Archived Instocks Payroll Hours and Store Volume Comparison

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I'm just curious to see how my store compares to others in the company. I work at an "A" volume store and when I first started working on the Instocks team 4 years ago, we had an overnight flow team and 4 people on the Instocks team and we all (Instocks) averaged close to 40 hours per week. Over those 4 years, one Instocks TM was promoted to TL in Produce and his role on Instocks was never filled.

Next, our Instocks TL demoted himself to POG so he could go back to school (management wouldn't allow him to not work a rotating schedule and he needed every Saturday off). Once he moved out of Instocks, his TL position was combined with the BRTL position. Eventually, that TL quit and a Flow TM took over his spot. Short of scheduling, neither of those two TL had/have even a small role on the Instocks team. The current TL does not scan with our team ever and knows next to nothing about the process. He mainly works in the backroom and with the Flow team. So Instocks essentially consisted of two regular TMs at that point.

Next, just this past Black Friday, the last of my Instocks TMs quit after having worked with me on the Instocks team for 4 years. We were awesome as a team and ran Instocks amazingly considering the circumstances. After he quit, they had me train one of the new seasonal Flow TMs on Instocks for a few weeks and then he got canned for too many call-ins. They also had me train another Flow TM for a total of three days spread out over the course of three weeks. His training was lacking to say the least and he still tells me that when they randomly throw him into Instocks to scan (once every two weeks or so) he doesn't know what he is doing.

Now, I am the only person scheduled for Instocks Monday through Friday. One person for an "A" volume store and a 4 AM flow process, working from 6:30 AM to 2 PM (if I'm lucky). Only one other person (the poorly trained TM) is scheduled on Instocks on each weekend day. This began just last week after the other guy was fired.

With every loss of an Instocks TM, the department's hours have been cut. They started out at well over 130 hours 4 years ago and today they are down to 45. Per week. For two people. In a store that has consistently seen yellow and red Instocks scores since combining the BR and ISTL positions.

Sorry for ranting in some places but my point is, I feel like, for a large store such as mine, it would make sense to have more TMs trained on Instocks and allot more hours to the department, even if it's just enough to have two people scan on the store's rescan day rather than just one. I NEVER get even 3/4 of the way through my task list, even on light workload days, what with all the problems I have to fix that are created by the salesfloor and flow teams before I can get an accurate scan.

Is this normal? Am I simply experiencing the same thing as every other department in every other store where hours are being cut and TMs being relied on more heavily to be more productive? Or am I right in assuming that other stores are allotted even a few more Instocks hours and more well-trained Instocks TMs; and my store's ETLs and, mainly, the STL, simply don't understand the impact of not having a smoothly running flow and Instocks process?

tl;dr Only enough Instocks hours for one person to scan whole volume "A" store every single day. What volume store do you work in and how is your Instocks team scheduled?
 
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I am in a B volume store with a 4 am flow process. I am the only tm that is actually keyed as Instocks, if that gives you a clue. I have 2 other tms that are given hours but they are flow tm's that are more often than not kept to finish the trucks and only work 1/2 the hours that they are scheduled for instocks. I am the only tm that EVER works the ptm task list and am also tasked to work the drastic count report. When the IS team started we were given 120 hours, that dropped to 100, then 70 and is now back to 100. 20 of those hours go toward the BRIStl (who scans for about 2 hours/week). I am scheduled between 30-36 hours/week and the other 2 tms are scheduled a total of 30 hours. I am the only tm that works weekends and that is every other so that I can be scheduled during the week. The team started with its own TL (could be run by a brand tm) and 4 tms that worked with 2 EOW. Over time 3 of the tms left Target and were not replaced with anyone that has actually completed a learning plan. "We" are continually told that we need to increase scans (happy to do it if you 1) zone 2)finish the truck push 3)work the reshop and 4)complete the backstock) They don't understand why I take those remarks personally. Duh. I am the team. This team should just be over. It has never been used toward its intended purpose and there is no training for management, no policy consistency, and no commitment from management.
 
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Finally, someone who knows my pain. I, too, am the only person who works PTM's and the report.

One of the biggest problems is that management does NOT understand that the Instocks team is not there to fill the floor. The Instocks training guide explicitly states that. We are there to ensure efficiency is maintained throughout the replenishment process. But when there is such a huge disconnect between our teams true purpose and what management sees as our team's goal, it's not just Instocks that suffers, but the whole store. I truly believe that in order to run a store successfully, every ETL should be trained in Flow process followed by the Instocks process BEFORE they get to know any other part of the store.
 
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It is beyond amazing to me that not a single ETL, (not even the ETL-log, who I answer to or the ETL-HL who is technically my boss) understands the actual synergy between the processes. Part of the problem arises over the fact that the team is called the Instocks team and one of the metrics is "Be InStock". The implication is that it is an instocks metric and that the team is solely responsible for raising that number.
 
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Thanks, Hardlinesmaster! I've actually been lurking here for about a year :) What volume store do you work in and how many hours does your Instocks team receive?
 
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Low "A" volume gm, p-fresh. I am not sure of the hours. We have 1 full time person & maybe a part timer?
 
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I think I'll stop complaining about my team now. I usually have 3 people scanning most of the week in an A volume store. We finish the list about half the week because we either have to help push(4am store when we really shouldn't be), or spend a quarter of the time cross filling because people are too lazy to do it. Our store is 30x more full then it was 4 months ago yet we're still not doing well because of the stupid metric.

Also we have numerous TLs and ETLs scanning because they don't trust that we're doing everything we can to get scans in. I've had to coach my TMs because they do their jobs correctly. It aggravates me. The process isn't broken due solely to my team its the flow team not stocking or Plano being lazy or people not cross filling or zone. It all goes together. ETLs know this but they don't care.

Oh and don't ever try to challenge an ETL about how the instocks process works because they don't understand it.
 
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Oh my god, I would be so happy if I could have even ONE more knowledgeable person helping me scan for half of the week.

Just last week, the Logistics TL grabbed someone from the Flow team to "help me scan". I later found him with a big list of DPCIs on his cart. I asked what they were for and he told me that the Logistics TL told him to go through paper and pets and write down all the DPCIs of items that had backroom locations and hand it off to a Backroom TM to pull it and then once it was filled, to scan the area. I later asked the Logistics TL why the Flow TM was writing down DPCIs (I pretended to not know the real reason). He claimed that the cat litter wasn't pulling properly for some reason and wanted to find out why. His excuse did absolutely nothing to address the fact that he was simply circumventing the Instocks process and in doing so, would keep us from finding out the real reason why there is a replenishment problem, and perhaps even perpetuate it.
 
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Yeah, don't even get me started on the whole writing down DPCIs thing. We did that a little bit as well and I was embarrassed. The problem is that everyone is so obsessed with immediate fixes that ultimately we're screwing up how the replenishment process should work. Unfortunately there's no hours to actually follow best practice.
 

Rock Lobster

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Yeah, don't even get me started on the whole writing down DPCIs thing. We did that a little bit as well and I was embarrassed. The problem is that everyone is so obsessed with immediate fixes that ultimately we're screwing up how the replenishment process should work. Unfortunately there's no hours to actually follow best practice.

It doesn't pay off in the long run. If taking over a broken logistics process, it is obvious that the first thing to fix is the truck and backroom. There is no point in worrying about instocks if the trucks aren't being pushed "to the piece" (how do you like that old term) and to all multiple locations, all backstock getting done, all challenge run, and all presentation processes being on track. Some leadership teams in the company are so childish right now, and are quick to "fix" things like scans with locs % when their process is not in the stage that you should be working on it. Honestly, spend 6 months to 1 year getting your truck process strong, and then hammer on instocks. If done right the process will be smooth and it all makes sense (running into each other). Then there is no need to ever fake any part of the process out and you will be one of the few stores who has green metrics for real!
 
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We are a B volume Supertarget and have been doing instocks with less than 40 hours a week. We have been under this same directive to EXF scan any section before doing research and doing EXF scans for new POGS before SAL research for a while. This was not something started at store level by our ETL's, it comes directly from our DTL's and Group leadership. If you question it against best practice(which I have many times) your told this is part of the new "Fill the Floor" roleout from HQ. I have yet to find any updates to instocks best practices which encourage this as a store program. We are also up against some new "Count Update $ vs Average Weekly Shortage" spreadsheet report which comes from our APBP every week that directly challenges any count changes done through research. If you exceed your count update dollars from the previous week research is shut down in your store, you can only use EXF to "Fill Your Floor" until told otherwise. Combine all these things together and run a "Backroom Pull by Pull Type " report and you can see research scans have significantly dropped and EXF usage is through the roof for our entire Group.
I cannot make any sense what our leadership is thinking here. They have us doing push audits to fill the binder up but since we are EXF scanning any item that is located in the backroom before we research there is no Research with Locations % to base doing a push audit for any particular area. Our instocks people are scarred to do any count updates because any updates are heavily scutinized by our AP people. We are not doing anything to increase finding mispicks or challenging trailers from the DC when pallets of items never show up, their argument is since its probably still in the DC the company has not lost the merchandise and the dollar shortage your store has will be reported when you do your yearly inventory. So essentially any research we manage to do is zero on hand items which will eventually show up on a truck through auto replenishment, scanning these items will just make our trucks bigger and since we can't handle the trucks we already get without over 10% of it just getting backstocked why further burden a broken system.
So I am not surprised to read instocks teams are essentially being phased out along with the payroll that allows them to function. Leadership has created a system to achieve green Scans with Locations % metrics for a whole group of stores and green shortage indicators to go with them. What concerns me is we are making no attempt to drive our replenishment system to refill the items we sell in a timely manner that are empty, which is what instocks teams were intended to do. There is nothing wrong with the existing company scanning process, in fact it may work too well. Using it on a consistent basis not only keeps your store full but also finds and exposes problems with store processes that help you indentify and fix them. But until stores are allowed to legitimately fix issues by doing more than creating quick fix schemes that do nothing to address the root issues I cannot see things improving for individual stores.
 
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