Walmart Automates Supplier Negotiations with AI Platform Pactum

AI-bots will be used to negotiate Walmart’s difficult-to-manage long-tail vendor contracts, yielding better outcomes for all parties.

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Need to Know

  • Walmart pens deal with AI-based platform Pactum to automate personalized commercial negotiations with its vendors.
  • The Pactum pilot will roll out with some of Walmart’s long tail vendors that provide low-volume, niche products. 
  • Walmart’s AI-powered negotiations will enlist the help of Pactum’s negotiation chatbot, a bot that has been developed by Pactum’s scientists to conduct best practice negotiations. Once completed all information will automatically update to Walmart’s relevant systems.

Analysis

For large companies like Walmart, revisiting vendor contracts is crucial for ensuring relationships remain valuable for all parties while keeping costs low for its customers. As supplier lists and contracts grow, it can be hard for individual employees to negotiate should circumstances change – enter Pactum. 

Walmart’s partnership with Pactum aims to help the superstore roll out AI-powered personalized commercial negotiations on a massive scale. 

“We’re thrilled to be working with Walmart,” said Martin Rand, Pactum CEO in a press release. “It’s encouraging that, as a leader in cutting edge technological innovation for efficiencies across its enterprise workflows, they see the value in what Pactum offers.”

The Walmart/Pactum pilot project will begin with some of the retailer’s long tail vendors that supply low-volume products. Pactum’s team of analysts and negotiation scientists map out “value functions” of each negotiation and outline best practices. From there, the negotiation chatbot takes over and autonomously conducts the negotiation. Once completed, all information is automatically updated to Walmart’s relevant systems for inspection.  

In addition to improving inefficiencies with vendor contract negotiations, Walmart recently made changes to its department structure, merging e-commerce and product-buying teams to improve customer experience and employee work-flow. Tapping deeper into tech the retailer also announced the introduction of 5G stores to power its digital health platform. 

According to research by KPMG, inefficient contracting is estimated to cause firms to lose between 17% to 40% of the value on a given deal. 

“Our system helps companies enable growth and bring in initially lost income through stronger agreements while minimizing waste by conducting thousands of parallel automated negotiations at a time,” said Rand about the platform’s development. 

“We’ve converted a process that used to take days, involving back and forth communication and preparation, contracts drafts, updates, and approvals, and signatures, etc. to now take an average of 15 minutes.”

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