Walmart is rolling out a more efficient way for the corporation to conduct negotiations with vendors. The company is integrating technology developed by Pactum AI Inc to automate purchase terms and associated costs with thousands of equipment suppliers simultaneously.
“As we grow, we will improve our operating margin through productivity advancements and our category and business mix, and drive returns through operating margin expansion and capital prioritization,” said Doug McMillion, Walmart President and Chief Executive Officer in a recent investment community meeting.
Typically, negotiations could take weeks to process but with the use of Pactum AI’s chatbots Walmart and vendors can negotiate over 2,000 contracts in only a few days.
As of now, Walmart’s AI system is directed towards equipment suppliers with smaller contracts, whose vendors have been reporting positive experiences with the new technology. It appears to be more efficient on both ends of the negotiations.
In a statement released by Walmart:
“Through its extensive work, Walmart is reengineering its supply chain to fulfill customer needs with a more intelligent and connected omnichannel network that is enabled by greater use of data, more intelligent software, and automation. The outcome improves in-stock, inventory accuracy, and flow whether customers shop in stores, pick up, or have a delivery.”
The company has yet to expand AI to other divisions, but that could be a real possibility if proceedings continue to go smoothly with vendors. And this is becoming a growing concern among employees in both stores and distribution centers who feel their positions may be threatened by the expanding use of AI technology.
Walmart plans to automate services in around 65% of its stores with 55% of fulfillment center volume coming through automated locations. The company’s expectations are to improve unit cost averages by 20%.
While this is a concerning set of predictions for employees, Walmart claims it aims to “serve our associates by creating opportunities” and is merely looking to streamline processes to create better working environments for staff.