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Pfresh issues

Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
7
Hi! I've been a perishable assistant for about a month now and today was the first day where I truly felt overwhelmed by everything. I don't know what it was but I just didn't feel good about how the day went, especially the 9:00 LOD walk. It doesn't help that stickers got stuck in the label maker and it took a long time for me to fix it, but I digress :p Anyway, I've finally decided to just ask questions that I should probably know the answers to:

1. I work the mornings and I am usually able to complete my morning routines perfectly. However, I'm also expected to set endcaps (in the frozen AND dry market), deal with vendor issues, complete the vendor board, do research and so on. How do I fit these things in my morning routines especially when I'm supposed to do the pulls not to mention the cleaning routines, the zones, deep culls, trash emptying and ordering. I'm genuinely not complaining and really want to know when the best time of day to do these things are? The obvious answer is "in between pulls and cleaning" but there almost always seems to be pulls and cleaning :p

2. Our instocks numbers are absolutely atrocious in Pfresh (I'm not sure how numbers are elsewhere in the store). How do these counts go off so badly? Are we QMOSing things wrong? Is it the in-stock's responsibility? Is something going wrong when backstocking? Some (a lot of) items are 20+ off and I just don't understand how something like that could happen. I'm not too familiar with the in-stocks routines so how do I personally change them and what can I do to prevent something like this from happening in the future?

3. We are having big problems with out-of date products. How often should I go through the entire Pfresh area and short date product? Can I add two different dates when short dating? For example, if there is yogurt with the same DPCI and has two expiration dates coming up soon (say, May 2nd and 3rd), will it allow me to record both dates or just the closest one?

4. The other big issue we're having is, especially during the weekend, running out of products before the next order comes in. Even when I go above the guardrails, there will be times when we run completely out. The Execs are understanding but I feel responsible even though I will go well over the recommended orders.

5. Does performing an EXF effect on-hand counts?

I'll probably have more questions so please bare with me.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
6
Hi, I too have been a PA for a little over a month now and thought I'd share a few things. First off, I DEFINITELY feel your struggles as I'm still dealing with many of the exact ones you listed. Our store just finished the remodel back in March though so I feel like the LOD's are somewhat lenient and understanding to a point, even though sometimes I feel like the workload is unrealistic. Especially to have everything ready for the SALES walk at 9 am. Overall though our store is doing really well and sales have skyrocketed and all of our scores are green, even our guest surveys so that makes me feel better. It took a little while to get there, especially with the CAF pull timeliness but backroom and flow have slowly gotten better. It took forever for our flow team to understand and follow through with dating the bakery products and we don't even let them use the meat scale. We just check as they push and relabel everything ourselves. A few things I personally have struggled with is finding time to do the TPC's as well as sweeping/mopping all of the coolers on truck days. We haven't really gotten on a good routine with our cleaning log even though I feel like I cover it all throughout the week. Just making sure to document it is tough. But a few good tips that I've learned that may help you are:

- Make sure when flow is pushing the truck (mainly with meat and produce), that they use a pda to check for backroom locations before stocking each item and if there is a location, then have them not push it so the older stuff will be pulled from the back. We had a horrible time with this at first and were QMOSing full cases of stuff because it wasn't coming out to the floor in our autofills. We still have trouble with this especially for the bakery table but making sure they don't push new product and leave the old in the back definitely reduced our b-markdowns as well as having outs on the floor because when I would order I would think I had fresh product in the back but it would expire before the next truck. Now I do a quick walk of the produce and meat coolers before I order and make note of anything that will be expiring before the next delivery date.


As far as the on hand issue, we are experiencing the same thing but I think our problem is due mostly to receiving a lot of mispicks. We got probably 15-20 mispicks all last month and it adds the on-hands to the case that we were supposed to get so the only way I know to fix it without researching it is to qmos the product that it is "supposed" to be. That's what our support help told me anyways. I know it definitely makes ordering tough when it says you have 4 cases but you really only have 2 or 3. And I can relate to the outs on the weekend as well. They sent out flyers for the grand reopening with tons of coupons and the first week or so we got wiped out of so much stuff. Now that that's over, I'm getting the hang of ordering appropriately and figuring out what our guests buy more of, etc. I haven't had to exceed the order guardrail much though except for maybe 10 times total and the was due to either on-hands being off or forecast for that particular item. I wonder if your forecast is off or if your store is just that busy? Is your store a new Pfresh store? Also, how has your sales been?

I'm pretty sure that you can enter two separate dates into short date; you just have to scan the item a second time and enter the other. Haven't tried this myself but seems likely. We, fortunately, haven't had to deal with too many expired product. Yet, at least. We do stay on flow about FIFOing and checking dates as well as me and my CTL try and do a sweep each week. It's inevitable though to never miss anything. It sounds like you're doing a good job though so kudos for that! It is a lot of work I know first hand. And I don't think and EXF can affect your on-hands but it can mess with the accumulator from what I've heard and it also affects your metrics. We were told not to do EXFs. Usually I just manually pull what I need or just shoot outs/research. Anyways, sorry this is so long but it's nice to finally hear from another new PA and to know I'm not the only one struggling, haha. Good luck with your store and keep up the hard work. Any tips or shortcuts you've discovered would definitely be appreciated, too. Thanks!
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
7
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Ah! Thank you so much for the reply. I honestly didn't expect one so well thought out! You know over time I've learned a lot of tricks and I'll actually share with you (and everyone else of course). I actually have to go to work in about fifty minutes though so I still need to get ready. When I'm at work today I'll constantly be thinking of things that has helped me and share them with you. I want so badly to do this job right because I actually do enjoy the challenge, but I feel like there are some areas where I'm really struggling.

And congrats on the green scores! We're actually the same way. Well anyway today is our truck and order today and I'm rather nervous about the whole thing because when I left yesterday we were selling quite a bit of products. I like having a close to empty produce room (especially since we were having days in the beginning with five racks in there) on truck day but I hope it's not empty on the salesfloor. Last week absolutely KILLED us with the coupons.

Anyways, I'll be heading off but I'll probably have some questions later on. Again: thank you so much! I too like knowing there are other PAs here.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
6
Haha...I know what you mean about the full coolers and freezer. I don't think anything could have prepared me for that initial food delivery. We are just now getting our dairy cooler and our freezer to a maintainable level. I also like having our meat and produce cooler levels low just because of the short shelf life and making it easier to know what you have on hand, but I've realized that we at least have to have a decent amount of backstock on certain items. Especially since the sales floor only holds a handful of some things and others just sell so quickly. I used to order too light because of the whole "source to fork" lesson we got in training and also because I didn't want to make our backroom and flow team mad because they knew I did the ordering and if the truck was super heavy then it was my fault. I'm over that now though and as long as we go through the backstock before the next truck, I don't care how heavy the truck has to be. We are a Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday delivery store so I usually try to make our Thursday truck the heaviest to get through the weekend and that extra day with no truck. Then usually the Sunday and Tuesday don't have to be so big. Another thing that's taken me time to finally get down pat is the banana order. It wasn't too bad until the clementines went away and now we have two sides of our produce table with bananas. It takes so many cases to fill it up and to have a good balance of ripe and green is tough. We were ordering like 10-12 cases per truck but now it's been 15-20. We do go through almost all of them minus the ones we have to qmos which isn't too many. Bananas have been our # 1 item on our Top 50 the past 4 weeks. Well, I hope you have a good day at work. And the fact that you feel nervous just means that you care about your job and have a good work ethic. I have to close tonight which I hate. I feel like the morning cull isn't done anywhere near my standards and I have to spend most of my day playing catch up. I'll definitely check back when I get off though for any ideas/thoughts you may come up with. Thanks again.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
19
Hey there, Tendo. I don't have many answers but I can say this:

In my store, our Instocks team shoots OUTs and RSCH on the Frozen/Dairy/Bakery parts, just like before we went PFresh. The Instock function will actually guide us past the Meat/Produce sections. I've scanned over the Meat before in the past, and I've seen similar atrocities in the OH count. One of our ETLs tried to have us Stand Alone RSCH Meat/Produce at first but that didn't last seeing as a lot of items weren't getting located in the backroom.
If Instocks does scan that area in your store, find out when they do it. RSCH will probably be on a Tuesday, which is also a food truck day at my store. In which case, they need to know when it's pushed and they need to be able to do it before 11:00. If you have to do it, also try to have it done before 11:00 because stores get scored on that. If you work at a 6 A.M. store, then you guys probably have until noon instead.
As for OH's and EXF's, I don't get the chance to use EXF much nowadays but anything that changes an OH won't go into effect until the next day.
Well, I hope you enjoy doing PFresh!...one last thing...'reopening'? I wish my store got to close for the remodel :\ we had to stay open, with giant curtains blocking off the construction area and loud sounds/filthy mouthed construction workers disturbing our guests.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
1,692
Hey there, Tendo. I don't have many answers but I can say this:

In my store, our Instocks team shoots OUTs and RSCH on the Frozen/Dairy/Bakery parts, just like before we went PFresh. The Instock function will actually guide us past the Meat/Produce sections. I've scanned over the Meat before in the past, and I've seen similar atrocities in the OH count. One of our ETLs tried to have us Stand Alone RSCH Meat/Produce at first but that didn't last seeing as a lot of items weren't getting located in the backroom.
If Instocks does scan that area in your store, find out when they do it. RSCH will probably be on a Tuesday, which is also a food truck day at my store. In which case, they need to know when it's pushed and they need to be able to do it before 11:00. If you have to do it, also try to have it done before 11:00 because stores get scored on that. If you work at a 6 A.M. store, then you guys probably have until noon instead.
As for OH's and EXF's, I don't get the chance to use EXF much nowadays but anything that changes an OH won't go into effect until the next day.
Well, I hope you enjoy doing PFresh!...one last thing...'reopening'? I wish my store got to close for the remodel :\ we had to stay open, with giant curtains blocking off the construction area and loud sounds/filthy mouthed construction workers disturbing our guests.
Our instocks task list takes us to the freezers, dairy coolers, cheese and deli bunkers daily. We are taken to the meat, produce and bakery for research once a week and our STL has asked that we do stand alone research one additional day per week. Make sure that you do not scan the pFresh area until after your 7:30 CAF has been worked and backstocked and/or your FDC has been worked and backstocked.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
6
Hey pfreshbackroomguy, sorry to hear about the crap you have to deal with from your CTL. You're right though, it is impossible to find every out of date. Our FBP even told us that during our 3 day Hands on Pfresh training. And I agree that you shouldn't be closing every shift that you work. They have me closing two shifts a week right now and when I come in around 1:30 I feel like I'm playing catch up all day because the morning cull practically isn't done when I'm not there. They stick regular Hardlines TMs over there at 6 to pull out of date meat/produce but no one does a good cull or even does TPCs or meat coupons so trying to do this all when I come in plus start pushing the hourly CAFs that have built up already, it's crazy! Then having to order on order days and cleaning routines like you mentioned, I do good if I get to zone all the market endcaps, the pfresh open market and maybe a few doors of frozen. They act like someone can zone ALL of pfresh AND dry in one closing shift. That's absurd! It is not humanly possible with the other, more important responsibilities. And then there's reshop which seems to build up til I close! Grr!!!! So I definitely feel your pain man but at least my CTL is pretty understanding since she has to do it once a week too. They all see that I run around that place like a chicken with my head cut off so that can't say I'm not trying. But best of luck to you and your store!
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
140
I feel your pain. I am closing pfresh and dry market together tonight. A 9.5 hour shift until midnight! There is so much to do!

On food truck days (we have C&S) we purge the meat cooler and fill up everything before the new meat gets pushed. That way we sell all the older stuff first. It has helped our instocks and profitability a lot. I definitely recommend it. Of course, purging meat can be hard, maybe even impossible if your stock is too full. So don't bite off more than you can chew, metaphorically speaking.
 
Joined
May 1, 2012
Messages
5
Hey gang!

Thanks for all the PA horror story's and PA advice! I am currently a P-Fresh team member. Our PA just got promoted to TL so I was asked if I wanted his position. I said yes! I am very enthusiastic and I know taking on this task as a PA carry's more responsibility. I must be doing something right since I was asked if I wanted the job.

On that note, I was wondering what is the hourly pay? I currently make minimum wage which is 8.00 an hour. I was told it brought a pay increase and was curious to how much. Either way if its 5 cents to 2.00 dollar raise I am happy. I enjoy working for Target I desire to continue helping the company achieve their goals.

Thank you for the advice and help!

Happy31
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
6
Hey, you will probably get an extra dollar per hour. The Perishables Assistant is one of the most underpaid positions in the entire store in my opinion. Especially considering the workload and responsibility that comes along with it. Now would be the time to ask for more though if you think your performance has been above and beyond. Congrats on the new position though. It shouldn't be so bad for you since you already work in Pfresh and sort of know the routines plus your store has been open for some time I assume. Good luck though and keep any comments coming!
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
1,405
Hi! I've been a perishable assistant for about a month now and today was the first day where I truly felt overwhelmed by everything. I don't know what it was but I just didn't feel good about how the day went, especially the 9:00 LOD walk. It doesn't help that stickers got stuck in the label maker and it took a long time for me to fix it, but I digress :p Anyway, I've finally decided to just ask questions that I should probably know the answers to:

1. I work the mornings and I am usually able to complete my morning routines perfectly. However, I'm also expected to set endcaps (in the frozen AND dry market), deal with vendor issues, complete the vendor board, do research and so on. How do I fit these things in my morning routines especially when I'm supposed to do the pulls not to mention the cleaning routines, the zones, deep culls, trash emptying and ordering. I'm genuinely not complaining and really want to know when the best time of day to do these things are? The obvious answer is "in between pulls and cleaning" but there almost always seems to be pulls and cleaning :p

2. Our instocks numbers are absolutely atrocious in Pfresh (I'm not sure how numbers are elsewhere in the store). How do these counts go off so badly? Are we QMOSing things wrong? Is it the in-stock's responsibility? Is something going wrong when backstocking? Some (a lot of) items are 20+ off and I just don't understand how something like that could happen. I'm not too familiar with the in-stocks routines so how do I personally change them and what can I do to prevent something like this from happening in the future?

3. We are having big problems with out-of date products. How often should I go through the entire Pfresh area and short date product? Can I add two different dates when short dating? For example, if there is yogurt with the same DPCI and has two expiration dates coming up soon (say, May 2nd and 3rd), will it allow me to record both dates or just the closest one?

4. The other big issue we're having is, especially during the weekend, running out of products before the next order comes in. Even when I go above the guardrails, there will be times when we run completely out. The Execs are understanding but I feel responsible even though I will go well over the recommended orders.

5. Does performing an EXF effect on-hand counts?

I'll probably have more questions so please bare with me.
I work in a smaller store so my experience may be different than yours.

1. I usually do research on Tuesday and Thursday. Typically I do them right before lunch since they cant be done after 11 and by then everything is backstocked and worked out easily. Vendor issues are just something you have to deal with in the moment whenever they come up. I havent had to set any endcaps other than a few vendor endcaps so they can just unload their product and be done with it. Usually our plano team sets and pushes out product for any endcaps or revisions. On an order day with research and milk vendor coming in, usually my day is
1. Milk, then pulls and culling
2. 8 am Huddle, break, sda, qmos,.
3. Flex, zone,pfresh walk, research, finish up anything extra noted on pfresh walk, lunch
4. Order, cleaning, pulls, leave at 2 or 2:30
That is the very basic general outline of the day.

2. I do research at least every Tuesday and Thursday and our counts are still off. I know we all QMOS correctly and we still have had a problem with it. There could be an issue with C&S and receiving either different product than what it says we received or not receiving the product at all. Example: One day it said we received 2 boxes of 80/20 meat and they werent anywhere on the pallet. Only reason I noticed is because I had ordered and was wondering where it was because it wasnt on the cut report. Other than that im not sure. Another example when I was doing research it said we had like 200 honeycrisp single apples when we only had 60. Have no idea how it can be off that much.

3. Not sure on the different dates. I was told to only do the closest date. That way when you pull it from the SDA task list you can hit "short date" and enter the next date if it falls within the time. As far as checking the area. Just whenever you have "free" time which is pretty much never haha. When we do the truck push we usually enter short dates if we find any and then every 5th or 6th week we do freshness friday in pfresh as well which has helped alot. Problem areas are lunch meats and yogurts I have found.

4. Sometimes you just run out despite your best efforts. On the HQ promotions report (which is a joke btw) it said we would go through 11 cases of strawberrys this week since they are on sale for $2. On fridays order I had ordered 8 cases and between the push monday and the push today (wednesday) we had 1 single box of them left when I pushed them to the location haha. On tuesdays order I did 10 cases so as you can see thats beyond the 11 that it said to do. You will learn from experience which items you need to order and what items are hot when they go on ad (strawberries, ground beef, and chicken breast fillets to name a few). For this tuesdays order I also ordered probably more than enough limes, lemons, lettuce, peppers, and ground beef for cinco de mayo but its better to be instock and a little full in the back than out with pissed off guests.

5. I was told to NEVER do an EXF when i was salesfloor and have never done it so im not sure on that specific one.
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
10,148
5. Does performing an EXF effect on-hand counts?
An EXF requests that a certain number of an item get pulled from the backroom. Since the merchandise is only being brought out to the floor rather than sold or defected, it should not affect the on-hand count, just the accumulator. Say you shoot an EXF to pull 50 XYZs to fill an endcap. Only 10 are in the backroom, so every time you get XYZs on the trucks, they will keep getting pulled for that endcap until 50 have been pulled to satisfy the EXF.

I can't really tell you much about your other questions because I only have about an hour of experience in the P-Fresh area (which was spent walking with the PA as she showed me how to do basic P-Fresh-related stuff) as part of my sales floor training.
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
140
pfreshdude, why do you say the promo report is a joke? I have used it before, I don't know what you mean.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
1,405
pfreshdude, why do you say the promo report is a joke? I have used it before, I don't know what you mean.
Because it is wildly inaccurate and if I based my ordering off of it we would be out of ALOT of things constantly =). This last week it had 11 cases of strawberries listed, even though we prob go through more than 11 or at least that when they are regular price. I think we ended up going through 20+ cases last week. Its ok as a general guideline but usually I have to adjust my numbers alot.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
7
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Uh. We had good service and freshness scores when we opened but they've been red for the past couple of weeks now. This is absolutely infuriating. My ETL-Hardlines seems to be in panic mode and wants to cull a TON of product from the floor.

Please. PLEASE tell me what the best thing to do to raise these scores is. No one ever bothers to say why they rated us bad -- they just leave the comments section blank. Do they not get the purpose of the surveys? It's to tell us what we're doing wrong. Giving us a score does absolutely nothing.

Right after I get everything under control I now have added tasks to get the score up. I understand the need but sometimes I just wish they would schedule another person for a couple of hours during the day to help out!

I'm determined to get this score up but I definitely need a new action plan. Some of the other market people always seem to leave out-dated product out and, while this is understandable to some degree, it's definitely been getting FAR out of hand. We had inventory recently and because of how late I had to be there and just weird scheduling I wasn't scheduled in the market for about four days (very unusual - I typically get about 40 hours a week). When I come back PFresh is a disaster - a ton of spoiled milk, yogurt. Apparently the person who came in at 6 didn't know how to order (still don't know who did it :p ). If steritech would have come in we would have been screwed.

Is this possibly the reason why our "produce" score is low? I know dairy not produce but our meat freshness score is also red and how in the world that is possible I don't know. I think people may be pissed off about one aspect of the market and rate us low on everything. The ETL-H told me that that can't be used as an excuse anymore but I don't see what else it could be.

So please help me out! I don't know what you guys can say that can help but any advice is welcomed.
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
10,148
My store was red for a while in TM availability in P-Fresh, so they started scheduling a certain friendly jack-of-all-trades TM in market to boost the score.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
1,405
Our only red score has been TM availability. Its weird cuz I swear I help at least 20 people every shift easily. And thats at a really low volume store. My etl and ctl say to drive surveys and that will help, which to some degree it will, but I just dont see how that score will ever be that high. We never have any overlap for market shifts and only 1 TM in hardlines til the closers get there usually. Sometimes 2. Usually someone comes in at 8, then the next person is at 12. Some days I have to be in the back for a while.

At my store we have pfresh in the front corner opposite the checklanes, and then our backroom is all the way towards the back of the store. So theres about 35 aisles of market and then seasonal and mini seasonal to go through between pfresh and our backroom. So Im always getting asked by guests in seasonal for things, and right now with the summer stuff its usually carry out items so it could take 10-15 minutes of pulling the item, taking it up, and doing a carry out. Then there is breaking down cardboard, doing qmos, cleaning, taking inventory on order days, loading up the milk on a flatbed, going in to get pulls and put pulls away, receiving the truck and putting it away in the appropriate coolers, looking for tpcs, printing tpcs, checking workbench for any memos, dumping QMOS, potentially helping back up cashier or help electronics too. Then 2 breaks and a lunch in there. And opening its usually huddle at 8 then smart huddle til about 8:30.

Just seems with only 1 person in coverage it is pretty hard to be in the actual Pfresh area alot since there is alot that takes place in the backroom and other locations. At least that seems to be my experience from opening alot
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
7
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
When it comes to freshness this week our scores went all up to green again which is good. Our team member availability and items instocks went WAAAY down though. Honestly I'm too embarrassed to say how low the TM availability was. I don't see how this is even possible because I literally go up to everyone and see if they need help.

The produce items are all usually in stock so I don't see how the Pfresh team is responsible for the low instock score. Can someone care to explain because it seemed like the blame was put on us.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
1,405
When it comes to freshness this week our scores went all up to green again which is good. Our team member availability and items instocks went WAAAY down though. Honestly I'm too embarrassed to say how low the TM availability was. I don't see how this is even possible because I literally go up to everyone and see if they need help.

The produce items are all usually in stock so I don't see how the Pfresh team is responsible for the low instock score. Can someone care to explain because it seemed like the blame was put on us.
Correct me if im wrong but guests probably perceive all of market in that instock score. So even if pfresh is full if all the other aisles have huge holes in them that will effect your score. Probably the same with the availability too come to think of it. What i find funny is we are red and at like 3.29 for availability YET...we are 11/65 for the group :lol: I think there is one store in our entire 65 group that has been green fairly consistently.
 
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