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Message to Readers: Advice Is 'Mega Magic'

Mon, 02/05/2007 - 4:18am

What do mega retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, want from suppliers? What are the metrics they use to measure suppliers? What does it take to become a preferred supplier? And what steps are necessary to maintain healthy profit margins when addressing the expectations of mega retailers?

These questions are answered in the educational webcast, "Mega Magic: How to Become a Go-To Supplier to Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and Other Big Box Retailers," produced by CHEM.INFO magazine and its sister publication, Food Manufacturing. The one-hour webcast, with streaming audio and video, can be viewed free by going to www.chem.info/megamagic and clicking on the "On-Demand Now" link.

This webcast is filled with straightforward advice for both current and potential suppliers of all sizes. It features an impressive panel of experts: Matt Kistler, vice president of product and packaging innovation for Sam's Club, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Nikki Baird, senior analyst of business process and applications, retail, for Forrester Research; and Scot McLeod, senior vice president with Ross Systems.

Kistler discusses what Wal-Mart and Sam's Club expects from suppliers and gives his perspective on what good and bad suppliers do. He also speaks frankly about his company's financial and sustainability goals. Baird explains the challenges that suppliers face today when approaching and dealing with all mega retailers and offers insightful advice on how to survive — and thrive — in this arena. She also talks about the importance of strategic collaboration and its most challenging obstacles. McLeod brings to life the real-world stories of suppliers who have successfully addressed the expectations of mega retailers and discusses compliance and profitability as well as the differences between branded and private label products.

The webcast also includes a lively question-and-answer discussion between the panel and webcast audience. For a sampling of the questions asked, as well as the sometimes surprising answers provided by the panelists, see the article "Mega Magic Q&A" on the next page.

—Lisa Arrigo, Editor-in-Chief and "Mega Magic" Webcast Moderator

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