backroom attitude towards flow!

Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
778
#1
Anybody else notice a trend of backroom feeling they are above flowteam in rank, ability, and just overall better? Been noticing this at my store...the backroom seems to think that flowteam are bottom of the barrel lowlifes. They've been cracking jokes at our stock time, but they don't realize we have to cover the whole sales floor, work around guests, spend a LOT of time helping guests, deal with trash, and then on top of that we bring backstock to the backroom.

I've done backroom plenty of times (granted never on truck days) but in my opinion the scope and responsibility of the job is much simpler and easier. Sure you have to work quickly to keep up with pulls and backstock, but that's pretty much all you do. Unless it's a heavy transition day, I'd say you do a lot less lifting than flow as well.

I'm pretty sure it's coming from our relatively new backroom tl who is a little too gung-ho. Sure, he runs a tight ship, but being global or a teamplayer is not their cup of tea...constantly asking for favors from flow and salesfloor to make backroom's job easier, and then showing no care or concern in return (pulls unorganized and look like crap overloaded on tubs, shiestering people into doing pulls, constantly stealing human resources, etc, etc). It's become an inside joke somewhat, because of their conduct, we joke that they think backroom is what makes target all their money. Matter of fact, that's the whole reason we have trucks in the first place, is to create backstock! And all the backroom metrics are what generate our daily revenue...flowteam, salesfloor, and front end do not make sales, or anything of that nature!

Anyways it's not a big deal, it's more funny and interesting to me than anything. I know we've talked on these boards before about the store in general looking down on flow, considering the broken wheel of many stores...but does anybody else get this from their backroom? I know they may just be taking a patriotic pride in their area and just dishing out some friendly competion on some of this, but some of it is also no bueno!
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
836
#2
I honestly think that anyone who works at Target thinks the job that they have is harder, more intense,and less appreciated than the others. I have heard grumblings against the flow team from backroom team members. When it did happen I pulled the culprit and had him work a tub of home office freight, while I did his back stocking. I let him know the tub should be done in 20 minutes. After 30 minutes I went out to find him struggling trying to figure out which pens went where. He had made it through the first half of the top of the tub. Like I said unless you have walked a mile in someones shoes you have no idea what the total scope of their job is.
 
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Ludwig3

Guest
#3
Flow does do hard work. Typically the hours when everyone else is still sleeping, they are rushed to unload a truck just to please the TL then rushed around the store in 4 hours. Flow also gets shifted when it comes to hours. BUT let's not forget a few common blunders the Flow team carries. While some are hard workers, others slack and cost the team it's reputation. These Flow members skip isles, beg for hours (then call out), leave broken items on backstock, etc... Every role at Target is important in shaping the store, so no one should feel higher in any regards. That being said; Yes some team members bad mouth Flow, but I'm willing to bet it stems from a personal experience they have encounter. A few bad apples can ruin the tree...
 
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invictustaylor
Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
778
#4
I agree with both of you. You can see on these boards everybody considers their job the hardest. And to ludwig, the backroom does base this off of personal experience, like for example seeing flowteam standing around in the backroom and talking for a minute or two. My deal is that's hypocritical of my store's backroom team, because any given time you walk past the stock aisle, you will see about two or three of them discussing sports and working at a low rate of effort.
 
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Barcode

Guest
#5
Flow does hard work, but most of them are pretty uneducated and speak poor english (at least in my store). I'm sure theres a few who really excel at flow though (like in any team).
 

pellinore

Ho hum....I'm watching you!
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
1,815
#6
Everyone is important to how the store works.....but, if the backroom and flow aren't getting their work done, then the rest of the store cannot run with much, if any, efficiency. With our store, flow and backroom are one team, not two.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
285
#7
People generally have this attitude towards our flow team too and it's so undeserved. That job is so much harder than it looks. I've come in to help with the trucks a few times, and I could never do it all the time. Give me a seemingly insurmountable amount of revisions any day. Not to mention how many hours a lot of them put in before heading to another job or school for the day. They deserve more love than they get - most of them.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
228
#8
I will agree that they deserve more respect from the amount of work they have to do, but they will not get much from me until they stop:

1) Opening shippers, backstocking the insides, and tossing the necessary display parts

2) Leaving eye-level shelves empty while stacking bulk toilet paper 3 high on the top shelf.

3) Backstocking impossibly heavy boxes on the top shelf in the darkest corner of the backroom in an aisle where the wave will not fit.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
130
#10
I wish about 10 years of flow work on any person that speaks badly about the Flow team. Pretty normal attitude from the backroom though.
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
10,151
#11
most of them are pretty uneducated and speak poor english (at least in my store)
At my store, that's the cleaning crew. The way I see it, no team is more important than any other; you need every process in order to be a successful store. Sure, flow or plano or instocks may be more strenuous or difficult than, say, cashiering, but every team is of equal importance to the way the store runs.
 
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Barcode

Guest
#12
At my store, that's the cleaning crew. The way I see it, no team is more important than any other; you need every process in order to be a successful store. Sure, flow or plano or instocks may be more strenuous or difficult than, say, cashiering, but every team is of equal importance to the way the store runs.
haha our cleaning crew speaks no english except for maybe the supervisor(s).
 
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invictustaylor
Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
778
#13
you aren't watching them close enough then, Imerzan. I gurantee that if you shadowed them for a day, and they wanted to hit on/talk to an english speaking team member, then miraculously they would have the sudden ability to speak english.
 

Leonhart621

Flow Driver
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
853
#14
I honestly think that anyone who works at Target thinks the job that they have is harder, more intense,and less appreciated than the others. I have heard grumblings against the flow team from backroom team members. When it did happen I pulled the culprit and had him work a tub of home office freight, while I did his back stocking. I let him know the tub should be done in 20 minutes. After 30 minutes I went out to find him struggling trying to figure out which pens went where. He had made it through the first half of the top of the tub. Like I said unless you have walked a mile in someones shoes you have no idea what the total scope of their job is.
So basically you put the TM on an area he's not familiar with and then tell him to finish at a certain time?

Now try to put him on an area he's familiar with and then give him a time goal. What would happen if he actually finish it on time?
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2011
Messages
1,036
#15
The flow team has their schedule changed the most often, not always knowing exactly how many hours they will get to stay each shift, cancelled truck, added truck, asked to stay over, sent home early - - etc. I appreciate them.
 

talan123

Team Member/Troll
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
652
#16
Our store has neither the time nor the resources to waste on crap like that, though I wished we did.

We have one backroom guy on during the day, one, and they do the pushing as well as the pulling. The backroom guys also help the guests or hoist them onto me when they are busy which I am fine with because they need to go in and out as fast as they can. I help them out as much as possible by keeping their areas as organized as possible, storing and subtracting in the system using the proper programs. I would even do their pulls if they would let me.

Frankly there just isn't enough to go around at our store to fight over anymore, with the sales-floor gone there is no help coming.
 
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Ludwig3

Guest
#17
I appreciate the hard working Flow members. They really make everyone else's job easier. Our line stacker is the best in the business, never a dropped pallet whenever we roll em over to backstock. Our challenge is typically low as well, great scanning has improved our store imo. Truth is all teams have laziness. We just need to weed those people out!
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
217
#18
I will say this, I have volunteered for a few early morning shifts and it is not easy. The flow team at my store really gets their noses to the grind! I think the backroom and the flow team both have an equal workload!
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2011
Messages
147
#19
I was on the flow team once and hated it. I guess I have to give those currently working flow credit. I just can't stand the early hours, ever-changing schedules, the physical work, pushing items even to the point of breaking them.

That being said, I do wish sometimes they read lables, take a quick look to multiple shelves/peg hooks and use PDA's less often (especially when some flow team members have been stocking those ailes like forever).
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
90
#20
I agree, I believe that each dept. has it's importance. When it comes to the flow team, the only issue I have with them is when they unload the market items and don't rotate the dates properly. Today I ran into an issue that concerned me quite a bit. We have 2 ETL-Food and today I was called to the service desk for guest assistance. When I got there I see this little old lady with a stack of Betty Crocker like microwavable mac & cheese bowls. When I asked my TM how I can help, the guest went into a rant about how she found all of them out of date and demanded to speak to a manager. Tell me how the date on the items were JUNE 14th, 2011!!!!! I just about sh!t myself loll... I apologized to the guest and ensured her that this does not happen. I gave her a few apology coupons and this did the trick. I ensured her that I would immediately speak to the manager for that department and have it taken care of. Needless to say, when I called the ETL for market, this is exactly how the situation went:

GSA- ETL xxxx come in please
ETL- Go for xxxx, can I help you find something?
GSA- ETL xxx, switch to 4 please (never a private conversation)
ETL- Im on 4..whats up?
GSA- I just had a guest complaint about an item being out of date. I would have gone straight to the market TM but the date itse;f concerned me.
ETL- what's the date for the item?
GSA- June 14th, 2011... I am aware that we had a big truck today and out TM's or market are pretty good at staying on top of this issue.
ETL- yes you are correct, we did have a big truck and this is an ongoing issue with the flow team. they do not properly rotate the items and this the result. I wlil follow up with them and ensure that this does not happen again. Apologize to the guest and give them them the courtesy coupons.
GSA- Thank you. I already took care of the guest and despite this issue, she left the store happy.
ETL- good thats all that matters


Now, I appreciate all my TM's but seriously...June 14th, 2011???? EW
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
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25,270
#21
Zoning teams, ctl & freshness Friday should of caught those bad dates too. Don't blame everything on the flow team. That product could of came the backroom & not the truck. It is a whole team effort to do FIFO, no matter what dept you work in.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
90
#22
I am not blaming anyone, that is why before I went to only the market TM, I went to my ETL-food first. Just to see what could have gone wrong. Now if my ETL-Food says it was so and so's fault, then who am I to argue unless I know otherwise. Sorry if I offended you.


Zoning teams, ctl & freshness Friday should of caught those bad dates too. Don't blame everything on the flow team. That product could of came the backroom & not the truck. It is a whole team effort to do FIFO, no matter what dept you work in.
 
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invictustaylor
Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
778
#23
in regards to the fifo, if flowteam correctly fifo'd everything in market, it would take an extra 30 to 60 minutes. I'm all for it, but you better believe flowteam would be getting coached if they took an extra hour each day. It's messed up, but what I like to do is push the old stuff as far back as I can, put the 2 or 3 new items that will fit and say "MAN I AM FIFO-ing the crap out of this!" Then I backstock the rest of the casepack that should have directly been backstocked in the first place! Lol I don't always do that, and I never do that with freezer items.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
836
#24
I think an ETL who placed blame on any team over the walkie was out of line. A simple I will follow up on that issue would have been plenty. To have an ETL speak about an entire team in that manner is inexcusable.Freshness is a total team effort. Every team plays a part. Have there been no revisions since May of last year? If they did any revisions in May the plano team should have put those numbers in the SDA. Did anyone stock that area when doing hourly pulls in the last 6 months? If so why didn't they FIFO? Freshness Friday hasn't been done in that area since June? If it had the offending product should have been found. If I was a member of that stores flow team I would be offended. Its quite funny if you watch people who usually don't work in the market/grocery aisles work a pull. Usually the same ETLs who are preaching FIFO are the ones you catch just shoving the products on the shelf, no rotating at all.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
90
#25
See thats exactly what I was talking about. It is not hard to rotate items, especially with food items, you have to ensure that the new ones are put to the back and the old to the front. Had this guest I was referring to had eaten that out dated food (June 14th, 2011) and gotten sick due to food poisoning, Target would have a law suit and a half on their hands. It not only the flow team that needs to take responsibility for rotating the new merchandise for the old but also the backroom and market TM's. but if the flow team is aware of what they are doing, then they need to fix this as well. I have spoken to my market team as well as both my ETL-Food and the market TL about this issue. It is a team effort and as a team if everyone didnt half ass their way through their shift, situations like what happen on my shift might not happen. Perhaps I am the only one who views it this way but it is not only sales floor team I have this issue with. My GSTL and I train all of the cashiers/ guest service team to rotate the candy, gum, and chocolate at the checklanes. We get our candy totes every friday morning and we have our wall in the center stockroom strictly for our candy. We do our best to ensure that all that candy is worked on before the next shipment comes in. Basicly, lets say we have a half empty box of snickers. You put a new box in that spot and flex out the half one to other checklanes. I'm sure if you spoke to your ETL-Food, if you have or, if not then our logistics TL, I am almost certain that they will have no problem giving you an extra 20mins each shift to check the dates of the food you are putting out. Especially if styrotech (however you spell it) comes in and checks everything that department can go RED.


in regards to the fifo, if flowteam correctly fifo'd everything in market, it would take an extra 30 to 60 minutes. I'm all for it, but you better believe flowteam would be getting coached if they took an extra hour each day. It's messed up, but what I like to do is push the old stuff as far back as I can, put the 2 or 3 new items that will fit and say "MAN I AM FIFO-ing the crap out of this!" Then I backstock the rest of the casepack that should have directly been backstocked in the first place! Lol I don't always do that, and I never do that with freezer items.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
90
#26
I agree it was out of line for him to say this. He is a new ETL to our store but I did my part to follow up on the matter. What he says about it is on him. Refer to my other message above. I completely agree with you.

I think an ETL who placed blame on any team over the walkie was out of line. A simple I will follow up on that issue would have been plenty. To have an ETL speak about an entire team in that manner is inexcusable.Freshness is a total team effort. Every team plays a part. Have there been no revisions since May of last year? If they did any revisions in May the plano team should have put those numbers in the SDA. Did anyone stock that area when doing hourly pulls in the last 6 months? If so why didn't they FIFO? Freshness Friday hasn't been done in that area since June? If it had the offending product should have been found. If I was a member of that stores flow team I would be offended. Its quite funny if you watch people who usually don't work in the market/grocery aisles work a pull. Usually the same ETLs who are preaching FIFO are the ones you catch just shoving the products on the shelf, no rotating at all.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
Moderator
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Jun 10, 2011
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15,824
#27
This is the reason I believe so much in cross training.
Everyone should learn what the other teams have to do and challenges they face.
Once you've walked a few miles ( crawled around on the floor shoving cans on the bottom shelf), then maybe you can be a critic.

That said I did work flow for six months and it makes me crazy that they stack crap up on the endcaps so that it break the headers. ARRRRRGH!!!!
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
25,270
#28
I am not blaming anyone, that is why before I went to only the market TM, I went to my ETL-food first. Just to see what could have gone wrong. Now if my ETL-Food says it was so and so's fault, then who am I to argue unless I know otherwise. Sorry if I offended you.
No offense taken. Proper training is a team effort. I make certain show my team, the examples of dented cans or juice boxes, & the flys flying around juice, cat food or fruit cups. The bugs love sugar!
Don't forget the growing mold too.
 
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