Archived Instocks stress vent

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Instocks TM
Jun 28, 2011
I've been stressed out lately on the instock team in a ULV store. The task list being all messed up due to the testing just adds to the stress and I have almost reached boiling here.

One stressful thing is it seems our boss is trying to fire on of the tms. She has told us in the past this person is poor performing. The tm thinks everyone is against her and is just basically kinda hard to like. I personally don't like the TM because she is hard to work with and has a poor attitude. She thinks she is awesome in her job and everyone else is slacking. She has great attendance and she completes her core roles so I am thinking it must be difficult for my boss to get enough on her to fire her. I feel like it is hard to tell sometimes if I am being unfairly biased against her sometimes because I dislike her so much, and I wonder if my TL is actually very biased against her.

Our TL spends 95% of her time with the backroom team. She doesn't have much of an understanding of instocks processes. Previously she stated that her working instocks with us would take away hours from us so she doesn't schedule herself with us. Recently she says she is going to work with us on a regular basis but for some reason she is always pulled away while helping. Another tm noticed she wasn't properly trained on things like setting up rainchecks. This TL sounds so well spoken at huddles but seems quite ineffective in all other aspects of her job. All the backroom tm's and instocks tm's thinks she does a poor job. It makes me stressed out working with all these people who don't respect their boss.

Everything is going from MPG to planogrammed right now so I know the scan is going to be even more time consuming in the near future.
The softlines area is so time consuming to research.....
At my store the instocks team is responsible for scanning all of softlines in research. We are told we have to research tables, do you research every tables every week? (Jw because it is huge time suck and I doubt any other store does it) I read in best practice that the instock tm should not be researching the tables it should be a different tm I can't remember which one, but I will print that out and show my etl it is not bp for the instock team to research tables. We have a shoes brand tm and a jewlery tm but they don't give them ANY time to maintain the zones. Our store being an ULV store we have only a few closing team members so softlines really gets no love after all the guests mess everything up all night. I just know when we get busier for spring break people are going to shop shoes so hard and the team is only going to have the time to pick shoes up off the ground and the zone is going to get crazy bad. To maintain the zone and thwart the overstock that is constantly coming from every direction we have been zoning shoes to planogram every morning before we scan. It is crazy time consuming for us. I don't understand why the shoes tm isn't getting hours to straighten shoes. It would be a godsend for us if the shoe tm could be given time to zone shoes and scan it in outs and research like they used to do years ago.

It is so difficult to do everything we are supposed to be responsible for in the measly hours they give us. They recently added doing an ad walk to our list of responsibilities, and now they don't check the ad on sunday at all!!! It is just us checking (throughout the week for a huddle project) if signs get put up!!!! I 've been making signs that I find missing for the most part but sometimes they missed a whole bunch so I have to ask the TLOD to help do missed signing but they hate doing it.

All of us instock team members would like 40 hours. They havent been able to give us 40 hours even though we are crossed trained for most everything and open availability.

The one tm I was talking about earlier talks about how she needs money all the time but refuses to ask if she can stay late in situations that might require staying later. She gets so offended that the ETLs or tls don't ask her to stay late so she just assumes they hate her? and she leaves. She picks up shifts a lot though.

The area this store is in has taken a hard hit to the economy so there isn't a ton of other jobs out to leave target for. Morale is so low at our store but the dayside people have been working at this target for a long time and they make good money and they are older people so they don't want to go find something else. It feels so negative there some days it really gets to me. I don't make a ton of money like those other people so it isn't worth if for me to get stressed out over it like them, I am feeling I need to find something else here pretty soon. I just loved working first shift and didn't hate working at target when I worked at a different store in the past. I am also a shy person, and nervous about interviewing and starting someplace new so I have been kinda staying here at target when maybe I should be seeking new opportunities.

I am going to challenge my leaders about the instock team having to research tables when bp says its not our responsibility. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep on top of the shoes situation?

Thanks if you read this whole post - I appreciate it.
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Does your store have a brand specialist for clothes?

If you are referring to a general softlines brand team member over tables no she got promoted to be the softlines planogram team member. I don't think they replaced her with anyone.
Holy sh*t are you me? I've gone through almost all of this crap. Honestly I've mostly given up on instocks, I mean I do my job well and I fix the minor things I see (like I'll reprint sub signs when they're missing, replace shelf labels if they're gone, etc) and I try to suggest things to improve the situation and our scores, but I just ignore the ongoing issues because no one listens to me. You could ask to be transferred to a different department; I was considering going to flow because I love their TL and my new TL is not completely working out right now. You could also try documenting the entire situation and bringing it all to HR after a while.

At my store, no one scans softlines because it's a pain in the ass and takes up valuable time that could be used to do something useful. Also, tables don't even count in our raincheck scores so there really isn't a point in scanning them (or at least they didn't... I know they're updating DTK right now so who knows). You are correct that it should be the softlines brand TM that scans all of softlines. At my store, the only time shoes gets zoned is late at night, and even then 80% of the time they're told to just get everything up off the ground and then move on. The only time we're ever truly able to scan shoes is immediately after a reset. I think it would really help out if departments like shoes and E&E were scanned by the people that work in them; they already know what goes where and it's so much easier for them to just do it as they go instead of pulling an instocks TM to do it.

I have no clue why they're having you put up missed ad signs; that has NOTHING to do with instocks. My instocks team also does an ad walk, but ours is way different. We print off the store-specific ad guide and check all the items that have zero on-hands, and put up rainchecks as needed. My ETL wants me to check all items with 1 and 2 on-hands, but honestly I only do that like every other shift, because it's not worth it to do it every day.

I only get 40 hours each week between multiple departments (I get two instocks shifts a week, then get split between pricing, photo, plano, cashier, and sometimes backroom and flow), and lately I only manage that by constantly asking if there are hours available. We only have 28 hours for instocks this week, it's insane. I personally only got scheduled for 25 hours last week because payroll is SO tight right now. It sucks. :/ I've spoken to my ETL multiple times about this and it seems to have helped, but not as much as I'd like. For the past like six months I've been debating leaving or getting a second job because it's just not cutting it.

If you like Target, I'd suggest asking to transfer to another department. Explain exactly why you want to leave instocks; if they see good people wanting to leave the instocks team, they may actually do something.

I think you should have a shoes brand TM that comes in at night to superzone and then scan the entire department. If you don't normally have BRTMs working that late, this TM should also get BR trained and pull and backstock all their batches as well. The instocks team should NOT be responsible for zoning entire departments like they're having you do; it's okay if it's a one time thing, but having you do it on a consistent basis is not BP. When you bring it up, make sure to point out exactly how many hours it's taking up and give examples of all the other stuff the team could accomplish during those hours.

I wish you the best of luck, seriously. I've been there and I know how much it sucks.
Yeah, two years ago the company wide focus was instocks, so the leadership at my store learned about the instocks process and checked up on us. Back then, I had to do a good job. Then those people all left and then I realized that the new leadership knew NOTHING about instocks, well I gave up on it too, but I had a good run of about a year where I just loaded up on them gray dots and had a good time. There was no follow up, no coachings, no review, just bliss!
One of the instocks TMs at my store told me last week that they had tables added to their workload. It's not part of the tasklist, it's just something the logistics ETL asked them to do. (Because they apparently don't have enough to do already...?) It used to be a softlines brand thing to do, but our brand TMs end up having to do ad, POGs, and other things instead. Nobody even gigs anymore - I do it when I zone, but I don't think anyone else does. Our shoes TM is rarely in shoes because she's too busy doing everything else. They can keep saying she needs to be in shoes till they're blue in the face but she barely gets over there.

Sad thing is, seems that pricing and instocks are the redheaded stepchildren of Target - forgotten about until something goes wrong, then they get chewed out for it... :(
oh, at my store it was usually scan the tables if it was known the dtl was doing a suprise visit. Otherwise, you wouldn't scan them.
Instocks is a completely broken process and the sad thing is it is suppose to help fix all the other broken processes. No hours mean no zone and its like spinning your wheels trying to shoot the store in any accurate way. Softlines has no hours and no even is sheduled until the one person that closes. Best Practice is a complete joke when the people who are suppose to do it, do not exist. Target is in a sad state and the team members know it and that is the final nail in the head for morale.
The merchandising brand TM in softlines is responsible for shooting research on all folded planogrammed fixtures. That is what Best Practice says. Regardless of "raincheck scores", it is still *very* important to do research in Softlines. Clothing is very important to Target because it has such a huge margin and such a large percentage of total sales.
You check add? Our tl's in our store do that. Our. Rand team memebers scan tables. When I was promoted to Tl ok made cross training my focus multiple other tm's can scan tables and I had some trained with Instocks so if the team needed help my girl could hop in.

This that your goin through is crap. Your sltl should make sure your brand team member shoes gets in there and gets time. I sacrifice doing some of my work early or even havin time to do crappy paperwork so my brand girl gets in there I also spend time in there with her. We're not a ulv store we rank pretty high in sales there are weeks were in the top 100 of the company it's crazy so maybe our hours aren't cut as badly but what pisses me off on these boards is leadership not caring! Not working! And expecting magic from your team members if you don't get in there and work with them and motivate them and show you care why would someone what to go above and beyond?! I'm so frustrated with passive lazy leaders. Team members need to be heard! Who does the work to make sales and keep up the store on busy nights and stays on top of the crazy transitions not the etls and not all tl's so who do we owe the success of a store to? The team. So i feel like as a leader the least i can do is listen and work with them. And it pisses me off when other leaders blow off theyre team members but expect more and more. Guuuuh! Sorry totaly rant...
Yeah, two years ago the company wide focus was instocks, so the leadership at my store learned about the instocks process and checked up on us. Back then, I had to do a good job. Then those people all left and then I realized that the new leadership knew NOTHING about instocks, well I gave up on it too, but I had a good run of about a year where I just loaded up on them gray dots and had a good time. There was no follow up, no coachings, no review, just bliss!

Yep it was one of the company's biggest focuses... Unfortunately I think too much has been done with the process and its just too bulky to function as originally intended (and then in ULV stores its almost non-existent)... I know what I want the process to look like but I doubt Target would do it! I am fairly trusting that sometime in the next year they are going to get their poop in a group with this process and get it on track with what it should be!
The thing is, there's a very easy way for corporate to fix instocks (and many other processes as well): increase payroll. More payroll means: for sales floor, more TMs to zone and assist guests; for instocks, more hours for scanning; for flow, more TMs to push the truck; for backroom, more TMs to pull batches and complete the backstock; for the whole store, more hours to PROPERLY TRAIN TMs in the processes.

Can corporate do this? Of course they can, they make billions every year. But WILL corporate do this? Keep on dreaming...

I am fairly trusting that sometime in the next year they are going to get their poop in a group with this process and get it on track with what it should be!

Let's hope so!
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