Following recent allegations of mislabeled “Made in U.S.A.” merchandise, Walmart on Wednesday announced it had aligned with manufacturer database operator ThomasNet in order to help its vendors find stateside suppliers to make their products.
It’s a part of the retailer’s high-profile pledge to invest $250 billion by 2023 in domestically produced goods that support and create American jobs.
Since the initiative was announced in 2013, however, Walmart has learned its vendors have struggled to find U.S. suppliers. Now it’s striving to simplify the manufacturing process for its brands that want to produce here by offering access to a comprehensive database of more than 500,000 suppliers of products, components and custom services.
As part of the platform, developed exclusively for Walmart, companies can invite an unlimited number of suppliers to reply to a single request for information, quotes or proposals, while ThomasNet has assembled a customer service team to follow up with suppliers when vendors put out bids for goods and help expedite a response.
“ThomasNet is helping Walmart give our vendors options to find the quality products and services they need to be competitive,” said Michelle Gloeckler, executive vice president of consumables and U.S. manufacturing lead at Walmart, adding, “This goes a long way in creating business opportunities in the U.S. that drive job growth within the manufacturing industry.”