Fulfillment development

Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
141
So I took over fulfillment at the beginning of the year and it has been a battle almost every day. The team lead before me did not hold anyone accountable for anything.

Fast forward 6 months and I have trimmed some of the fat with getting rid of several team members that did not like getting coached for attendance and productivity. I still have a few that I don't think I can save so I'm work on that.

My question for this message board is how do you guys go about developing team members who are trying but just aren't being as productive as they should be. At our store the productivity standards are 40 uph for SFS and OPU. For Grocery they are expected to pick 60 uph.

I have had to spend so much time prepping/packing and jumping in to help with OPU that I feel I've lost sight of making them better. I have thought about following my bottom performers for an hour as they pick to see if there are any pointers I can give them. I know several of my bottom performers just don't care because they are just there to ride the clock.

I have to figure out a way to get this team firing on all cylinders because my SD does not believe in sending help. I know a big problem is our counts are so bad but I'm not even being that hard on them on the INF. I just need them to move faster lol.
 

MrT

Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
525
Do batches with your tms and set the pace. If they dont want to meet that pace then performance them out. It hurts everyone if they are not doing there job well enough. It sucks to say but the job is not hard. In my case i would say 70% of our tms caught on and wanted to do better and now we average above 60 uph everyday for opu/sfs. Infs do slow everyone down so dont expect that till thats fixed but 40 isnt difficult.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Messages
61
I agree with MrT. Shadow those tms and set the pace. Performance them out if they can’t meet a 40 uph. The only thing that would slow them down that much would be a slow response for permission tho INF. Lol Though at my store those tms are given their 40 hours and weekends off despite meeting expectations and skipping batches. Meanwhile the TLs pickup their slack.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
2,681
So I took over fulfillment at the beginning of the year and it has been a battle almost every day. The team lead before me did not hold anyone accountable for anything.

Fast forward 6 months and I have trimmed some of the fat with getting rid of several team members that did not like getting coached for attendance and productivity. I still have a few that I don't think I can save so I'm work on that.

My question for this message board is how do you guys go about developing team members who are trying but just aren't being as productive as they should be. At our store the productivity standards are 40 uph for SFS and OPU. For Grocery they are expected to pick 60 uph.

I have had to spend so much time prepping/packing and jumping in to help with OPU that I feel I've lost sight of making them better. I have thought about following my bottom performers for an hour as they pick to see if there are any pointers I can give them. I know several of my bottom performers just don't care because they are just there to ride the clock.

I have to figure out a way to get this team firing on all cylinders because my SD does not believe in sending help. I know a big problem is our counts are so bad but I'm not even being that hard on them on the INF. I just need them to move faster lol.

I'm just a pacesetter, but I would suggest statusing with other TLs and with your pacesetters. What do they observe the slow TMs doing? At my store, when TMs are not being productive it's almost always because they are on their phones constantly or stopping to chat with other TMs excessively. You can't watch them 24/7, but other people throughout the building can help observe.
 

Inboundbeast

Closing Team Leader
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Messages
92
At our store the productivity standards are 40 uph for SFS and OPU. For Grocery they are expected to pick 60 uph.
Does your team know and understand these expectations?

If not you need to set the bar for them and make them aware of the expectations; also show them how to find these numbers so they know if they are or aren’t performing..

If yes then you need to take the bad ones one by one and have performance conversations until they either improve or leave🤷🏻‍♂️

Also, as the TL use the productivity numbers to your advantage and make a game out of it or do something that challenges them to compete in a good way…
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Messages
57
I've honestly never had to (or been able to for the bad TMs lol) coach for UPH. It's super rare to have a fulfillment expert not be green for UPH unless they did like 1 OPU or something. I have a much bigger and harder to have performance conversations problem of just loafing. How do other FOTLs handle this? I know about Greenfield card 235297, but I also know that my team gets pulled away every day to push truck or pull priority fills. Also, do you have a set number of units or time before you will coach for yellow INF?
 

mathprofmatt

Fulfillment Expert
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
363
I've honestly never had to (or been able to for the bad TMs lol) coach for UPH. It's super rare to have a fulfillment expert not be green for UPH unless they did like 1 OPU or something. I have a much bigger and harder to have performance conversations problem of just loafing. How do other FOTLs handle this? I know about Greenfield card 235297, but I also know that my team gets pulled away every day to push truck or pull priority fills. Also, do you have a set number of units or time before you will coach for yellow INF?
I personally think MTD/YTD INF scores are a good place to start when having coachings. That at least gives you an idea of who your historical bottom-performers and top-performers are. Daily scores can fluctuate so much, especially during the middle of BTS and Christmas. My MTD and YTD scores are green, and last week I ended one day with a 0.54% INF rate after about 250 units. The very next day, it was 13.86%.

That being said, if you know who your bottom performers are, you can keep close watch on their INFs throughout their shift. After two carts, yellows and reds may warrant further investigation (and a potential coaching depending on what you find). If one of your top performers has a high INF, you may need to look into it, but the odds are good they are going through the proper channels for finding items and are just running into some bad luck.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,051
So I took over fulfillment at the beginning of the year and it has been a battle almost every day. The team lead before me did not hold anyone accountable for anything.

Fast forward 6 months and I have trimmed some of the fat with getting rid of several team members that did not like getting coached for attendance and productivity. I still have a few that I don't think I can save so I'm work on that.

My question for this message board is how do you guys go about developing team members who are trying but just aren't being as productive as they should be. At our store the productivity standards are 40 uph for SFS and OPU. For Grocery they are expected to pick 60 uph.

I have had to spend so much time prepping/packing and jumping in to help with OPU that I feel I've lost sight of making them better. I have thought about following my bottom performers for an hour as they pick to see if there are any pointers I can give them. I know several of my bottom performers just don't care because they are just there to ride the clock.

I have to figure out a way to get this team firing on all cylinders because my SD does not believe in sending help. I know a big problem is our counts are so bad but I'm not even being that hard on them on the INF. I just need them to move faster lol.
Work with the ETLs and TLs in the store and ask them to approach anyone with a cart that is chatting and just ask them if they’re in a batch, and then just (nice butt firm) say “your productivity is gonna drop.”
I bet if you can get the other TLs to do that you’ll find that they improve rather quickly. Also if they don’t have a cart just ask them if they are on a break.

It’s great if you can get the other TLs on your side because most of your team isn’t going to shoot their mouth at someone who isn’t their direct supervisor.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
2,681
I am officially now out of fulfillment (finally!). So, I'll share a little trick we've been doing at my store as I've been transitioning out, which required getting other TMs to start being more appropriately productive. If I notice OPU TMs standing around chatting or just working way too slow in general, I call out on channel 1 to the fulfillment TL or ETL-GM, "OPU looks like it's covered, what else can I help with?" However, if the OPU queue is low enough that someone should get out and help other areas of the store, I'll say something like, "There's not much in the gun, do you want to pull someone?"

It's a subtle difference, but the first alerts leadership that there are issues right at the moment that they can go address if they want.
 

mathprofmatt

Fulfillment Expert
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
363
Just curious how other Fulfillment TLs break out their workload for the day. Do you typically put your strongest TMs in one area only (all in Ship vs all in OPUs) or is it a mixture? Or do you just base everything off shift times?

For context, we are a Super T and average about 4000 OPU units and 1200-1500 Ship units per day. Up until recently, we would tend to put our strongest team members in Ship, with 3-4 picking and 1 (sometimes 2) packing. The philosophy here was that INFs tend to be more common with Ship carts, and with our strong ones there, we knew we could minimize INFs and maximize productivity, with essentially no need to worry about Ship on Time being complete. This allowed the TL to primarily focus on OPU numbers and quickly jump in or call in support as needed.

We also found it worked well to start out our new hires solely in Grocery OPUs for their first couple of shifts. It allowed them to stay in one area of the store and focus more on the basics like reading shelf labels and proper bagging/stowing, while also having multiple DBOs in close proximity in case they got stuck. Once they got comfortable there, we would move them to regular Pickups so that they could learn the rest of the store, and then finally to picking and packing Ship carts.

Our new ETL prefers to have all of our strong TMs in OPUs only, with our bottom-performers and new hires in Ship carts. I can't say yet whether one way is working better than the other, but just curious to what other stores similar to our volume do.
 

MrT

Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
525
I always tended to put the strongest tms in ship when i was a fotl. Definitely tried not to put newer tms in it because it tends to have more clothing and harder to find items. It was harder to do when the times shifted to 90 minute goal times but in general it is still what we do.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
96
We always put our newbies in OPu once they are done training because that is where we need the most help. Plus I think it keeps them moving to see the timer. If we leave them in ship they wander off taking an hour and half to pick a batch. We usually have 2 veterans picking in ship and then one packer.
 

mathprofmatt

Fulfillment Expert
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
363
We always put our newbies in OPu once they are done training because that is where we need the most help. Plus I think it keeps them moving to see the timer. If we leave them in ship they wander off taking an hour and half to pick a batch. We usually have 2 veterans picking in ship and then one packer.
This is my philosophy exactly. That timer acts as a motivator for many to move a little bit faster than they would otherwise.
 

DatBoi9497

Born to pick, forced to INF
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
145
Echoing what others said but with ship you are way more likely to have to dig through freight and/or returns which can take those not familiar multitudes longer than a vet, also it is easy to have someone pause a ship batch and grab one or two opus than the other way around. I don't even train the new people on ship since ours is like 95% clothing and some of them take more than two hours for a batch but we get 2-3k opu vs 300 ship so we just have tms who have been there longer to worry about sfs.
 
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