As part of the Walmart 2016 Index reporting period, TSC ran support webinars for 680 individuals from 532 Walmart suppliers and managed 273 help desk queries. After the Index, TSC surveyed those companies, members, and other stakeholders to learn more about their experiences with TSC surveys, and their future plans. The results give us the first empirical evidence that our theory of change is working. 252 suppliers responded to TSC’s customer satisfaction survey, an 18% response rate, which is very high for a voluntary survey.
The median annual revenue of companies responding to our Customer Satisfaction Survey was in the $10-100M range, with a number of companies over $1B, and a few less than $1M. The distribution of companies per sector was representative of the Walmart Index survey. On average, companies said they took 7 people-days to respond to the Walmart Index survey, but this number had a very wide variance, from two hours to four weeks.
Companies told us that the biggest barrier to answering the KPIs was understanding the KPI question and guidance, and that calculation spreadsheets and other data collection tools would be valuable for TSC to provide. This was one of the key reasons we started the Producer Toolkit Project in 2017.
Of the 252 companies responding, 40% of them made some changes to their practices in order to improve one or more KPI scores.
The most common improvement was to develop internal systems for collecting data and to communicate the importance of sustainability internally. Here are some anonymous quotes to that effect:
The second most common improvement was engagement and collaboration with suppliers.
Other Improvements: Process and product change, public communication
Companies mentioned that they had made changes to processes or products to improve sustainability, and communicated their public goals.
From these comments we can sense it’s not just about getting a better Index score – these companies are seeing and realizing the business case for sustainability improvement.