Archived Making Flow RWT

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Feb 17, 2012
Lately my Flow TL's job is hanging by a thread. For some reason my flow team of 23 can't make RWT to finish the trucks. Monday on a 1900 piece truck (after back stock) we overspent by 23hrs! Take in to consideration 4 were gone due to call in's/vacations, and another 4 had to help PFresh after they finished C&D. So 15 to finish the truck by 9:05 wasn't going to happen. Everyone ended up lunching and I didn't get out till 11:30-12pm.

Anyone else familiar with Flow care to throw in some pointers? Maybe how your Waves flow in the morning? I know different volume stores have different ways of getting things done, but I'd hate to see my TL get demoted, even lose his job, for something that is out of his control and technically falls on my teams doing...

Also there is no way HBA wave of 4 people can finish 24hrs by 7am, when truck got done unloading by 5:30. and no one was bowling out HBA till 6am...
Why don't you guys sort HBA into carts instead of bowling it?
Our flow ladies are awesome in softlines! On hl stuff, we have 4 folks for repacks only. Other folks do all other push at my store.
Here's how my C-volume 3:30 flow team runs it. This obviously is just the cookie cuter routine, but if a certain area of the store is heavier than another, then you have to shift them around accordingly.

At 3:30, we have 11 people come in. 2 unloaders, 1 scanner, 3 for the push side, and 2 for the backstock, 2 to take out the full pallets, and 1 lady to get a jump start in softlines.

At 4, we have around 6-8 (depending on hours) more flow team people come in. Four of them go straight to A-B and start bowling out the pallets, one goes to market to start bowling that area out, and another softlines lady comes in then.

At 4:30, we have 3 more people come in, 2 of them going to A-B, and another to market.

Theoretically, you should never take longer than an hour to unload a truck. Now that is going to solely be based on your unload team, but your TL needs to asses his team and bring in the ones that out perform the rest. When I worked flow, we hardly ever took over an hour to unload a truck, and it was a result of everybody pulling their own weight. Once one person begins to slack off on an unload, it throws it off for the entire process. Ten minutes over on an unload just adds up as the process goes on... so make sure that team is hitting their unload goals. PUSH PUSH PUSH!!

Once the team is done unloading, they head off to their typical areas that they work in. We have a guy that comes in and works 6-9, and usually pushes toys for us and then hits the cardboard after that.

OUR breakout (again, your store is it's own store and is shopped in it's own way) normally is:
7 H&B (1 person sorts the repacks, and then 3 team members stay after the box freight is worked to push the carts)
1 housewares
1 chemicals
1 pets
1 stationary
2-3 market
3 domestics
4 softlines
1 electronics
1 infants
22-23 team members per truck

If you guys are struggling with completing in time, you want to focus on areas that are heavily trafficked at the opening of the store. IF, our store is every pushing truck once the store opens, it's typically softlines, and toys/sporting goods/seasonal... areas of the store that guests don't see first thing. Your TL can print off a report (not 100% accurate, I KNOW!) that shows how long each custom block would take to push. He should be utilizing that to find his opps for push times. In all honesty, he should be walking the floor frequently to asses how the team is coming, and shift team members accordingly. If C&D has 30 pallets, you obviously have to pull from other areas that may not be as heavy.

Good luck! I miss me some flow team!
HBA is usually pretty heavy. We usually have one person start at 4am in HBA to set up the carts for breaking out the repacks. Then at 4:30 2 more team members join them. So now one person to break out the repacks, the other two to start pushing on opposite ends of the floor as the pallets come. When the truck is finished, two more people join to start the carts from the repacks, and 3 people are still pushing case stock on the floor.
I envy all of the people you guys have. I have one person at 4 start in H&B. She sets up carts, sorts repacks and stocks. I get 1 more person in at 6 to help. They do it all by themselves and are always done completely by 8. Our trucks have been around 2300 and these ladies are amazing kicking H&Bs a$$!
Just depends on the people! H&B tends to be where our older flow team members work, so that's why our store has so many in that area. Only a handful stick around after the actual box freight is worked, so we don't have all of them over there the entire time.
So RWT is not accurate and if your TLs job is hanging by a thread it most likely is not just because you are not meeting RWT. My Flow/Backroom teams overspend all of the time and I am considered one of the strongest leaders in the building. The HBA goal time is actually really easy to beat. Our three HBA ladies beat their goal by 2-5 hours every day. The 9:05 goal time doesn't sound right. The goal should be to finish bowling and truck unload about the same time and start your stocking time after that. That would've only given you 4 hours of stocking for 15 people or 60 hours of stocking which I'm sure was closer to 75 or 80.

I think that there is more to this story but the real answer is just work hard and stay motivated. If your leader can drive a productive and engaged team that is completing their work the goal time is not as big of a focus.
our prob is we don't have anyone in Stationary, Small Apps, Seasonal, Babies, nor Toys or Sporting Goods till after 8.. C&D, HBA, Market, and SL are always heavy. 1 in Chem, and 1 in Pets. Theoretically we shouldn't have any issue with everyone in these main Waves. But people slack, and call in's. RWT still stands regardless whose there making everyones job that much harder. Our ETL starting putting toy balls around the store to help with FIFOing, Zoning, and pretty much to make sure we find them. They are in places where we should be doing our job. Lots of times they are in areas where second locations are to help minimize Challenge later on
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