Archived Backroom Nightmare

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StackerMistress

What's a team lift?
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So, maybe I just have a really bad memory, but I can't remember the last two Augusts+Septembers being as bad as this one. We've had a perfect storm of a bunch of the logistics team quitting at the same time + absurd amounts of clearance (including salesplans that were never originally set! :wacko:) + 25-2600 piece trucks every GM day (that's big for our store) + big Pfresh trucks being worked out by only 2-3 flow team members. And the ever-present "We don't have payroll" and "Nobody's applying for logistics positions."

We can't seem to finish pushing the truck, like... ever. Freight's been sitting around on pallets and flats for ages because we can't get caught up on it. There's probably over a dozen shopping carts of softlines from the truck that's clogging up our large furniture aisle, and good luck getting to any large bags of pet food because the entire aisle is blocked with pallets of clearance that STILL need to be ticketed. The line can be completely clear of green-clip pulls and I still don't have any vehicles to put things on. No joke, there are still three 3-tiers of PTM back to school hiding in a corner behind a bunch of clearance and leftover freight. Tons of salesplans were set last week and the SUBT999 backstock from them is practically a safety hazard at this point.

Sunday was horrendous. Two people scheduled in the backroom for AM... they had to push the 4 am fill. One of them stayed 12 hours. A flow team guy scheduled in instocks was instead moved to the BR to backstock the Pfresh truck after a grand total of three flow TMs pushed it. Considering he's had maybe 4 backroom shifts his entire Target career and has never backstocked Pfresh, you can imagine how well that went. He left at 12:30 with the dairy and freezer full of backstock still (can't really be mad at him, though, he tried). I was the only dayside TM that day (as in, it's just me and another guy right now, and he needed a day off, so it had to be me alone), scheduled 11:30-8. There's only 1 salesfloor TM until 4; she was up at the lanes all day. The ETL-LOG has been doing 12-16 hour days, every day. Thankfully she was around to help with pulls because every single hour would have rolled over, otherwise. Didn't have time to finish pulling price change, again. Went home and fell asleep. Good news, we made sales that day! :senile:

Sorry for the rant. I know a lot of you guys probably have it worse at your stores. Feel free to share and commiserate. Sympathy, empathy, words of wisdom, and tips for staying afloat while we stumble into 4th quarter are appreciated.
 
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This year was definitely the roughest BTS I've ever worked. I wish I could say it will get better with holiday payroll and seasonal help but our last 2 seasons were pretty bad.

I gotta ask, why the f--- did they send backroom guys out to the floor and then a flow guy to the backroom? Why couldn't they have had the flow guy work on pushing the fill when he came in and moved a BR guy back into the BR where his experience would have accomplished more work?

The way backup cashiering is handled is a major annoyance. I get the idea that you want to schedule cashiers to handle the average # of guests coming through and have the floor come up during peak times. But if you have a "backup" cashier on the lanes 90% of the time, why not just schedule someone from the floor as a cashier and dispense with the facade? I am constantly hearing over the walkie "GSTL, I'm heading back to the floor" only to be followed by "We need x backup cashiers to the lanes" within 2 minutes. It also bugs me that they have no problem pulling EVERYBODY up to the lanes leaving the floor with 0 coverage and then complain about endyme response times a week later.
 

StackerMistress

What's a team lift?
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I gotta ask, why the f--- did they send backroom guys out to the floor and then a flow guy to the backroom? Why couldn't they have had the flow guy work on pushing the fill when he came in and moved a BR guy back into the BR where his experience would have accomplished more work?

I know! I had the exact same thought. The flow guy was scheduled for pushing the order for the first half of his shift, then he was supposed to go over to Instocks. He is a really good flow TM--one of the best we have--so putting him in the backroom was confusing to me. As for the two BR morning TMs: One of them is our best BR TM, hands down (he's the one who stayed 12 hours). Due to health reasons, he can't go in the coolers or freezer, so I guess I can understand why they had him push, as he's quite good at it. The other one is a newb, started on flow and crosstrained right away to BR. Frankly, he's not particularly good at either. It was just bad scheduling all-around.

As for the cashier backups, it doesn't help that one of our GSTLs panics and calls everyone up every two minutes during a rush. I don't know anything about the front end and I'm not gonna pretend that I do, but I do know that TMs, TLs, and ETLs alike are rolling their eyes and muttering snarky comments whenever her voice sounds out on the walkies.
 

DMNDZ bruhh

Former Backroom Dayside
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I feel for you guys, the backroom has been terrible these last two months, nothing but straight bullshit! Not only is the morning backroom team slow, but they dont extend them, so i have an enormous amount of backstock behind the line! and dont get me started with pFresh, they finish really late, and im left with green rack after green rack of back stock...the best part? not only does my ETL want me to finish the back stock BY MY SELF, but she also wants me all these other tasks, such as inventory prep, and updating red areas, and gets mad when i dont do it, seriously? you think one person can pick up the slack of a whole team, as well finish his own tasks such as CAFs, price change, my own backstock, and setting the line? you have to be insane to think one person is capable of doing all that.
 
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My BR was actually pretty clean yesterday. I thought I was actually gonna finish everything before it was time to leave. Then the LOD told me to clear the gun, that I had to make a bale, and then a bunch of PCs dropped. There was one thing on my list I couldn't do because no one had a Crown key, but the only other thing I left was some backstock.
 
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We had 10 plus pallets of BTS clearance. It was a nightmare for all teams involved.
 
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The PC in just the past few weeks has been just nuts. Our STL was walking the backroom when the PC Team was ticketing everything and as they were discussing what was clearance, it was all salesplanners that were tied and never set. Oh boy she was as red as the shirt she was wearing, she "talked" to the HL ETL and the HL TL's and wanted explanations and what we are doing about it.
Of course with 20 clearance endcaps just going to be the same thing later because still cant set salesplanners because theres no endcaps to set on.
 
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Our store is usually pretty good but damn this BTS season SUCKED. We had backstock sitting on flats and pallets in the back and it never got backstocked all season, just reworked and reworked until it was no more because they never got to it in time. We are a B volume and every time we had a double truck the backroom would get so messed up and it was so difficult to find anything. Then we hear about another store offering OT and just extra hours to anyone who wanted to backstock/push, so apparently their store was in worse shape. It just seems like the VP of Logistics at corporate needs to be fired or something because I've never seen it so bad company-wide.
 
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We had someone scheduled almost every day under Hardinlines working just on BTS with Flexing and PTMing and our executive team really helped out and got in there and PTMed a few times as well. I love all the ETLs at my store for every seasonal set for the last year they have been in there multiple times and they really help out alot.

Backroom is also pretty good. Most of the team has been backroom for 3+ years dayside.
 

cihyfthedoor

Former BRTL – not working @ Target anymore! :D
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The backroom itself isn't too bad. We've been doing pretty well here. The only thing that's been killing us the past 2-3 weeks is all the ****ing price change. On a rotating FIFO basis, we constantly have 10-15 vehicles of clearance clogging up the line in the backroom, which is mostly flats and tubs, and each night a fresh 6-10+ vehicles of new price change gets added to it. This has been daily for 2-3 weeks. If it wasn't for that, we'd be pristine everyday in the back with getting the backstock done and pulling manuals.

TARGET NEEDS TO SORT OUT THEIR PRICE CHANGE STRATEGY. This is ridiculous.
 

NoRedCards

Soon to be guest, coming 12/21
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Right now, thanks to a relatively new ETL, we have no Discontinued in the backroom, and we are still pulling 3-5 pallets a night of clearance for the past 3 weeks......
 
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The backroom itself isn't too bad. We've been doing pretty well here. The only thing that's been killing us the past 2-3 weeks is all the ****ing price change. On a rotating FIFO basis, we constantly have 10-15 vehicles of clearance clogging up the line in the backroom, which is mostly flats and tubs, and each night a fresh 6-10+ vehicles of new price change gets added to it. This has been daily for 2-3 weeks. If it wasn't for that, we'd be pristine everyday in the back with getting the backstock done and pulling manuals.

TARGET NEEDS TO SORT OUT THEIR PRICE CHANGE STRATEGY. This is ridiculous.

It's just that time of year. Most of the store has major transitions going from BTS to 4th quarter stuff in the space of a month and it generates a ton of clearance.
 

StackerMistress

What's a team lift?
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backroomdude: Our store is pretty lucky in that almost all of our ETLs are vets who have done at least one round in a logistics position. When our ETL-HR came back and saw that so much of the price change was salesplan garbage (some of it still in boxes with the set date on it!), I thought she was gonna lose it. I imagine someone got chewed out for it, big-time. Same ETL pushed 11 pallets of clearance the other day... you can see why she's my favorite.

Pfreshbackroomguy: We had three experienced morning guys who would take care of pfresh backstock. They all quit (I'm not super sad about that as they were not particularly good team members, but when they actually felt like working they could get stuff done) in the last month. We've been borrowing people from flow to backstock, but that's really not sustainable. Flow needs everyone they can get and backroom doesn't need half-trained people used to working in big groups trying to put stuff away. It just doesn't work.

VibeNup: Same here. We just couldn't get on top of it. BTS backstock sitting around for a week while the floor was empty. "It's best practice to repush this if it's been sitting for 24 hours" "We don't have time or people to repush it, just backstock it." Such a disaster. Like yours, we have another store in our district that's always begging people to help them work freight. That place is a hot mess. Considering our store is currently 2nd to last in the district as of the last DTL visit, I can only imagine that one but be the worst.

pfreshdude: For real. Our leaders have really been giving it their all the past two months, simply because we don't have any TMs scheduled! I've been in backroom for 2 years, but I've been the only constant presence back there, at least for dayside. Typically, I'll train a new TM, they'll stay for 4 months and decide the job is too hard and quit. Backroom is not especially hard. It has a steep learning curve, sure, but at its core it's pretty simple. But you have to have drive and you have to stay motivated because you don't have someone holding your hand.

cihyfthedoor: Yup, sounds about right. One of our problems is that no one drops PTM batches. Or when they do, and I actually have time to pull them, they'll say "just leave it in there, we don't have anyone to push it right now." So then it just goes to clearance when we should've had it out there at full price. Of course, we don't have anyone to push THAT, either, so it seems kind of dumb, but I don't get paid enough to make those big decisions ;) Also manual CAFs sound like fun. The only time I've EVER seen those used is on Black Friday when we drop them for toys. When do you guys do them?

NoRedCards: Yup, we've got a newbie, too (brand new to Target, too!). I was a little hesitant about her at first, but she's really been doing her best to keep us treading water. I worry that she's gonna burn out, though, especially with everyone saying "You think this is bad, just wait for 4th quarter!" I can definitely tell she's getting frustrated. It's probably not what she signed up for lol.
 
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Typically, I'll train a new TM, they'll stay for 4 months and decide the job is too hard and quit. Backroom is not especially hard. It has a steep learning curve, sure, but at its core it's pretty simple. But you have to have drive and you have to stay motivated because you don't have someone holding your hand.

We've had a similar problem. The turnover is stupidly high these days. Every time we get a decent team member in that can actually pull productively and show a little bit of initiative, they either quit as soon as they find a job with better pay or they get snatched up in a different position.
 

qmosqueen

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got the best BR person on the Pfresh push team and are gettin everything pushed to the floor in time, 4 hours for 9 pallets. And finally the BR TL has gotten every BR TM to sto in the Freezzer and ALL 16 metros are sot'd. First time in 6 months that there is NO backstock in the Freezer, GREAT Job everyone, you know who you are !!!

For the other stores, don't give up things will get better just give it time, maybe by January, lol.
 
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We had a really good morning brtm that got tired of carrying the whole team. Haven't had anyone good since. Just lost 3 and about to lose 1 more. We're about to lose a decent one.
 

cihyfthedoor

Former BRTL – not working @ Target anymore! :D
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When do you guys do them?

Every night. The closing backroom team drops, pulls, pushes, and backstocks as much as they can (100% only, don't leave leftovers). Then when overnight comes in, which is an hour before they start the truck, they do the same thing, except they drop, pull, and stage as much as they can before autofills start dropping.

Manuals are most productive in the daytime, to keep the floor full. The reason it's done the way it is as my store is because Mr. DTL wants a "System Pulls vs All Other Pull Types" percentage as low as possible, so this is their strategy at the moment.
 

mrknownothing

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The backroom itself isn't too bad. We've been doing pretty well here. The only thing that's been killing us the past 2-3 weeks is all the ****ing price change. On a rotating FIFO basis, we constantly have 10-15 vehicles of clearance clogging up the line in the backroom, which is mostly flats and tubs, and each night a fresh 6-10+ vehicles of new price change gets added to it. This has been daily for 2-3 weeks. If it wasn't for that, we'd be pristine everyday in the back with getting the backstock done and pulling manuals.

TARGET NEEDS TO SORT OUT THEIR PRICE CHANGE STRATEGY. This is ridiculous.

What Target needs to do is loosen the purse strings and give out hours so that the sales floor team has time to PTM and can avoid those massive loads of clearance.
 

FlowMonkey

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The backroom itself isn't too bad. We've been doing pretty well here. The only thing that's been killing us the past 2-3 weeks is all the ****ing price change. On a rotating FIFO basis, we constantly have 10-15 vehicles of clearance clogging up the line in the backroom, which is mostly flats and tubs, and each night a fresh 6-10+ vehicles of new price change gets added to it. This has been daily for 2-3 weeks. If it wasn't for that, we'd be pristine everyday in the back with getting the backstock done and pulling manuals.

TARGET NEEDS TO SORT OUT THEIR PRICE CHANGE STRATEGY. This is ridiculous.

What Target needs to do is loosen the purse strings and give out hours so that the sales floor team has time to PTM and can avoid those massive loads of clearance.

but then how will the higher ups be able to afford to go on their world wide vacations without their bonus?
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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The backroom itself isn't too bad. We've been doing pretty well here. The only thing that's been killing us the past 2-3 weeks is all the ****ing price change. On a rotating FIFO basis, we constantly have 10-15 vehicles of clearance clogging up the line in the backroom, which is mostly flats and tubs, and each night a fresh 6-10+ vehicles of new price change gets added to it. This has been daily for 2-3 weeks. If it wasn't for that, we'd be pristine everyday in the back with getting the backstock done and pulling manuals.

TARGET NEEDS TO SORT OUT THEIR PRICE CHANGE STRATEGY. This is ridiculous.

What Target needs to do is loosen the purse strings and give out hours so that the sales floor team has time to PTM and can avoid those massive loads of clearance.

but then how will the higher ups be able to afford to go on their world wide vacations without their bonus?

Easy. They have enough to bring the entire team with them without a bonus. Since they were "sick" (read: hungover) and missed that early morning economics lecture, they don't realize how much they're really getting out of their investments.
 

Unreturnable

Receiving/Reverse Logistics
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Oh, this thread just made me so happy. My backroom has huuuge turnover, and I train most of them so it's extra frustrating for me. The people who do stay aren't even decent, they're just the only ones we have who know how to pull and backstock. One was on pace to generate 1,600 baffles this year just by herself, thankfully she got moved to cashier for a month, then escorted out by AP. But just like everyone else, we had 10 pallets of BTS/BTC clearance (soo many body pillows!) and just the past few days we got hit with about 7 or 8 pallets of clearance diapers. Apparently Target no longer sells Huggies (I think that's the brand), because we got 5 pallets off our truck in a 2-day window that were all clearance, and then finally pulled the price-change batch that cleared all the rest out of the backroom and generated 2 or 3 more pallets.

At least we are staying afloat because a couple TMs got approved for overtime and did a crazy job of getting the backroom 100% clean for inventory. Now, though, every shift is like we're teetering on the edge of the cliff - brand new TMs, half of them get "cut" from the backroom within two weeks by our ETL because they're slow; call-offs, no-calls, every kind of wrench you could throw at us. So far we're "almost" clean for a week or so, I sure hope we can keep it together going into the holidays.
 

cihyfthedoor

Former BRTL – not working @ Target anymore! :D
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Our diaper price change last night was Pampers. Soooooooooo many flats of diapers. On the bright side, the baby aisle is damn near empty now!
 

NoRedCards

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Our diaper price change last night was Pampers. Soooooooooo many flats of diapers. On the bright side, the baby aisle is damn near empty now!

I feel for you....we had 8 pallets of Pampers by the time we got done last night, including 5 that were on top of the steel racks.....needless to say, we missed our time target by about an hour on that batch.....
 
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