Getting on Walmart’s Service Provider List

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by Ranger Kidwell-Ross In February 2020, a WSA Member asked me to find out how they could get onto the list for providing sweeping services to Walmart. In response, we contacted Dale Brantley, Walmart’s Senior Manager for Exterior Services.  BTW, we also have on the WSA website an extensive article done in November of 2019 that covers many other topics about dealing with Walmart. Brantley said that Walmart requires that a prospective contractor be “sponsored” or “referred.” What this means, in essence, is that a store manager must request your services. Alternatively, if the Walmart locations in your area are under the control of a third party vendor, e.g., such as Divisions or KBS, then those organizations can also request that you are put onto the vendor list so you can start performing Walmart work through them. The question that I suspect is in many contractors minds, having read the above, is how to get such a recommendation or referral. My suggestion is this: if you want to sweep for Walmart locations in your area, look around to see if their parking lots are dirty. In other words, see if the current contractor is doing a good job. It is also in your interest, before jumping to any conclusions, to figure out or ask that location’s management team what days of the week sweeping is being done currently. You will also want to find out, if you can, what the sweeping contractor’s scope of work is at that location.  For example, you may find the loading area to be unkempt and/or dirty; however, that area may not be on the cleanup list for the sweeping contractor. If that’s the case, though, be sure to add that information to whatever else you glean about the lot prior to contacting the Walmart store manager. You will want to get all other informational details collected and organized, too, such that you can make a strong presentation to the store manager. Probably, since the Walmart organization is always trying to save money on lot sweeping and other maintenance services, the store manager will tell you what price they are currently paying per sweep / per week. When they do, I suggest you DO NOT start out undercutting the current price. Instead, discuss how you will do a better job at the current price or, alternatively, that you will do a better job — but the only way that can be done is at a higher price. Follow that statement with why it would be in the store’s best interest to — in order to maximize customer satisfaction, lower slip-and-fall liability, reduce track-in of grit, etc. — be willing to pay a higher price per sweep so as to actually get their location’s parking area clean each and every time. If you can provide a better job, succinctly state the reasons why. If the current contractor is doing a poor job, I suggest you take photos showing that fact with you to your manager meeting. These should be of identifiable  locations on the Walmart property, clearly showing that a good level of service is not currently being provided. If possible, date stamp the photos to show when you take them and try to take them on a day when sweeping was scheduled to occur the night before. Through the years I have recommended another method you might try to get the manager’s attention, which is to make an appointment to take them for a ‘sweep around the lot’ on the day after the current contractor has swept the night before. Before you suggest something like that, though, you need to make sure there’s enough material on the ground to add up once you’ve collected it into your clean hopper. BTW, be sure to show the manager that your hopper is clean before you go out for your sweep. During your sweep, point out any and all areas that need attention. For especially bad spots, consider getting out of the truck and discussing the situation while you’re both on the ground. Many times, managers haven’t really been looking into the corners or peering into the landscaping bushes. Remember the value in explaining the many benefits provided by your World Sweeping Association membership, as well. After all, only WSA Members are receiving a professional, nationwide update on all things sweeping on the 1st and 15th of each month, including the Safety First! update on the 15th. That’s also another reason to keep the handouts we provide in your WSA sales presentation notebook. Provide the ones that might be of the most value; for example, our required ‘Ethics Certificate,’ ‘Why Sweep Parking Lots’ and ‘Why Use a WSA Member.’ Also, of course, provide whatever information about your company you would believe to be best for that particular situation, like you would on any sales call. If you perform other services besides parking lot sweeping, be sure the Walmart store manager is made aware of that information, too. Remember that if you promise better service and they take you up on your offer, at an agreed-upon price, they will definitely be expecting a better level of service. Finally, once you have been entered into Walmart’s system, be sure to familiarize yourself with the ServiceChannel portal that is required for contractor verification. Walmart locations can be swept profitably; however, because they are the largest retailer in America they expect what might be called ‘group rates.’ There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you know your costs and so can provide the services required ONLY if the payment per sweep will cover ALL of your cost structure AND provide a normal profit. If it won’t, then let the store’s current contractor keep losing money per sweep instead of you. No matter what, though, make sure to provide the Walmart management team with the information they need to remember to call you whenever the management team decides that changes need to be made. If you have questions or comments about this article, please send an email to or call WSA at 360.724.7355, Pacific Time Zone.      

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