Few retailers in the world have as big and complex of a supply chain as Walmart. But the interaction between suppliers and retailers has evolved in recent years. Former Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke was on hand at CME Group’s 8th annual Global Financial Leadership Conference to discuss how the retail giant’s relationship with suppliers has evolved.
Duke was interviewed by Daniel Glickman, vice president of the Aspen Institute and former US secretary of agriculture, who pointed out just how crucial Walmart has become for many companies in its supply chain.
“I’ve talked to some of your suppliers and some of them will quietly say they sometimes worry more about what Walmart says than what the US government says because they said you have more impact on their lives in some cases than some regulatory edict coming out of Washington,” Glickman told Duke.
Duke responded that the old days of simply placing demands on suppliers is over. “For Walmart it’s much more about working together,” he said. Duke pointed out that large corporations such as Walmart have no choice but to collaborate.
“Our suppliers are just as important to Walmart and Walmart is important to suppliers. It’s kind of part of business today,” he said.
Contributing writer: John Davis