Archived Backroom/Instocks TL -- I need a bit of help...

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MrGSTLman

Small Format TL
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Jun 23, 2011
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Hi everyone -- I was recently "promoted" (I wish...) from GSTL to Instocks TL. About two weeks in, I was told the store dropped an Org chart and I was going to become the new Backroom/Instocks TL. Our current BRTL was set to transfer out, and I would slide into the position when he did. He finally made the transfer about two weeks ago.

What I am wondering is, do any other BR/IS-TL have a routine they go by, or how do you balance doing both? The ETLs at my store all seem to have differing opinions of what my job should entail -- and none of them really have any sense of consistency (i.e. some say you don't spend any time in the Back room, you just oversee, some say I spend a bulk of my time in the back room and oversee Instocks). I want to do well in the role, because many of the people in my district in the same position have been promoted to ETL. At this point I am just confused.

Procedurally, I know how to do everything (pull, backstock, etc), I just need some type of routine to go by so I don't lose my mind...

Thanks for the help!
 
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Nov 23, 2012
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Since you've been instocks I would concentrate on the backroom to start with. Work with the team and get to know them like you do with the instocks (I Hope). Get to know what their routines are both dayside BR and early/overnight BR. In the end go by your scores, where do you have the most opportunity? This is where I would spend the majority of my time.
 
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my br/is tl oversaw is but was in the br 99% of the time. if you have a strong is team it works. you can monitor their progress on the gun and through reports, you do't need to be on the floor.
 
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Based on my store, having a trusted back room team to take of back room is the key. My instocks team has issues because of flow team not doing areas. We are working on that issue.
 

MrGSTLman

Small Format TL
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Jun 23, 2011
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I am fortunate to have two pretty solid teams to work with so that's not the issue. I am just trying to figure out how to balance the two jobs effectively, as well as taking on a sales floor department as well (I have Seasonal). Maybe I'm just over thinking this... not sure.
 
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I would say that on days you have a truck (assuming you are not an overnight store) you should spend all of your time in the backroom until the truck is finished getting pushed, challenged, backstocked, and cleaned (i.e. receiving, bales, damages sorted, etc.) On days without a truck, you should spend the majority of your time on the salesfloor scanning, pushing, checking for zone-outs, etc. and just check in with the backroom when you are pulling your RSCH and EXF batches. The backroom effectively runs itself most of the time, and I would only check on new TMs back there to make sure they are up to par.

Now if you are at an overnight store, it completely depends on the day and on your store. There are some days that we don't finish backstocking our trucks on the overnight shift, and the backroom TL dayside will be the only person available to help finish the truck. With that being said you will still have to make sure that the instocks assignments get finished each day.

This is where it gets very tricky - if an area hasn't been finished getting pushed and backstocked, doing the instocks assignments can create potential errors in your counts. For example, if the gun leads you to look through stationery and office, but there are six pallets of back to school backstock and transition that haven't been fully pushed, backstocked, and trapped for transition, then its possible you will scan an out, have a count on hand, and not have it located anywhere in the backroom. You don't want to zero it out, but you don't want to leave it empty, and you don't have time to crawl through six pallets of repacks and transition assortment casepacks. What do you do? your best option would just be to void the scan or ignore the assignment instead of destroying the inventory counts and forcing the DC to send us more than we need.

Now if you're a backroom instocks team lead and you're closing at any store, then really your only option is to do the backroom, as all of the instocks assignments should be complete for the day and your only real option is to help with the cafs and ensure other backroom closing assignments are done correctly.
 

logtl

The Merch Slinger
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Jul 25, 2013
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Hi MrGSTLman!

I'm a logistics team leader as well in an ultra-low volume C store, and I shared some of your same concerns when I took the role. While my process is not universal, here is what I and the ETL-Log worked out to make a workable routine:

- On Sundays, I have one of my In-stocks Team Members complete RIGs, RSCH, drop PTM batches and assist where needed with ad set up or pushing. My backroom team pulls the autofills, pushes them (if no off-site), backstocks any residual backstock, as necessary, and pulls the CAFs. On my Sunday to work, I close the backroom from 1-9 p. This lets me get the backroom clean of backstock, I can work on branding projects, work on accuracy issues, and do paperwork, as needed. On my Sunday off, the flow team lead and two other team members open and close the back room.

- On Mondays, I lead the backroom from 6-11. We pull the Autos and backstock the truck. After 11:30, I take about 2 hours to do RIGs, scan RSCH, set up MPG labels, and complete the drastic count report. Once this is complete, I go to the backroom to complete my backroom audit and help the team finish getting the backstock clean. Our truck days are Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday, I do the same routine as Monday, but I do schedule after lunch and then do my normal routine (sans MPG Header labels). On Friday, our last truck day, I do the same routine as the other truck days. I typically schedule myself 6a-3p on truck days. I also do not schedule in-stocks on truck days. This is only because we get 28 hours for instocks per week, and we have to use most of our time on our rescan day to get an actually good full store scan.

- Tuesdays are my rescan day, and I schedule my full instocks team (2 people and me) from 7a-3p to rescan the full store and push our research. The LOD relies heavily on my team to also push CAFs on this day due to low sales floor hours, so my team also pushes CAFs. My backroom team is comprised of 2 people to pull Autos, MIRS, Price Change and POGs as well as backstock. I switch over to lead the backroom at 11a because we call our scan at that point so that the Instocks team can adequately push everything and BKRM can pull everything. I also work on Empty Location Audits on Tuesday.

- I am always off on Thursdays. The Flow TL leads the BRKM and I schedule 1 instocks TM to do a softlines rescan and the rest of the task list.

- When I work Saturdays, I pull Autos with another TM, push them (if no offsite), scan RIGs and do any scans that are needed to help maintain the scans with loc % score. I typically work 6a-1p or 2p depending on the workload for the week. Again, the Flow TL assists me with this on my Sat. off.

- Every day, I have a CAF puller from 1-5:30p to catch the CAFs and afternoon backstock.

I hope this helps. I have done this routine for the last year, and it works fairly well. There are days that I diverge from it to handle backroom if it needs me or vice versa with Instocks, but I have a strong relationship with my ETL and my Flow TL, so we collaborate when problems arise.
 

MrGSTLman

Small Format TL
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Jun 23, 2011
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277
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Thanks!! I will try to incorporate some of this into my daily routine. My situation is different in some ways because our store is A+ volume, so we get a) more hours for Instocks, and b) a truck every night (and a double once a week). We also just incorporated the "push-all" process which, frankly, has been a nightmare of epic proportions since it began. We just got a new Replenishment ETL, who did my job in the past for a similar volume store, and he seems to be willing to work with me a little, so I guess that's a plus.
 

logtl

The Merch Slinger
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
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No problem! I know there is a vast difference between Volume C and Volume A+. I'm glad that you have a Replenishment ETL with which to collaborate and partner. I could not possibly do my logistics role without support from my ETL-Logistics. I have found that I can do backroom perfectly or instocks perfectly, but when I focus on one too much, the other suffers. This role is really about balance and have self-sufficient teams. My STL has told me that eventually wants the backroom to be totally self-sufficient to the point that I stay on the sales floor to do Instocks.

I have heard nothing but bad feedback about the all-push! We have done it twice (during Christmas and before inventory), and both times were awful.
 
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Aug 5, 2013
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I'd recommend partnering with your overnight backroom TL also to set clear expectations on what you are going to walk into every morning. Being A+ is probably a blessing in disguise for your position. My store is B volume that will most likely change to A and thus moving overnight. Right now we are scheduled 6 trucks a week all starting at 4am, in the last month we have taken two adds and all trucks over 2600 with even a 3000 piece mixed in there. The Logistics TL is responsible for backroom AM, backroom day, instocks, and pfresh backstock during 4am processes and it can be brutal. My advice to you look for your weaknesses and strengths on your team and take it day to day. A routine is good to have in place but don't feel locked into it. Delegate delegate delegate, there is no other way.
 
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Aug 10, 2012
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You have to make sure you're on the same page as flow team lead and your logistics ETL. I'm backroom/ instocks TL and flow, who is a sr TL and logistics only worry about getting truck pushed. They keep my instocks team to help with truck
 
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