Archived I am a new in role ETL Logistics out of college. What advice do you have for me?

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So to be honest, I actually am pretty excited. I love everything I see so far, but I also understand that I'm new, and that there are a ton of people with a lot more experience than me. With that, I was wondering what advice you'd give me, and what are some things you've seen work and what are some of the biggest challenges you've seen in Logistics/backroom etc?

One thing I am looking to learn better is a smoother breakout process from the repack boxes. What works for you?

Also for any backroom TLs or Flow Tls, what are some of your routines?

I understand some may be perplexed at the idea of Target hiring college kids to lead stores, but while I might not know everything, I will respect TMs, and will do my best to create a place where folks will like to work. If I can do just that, everything else, the truck unload, backroom accuracy, will come with it.

But it'll help to get a little knowledge from everyone going into this too. ;)
 
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I'm a flow team leader and the best thing we would like to see from our etls is that they jump in and help where ever is needed. You gotta get your hands dirty in logistics.
Flow is a lot of strategic planning and it's taken me over a year to get my team where I want it to be. But everyday is a challenge.
As for repacks boxes. I have one TM break out HBA and Domestics some times sport/seasonal. And another team member does stationary and sm appliances. Depending on how many cases of backstock we have per truck I expect my TM on the backside of the line to break out sport repacks while we are unloading to save time in the long run. Just depends on the day. Any other questions I can help with?
 
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I understand some may be perplexed at the idea of Target hiring college kids to lead stores, but while I might not know everything, I will respect TMs, and will do my best to create a place where folks will like to work. If I can do just that, everything else, the truck unload, backroom accuracy, will come with it.
I'm just a flow TM, and I don't really have much experience, but here's my advice to you: Hold yourself to that! Respect your TMs, make their work environment enjoyable (or at least not terrible), get your hands dirty, and they will love you. (Plus you'll get the satisfaction of being a Good Person.)

The other bit of advice probably shows my naivete: Don't hold your team to unrealistic standards, and try not to pass down the pressure that comes when you defend them.
 
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Understand that a goal time is based on bowling and waving. Understand that it will take longer if the team is having to work off of flats after the store opens.
 
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I also am a flow tm. Be observant, ask questions and work with the team. Spread yourself around and you will get the big picture, what works and what may need improvement. My TL knows how to manage his team, not all of them do.
 
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Work with and respect your support teams and their leaders. Respect their daily goals/tasks/responsibilities/deadlines and make sure that your flow and backroom teams understand the synergy between the teams.
 

Rock Lobster

Executive Team Leader
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Jun 11, 2011
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So to be honest, I actually am pretty excited. I love everything I see so far, but I also understand that I'm new, and that there are a ton of people with a lot more experience than me. With that, I was wondering what advice you'd give me, and what are some things you've seen work and what are some of the biggest challenges you've seen in Logistics/backroom etc?

One thing I am looking to learn better is a smoother breakout process from the repack boxes. What works for you?

Also for any backroom TLs or Flow Tls, what are some of your routines?

I understand some may be perplexed at the idea of Target hiring college kids to lead stores, but while I might not know everything, I will respect TMs, and will do my best to create a place where folks will like to work. If I can do just that, everything else, the truck unload, backroom accuracy, will come with it.

But it'll help to get a little knowledge from everyone going into this too. ;)

Too many processes just don't stick to the simples routines. Don't throw too much payroll at a single issue. Remember to have people working ahead to setup the next step for the wave, as them standing around slows EVERYTHING down. Don't be afraid to commit (bowl it out, force yourself to get it all done).
 
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Get to know your tm's - not in that "hey. how ya doin'" with a fake smile, no eye contact as you are zipping by on the way to someone more important, but in a real way - How did Johnny's baseball game turn out? Did your vet visit go well?

Respect and acknowledge the experience of those that are doing the manual labor and learn what they are doing, why they are doing it before you change it. Ask if they have any input on how to improve the process. Work beside them and learn what causes slowdowns firsthand so you can help address the real problems. Don't interrupt their rhythm every 20 minutes to ask "so, how's it goin'? How long before you're done?" Micromanagement is a trust killer and a morale buster. Inexperience with arrogance is worse.
 

Dying Sun

Ojutai's lieutenant
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congrats and best wishes to you. best advice I can give you is lead the way you would want to be lead, or lead by example and be strong for your team. if they see that you are willing to do what they do they will be more likely to follow and rally behind you.
 

Producer

HRTM
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Best advice for any new ETL is to be okay with not being liked. You can be the nicest person in the store, be a hard worker, be guest friendly, and all of that, and still you'll experience animosity from those in your department who are jealous and think they can do a better job. Just ask yourself every day when you get home from work if you did the best job you could, and screw what people think of you.
 
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I'm a flow team leader and the best thing we would like to see from our etls is that they jump in and help where ever is needed. You gotta get your hands dirty in logistics.
Flow is a lot of strategic planning and it's taken me over a year to get my team where I want it to be. But everyday is a challenge.
As for repacks boxes. I have one TM break out HBA and Domestics some times sport/seasonal. And another team member does stationary and sm appliances. Depending on how many cases of backstock we have per truck I expect my TM on the backside of the line to break out sport repacks while we are unloading to save time in the long run. Just depends on the day. Any other questions I can help with?

Thanks! If you could list a typical routine for you on a truck day for instance, what would that look like? And what kind of strategic planning do you do for upcoming big transitions? Say BTS?
 
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Yeah, my daily routine is to come in and acknowledge the truck first thing and open the push app because you can pull push times before autos drop and get a better idea for break out/unload and all around how my day will go if you do this first. We got most of our BTS freight this week. Each truck I pull the transistion report and see how many cases are coming for each aisle if it's enough to pallitize they sort it by aisle during unload the best we can and my space man goes back through resorts/condenses and puts it in the steel for POG. As for when it sets it's a multiple location mess so I have an experienced TM break out stationary and another seasonal. They will push the carts in each area and have a multiple location tub and probably an iPod to help and then I plan on having them switch tubs and push each others Tub. We will see how it goes from there. I do plan on switching our wave soon to go to seasonal right after grocery instead of the front of our store. It's just important that we have a designated spot for multiple locs and I audit backstock the best I can in these areas. I can give you a over view of our process, how it works, and who does what if you need or want just let me know.
 

CQ

Flow TL
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
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Hey. I am a Flow Team Lead (overnight 9:30-6:30) in New Jersey. I can sit here and give you awesome tips and tricks to survive your new role but in essence, you will soon learn that my tips might not work for your store. Your team will already have their own set of routines set in play. So step back and tweak anything that comes off as unproductive, too many steps taking place. I've been a flow team lead for a year and half and I'm still correcting and coming up with new ideas to make my nights run smoothly. My best advice is manage talent like crazyyyyyy! I trained numerous tm's, giving them the opportunity to run the floor in my absence, taught them how to pull up reports, acknowledge trucks, run the unloads all alone. Although they will not be running the floor when you are there, they will be your second pair of eyes and follow up on other processes that are going on throughout the store. "Hey can you check on the softlines team for me? Ensure they understand that their goal time is 3 am". Get your team to respect you but also enjoy working with you. Cut out the weeds instantly. Without a productive team, you will be unsuccessful. Its not about the quantity of team members you will have but the quality. I've had successful 2500 piece truck nights with 15 TM's in total. Sometimes you have to bribe... requisition out some snack and drinks, get them going, put some music on, talk to them, joke with them. It'll all pay off in the long run. WHen your team enjoys working with you, everything else falls in place.

WHen it comes to the actual process, this is how i start my night (very detailed but remember, I am the team lead, you are the ETL)

-Come in, check the call out log, print out all reports needed for the truck unload (truck size, bulk, security reports, load summary etc.)
-Check schedule, make a plan according to the team you have. WHos going where?
- Set up unload, ensure receiving is 100%. Check for empty jailers to start your night.
-acknowledge truck, put in push mode, scan about 5 items ( this will allow you to see what exactly is going to be pus and backstock from the truck unload. this doesnt include autofills)
-follow up with the overnight backroom team or dayside closing etl to see if they have any CAF pulls that werent pushed. One team one dream...those CAFs are now added to our autos)
-once the team comes in, ensure every team member comes to the unload before sending them out to do specific things. the unload is the most important. this will make or break your night. One tm will be the difference between a one hour unload, or hour and a half. keep in mind, any time lost, should be seen as (if there are 15 tms, you lost 30 minutes at the unload, multiply that together...thats the official time you are losing)
-ensure you have a quick huddle, let them know truck size, whats push whats backstock, make sure they quickly stretch, double check that your unloaders have their step stools. ((never ever ever unload or scan the truck yourself. utilize the team, step back and jump in when needed) (unloaders must be swapped every 30 minutes)
- during the unload, you want to be sure the teams productively stacking their pallets, from front to back. Let them know to call out when they need their pallet pulled. If you must, grab a jack and take it out for them. If a tm is getting swamped with freight, jump in and help or call out to another tm who isnt getting too much freight, to help their peer. I let everyone know that they are not just responsible for their own custom block, but for everyones custom block.
- tip: if there is bulk coming out, trap it at the front of the line. If you let it roll down, your line will get backed up ultimately leaving the unloaders to stop unloading.
- before the team leaves receiving, you push an empty repack box on the line and let them know it is for chargeback. they will have broken items under the line. Have them put it in and continue to send it down the line. No one leaves receiving until it is 100%.
-Your store might be different but I let my team have a quick 15 min break right after. It gives me enough time to walk the floor and see whats going on, what needs to be going on.
-I have one or two people designated to bowl out the entire store all night. In most cases, they are bowling out during the unload and even during the teams 15 min break. They go on break for 45 min at 1:45. (our 30 min break begins at 2)
- before the team comes out, have blades ready for them. No matter how many times you give these tm's blades, they will always come to work unprepared. I laugh it off now.
- for productivity, I let the team know they must have two carts with them at all times while in the aisle. One cart will be for backstock the other is for plastics and cardboard. As soon as they are done, they come out their aisle, pass me their backstock cart, empty out their cardboad and plastics and keep it moving. Speed is key, if a team member is taking too long, correct it.
- as for repacks and autofill cart, I designate a group of 3 or 4 to complete all throughout the store. They wave them together. One person will break down that department, push the rest of the carts with the other 3, then jump to the next department. When help is needed (when our autofills are 37 hours, I have the team pushing the ground quickly help out giving them a boost)
- electronics and cosmetics is done by one tm as well. WHen he or she is done with both, she joins either the cart team or push on the ground, whichever is falling behind.
- now softlines.... this is my headache because I cannot be babysitting them. The quote "when the cats away, the mice will play"....yea thats what occurs at my store. Most times I have to continuously follow up...every 10 minutes which is annoying. With that process, I have 4 tms (usually girls just because their isnt much heavy lifting occuring) I will have one tm breakout all their repacks for sort (basics) first, babies, then jump into the Z's while the other three are pushing babies, jumping onto the carts of sort, shoes, then helping with the z's. Giving them their goal time is crucial because at the end of the night, if goal time wasnt met, a coaching conversation must take place with the entire team.

Everything else is quick decision making. Sometimes I must run the backroom team as well but thats another detailed process as well. lol.

As I said, your team has a routine already but if it isnt working, change it up. Any of questions please feel free to send me a direct message.
 
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Be kind to your TM's. listen to what they have to say - remember what they said. Even if its not store related.. If someone mentions that their daughter is having a dance recital - remember the date and ask them a few days later how it went.. It means so much to people if the think you are listening to them and following up with them.
 
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Oh and if you see someone is struggling getting things done, go help them. Talk to them while you are both working. You may see that they are all over the place, not focusing on a particular item. Ask what they think would be the best steps to get it done efficiently? They may either be able to tell you a better way, or may be clueless and you can then describe the steps that could be taken to do the project in a quick orderly way. Or you can have the third answer - they know how to do it, but can't focus because their dog of 17 years got run over by a car. If it were me,I would often then a free drink and an extra 15 to regroup.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
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Greetings and salutations @CQ

Welcome to The Break Room.

You may have noticed that I changed your sig.
Check your messages.
 
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Don't be afraid to ask your team for feedback. If you have questions about the log/backroom process ask them it makes them feel as though you are 1. enaging with them 2. Don't look down on them as they are stupid because they are not an etl. Spend time working side by side with your team unload the truck, push the truck, back stock, pulling, instocks etc. that way You get a small sense of what they do on a daily basis. Always, remember to treat them with respect ..Yes, you are their etl but you can still treat them with respect and treat them how you want them to treat you. If you walk by them in the morning, say Good morning...a smile and a kind word mean a lot to most people . Be fair....don't treat one person better than another just because you get along with them better etc....remember this isn't highschool. Lastly, tell your team thank you for doing a great job, staying, later than they had to, coming in early etc...a simple thank you can mean a lot .
 
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Don't be afraid to ask your team for feedback. If you have questions about the log/backroom process ask them it makes them feel as though you are 1. enaging with them 2. Don't look down on them as they are stupid because they are not an etl. Spend time working side by side with your team unload the truck, push the truck, back stock, pulling, instocks etc. that way You get a small sense of what they do on a daily basis. Always, remember to treat them with respect ..Yes, you are their etl but you can still treat them with respect and treat them how you want them to treat you. If you walk by them in the morning, say Good morning...a smile and a kind word mean a lot to most people . Be fair....don't treat one person better than another just because you get along with them better etc....remember this isn't highschool. Lastly, tell your team thank you for doing a great job, staying, later than they had to, coming in early etc...a simple thank you can mean a lot .
This. My current ETL would be worlds better if she just took the time to talk/work with us a little bit.

Also, snacks at break or a free drink after a difficult truck is always nice ;)
 

bullseye89

Hardlines TL
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Listen to them when they voice their concerns. Let them know that you appreciate them. Happy TMs are productive TMs.
 
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Listen to and trust your decent TM's. Don't get sucked into the vortex of BS that is EE shift. It makes it a whole lot easier to get the job done. if your TL's are the cause document and boot. We don't have the payroll or the hours, you want to shine do your job trust your core TM's and natural leaders.
 
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