As a personal shopper with Walmart’s online grocery and home delivery business, everything I do is aimed at making sure the quality of the products – particularly fresh produce – is exceptional when it arrives on a customer’s doorstep.
So I took it personally earlier this year when a few photos circulated back to me of fruit we selected that looked like it didn’t meet the high standards I’ve set for myself.
I decided to investigate and discovered the grooves at the bottom of the plastic totes we used to gather and move produce were at least partially to blame. Certain types of produce were susceptible to bruising as the totes made their way from the sales floor, to the holding area, onto delivery trucks and eventually to a customer’s front door.
So, when my eyes came across the thin layers of paper-lined foam that suppliers used to ship boxes of apples to our stores, I had an idea. I decided to start lining the bottoms of our totes with them as I selected items like apples, pears and bananas for customers. And it seemed to do the trick – no more mystery photos.
Someone saw what I was doing and brought the idea to our corporate office. The next thing I knew, I was on a conference call led by Greg Foran, the president and CEO of Walmart U.S., explaining my idea. Then I got the chance to travel to Walmart’s shareholders meeting in June to personally share my story with an even larger audience. Now, I’m told those fresh pack pads are becoming part of our standard operating procedure across the U.S.
Sam Walton used to say you can find the best ideas by listening to your associates. I’m glad that philosophy is still alive today. My idea was a small one, but someone listened. And now it's making a difference on an even bigger level.