Focus on Suppliers Examines New SAO Initiative

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 103 views 

Pain is a great motivator — even in television programming.

When the 8th & Walton teacher/experts learned that their suppliers were painfully struggling with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s new SAO (store assortment online) initiative, they marched across the office to their media team and cried, “Let’s help them now!”

The producers of “Focus on Suppliers” immediately understood the significance of the request. Simply put, the suppliers were troubled by SAO — its time constraints, some confusing requirements and a lack of resources to turn to for help. Yes, 8th & Walton teaches omnichannel classes, but the television show offered the chance to give thousands of suppliers instant pain relief, so the FOS producers adjusted their programming and developed a half-hour special on omnichannel.

The omnichannel special begins with Jessica Hendrix’s weekly feature, Millennial Minute. In it, the Saatchi & Saatchi X president highlights Millennials’ use of multiple buying channels and suggests suppliers use cues and tips to help connect emotionally with Millennials whether they’re shopping digitally or in a store.


E-Commerce is Key

Next, Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail in New York City, gives an overview of global retail and its differences by country. He reminds the viewer that e-commerce is 10 percent of what’s bought and sold today, with the expectation that by 2020 it will be 16 percent. Gildenberg compares Walmart’s learning new e-commerce skills with Rocky Balboa’s experience fighting Mr. T in “Rocky III.”

“They had to reapply themselves, like Rocky did, learning new skills that were important to compete with a very different competitive animal than they’d ever come across before,” he said.

Host Neile Jones then interviews four leaders whose businesses are built on omnichannel options. Each gives a summary of his/her company’s focus and also provides further clarity for the viewer on the topic of e-commerce. Kenji Gjovig (Content Analytics), Jeff Rechtzigel (Liquidity Services), Victoria Bouldin (Opal) and Ed Carroll (WebCollage) remove some of the mystery surrounding SAO while giving the viewer information about how they can help suppliers with e-commerce.

The final interview is Jeff Amerine, Startup Junkie Consulting, talking with Jones about the significance of e-commerce in the future. With a projection of $327 billion out of the total retail picture (with mobile accounting for around 30 percent of that), e-commerce cannot be ignored.

Gildenberg’s and Amerine’s global views, depth of knowledge and credibility are perfect bookends for this important episode.


Focal Points

The show closes with Jones giving the viewer key takeaways from the episode:

• May 31 is the date SAO needs to be completed for Walmart.

• Improve your website by adding rich content, videos and detailed descriptions.

• Since retail space is not growing, focusing on dotcom is critical to suppliers.

By watching this episode, suppliers will gain significant insight into this important initiative — an exciting opportunity for them to build their brands and grow their future sales.

The 30-minute episode which was first broadcast on April 30 is currently available on YouTube and Vimeo. You can watch this episode by going directly to, or visit to see a full listing of “Focus on Suppliers” episodes and extended interviews. 


Coming up on “Focus on Suppliers”

The show broadcasts weekly on KNWA-NBC at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and 5 a.m. Sundays. Full episodes and extended interviews can be found online at or Currently scheduled guests and episodes, which are subject to change:

May 14: BBQ Kickoff

Anheuser-Busch – Randy Ornstein

Bissell Homecare – Steve Galen

Charleston Gourmet Burger Co. – Monique and Chevalo Wilsondebriano

Marine Harvest – Shelby Behn & Robert Clark

Mercy Hospital Pet Therapy – Lesley Evans

Movista – Stan Zylowski

Ozark Mountain Foods – Ed Fryar

Saatchi & Saatchi X – Jessica Hendrix


If you missed the Sustainability Special, go to:


If you missed the Omni-channel Special, visit: