According to an article from RetailWire.com
, Walmart unveiled its SPARC (Supplier Portal Allowing Retail Coverage) app last month at its annual gathering of suppliers in Orlando. Suppliers who receive appropriate training will be able to use their smartphones to perform many of the functions that currently require assistance from a store associate.
"Suppliers often visit our stores to check on their products," Walmart spokesperson Ashley Hardie, told Arkansas' The City Wire. "Allowing them access to on-the-spot information through the app on their smartphone increases efficiency and allows for real-time decisions — and in retail, speed is important."
The article also reveals that the program will roll out this summer and beyond real-time access to data, suppliers and third-party merchandising firms will be trained to use the devices to handle basic practices such as printing missing shelf labels for items, stocking their products, and ensuring their displays are correct.
The program is developed by Walmart's digital partner Rockfish, and was piloted in 28 stores in four markets over the last several months. Several major suppliers were involved including L'Oreal, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Kellogg, Unilever and ConAgra.