In 1996, the US retail chain Wal-Mart successfully conducted apilot program in which it used internet communications with one of its suppliers toachieve significant cuts in inventories. The process used in the pilot was called CPFR for'collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment'. CPFR has since beenimplemented in secret by many companies seeking to emulate Wal-Mart's success. Today,a number of retailers have CPFR programs underway, but none are willing to discuss whatthey consider to be a highly competitive issue.