I'm the new Signing Specialist.

Formina Sage💯

Probably still better than you at the stacker
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#1
I know I made a topic about this back when the site first opened, but that was in the "we might be offering you this job" phase. Now I'm in the "Hey, do you want the job?" "Sure." "Ok, you start in two weeks" phase.

Just wondering if commiecorvus, The Mule, or any other people experienced with signing could give me some advice they've learned, any useful hints for getting a routine down, meeting estimated set times, etc. Anything that would help me be great at the job in the least amount of time possible ;)
 

adboardartist

Photo Lab Philanderer
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Jun 12, 2011
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#5
So this is not a brand position like entertainment?

Is there an interview required from brand to specialist?
Technically, you are correct, brand positions are not specialist positions per se. It used to be that there were entertainment/jewelry/electronics/shoes specialists, but spot gave wrote them out of the org charts because they felt it fostered the belief that some team members were supervisors -- not fellow team members.

Thus: brand positions. Same work, but in most cases lower pay (electronics is still pg9) and also less prestige.

As far as interviews go, you normally interview for whatever position you are applying for. Therefore, there would probably be an interview required if you were a brand team member applying for a specialist position.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
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#6
I've been doing signing now for over 4 years so I've got my routines down to second nature and it's difficult for me to break down some good steps. I'm definitely willing to answer any questions though.

A couple of important things in no particular order:

1) Go through your signing area completely and inventory/clean it and set it the way you want it. It's important to go through everything because with signing you will occasionally come across a single random part that you need and unless you set up your area you will never find it. The same should be done with your Signing Cart, set it up your way.

2) Under the Sales Floor -> Signing tab on workbench there is a monthly signing guide which will give you a task list of every non-POG item due for the month. These task are in addition to the hours mentioned in Adjacency calendar, as is breaking down and sorting supply pallets and any TIPP ordering. During large workload weeks it won't always be possible to get everything done, just work with your TLs to communicate on what needs to get done. I often only get 24-30 hours for signing even on a 50-60 hour workload week.

3) Make sure they setup your access to email and TIPP ASAP. Some stores do not allow signing TM to do their own orders, but it will save you a lot of time and headaches if you can do it yourself. There's nothing worse than giving a TL an item you need ordered then finding out a couple weeks later that it never got submitted.

4) Learn the one-up system pole and practice practice practice. When it comes time to do your overheads, if you don't have your pole it will take you much longer to get them setup using the WAVE. If your sign has more than 2 hooks, or they are spaced too far apart of course you will still have to use the WAVE. One-up poles cost ~$70 and each orange head (2 required) cost $5 each. Keep multiple spare heads in your backroom, if your pole drops and hits the floor it will most likely break a head off.
Extend the pole to full length and with a marker make a ring at 8' from the ground. The standard height for overheads is 8' from the floor, if you have the ring you can just put it up against the bottom of a sign and see how much higher or lower you need to be.

5) At least once a week make a walk through the areas to make sure no headers/signs have fallen down, category endcap strips(aka street signs) haven't gotten lost. Up until the latest header style in domestics you would generally have 5 aisles a week with a header that fell.
 

The Mule

Jack Of All Workcenters
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Jun 9, 2011
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#9
GTC to you Ajax, good points of info.

It really is important that you try to get your e-mail and access to TIPP set up as soon as possible like he said. TIPP is going to be a constant source you will need to access to order replacement pieces and missing ISM elements.


My points of interest would be:

  • Carry a small notepad and pen with you at all times, you will constantly be having to write things down and follow up with them. Preferably something with a hard outer surface to write against.
  • Cargo pants are your friend. You will ALWAYS be having extra pieces to carry around and a few extra pockets to sort them can be a godsend.
  • Know your workcenter. Don't be afraid to call someone out(respectfully, even challenging upwards at times) if you see someone using the wrong signs and hardware to finish a project. Making sure everyone is consistent on how things are done makes for a better looking store.
  • If you aren't already, you will become close partners with your store's SFT. You will have to work together to set up and finish certain projects.
  • Online Planogram can help you sort out a display placement. Although all your ISM packages should have instructions, sometimes a look at a completed image and how it's placed can give you a better perspective.
  • The Weekly Merchandise Update will also keep track of the larger projects and tell you what is expected the following week. You can either access it by searching on Workbench or have the original e-mailed to you so you also have access to the attachments that way(an ETL or your STL will have to include you).
  • Paperwork. More paperwork. Even MORE Paperwork! Seriously though, you're going to be doing a lot of reading to keep up on everything.

You have a lot of help here, don't be afraid to ask questions if you need to.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
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#11
Technically, you are correct, brand positions are not specialist positions per se. It used to be that there were entertainment/jewelry/electronics/shoes specialists, but spot gave wrote them out of the org charts because they felt it fostered the belief that some team members were supervisors -- not fellow team members.

Thus: brand positions. Same work, but in most cases lower pay (electronics is still pg9) and also less prestige.

As far as interviews go, you normally interview for whatever position you are applying for. Therefore, there would probably be an interview required if you were a brand team member applying for a specialist position.
you're really going to buy the supervisor reason? they did it because they knew they could just give a sales floor tm a quarter raise and they'd be happy with it. cost saving maneuver, 100 %
 
OP
OP
Formina Sage💯

Formina Sage💯

Probably still better than you at the stacker
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#12
I get email access? :O That's news to me!
Also, the plano team just went through the signing room and threw out lots of junk and cleaned it up big time, so that'll be really helpful for me I guess.

What sort of things do you keep on your signing cart, just the most commonly needed parts and stuff? I know the previous signing TM didn't even use the cart.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
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#15
Well, this is as good as any place to post these again I guess:
Now, what I want to see is a new, current picture of your signing room. Ours has looked good before (not like yours, but acceptable), but within a week, it is trashed again. How has yours held up?
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
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#16
Access to TIPPs is a must because you will be doing a lot of ordering since just about every pallet of signing will have something damaged or missing on it.
Mule is spot on about keeping a notebook to write down everything since you are going to be hit from all sides, parts #'s, etl's wanting something fixed while you are up on the WAV and that all important POG # that you need to shoot 3X5's.
Start a network with the signing specialists in your area, they are good for when you run out of skyhooks.
I'll have more more/.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2011
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#18
Signing is pretty easy. Just get a system down. Make sure your signing area is neat so you know where everything is. I like to write on the side of the boxes the description of whats in each ISM box and the set week with a sharpie so it is easier to find. The signing cart for me is useless, I use a tub instead. For weeks that are going to be heavy try getting a head start the week before if possible.
 

adboardartist

Photo Lab Philanderer
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
21
#19
you're really going to buy the supervisor reason? they did it because they knew they could just give a sales floor tm a quarter raise and they'd be happy with it. cost saving maneuver, 100 %
I meant only to summarize the whole specialist scandal, didn't necessarily want to derail the topic at hand.

Personally, I don't buy the supervisor excuse. As you suggest, I believe it was purely a cost saving measure through and through.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
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#20
A few other things.
You might want set up a reserved place in the steel or if you have them in trailers for displays and excess seasonal signing that just wont fit in the fixture room. The upcoming infant reset is a good example since there are tons of displays and you just won't have enough space. Christmas is another one that will require extra space.
Get used to throwing out perfectly good fixtures or they will pile up on you. If it isn't needed anymore and it doesn't say carry forward, toss it.
 
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Formina Sage💯

Formina Sage💯

Probably still better than you at the stacker
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#21
A few other things.
You might want set up a reserved place in the steel or if you have them in trailers for displays and excess seasonal signing that just wont fit in the fixture room. The upcoming infant reset is a good example since there are tons of displays and you just won't have enough space. Christmas is another one that will require extra space.
Get used to throwing out perfectly good fixtures or they will pile up on you. If it isn't needed anymore and it doesn't say carry forward, toss it.
Yep our store already has three sections of steel right across from the fixture room for signing, stuff for the SFT, etc. I just put five of those displays there tonight, actually. Hurray for last week of backroom day!!!:D:D
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
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#22
Sorry to do these in dribs and drabs but it's one of those jobs that tends to have more bits of stuff then any one grand method.
I really recommend getting some training at a different store if you can.
As fine as the former signing specialist was who trained me was he (a) was seriously burned out on the job, (b) had developed his own way of doing things that weren't exactly BP and (c) was handling jobs that weren't really things he needed to do (like vendors) but since I was only trained at our store I didn't know any different.
So if you can see how it is done else where it will be very useful for comparison.
 
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#23
Sorry to do these in dribs and drabs but it's one of those jobs that tends to have more bits of stuff then any one grand method.
I really recommend getting some training at a different store if you can.
As fine as the former signing specialist was who trained me was he (a) was seriously burned out on the job, (b) had developed his own way of doing things that weren't exactly BP and (c) was handling jobs that weren't really things he needed to do (like vendors) but since I was only trained at our store I didn't know any different.
So if you can see how it is done else where it will be very useful for comparison.
Absolutely! It is a huge benefit to spend some time at another store!
 
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Jul 27, 2011
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#24
first our. is a signing TEAM MEMBER, we no longer have specialists. I have been a signing team member for close to 10 years. When i first started out, we had 40+ hours. each year it drops a little. depending on where you are, you can have a lot lower weeks than 24 hours. i have had many weeks, were i have had only 8 hours in signing. I am cross trained is almost anything and everything in the store. With an 8 hour signing week, Let me see TIPP order, pallets, fixture room, Doesn't leave a lot of time to do signing. I have always been told the Fixture room is mine, and mine alone. Pog helps as much as they can to help keep it clean, but it is the local drop off center for everyone in the store. Leave it in there, they will take care of it. A lot of the signing team members also do ad prep and ad set. I love my job still to this day. I am a Targetear through and through. I only wish we're not stretched as thin as we are due to our economy issues.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
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#25
The way everyone is talking about the signing position makes me wish I worked at their store. I'm actually moving back to softlines after a year in the signing position because I felt I was stretched really thin (and I found signing boring). I was usually given 8 hours to do a 30 hour workload of signing, even though I was usually scheduled 32. The rest of the time I was setting with the POG team or helping price accuracy. While I'm glad I learned a lot while in the position, I felt under-appreciated and over worked.
 
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