Our flow process and questions for other stores flow team.

Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
6
#1
Our trucks average about 2200-2300 peices, with about 1600-1700 as push. 3 trucks a week, with a fourth every other saturday. We come in at 4am-4:30, and are scheduled until 8-8:30AM. We have about 20 flow TMs.

At four half the team comes in and starts the truck unload, two throwers, one scanner, and four on the line, one on the backside. 4 TMs pull pallets to their respective areas, and bowl them. Toys and sporting goods are left unbowled.

Three to four people are already in SFs breaking out to zracks, two TMs are up front pushing chemicals/HBA. Two TMs are breaking out repacks into carts by their respective areas. Another TM is pushing in consumables and another in infants hardlines. ONe TM is in the middle of the store pushing bath/bedding/plastics/furn/domestics.

The trucks are usually unloaded by 5:30 lately its been about 5:40-45, the person working blackline goes to toys and bowls and pushes. Sporting goods/automotive is left on two to three flats.

After truck there is two people working electronics, one working toys, one working infant hardlines, four in softlines. Four in consumables/mini seasonal. One in the middle of the store. Two people are pushing HBA casepacks, one is pushing cosmetics/hba carts. Four of us are pushing chemicals/pets/stationary/housewares, kitchen casepacks on the floor.

Usually we finish the front casepacks around 7:30 I break off to take backstock to the backroom.

At around 8 there is usually 3 flats in sporting goods left, maybe some toys(TM that does toys leaves for 7 for another job) the autofills/pulls for generally all of the store left, and the carts from push in casepacks. A lot of cosmetics as well, and still some HBA carts. Occasionally there will still be some push casepacks for middle left, and on real bad days the front of the store as well (HBA/chems etc.)

At 8 most TMs scheduled for this time leave, at 8:30 more drop, usually there are only a few of us left to finish the truck that stay past, and sometimes we don't finish until 10-11AM.


My question is, how do you guys handle your process differently?

Do you think the times we are finishing are unreasonable?

What times do you usually finish all truck push?

Average size/push of your trucks, unload times, times you come in and most TMs leave.

Our flow TL has been getting chewed pretty hard lately, she had a huddle and picked out some good workers and blew up at the rest, she was so mad she was about to cry. I understand she gets chewed 10x worse than us behind closed doors. They want everything done by 8AM. Great by 8!
 
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OP
OP
L
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
6
#3
Our flow comes in at 4AM, we are not an O/N store even though I think we should be, stuff could get done faster ON because we could bowl everything and not have to worry about cleaning up before 8 when we're not even finished.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
15,963
#4
We had some of the same problems so they started having the flow team come in at 3:00 and it worked out pretty well.
Of course to counter that they promptly cut the team by 5 people.
Ah Target, will you ever get tired of shooting yourself in the foot or making your people miserable?
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
429
#5
Just be glad you aren't an ULV 6am flow store, we don't get trucks unloaded until 7:30am. Which means no other departments in the store are allowed to use flats, and very few tubs left over after pulls.
 

Pettjm54

Sales floor TL
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
195
#6
Its for that reason that ULV stores and Extremely high volume stores are on the same difficulty level according to spot. (my store is also a 4am unload/non o/n store, and it sucks.
 

The Mule

Jack Of All Workcenters
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
344
#7
We're a C Volume(high end of the bracket) and start at 6am currently. Three trucks a week and average anywhere between 1900-2400 each. Our process breaks down as follows:

  • 6:00am - First half of the team comes in to start the unload. Team is: 2 throwers, 1 pusher/pallet grabber, 1 scanner, 4 on the push side, 3 on the backstock side(also handle bulk stacking on dock), 3 people pulling sleds and bowling pallets out and one more to start sorting the HBA repacks into 3-tier carts.
  • 6:30am - Second half of team comes in, about 6-8 more people. Team will be split to assist in sorting HBA, pulling off the line, starting the push in snacks and work in infants.
  • 6:45-7am - Truck is completely unloaded(yes, 2400 piece trucks in 45 minutes is possible). One TM will handle pushing the bulk and paper out, 3 TMs stay in softlines, 2 stay in the back to sort the rest of the stores repacks, EVERYONE else is involved in the push. We WAVE push our FLOW team, few exceptions.
  • 8:00am - Snacks, HIPA, HBA and Electronics have been completely pushed. We will be somewhere in Housewares/Domestics. Everyone goes on break now. When they come back, finish up the middle of the store.
  • 9:00am - MMB done. We're well into Chemicals and Pets if not done already. Seasonal(Mini included), Toys and then Sports/Bike/Luggage. We also start breaking down our softlines in the back around now, takes them about 4 people and 20 minutes to do it.
  • 10:00am - Those expecting a lunch will go now, only about 3-5 TMs usually. Shoes and Z-racks next. Once done, everyone to Stationary to finish up.

Everything up to the 8am is always timed and accurate, after that is a soft numbers game since you have guest traffic and seasonal amounts of freight changing. I've rarely seen our whole team there by noon. The bulk of our team leaves between 10am and 11am. All pulls and repacks are staged in the departments and pushed with the freight so that each department is completely done when the team moves on. Once everything is done on the salesfloor, about 3 TMs go to the back to sort out the transition and clean up. We have one TM that takes care of our trash and keep clean cages ready(we have 7 cages total). If our POG team has a large enough set going on, we'll drop a few pallets of transition and have the team blitz it out before they get sent home for the day. On top of it all, we are a state that tickets EVERYTHING, so take that into account on how long each section takes.

==============

I can't stress enough that you need to get the time unloading the truck down to a minimum. Every minute you have people tied up in the back wears them down twice as fast as on the floor and is time you could be pushing freight instead of unloading it.
 

Rock Lobster

Executive Team Leader
Staff member
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Joined
Jun 11, 2011
Messages
1,395
#9
Our flow comes in at 4AM, we are not an O/N store even though I think we should be, stuff could get done faster ON because we could bowl everything and not have to worry about cleaning up before 8 when we're not even finished.
Nah you guys only have 3 trucks a week, there is no way you would be overnight... We average 5 or 6 trucks a week during slow times of the year (about 2500 on avg each) and 4 food trucks a week on top of that and they were thinking about pushing our store as 4AM for another year back when we transitioned!!

When we were 4AM, we had a flow team come in at 4AM and do the unload... it was 2 throwers, 1 scanner, 1 transition/bulk sorter, 1 backstock, and 4 line side... then we had a few pullers/bowlers as well! Then we had dedicated flow team members to the food areas (dairy/frozen) to take care of those trucks and then a bunch of other pushers in at 430... After unload (530ish) the entire flow team went to grocery and pushed... A few broke off to do HBA/Cosm, and some random areas (SLs, Pets etc... that don't fit well in our store)! Now our secret to coming clean with freight by 8AM everyday was we overscheduled our backroom team! Our autofills were pulled in about 45 minutes (1500 pieces on avg) and then we got all truck backstock done almost as soon as the unload was finished! Then the backroom team started another wave and did all the GM freight... This worked well because if one wave was struggling (grocery usually got slammed) the other could still come clean usually! We also bowled everything including pulls so that wasn't an issue... After 8AM we had a select group stay and backstock that floor backstock, if there was too much other teams got called (dayside, instocks etc...) to help because we HAD to be 100% by 12:30...
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
100
#10
I am in a AAA store with an overnight process. We get 7 trucks a week, soon to be more. Average truck is between 2000 - 2500 pieces. Our hours are usually between 80 - 115 hours of push. We have between 17-25 flow team members a night.

At 10:30p unload team arrives. Takes between 1 and 1 1/2 hours to unload depending on the team. 3-4 on front and 2-3 on back, depending on who is unloading, some are way faster than others. 2 unloaders, 1 scanner.

At 11p the rest of the team arrives, our HBA, SL and Gro breakout people.

When the truck is finished, usually between 11:30 and 12p, the team hits the floor. Grocery first, then we wave around through pets, chem, paper, etc. We have seperate teams for HBA and SL. One elecs team member. A team for the dairy/frozen process which has seperate hours.

On an average night the whole process takes around 4-6 hours. However, we have a small team that comes in early in the morning and pushes HL. So if you take those hours into acc't, it would be around 6-8 hrs for our team to push the truck. The time your store takes seems right on line with what mine would take, however, it would be easier for me to say if you knew what your average push hours were rather than how many pieces.

The logistics process is VERY goal driven and relies heavily on productivity. There is a lot of pressure for Flow TL's to drive that process and make it happen as quickly as possible. It is a whole different animal from the other operations of the store that are guest driven.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
396
#11
We are a B volume store & have been getting 4 trucks a week, averaging 1800-2300 cartons. We start our unload about 3:30 with 2 unloaders, 1 scanner, 2-3 on backstock, 3-4 on push, & 2-3 to pull pallets & bowl. The rest of the team comes in at 4am. The 4am crew goes to the truck unload to bring their freight to the floor and start bowling & sorting repacks & working pulls as they come out. Market, stationery, H & B, housewares & domestics & electronics are being pushed during the unload process. Softlines is being broke out as well. Truck is usually unloaded between 5 & 5:30.

When the unload is finished the wave starts in chemicals, sporting goods, paper, plastics, etc. As areas get completed our TL sends people to other areas that may have been hit harder with freight. H&B is always heavy on Mondays when it is researched. :( One of our BR TMs works the bulk pallets. Our TL sorts combo repacks as they come off the truck and put them with the areas they belong in. About 7:45 we'll begin clean up/ backstock/empty flats & tubs/cages.

Our hours have been tight lately and they only allow softlines to stay. They are almost never finished by 8am. (Lucky if they are done by 11.) Too much socializing, imo. :rolleyes: The rest of us leave before our lunch break. Except for our cardboard guy, he's always there till 11, even if it's a smaller truck. IMO, they need to start him on cardboard earlier instead of helping with the push. But who am I to make a suggestion??? I'm a lowly TM. Only been doing this for 10+ years.

We tried putting everyone on the wave and work through the areas, but it never worked for us. Sometimes we'd have 2-3 people in an aisle and there was more talking than working.

If it's a bigger truck and we're not near complete our LOG-ETL will have instocks & presentation jump on the flow process as well. You just can't get behind on the push/backstock process. It will be too difficult to catch up.

Next week we'll be going to ON until Sept. I'm excited. If our sales ever get bumped up to A volume we could be ON year round. (That's what I've been told.)
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
162
#13
On a truck day, any "Instocks TM" should be pushing the truck until 8am. Whether they came in at 6am, 6:30am, 7am, etc. Besides myself, we have 3 TMs that do Instocks, two of them come in at 4am, and the other at 6:30am, ALL three push the truck until 8am. After 11am, the two that came in at 4am help finish up any backstock, until around 12pm or so. The Instocks TM that came at 6:30am, pushes IS/CAF batches until 2pm.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
51
#14
I can't comprehend throwing a 2000+ piece truck in an hour. I was always flow/day side backroom but threw the truck several times and we always came to a dead stop several times.

How do you guys handle bulk pallets? I think that was a major road block for us. We usually had two throwers, a scanner and a "quarterback" - someone that pulled the bulk pallets off the truck and helped push the line to the scanner. I don't really think this quarterback was really necessary but when they pulled pallets off the truck the throwers usually used that time to take a break which generally forced everyone else to stand around also.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
100
#15
I can't comprehend throwing a 2000+ piece truck in an hour. I was always flow/day side backroom but threw the truck several times and we always came to a dead stop several times.

How do you guys handle bulk pallets? I think that was a major road block for us. We usually had two throwers, a scanner and a "quarterback" - someone that pulled the bulk pallets off the truck and helped push the line to the scanner. I don't really think this quarterback was really necessary but when they pulled pallets off the truck the throwers usually used that time to take a break which generally forced everyone else to stand around also.
The TL running the unload is usually the one that pulls bulk pallets off the truck for us. You'll hear "pallet!" yelled from the truck and the TL will scurry in and pull it out. The unloaders never stop throwing frieght.

Our line can get backed up if we have a sluggish crew that night, but generally they are in as much a hurry to get off the line as we are for it to be done.

Our unload trainer puts it this way to new hires:

The goal of the unloaders is to keep the line full so they can stop and get a breather, the goal of us on the line is to keep it empty so we can stop and get a breather. So the faster you move means we either get to stop for a minute or we're done and it doesn't matter.
 

The Mule

Jack Of All Workcenters
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
344
#16
Yes, it takes A LOT of practice and having the right people in the right positions, but you can have just about any truck done in an hour or less. Company guidelines stipulate an unload speed of 15CPM(cartons per minute), our district upped it to 25CPM. Take your truck size and divide it by the number of minutes it took to unload to get that number, imagine 2000(truck size)/60(minutes to unload)=33CPM. It's a good metric to rate yourselves against and push yourselves to always do your best. On a bad week we will unload at 35CPM, our record is 52CPM(2400 piece truck during 4th QTR).

I can not stress enough how much more can get done the quicker you get the truck unloaded. More energy, less injuries and more time pushing. Seriously, look into this.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
100
#18
Do you guys have the automatic rollers? I imagine those would have been helpful for us.
We have electric rollers for one truck. When we have a double the 2nd truck has to use the other ones. We only have about 15 ft though, so we still have to push the line once we get passed that.

Our electric rollers are finicky. We have to fix them a lot. It really stinks when they stop working in the middle of an unload, lol.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
4
#19
Our trucks average about 2200-2300 peices, with about 1600-1700 as push. 3 trucks a week, with a fourth every other saturday. We come in at 4am-4:30, and are scheduled until 8-8:30AM. We have about 20 flow TMs.

At four half the team comes in and starts the truck unload, two throwers, one scanner, and four on the line, one on the backside. 4 TMs pull pallets to their respective areas, and bowl them. Toys and sporting goods are left unbowled.

Three to four people are already in SFs breaking out to zracks, two TMs are up front pushing chemicals/HBA. Two TMs are breaking out repacks into carts by their respective areas. Another TM is pushing in consumables and another in infants hardlines. ONe TM is in the middle of the store pushing bath/bedding/plastics/furn/domestics.

The trucks are usually unloaded by 5:30 lately its been about 5:40-45, the person working blackline goes to toys and bowls and pushes. Sporting goods/automotive is left on two to three flats.

After truck there is two people working electronics, one working toys, one working infant hardlines, four in softlines. Four in consumables/mini seasonal. One in the middle of the store. Two people are pushing HBA casepacks, one is pushing cosmetics/hba carts. Four of us are pushing chemicals/pets/stationary/housewares, kitchen casepacks on the floor.

Usually we finish the front casepacks around 7:30 I break off to take backstock to the backroom.

At around 8 there is usually 3 flats in sporting goods left, maybe some toys(TM that does toys leaves for 7 for another job) the autofills/pulls for generally all of the store left, and the carts from push in casepacks. A lot of cosmetics as well, and still some HBA carts. Occasionally there will still be some push casepacks for middle left, and on real bad days the front of the store as well (HBA/chems etc.)

At 8 most TMs scheduled for this time leave, at 8:30 more drop, usually there are only a few of us left to finish the truck that stay past, and sometimes we don't finish until 10-11AM.


My question is, how do you guys handle your process differently?

Do you think the times we are finishing are unreasonable?

What times do you usually finish all truck push?

Average size/push of your trucks, unload times, times you come in and most TMs leave.

Our flow TL has been getting chewed pretty hard lately, she had a huddle and picked out some good workers and blew up at the rest, she was so mad she was about to cry. I understand she gets chewed 10x worse than us behind closed doors. They want everything done by 8AM. Great by 8!
Sound like you are working in same store as I work!
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
21
#20
I've been on Target's flow team for 4 months now and love it. Not sure what volume my store is but we get around 1700-2500 cartons per truck. We start unloading at 5:30 and usually can get done unloading by 6:45-7 am. Since our stoc k process was taking way too long, we've recently went to a wave format where everyone works in one area until it is done and then moves on to the next. By using this process I was told we saved 3 hours per truck. I don't like this process but if it helps get the truck done sooner just means we have to go home sooner, but luckily I can stick around and help out in different areas because of all the cross training I have.

I'm just wondering for those people, in similar stores and even higher volume how your wave format works and the timeframe from getting the truck unloaded to completely stock does it take?
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
778
#21
I can't comprehend throwing a 2000+ piece truck in an hour. I was always flow/day side backroom but threw the truck several times and we always came to a dead stop several times.

How do you guys handle bulk pallets? I think that was a major road block for us. We usually had two throwers, a scanner and a "quarterback" - someone that pulled the bulk pallets off the truck and helped push the line to the scanner. I don't really think this quarterback was really necessary but when they pulled pallets off the truck the throwers usually used that time to take a break which generally forced everyone else to stand around also.
I think it's bs and that the people getting a 2000 + piece truck done in 4 hours or less are spreading propaganda.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2011
Messages
492
#22
I interviewed a guy a few weeks back that worked at Target store a number years back where he was in charge of flow. He said that HQ sent someone into his store to time his team on the unload and push process. Supposedly that is how they came with the goals for the flow process.

Yes, it takes A LOT of practice and having the right people in the right positions, but you can have just about any truck done in an hour or less. Company guidelines stipulate an unload speed of 15CPM(cartons per minute), our district upped it to 25CPM. Take your truck size and divide it by the number of minutes it took to unload to get that number, imagine 2000(truck size)/60(minutes to unload)=33CPM. It's a good metric to rate yourselves against and push yourselves to always do your best. On a bad week we will unload at 35CPM, our record is 52CPM(2400 piece truck during 4th QTR).

I can not stress enough how much more can get done the quicker you get the truck unloaded. More energy, less injuries and more time pushing. Seriously, look into this.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2012
Messages
46
#23
Your process is similar to ours. We currently are a 22man team with average 2300-2600 trucks, 4 trucks a week.

2 in truck w/ 1 scanner
4 on line
1-2 backstock side.

3 in SL
1 Bowling C&D
2 Breaking out HBA & Stationary
1 Bowling HBA
1 Bowling Chem.
1 Bowling Market
1 Electronics
1 Breaking out in backroom for rest of the store.

When the truck is done:
6 HBA
2 Chem
1 Pets
3 SL
1 Electronics
1 Toys/Sporting Goods
1 Bailer
2 C&D
5 Market

Now I dont agree how we handle our waves. HBA has 4 new people with myself and another being the only Vets. Regardless how long theyve been with us now, HBA is not up to speed like we use to be. The Team members go in any aisle they please, leaving myself on my own from A1-A20 (HBA goes to A30).

We use to not have anyone in Pets or Chem when the truck was complete. HBA wave would move in to those areas on their own. My HBA team is so slow I sacrifice doing Cosmetics till after break just so we'd have all/if not the majority of the carts complete. But by doing that I wont get out of Cosmetics till around 9:30 some days.

I think we could use the wave team members "scrambled" and mixed up in to new waves. Or even someone starting Babies by 5:30am. That area is always heavy and saved last resulting in missing RWT, or taking lunches.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
1
#24
Hmm honestly I'm afraid to get too specific because my store is so bad it could be easy to identify and track me down lol.

Pardons in advance for my English, it is not my first language.

We get 4-5 trucks per week, average size is 2600 but sometimes the 5th truck is only like 1400.

4am store.

2 throwers, they always get mad and yell at everyone because the line is so slow. They throw every single truck, no alternate throwers. If a thrower calls in, they get a backroom guy to throw.

1 scanner, usually has to stop scanning and help the line because the line is so slow.

4 line, 3 backstock side of line. They are very slow. Lots of old people which they cannot help being slow. but the rest are young girls they have no excuse. they stand around and move slowly and dont help each other.

TL works on the line (why?) and is slowest out of them all. always puts things on wrong pallets, stacks them badly so they fall when people pull the pallet out. constantly drops, throws boxes or breaks things. How do you tell a TL they are doing a bad job? no one wants to tell. and for some reason they insist on working with flow team. but they just get in the way and slow us down. TL dont listen to anyone anyway.

I do not know what bowling is I have never heard the word at my store, but it sounds like break out? 2 guys pull pallets and break out everything on the east half of the store. They do not ever break out correctly, items are usually dropped a mile away from their actual location. No one seems to care. Sometimes they have to help the line because the line is so slow. After the truck is unloaded, they continue to break out things as we need them.

few old ladies in HBA, few old ladies in Softlines. they do a great job in their sections.

Truck usually is done unloaded between 5:40-6:10. We start in Market and work a terrible, badly organized wave. People skip over aisles all the time and sometimes aisles are still left neglected at 8:00. No one seems to care. I try to scramble and work all the skipped aisles that I can.Floor is not clear at 8:00 ever. customers paths are blocked by pallets and junk. By 8:00 we are done with Market, pets and maybe chem if we are lucky. Usually 1-2 people are still in Market at 8:00. Our market aisles have 11 planograms per side, I see some stores with 8 but it's still rediculous to be in market at 8:00. also backroom guys always have to come out and help us get done with stuff. backroom are hardest working guys i wish more of flow team had their work ethic. they are very fast and helpful and dont seem to get tired. After 8:00 most people go home or wherever. but one guy goes to baler to do cardboard and the few people that want to stay will continue working the store til whenever. one guy builds bikes after 8

Back in the old days when we had staff that cared and great TLs, we would finish an unload around 5:00-5:10. Our new TLs are fresh out of college and untrained and doesnt care how well the store does. it makes me sad

half of the people on flow team do not even know how to read location such as [W12 (4) 5-7-2]. they just stare at the box dumbfounded and take a guess, usually stocking it in the wrong place. or they give up and backstock the whole case. it really is not hard the number is right on the effing box. they put dented cans and damaged or torn items on the shelf, it is not hard to separate those into the damaged group. dont put them on shelves please, common sense no one can buy that.

and oh god if a frozen foods truck comes on the same day as regular truck, we are SOL. everyone except like two people abandon the wave to work frozen foods til 8:00

thanks for bearing with me I had to rant. apologies for my negative tone i am just so angry and no one at work cares except backroom guys and a few flowTMs. work is so inefficient and i cannot even stay and help after 8 anymore because I have to go straight to class.

there are so many other problems but they are off topic and i do not want to derail
 
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