Archived *****InStocks Best Practice!*****

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obx

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Ok question. If Plano re-sets an aisle, and they make an EXF after the Pog Fill (Just incase the pog fill didn't pull everything). Should intocks go through and Research after 2 days of it being set and notice backroom locations? Or Switch to EXF?
 
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Plano sets the aisle and they should research it instead of EXF. Also, since the instocks task list has filters for new sets to ensure that counts are not changed they should be researching those aisles as well.
 

sigma7

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POG should scan SA Research. Instocks should follow the task list for that aisle after it is set. Ideally, they should not be seeing locations on what they scan a day or two later, but that's what happens when stores go EXF crazy. Most of thetime all regular use of EXFs will do is postpone the hit to your scans with location score.
 

obx

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Ok at my store Plano ties the aisle drops the batch pushes it. After its set the gray dot and exf. So when in stocks comes through a few days later and there was stuff in the back room with correct on hands. Should they continue in Research or EXF is the question? I’m curious best practice VS fudging the scores...
 

sigma7

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continue in research. EXF just has the potential to create too many errors in the replenishment system. Say the capacity is 12 and there are zero on the floor. When you scan it in research and enter 0, no matter what the accumulator thought was on the floor already, it knows there are zero and the need for that item is set to 12. If you have 24 in the backroom, it pulls the 12 needed to fill to capacity and the accumulator for that item goes back to 0. The item is full and will pull correctly as the item sells or is defected out.

Now say that instead of researching the out you key in an EXF for the capacity. So first you have to switch over to item search and see what the capacity is and then see how many are actually backstocked. There are 24 backstocked and the capacity is 12 so you put in an EXF for 12. 12 are pulled and all 12 fit on the floor. Seemingly the same benefit. But now you sell 2. Let's say the accumulator was already at 4 before you scanned an EXF for it. When you scnan an EXF for 12, the sales accumulator is now 16. The backroom pulls the EXF of 12 and the accumulator is back down to 4. This item only pulls when it's at half its capacity. Once the accumulator reaches 6 the item will drop into the autofills or CAFs. So you sell through 2 more that came out on the EXF. Now the accumulator is at 6 when it should really only be at 2 since you still have 10 on the floor. So it pulls 6, the accumulator is back to 0, and you send back the leftover 4 and the issue should be fixed, but backroom sees that something they just pulled is coming back as backstock so they put a subt9999 note on it. Within an hour before it gets subt9999ed, 7 more of the item sells. Now the accumulator is a 7, but backroom subt9999's it back into location. Now the accumulator is back to 0, but it should be at 7. The five left on the floor sell later that night so the accumulator is sitting at 5 with 0 on the floor and will only pull more when the accumulator hits 6. A case of 12 comes in on the next truck but it is sent to direct because the accumulator thinks the floor is still above the trigger. So now you have 22 in the backroom that will not drop into the autofills or CAFs because the sales accumulator thinks the floor is above the trigger. Now it's been a few days and you come by and scan it on an all scan day. BAM. You just got a scan with a location in the backroom. The accumulator is now reset, but all that original EXF (and subt9999ing) did was postpone you scanning the item in research and taking a hit. Had you scanned the out in research to begin with, you wouldn't have wasted time with the EXF, and you would've saved yourself from scanning it twice.

You can imagine how messy this can get with 30,000+ different items in the store. We don't have time to do double work. Take the hit and go on. The instocks team is rarely the reason scans with locations are red. It's every other process in the store that causes scans with locations. Flow not pushing to the piece, backroom burning batches, salesfloor not zoning to planogram, pog team not shooting research, cashiers using K2 for similar items that aren't the same DPCI, the market team QMOSing from the wrong area, etc. Those are the problems that need to be corrected. Your leadership should not be "correcting" the instocks team when they are the one team that is doing their job right.
 
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mrknownothing

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Using EXF is like taking Tylenol after breaking a bone. It may reduce the pain for a short time, but it doesn't actually heal the fracture, and you'll just feel the pain again later and have to take more pills. Research is the surgery needed to fix the broken processes.
 
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continue in research. EXF just has the potential to create too many errors in the replenishment system. Say the capacity is 12 and there are zero on the floor. When you scan it in research and enter 0, no matter what the accumulator thought was on the floor already, it knows there are zero and the need for that item is set to 12. If you have 24 in the backroom, it pulls the 12 needed to fill to capacity and the accumulator for that item goes back to 12. The item is full and will pull correctly as the item sells or is defected out.

Now say that instead of researching the out you key in an EXF for the capacity. So first you have to switch over to item search and see what the capacity is and then see how many are actually backstocked. There are 24 backstocked and the capacity is 12 so you put in an EXF for 12. 12 are pulled and all 12 fit on the floor. Seemingly the same benefit. But now you sell all 12. Let's say the accumulator was already at 12 before you scanned an EXF for it. Since it thought the floor already had 12 and it pulled another 12, the accumulator is now sitting at 24. This item only pulls when it's at half its capacity. Once the accumulator reaches 6 the item will drop into the autofills or CAFs. So you sell through all 12 that came out on the EXF. Now the accumulator is back at 12 when you have 0 on the floor. A case comes in on the next truck but it is sent to direct because the accumulator thinks the floor is full. So now you have 24 in the backroom that will not drop into the autofills or CAFs because the sales accumulator thinks the floor is full. Now it's been a few days and you come by and scan it on an all scan day. BAM. You just got a scan with a location in the backroom. The accumulator is now reset, but all that original EXF did was postpone you scanning the item in research and taking a hit. Had you scanned the out in research to begin with, you wouldn't have wasted time with the EXF, and you would've saved yourself from scanning it twice.

You can imagine how messy this can get with 30,000+ different items in the store. We don't have time to do double work. Take the hit and go on. The instocks team is rarely the reason scans with locations are red. It's every other process in the store that causes scans with locations. Flow not pushing to the piece, backroom burning batches, salesfloor not zoning to planogram, pog team not shooting research, cashiers using K2 for similar items that aren't the same DPCI, the market team QMOSing from the wrong area, etc. Those are the problems that need to be corrected. Your leadership should not be "correcting" the instocks team when they are the one team that is doing their job right.

Sigma, you are incorrect. EXF's do not add to the salesfloor accumulator. What you are actually doing when you EXF is changing the fill need on the floor. If the accumulator is at 11 and you EXF 12, you are telling the system there is a need for 12 on the floor. When the 12 are pulled from the backroom it resets the need on the floor to 0. If you EXF 6, and the accumulator is at 12, the higher need (12) will be pulled and sent to the floor even if you only request 6 (this is how the system keeps a team member from ordering less than has sold on the floor).
You're understanding of the accumulator is being explained backwards in your post. The accumulator starts at zero, not the shelf cap.
If the accumulator is at 12 when zero is on the floor, then it means that there is a need for 12 and it will pull. If there are only six in the BR then the system is still showing a need for 6, allowing autopush to fill the floor when it comes on the next truck.
When the accumulator is at 0, and there is zero on the floor, but product in the BR that is what increases scans with locations when doing research.
PM me if you need more details.

Aisles should not be SAR by the POG team. The filters are there in the task list for a reason.
 

sigma7

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I'm open to being wrong, but if I shoot an EXF for 6 of something, I will get 6 if there are 6 in the back regardless of whatever the system thinks the floor needs. If I shoot an EXF for 6 and there is a casepack of 12 in a upper or lower casestock location I will get the entire casepack due to casepack rounding. The other 6 from the pull might fit in the home, but I only created an EXF for 6, so the sales accumulator won't be affected as long as I fill the home location as well since more was subtracted than I actually requested. I did the logic on the sales accumulator once and the only way I could get it to work was to set the need as counting down from the capacity, so maybe I do have it backwards, but all the logic still stays basically the same. Just make the minus signs into plus signs and vice versa.

I could see EXF working the way you described it, but then EXF basically is research without changing counts. You can scan anything in research to reset the accumulator to what is actually on the floor. But the point is to not do that since it's extra work. I always understood and seen that if I EXF for more than what we have OH that product will keep flowing to the floor until it either meets the EXF need or it is subt99ed. In your example when you EXF more than the accumulator needs it resets to 0, but when you request less than the accumulator needs the accumulator is unaffected? By your own logic the accumulator should at least be decreased by the 6 that got pulled with the EXF.

TheManInRed, you are incorrect about stand alone research. Best practice is for POG team to shoot stand alone research after they are finished setting so that they are able to scan critical lows as well as outs. The filters are in stand alone research as well to keep the counts from being changed due to new sets and transition madness, which is why it's okay to use stand alone research.
 

sigma7

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Using EXF is like taking Tylenol after breaking a bone. It may reduce the pain for a short time, but it doesn't actually heal the fracture, and you'll just feel the pain again later and have to take more pills. Research is the surgery needed to fix the broken processes.

Very good analogy!
 

mrknownothing

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As per the wiki (courtesy of alloverthefloor):

This type of fill can lead to Sales Accumulator inaccuracies if not used properly because it does not affect any other batches currently in the replenishment system.

If an EXF is independent of all other batches, it would have a separate effect on the accumulator (it would always add to the accumulator, regardless of current sales floor need).

Also, if I remember correctly, Rock Lobster (logistics expert turned GSTL) once posted that the accumulator starts at 0 (no sales floor need) and goes up as items are sold and defected.
 

sigma7

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That makes more sense, but once I figured it one way that's the only way I see it. So the accumulator starts at 0 and accumulates sales. Totally obvious now!

I updated my earlier post to reflect my new and improved (and hopefully more accurate) understanding of the EXF logic. Inflated accumulators due to EXFs will eventually take care of themselves. On just a cursory review it seems like subt9999 is the culprit that causes scans with locations, but a lot of subt999ing is due to incorrect use of EXF.

I'm here to learn. And either way we don't EXF at my store and our scans with locations hasn't been red since remodel. We get hits on stuff everyday, but our scans with locations are a low enough percentage to stay green without using EXF.
 
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TheManInRed, you are incorrect about stand alone research. Best practice is for POG team to shoot stand alone research after they are finished setting so that they are able to scan critical lows as well as outs. The filters are in stand alone research as well to keep the counts from being changed due to new sets and transition madness, which is why it's okay to use stand alone research.

Just an FYI for BRIs-TL: If you are experiencing high backroom with location scans, this could be the reason. If the POG isn't being filled with carry forward needs PTM fills during its MPG run, there could be an inordinate amount of merchandise in the backroom that will be pulled with these scans.
 
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I'm open to being wrong, but if I shoot an EXF for 6 of something, I will get 6 if there are 6 in the back regardless of whatever the system thinks the floor needs. If I shoot an EXF for 6 and there is a casepack of 12 in a upper or lower casestock location I will get the entire casepack due to casepack rounding. The other 6 from the pull might fit in the home, but I only created an EXF for 6, so the sales accumulator won't be affected as long as I fill the home location as well since more was subtracted than I actually requested. I did the logic on the sales accumulator once and the only way I could get it to work was to set the need as counting down from the capacity, so maybe I do have it backwards, but all the logic still stays basically the same. Just make the minus signs into plus signs and vice versa.

I could see EXF working the way you described it, but then EXF basically is research without changing counts. You can scan anything in research to reset the accumulator to what is actually on the floor. But the point is to not do that since it's extra work. I always understood and seen that if I EXF for more than what we have OH that product will keep flowing to the floor until it either meets the EXF need or it is subt99ed. In your example when you EXF more than the accumulator needs it resets to 0, but when you request less than the accumulator needs the accumulator is unaffected? By your own logic the accumulator should at least be decreased by the 6 that got pulled with the EXF.

TheManInRed, you are incorrect about stand alone research. Best practice is for POG team to shoot stand alone research after they are finished setting so that they are able to scan critical lows as well as outs. The filters are in stand alone research as well to keep the counts from being changed due to new sets and transition madness, which is why it's okay to use stand alone research.

Sigma, you should get 6 of what you shoot. There is no way of telling what the accumulator is sitting at when you create a batch so no one knows. If EXF's are being shot on an out, it's because the accumulator hasn't been able to reach the trigger to create a pull, so shooting less than what the accumulator is already at is very unlikely. I was not aware that the filters were in place with SAR. I will have to dig deeper into this.
 
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mrknownothing, EXF's are not independent of other batches. All of the batches work together, otherwise you would need a seperate accumulator for each type of batch.
 

sigma7

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There is no way of telling what the accumulator is sitting at when you create a batch so no one knows. If EXF's are being shot on an out, it's because the accumulator hasn't been able to reach the trigger to create a pull

Which is why you should be shooting research, or, at the very least, outs. Outs will at least reset the accumulator where EXF will fill and eventually take care of itself but still leave you with an accumulator that is incorrect.
 
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Outs: Accumulator value is set to Capacity.
Research: Sets Accumulator value to Capacity - Entered amount.
EXF: Entered amount becomes accumulator value.

EXF's can be dangerous because you might be looking at 1 location of an item, tell the system you need 2 eaches and it will pull 2 and assume that all facings are at capacity(accumulator is zeroed). You may not have enough eaches left to hit the trigger for pulls which means that product may not come out until it is scanned again. Hence increasing the scans with locations score and leaving you with multiple holes on the floor.
 

sigma7

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From workbench:

Exception fill (EXF) Application:

The exception fill application should be used on an exception basis to create fill batches for non-planogrammed endcap space or to fill the checklanes. These are manual pulls initiated by the salesfloor.

This type of fill can lead to Sales Accumulator inaccuracies if not used properly because it does not affect any other batches currently in the replenishment system. Any amount keyed will be requested to be pulled if there are any in a backroom location.

It is important to be extremely cautious when generating EXFs, as the quantity requested will remain as a replenishment need until it can be fulfilled. For example, if you have an EXF for 45 bottles of Tide and the Backroom only has 10 bottles, the system will send the remaining 35 out to the floor as it becomes available.

Verbatim from workbench. Take from it what you will.
 

sigma7

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And after doing some more research I've realized how wrong I was. TheManInRed is right. When the EXF is bigger than the sales accumulator quantity, the sales accumulator is reset to the EXF quantity. If the EXF is for less than the accumulator, the sales accumulator quantity stays the same.

But then there another link that just says EXFs are added to the accumulator and doesn't make mention of if it is above or below the original SA qty.
 
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There's just a ton of confusion about how the accumulator works in general. It definitely doesn't add to the current value. The only time it's not how I posted it is if you enter a value less than the accumulator already wants, but that is pretty rare. I've actually never seen it pull more than I asked for on an EXF though I'm sure it's possible.
 
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We do use EXFs for hard liquor as well as wine. Twice a week for each, period. If anyone in our store shoots an exf they are coached. Non planogrammed end caps have to use the function to tie the item(s) to the end caps. Our ETL-LOG is pretty hardcore with this type of thing. I do find it interesting that with all of the expertise on this site the confusion surrounding instocks. This is the perfect reason that HQ should get their act together and make this information readily available and easy to understand for all team members. Lets face it workbench is crap for finding information.Perhaps a quarter 3 priority?
 

sigma7

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I was confused about EXF before, but now that I think I know how it works, it makes even less sense to use it. Why would you ever really want to use EXF to fill anything? It's like advanced outs or something. So you technically can use EXF to fix the accumulator if its understated, but you have no way of knowing what the accumulator is really at...so I guess still use the task list. Not to mention that it's just extra work to keep switching between EXF, item search, and instocks.
 
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The reason management wants you to use EXF is because it avoids the "scans with locations" score so they look green. But as a scanner, there is no reason to use it. It's not your job to care how many hits you are getting, simply to scan, grey dot and fill the floor.
 

sigma7

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Plus, EXF can fix the accumulator or mess it up even more. Using the task list, research, or outs will reset it to whatever is actually on the floor (0 or however many are there but still a critical low). To accurately use EXF to reset the accumulator you could really only shoot EXFs before cafs drop, but after the previous hours have been pulled and worked. And you'd need to know if the accumulator is understated which is what research and outs take care of anyway. EXFs = Extra Freaking scans.
 
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There's just a ton of confusion about how the accumulator works in general. It definitely doesn't add to the current value. The only time it's not how I posted it is if you enter a value less than the accumulator already wants, but that is pretty rare. I've actually never seen it pull more than I asked for on an EXF though I'm sure it's possible.

I think this is because as the "new" team a lot of management never had to do a stint with IS. In addition, the "rules" have changed many times in the course of the IS team existence. When they change, there has been little to no retraining. Most management views IS as scanners instead of the integral tm's that they are - and who can't scan, right? It doesn't help that the paygrade for a team that requires knowledge of all work centers is not among the higher paid positions.
 
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