submit to Walmart documentation of shipped loads at the time of shipping. This documentation would provide information for Walmart to validate shipped loads before their arrival. Suppliers not compliant with ASN by February 1, 2021 were subject to a $200 penalty per PO plus $1 for each case.
We had already developed for our client a web application that allowed them to track their shipments to Walmart facilities. It was highly preferable that any ASN related solution be seamlessly integrated into the existing application. With that condition in consideration, there were many data points required for ASN compliance which were not stored anywhere on their site at the time. New fields would need to be added somewhere for program owners to fill out. Furthermore, the program owner needed the ability to designate whether their program required ASN as compliancy was not a universal Walmart requirement.
For example, let’s say a typical program could have 60 unique POs, each with their own load, and each load will be broken down by items to be delivered. This translates to 60 unique ASN documents to be submitted per program. While it is conceivable that a human could do such work, this repetitive task is better suited for an automated script, especially considering ASN documents must follow a rigid format consistently.
Before any development could be made, there was not enough information being captured to create the ASN either from the BOL or from the Program Owner. It was determined that we should develop a Switch that would be turned on when a program was in need of an ASN. This would collect additional information needed from the BOL and force the Program Owner to fill out additional information.
Once a load got marked as shipped, this automatically kicks off a script that pulls PO, load, and item data to be formatted and compiles the file needed to finalize the process and submit the ASN file to Walmart.
The solution was coded and implemented two weeks before the February 1st deadline. Over the course of the year, with the implemented system, we were able to save the client ~700hrs of manual labor to be ASN compliant (13hrs a week). Keeping the client in ASN compliancy with Walmart, thus avoiding any penalties.