Promoted to GM1 TL, inherited a hot mess. Help

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Jul 2, 2019
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22
So, I have been with the company around 8 months. Seasonal > permanent > TL.

My biggest concern is this: i was supposed to be training for 4 weeks for GM1 and GM2 positions, because they weren't sure which way I would be heading, so wanted to cover both. I only got 2 weeks of training and was told I needed to come back to cover the GM1 and GM2 vacations for 2 weeks, then back to training. Okay. Fine. But then I find out the the GM1 resigned, and I have now been handed that position.

I have inherited quite a mess, and there had been lots of leadership movement at my store. As it stands, I won't be going back out for training. That being said, my training at a different store was essentially a supplemental TM, doing OPU, pulls, truck push, etc. I was a specialty sales TM before, so I already knew all the processes that they tried teaching me. The only new thing was I learned how to receive trucks on the zebra but didn't get any training on how to actually run a truck/truck crew. I raised this as a concern to my trainers and store ETL, but nothing changed.

So, no idea how to set the line, no idea how to make it more efficient. I can't even extrapolate what i saw the other stores truck crew doing and apply it to my store because we have a very very small backroom with a much shorter line and no extra space, especially for all the transition products coming in, where the store I trained at has a backroom literally twice the size of ours. Their soft lines stack out area is probably 3 times the size ours is (it is just tucked back into a tiny corner). If we have all our vehicles on the line for truck, there is no room to walk between the steel and the vehicles, let alone move a vehicle through that area. There is just enough room for all our vehicles to be touching the steel opposite either side of the line, and room enough for the sorters to walk up and down the line on each side.

So now I am running the already inefficient truck at my store, as well as all the P1 DBO's, and trying to fix the back room. On top of all that, extra trucks for BTS/BTC. I am completely out of my depth in this and feel like my development for this position was severely lacking.

This ended up being longer and whinier than planned, but I am frustrated already and haven't even been in the position that long. Maybe I just got spoiled watching an efficient process in a store with more room and am now in the pity party stage. Or maybe my frustrations are valid.

Anyone with some knowledge care to chime in?
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
22
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  • #7
It seems to be successful in gm1 you need to have an stl that isnt afraid to not go by the guide. Planning and scheduling are key too.
hmmm. Wouldn't know. Have never had a STL.

It gets easier the more you do it, and by that I mean you get used to all the bullshit/short comings and it bothers/stresses you less and less.
Well. Something to look forward to.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2013
Messages
1,425
One way to start would be talking with your strongest team members about what could improve on truck. Don't necessarily take their word as gospel, but you will get good suggestions.
 
Joined
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Messages
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  • #10
Oops forgot it is store director.
Same applies, never had a store director either.

One way to start would be talking with your strongest team members about what could improve on truck. Don't necessarily take their word as gospel, but you will get good suggestions.
I've already started that to an extent... biggest problems I'm running into so far is trying to fix things that have been broken for so long that it has just become habit to work it broken. I've got a couple people for certain that have never seen it not broken. So, that's a big issue.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
361
So, I have been with the company around 8 months. Seasonal > permanent > TL.

My biggest concern is this: i was supposed to be training for 4 weeks for GM1 and GM2 positions, because they weren't sure which way I would be heading, so wanted to cover both. I only got 2 weeks of training and was told I needed to come back to cover the GM1 and GM2 vacations for 2 weeks, then back to training. Okay. Fine. But then I find out the the GM1 resigned, and I have now been handed that position.

I have inherited quite a mess, and there had been lots of leadership movement at my store. As it stands, I won't be going back out for training. That being said, my training at a different store was essentially a supplemental TM, doing OPU, pulls, truck push, etc. I was a specialty sales TM before, so I already knew all the processes that they tried teaching me. The only new thing was I learned how to receive trucks on the zebra but didn't get any training on how to actually run a truck/truck crew. I raised this as a concern to my trainers and store ETL, but nothing changed.

So, no idea how to set the line, no idea how to make it more efficient. I can't even extrapolate what i saw the other stores truck crew doing and apply it to my store because we have a very very small backroom with a much shorter line and no extra space, especially for all the transition products coming in, where the store I trained at has a backroom literally twice the size of ours. Their soft lines stack out area is probably 3 times the size ours is (it is just tucked back into a tiny corner). If we have all our vehicles on the line for truck, there is no room to walk between the steel and the vehicles, let alone move a vehicle through that area. There is just enough room for all our vehicles to be touching the steel opposite either side of the line, and room enough for the sorters to walk up and down the line on each side.

So now I am running the already inefficient truck at my store, as well as all the P1 DBO's, and trying to fix the back room. On top of all that, extra trucks for BTS/BTC. I am completely out of my depth in this and feel like my development for this position was severely lacking.

This ended up being longer and whinier than planned, but I am frustrated already and haven't even been in the position that long. Maybe I just got spoiled watching an efficient process in a store with more room and am now in the pity party stage. Or maybe my frustrations are valid.

Anyone with some knowledge care to chime in?
If you store BTS transition in the steel, your BTS team would greatly appreciate it if you sorted the products by aisle before putting it in the steel. My TL didn't and it was a bitch trying to sort through 7 pallets of boxes looking for items for the aisles we were setting that day. Also, your stationary/office person will start getting very stressed once BTS sets. The area they are in charge of will over double in size but hours will stay the same. Or at least it has for me. We are an early set store
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
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Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
16,541
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.

Write a list of all the things that you can immediately see as broken, then prioritize the top three.
Sit down with your leads and ask for advice on how to fix them.
Come up with a plan they will buy into and intiate it.
Work out what ever bugs come up, there are always bugs.
Give lots of praise and recognize the people who make it work.
Retrain the people who hold things up.
Rinse and repeat.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
22
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
You have an store director or an etl to report to.
Yeah, we have a ETL. We haven't had a STL/SD since before I came on board. We had 1 etl. Then we had 2 for a bit. Then back to 1. Now we are back up to 2, for now. I don't know what the deal is with no STL/SD.

If you store BTS transition in the steel, your BTS team would greatly appreciate it if you sorted the products by aisle before putting it in the steel. My TL didn't and it was a bitch trying to sort through 7 pallets of boxes looking for items for the aisles we were setting that day. Also, your stationary/office person will start getting very stressed once BTS sets. The area they are in charge of will over double in size but hours will stay the same. Or at least it has for me. We are an early set store
We have most of them sorted by POG, with the exception of the ones that got wrapped and put up while the network was acting up Tuesday. Those were for the most part sorted by POG but we had no way of knowing for sure. But we have them labeled BTS or BTC, POG (if able), and set date. Our overnight starts Sunday, which also starts our 5 truck week. I am getting my xanax ready for the end of next week.

How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.

Write a list of all the things that you can immediately see as broken, then prioritize the top three.
Sit down with your leads and ask for advice on how to fix them.
Come up with a plan they will buy into and intiate it.
Work out what ever bugs come up, there are always bugs.
Give lots of praise and recognize the people who make it work.
Retrain the people who hold things up.
Rinse and repeat.
That advice is well received, thank you. I will start making an outline and plan soon. Not sure if it will realistically happen until after next week though. Five trucks. What the hell were they thinking.

I realized today that I have some people trying to set me up to fail, so I am going to have to learn quickly which ones I can trust and which ones I can't. Also realizing that a major part of my position is going to be reigning in ETL's expectations into the realm of reality, for a while anyways. Can't expect more work to be done when giving people less hours. Also can't expect my TM's to do 8 hours of work in a 3.5 hour shift.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
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Joined
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Messages
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Keep in mind that you will never have time to fix things.
There is a reason why people have let them get the way the are and just got used to the brokeness.
Its not because they were lazy or stupid.
Its because there is never enough time.

If you want to fix these things, you will have to get out a very big knife and carve out the time.
Then use that knife to guard that time with tenacity and pigheaded stubbornness.
You will have justify why you are taking the time and will probably have to have results to prove why it was worth it.
I suggest using lots of corporate speak like "paradigm shift", "raise the bar", "synergy", "benchmark", "In the pipeline", "360-degree thinking", and my least favorite, "maximize power thinking".

Most of all you will want to do your best to protect your people from the shit that is raining down from above.
The best bosses I have ever had managed to keep the folks above us from making our lives miserable while at the same time getting us to do what was needed.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
345
Like otheres said found out what TM is the strongest in inbound process and use then as your right hand man
They normally have a good idea of who can do what and how the process works at there store and you dont necessarily have to listen to everything but getting there advise well help you make your own decisions n how to tackle that days unload. Because with inbound its either going to run super smooth or everything well go wrong and everyone well be stressed to the max.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
22
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
Keep in mind that you will never have time to fix things.
There is a reason why people have let them get the way the are and just got used to the brokeness.
Its not because they were lazy or stupid.
Its because there is never enough time.

If you want to fix these things, you will have to get out a very big knife and carve out the time.
Then use that knife to guard that time with tenacity and pigheaded stubbornness.
You will have justify why you are taking the time and will probably have to have results to prove why it was worth it.
I suggest using lots of corporate speak like "paradigm shift", "raise the bar", "synergy", "benchmark", "In the pipeline", "360-degree thinking", and my least favorite, "maximize power thinking".

Most of all you will want to do your best to protect your people from the shit that is raining down from above.
The best bosses I have ever had managed to keep the folks above us from making our lives miserable while at the same time getting us to do what was needed.
I'll keep this in mind. I appreciate the input. Next week I definitely plan on getting some other stuff done since the transition will be done and we will be back down to normal trucks.
When I was in leadership/management in other jobs, I always protected my people because as long as they were doing the work I was asking them to do and weren't slacking off I saw no reason to let the shit roll any further downhill. Same with making sure they have everything they need to do their job and succeed.

Like otheres said found out what TM is the strongest in inbound process and use then as your right hand man
They normally have a good idea of who can do what and how the process works at there store and you dont necessarily have to listen to everything but getting there advise well help you make your own decisions n how to tackle that days unload. Because with inbound its either going to run super smooth or everything well go wrong and everyone well be stressed to the max.
I've found that guy already. He's our old "backroom" guy and now he works trucks and does pulls for P2 on non truck days usually at least so I hear.
And I obviously don't have anything I can compare it to since I've only seen transition and pre-transition trucks so far. But as it stands I think things can run smoothly but some things definitely need to be fixed in order for that to happen.
 
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