Silly questions that need answers!

Joined
Jun 9, 2011
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100
#1
Just some of those niggling little questions that I think about every once in awhile but never think to ask or no one seems to know..

Every once in a blue moon, like twice since I've been with Target, we see a *gasp* Great Value (Wal-mart) product come out of the truck. How does that even happen?

Who does the empty box audit? I mean who says today is the day I empty a box, tape it back together and see if they notice?

Why Kehe pallets? I mean they make me cry..seriously. No answer needed, just had to be said.

Water pallets on top of paper towel PIPO's? (That's a lot of defecting to do, just sayin) Yes, we send it up, but I had to ask. Do people get coached for that or is it a huddle we talk about it type of situation?

What does PIPO even mean? None of my ETL's know or care to know, I always thought something like pallet in, pallet out. How far off am I?

We call it the grocery truck, but the frozen/dairy/produce, does that come out of my regular DC or is it different? Probably something I should know, but I don't.

Speaking of our "grocery" truck, where do you find some of these truck drivers? They are scary. We had one the other day that I'm pretty sure shops at baby gap for his clothes.

When I call you and ask to cancel a double or add a sweep, do you want to reach through the phone and punch me in the nose? I try to be nice, I really do, you always sound SUPER irritated.

Seal Audits, do the truck drivers know the seal is wrong? I've always wondered that. If someone misses it, what happens? I'm not aware of our store ever missing it, so I have no idea what happens if you do. I'm sure its on a report somewhere, lol. I do know when I call it in my ETL always asks me to check if it was an audit.

If it's not an audit, what is it and what happens next?

Those cameras in the back (front) of the truck..First, you can only use them for a limited amount of time since they get covered first and uncovered last, so, um, why? Do they actually get monitored or are they just for show? Really curious about this cause they seem so pointless.

That is all for now. I'm sure I have some other pointless questions buried in my head somewhere :D
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
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#2
Sometimes I wonder, SrTLRep, how experienced are the people that load our trucks? I too have seen items come off our truck that are WalMart merchandise. Also the skids of pet food are often not stacked well & when you pull them off the truck you will inevitably get a ripped bag or two. I've also seek pallets of Capri Sun on top of paper. I'm most often in H & B sorting repacks during unload. Quite often I'll find shampoo that is leaking, or an item that the lid wasn't on tight. What a mess this creates if I don't catch it as I'm sorting.

You are correct about PIPO being pallet in pallet out. With our sweeps we do those every other week. We're not a super Target & don't get as many trucks as you do.

Good question about the seal audits. The seal #s are on the manifest, don't know if the driver even checks them or not. I do know it's our job to make sure they are correct. As to the empty box audit, I don't think we get those very often. When I worked the unload sometimes we'd have some type of electronics item missing. But was it stolen when it was put on the truck or an audit to see if we were alert enough to catch it?
 

Formina Sage💯

Probably still better than you at the stacker
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#3
Just remember that in Outbound at a DC, there is one guy loading many (10 or more) trailers at a time, with boxes being fed to him through a chute.
 
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#4
Yes, I'm aware of that, FS. We had a BR TM join us that had worked for a DC. But that doesn't answer the questions about how the pallets are stacked. ;)
 

commiecorvus

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#5
On the subject of pallets, why do the people who build signing pallets routinely make them so as to destroy the contents?
You would think that they might realize;
"Hey, these are made out of cardboard. Having them hanging off the edge where everything can slam into them or sticking up higher then the door really isn't a good idea."
Then there's stacking the boxes of bar fixtures on top of the softline's sock holders.
I pretty much spend an hour after I unpack the pallets on TIPP ordering all the things that were damaged.
 
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Joined
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#7
Yeah PIPO is pallet in, pallet out. The DC receives the item (water, paper towels, etc) as a full pallet then sends it to stores intact, it doesn't get broken down and sent down the conveyors to be split up to different stores.

Your grocery truck probably (or eventually will) comes from the "FDC" - food distribution center. These are owned by target but operated by Supervalu as far as I know. You may still just receive your stuff from Supervalu or a local distributer right now but I think the goal is to use our own centers in the future.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
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#8
Water should never be stacked on paper towels. In fact we only try to stack up like items. There are machines that automatically unload pallets onto a conveyor labeled and sent to the store. if there is a box that is wrong it is easy to miss. Remember vendors sell to Walmart and Target both. The store signing (MNSE) pallets are made someplace else and shipped to the DC. They are unloaded and sent to the store asap. It can be a challenge to get them to the trailers intact. We don't talk about the cameras...
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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#9
Hi, DCdude! Thanks for the answers.
I've always been curious about the occassional errant Walmart item. We had some WM windshield washer fluid make its way all the way out to the floor once.
 

Formina Sage💯

Probably still better than you at the stacker
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#10
We had some Meijer waffles come on our FDC load! There isn't even a Meijer in Minnesota as far as I know!
 
Joined
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#16
konk: from first hand experience it can be as simple as the box flipping over when coming off an auto-depal. without specifics on the exact label that was placed on the bottom of a carton, none of the DC staff here will be able to give you an exact answer. next time give us a photo.

researchr: obviously your food is coming from one of our third party partners for the time being, this should not happen once we build a FDC that services your district.

tgtfla: Target doesn't manufacture the bags we use a third party for that, save the casepack and partner with your ETL's. We should get money back on that lot if there not our bags
 
Joined
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#17
no. tell your people to do their jobs correctly.

konk: from first hand experience it can be as simple as the box flipping over when coming off an auto-depal. without specifics on the exact label that was placed on the bottom of a carton, none of the DC staff here will be able to give you an exact answer. next time give us a photo.

researchr: obviously your food is coming from one of our third party partners for the time being, this should not happen once we build a FDC that services your district.

tgtfla: Target doesn't manufacture the bags we use a third party for that, save the casepack and partner with your ETL's. We should get money back on that lot if there not our bags
I'm tired of giving y'all carton label numbers and you STILL can't manage to circle the repacks correctly. It's ridiculous. Circle the correct number for the repacks. Put the correct crap in the correct box OR just say the hell with it and tell us to consider all REPACKS AS COMBOS.
 
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#18
Might be for distribution or the store may know... What does "DPQ" mean on certain boxes of stuff like toliet paper?
 
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#19
......Those cameras in the back (front) of the truck..First, you can only use them for a limited amount of time since they get covered first and uncovered last, so, um, why? Do they actually get monitored or are they just for show? Really curious about this cause they seem so pointless.
Is it a "camera", or does it look more like a speaker? What you're seeing is probably an (ultrasonic) cargo sensor. It is used to detect the presence of cargo in the trailer. Using these, in conjunction with a gps tracking unit, logistics always knows where a trailer is, and if it has freight in it.
 
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#20
I have no idea what we do *behind the scenes* (if we call anyone and let them know or anything), but when we get a "mis-ship" and end up with someone else's food-- for instance, today we were delivered 200 McDonalds Apple Pies!-- we get to eat them. It's fantastic! When it's edible and we either really can't or really shouldn't sell it, we get to eat it. Like, when it says Great Value (obviously Walmart) or clearly says another store's name on it, etc. But if it's a brand we just don't carry typically, sometimes we'll put it out "as is" and sell it for a fraction of the regular price.
 

HardlinesFour

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#21
I have no idea what we do *behind the scenes* (if we call anyone and let them know or anything), but when we get a "mis-ship" and end up with someone else's food-- for instance, today we were delivered 200 McDonalds Apple Pies!-- we get to eat them. It's fantastic! When it's edible and we either really can't or really shouldn't sell it, we get to eat it. Like, when it says Great Value (obviously Walmart) or clearly says another store's name on it, etc. But if it's a brand we just don't carry typically, sometimes we'll put it out "as is" and sell it for a fraction of the regular price.
You should partner with a ETL and serve those at FA.
 
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#22
Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?
Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?
Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?
Who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip?
 
Joined
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#23
In regard to "PIPO" - there is a list of Target acronyms - a huge list - on the Target Wiki. You can get to the Wiki from the page that comes up when you log out of EHR after checking your paycheck (on a Target computer, not from home).
 
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#25
Can anyone explain exactly how a store directly impacts what comes on their trucks. When we research items on a daily basis are we technically sending an order for these items or is this automatically generated based on our on hands being a certain amount on a item regardless of it being researched in any time frame? Is their any direct difference between on hands being zero, at critical low or is it the OTL that dictates this? Are their specific days for departments where correcting an on hand impacts the time frame on when certain items will be sent, or is it strictly based on on hands for any item at a given time and whether the DC has it? Is their really a pecking order based on store volume whether certain stores get priority over others in what they receive? Does correcting mispicks really work or are you better off just correcting on hands through research?
 
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#28
If I'm wrong in any part of this answer, please feel free to correct me as its a lot of information covering a large portion of how the system works.

To the first part of your question, zeroing out an item impacts the store directly by causing the DC to fulfill and satisfy the OTL by creating a label batch for it. Think of it as the same thing happening the store when you create an EXF for an empty location and the backroom pulls it to fill the empty shelf space. All departments labels generally drop at 12:00PM Distro time, although it can vary from DC to DC based upon their capacity. An exception to this rule would be a label-trap at the DC for like Trim-A-Tree, in which even though pre-ties would have already been sent in, the system will not drop the labels for the TAT push until a defined date.

In regards to any direct differences, generally the OTL already dictates of what is being pushed from the DC to the store.

All departments are eligible to drop labels at the DC. There is no minimum requirement of DPCI's needed to drop a department. If a DC has the item OH, it will become OO to the store and drop on the next label dump.

Addressing the pecking order, yes and no. The more modern DC's that have a shoe sorting system have a special algorithm in place that manages inventory flow a lot better and tends to evenly distribute things a lot better to its assigned stores. So when like the cold weather is approaching and OTL's are assigned to stores for like, ice melt, the system will try its best at keeping a relatively level inventory level with all of its stores by constantly monitoring the OH's, OO's, WTD sales, current OTL's, etc. Other DC's without the shoe sorter system seem to push out product based upon the store volume, sometimes causing a drastic difference of OH's between high and low volume stores assigned to it. 'The Spot' has seemed to get a lot better in terms of managing the flow of merchandise through its pipeline more properly and handling the distribution of it much smoother. However, sometimes it can also end in complete disaster, like OTL's accidentally being assigned from HQ to '0', resulting in basically the DC dumping ALL of its currently OH's of a DPCI to the poor store. (This is a two-sider with an OTL set to zero. It can interpreted by the system as 'null' and this results in all the OH's from the DC being pushed. This bug is a direct result from the coding for the ITA application that is used. The other side is that it could also be read as it meant to be, Zero. So basically nothing will push from the DC for the DPCI as a result of this. I recall several years ago there was a glitch where all the OTL's for stores were accidentally set to zero from HQ. This basically resulted in outbound completely shutting down at all the DC's because no labels were dropping because the system was thinking, "Oh, all the stores are satisfied because none of them have reached their OTL." This lasted a couple days before the OTL's were restored correctly.)

MSPK or Mispicks actually work and play a dual role. They adjust the OH's for the product on the DCI label of what it thought was in the box to the correct amount and alerts the DC that mis-labeling had occurred. Generally a stray box here or there won't garner any attention as we're all humans prone to error, but if multiple stores start reporting MSPK's on the same DPCI, then typically they begin to investigate what is happening.
 
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#30
konk: from first hand experience it can be as simple as the box flipping over when coming off an auto-depal. without specifics on the exact label that was placed on the bottom of a carton, none of the DC staff here will be able to give you an exact answer. next time give us a photo.
Thanks. It's just one of those things you notice more when it happens than when it doesn't. I'm sure it's 50/50. Or some way to say that for 6 sides of a box.
 
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#31
A bit random, but how do repack boxes get distributed to stores ie how does the system know which items go into the correct repacks and how does the system know which store gets which repack?
 
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#32
After the repack is filled by the girls in the packing mod's they apply a label to it that has your store # in bar code format, then when its on the conveyor system a scanner reads this bar code, allowing the repack to be properly diverted to the sorter chute assigned to your store.
 
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#33
Thanks for the info Sarakiel, cleared up some questions nicely. The reason I asked about on hands in relation to OTL's was the change in store scanning to research only. We have become alot more aggressive scanning grocery and HBA on a daily basis which has included focusing more on critical low items. So just for clarification entering zero or a number for a item below presentation minimium would generate a label batch inclusion if the DC has the item based strictly on the OTL of the item?
 
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#36
I apologize for over reaching here HLM, thought a DC person could shed light on how data we send from store level impacts what your DC sends to stores with more specifics. If you can redirect me to a thread where answers in the line of questions would be more appropriate HLM it would be appreciated
 
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#37
Rugrat, I'm just a well paid peon. I'm not saying I can't find the answer just that in my job role I don't interact with the process or the freight. If I see a logistics GL I'll be more than happy to ask.
 
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#38
Thanks for the info Sarakiel, cleared up some questions nicely. The reason I asked about on hands in relation to OTL's was the change in store scanning to research only. We have become alot more aggressive scanning grocery and HBA on a daily basis which has included focusing more on critical low items. So just for clarification entering zero or a number for a item below presentation minimium would generate a label batch inclusion if the DC has the item based strictly on the OTL of the item?
OK, good catch HLM because I wouldn't have a clue about an answer to that without consulting a Logistics GL
I apologize for over reaching here HLM, thought a DC person could shed light on how data we send from store level impacts what your DC sends to stores with more specifics. If you can redirect me to a thread where answers in the line of questions would be more appropriate HLM it would be appreciated
Rugrat, I'm just a well paid peon. I'm not saying I can't find the answer just that in my job role I don't interact with the process or the freight. If I see a logistics GL I'll be more than happy to ask.
This link may answer your question on counts:
http://www.thebreakroom.org/showthread.php/3837
Thanks green shirt!
 
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#39
I second the comment on circling the right numbers on repacks. And stop putting shoes with towels and spices with sporting goods. It's not even the same department number. With all the repacks I get, it might as well be combo packs.
 

jtd

Former DC
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#40
As for the stacking of water on top of PIPO, outbound members really don't care. Honestly. If they can start their shift, load stuff as fast as possible, then cover it up with "nice walls" they will do it.
 
Joined
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#41
Here's a silly question.

Why oh why are the repacks not discarded when they are held together with a lick and a prayer?

I can't tell you the number of times I've picked up a repack from the truck line, to have the bottom break open and all the contents spill all over the floor.
 
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#42
couldn't tell you, inspecting the repack is part of the packers job, but as productivity quota's increase things are going to get worse over time
 
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#43
As for the stacking of water on top of PIPO, outbound members really don't care. Honestly. If they can start their shift, load stuff as fast as possible, then cover it up with "nice walls" they will do it.
In response to your negative statements about outbound team members above. I am a Target outbound team member and I follow all best practices when loading trucks during my shift. We constantly talk about the correct procedures and best practices everyday at startup and after each break. As in any company or operations you will have those who just don't care and give people reason for blaming all and stereotyping all as the same. I am not a crappy worker and take pride in what I do. Have a blessed day.
 

jtd

Former DC
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#44
As for the stacking of water on top of PIPO, outbound members really don't care. Honestly. If they can start their shift, load stuff as fast as possible, then cover it up with "nice walls" they will do it.
In response to your negative statements about outbound team members above. I am a Target outbound team member and I follow all best practices when loading trucks during my shift. We constantly talk about the correct procedures and best practices everyday at startup and after each break. As in any company or operations you will have those who just don't care and give people reason for blaming all and stereotyping all as the same. I am not a crappy worker and take pride in what I do. Have a blessed day.
I'll bet your GLs will love when you print that response out and show it to them.

If you take pride in putting boxes in a dirty, dingy, dark truck. More power to ya. You're not going to get paid more than the person next to you that takes less effort. As long as the boxes are in the truck by end of shift, the day goes on.
 
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#45
As for the stacking of water on top of PIPO, outbound members really don't care. Honestly. If they can start their shift, load stuff as fast as possible, then cover it up with "nice walls" they will do it.
In response to your negative statements about outbound team members above. I am a Target outbound team member and I follow all best practices when loading trucks during my shift. We constantly talk about the correct procedures and best practices everyday at startup and after each break. As in any company or operations you will have those who just don't care and give people reason for blaming all and stereotyping all as the same. I am not a crappy worker and take pride in what I do. Have a blessed day.
I'll bet your GLs will love when you print that response out and show it to them.

If you take pride in putting boxes in a dirty, dingy, dark truck. More power to ya. You're not going to get paid more than the person next to you that takes less effort. As long as the boxes are in the truck by end of shift, the day goes on.
I don't own a printer. I do enjoy doing the right thing though.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
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#46
As for the stacking of water on top of PIPO, outbound members really don't care. Honestly. If they can start their shift, load stuff as fast as possible, then cover it up with "nice walls" they will do it.
In response to your negative statements about outbound team members above. I am a Target outbound team member and I follow all best practices when loading trucks during my shift. We constantly talk about the correct procedures and best practices everyday at startup and after each break. As in any company or operations you will have those who just don't care and give people reason for blaming all and stereotyping all as the same. I am not a crappy worker and take pride in what I do. Have a blessed day.
Nothing wrong with caring about your work, whatever it is, and wanting to do the best job you can.
I imagine it must be frustrating to watch people just dump things in the truck and not give a damn about doing it correctly.
What I'm curious about, is why does it happen so consistently?
They can't all be losers with no sense of work ethic.

Are there work constraints that make it necessary to dump and run?
Do people find themselves pressured to perform beyond their scope and push items into the truck that cause the kind of damage we see even though they know better?
What do you think causes these problems beyond just poor behavior?
 

mrknownothing

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#47
@Scott Mckown, welcome to The Break Room! It's great to hear from an outbound TM who cares about their quality of work - like the flow TM who pushes to the piece, FIFOs, and always checks 2nd locations.

Would you be willing to provide any insight as to how your team handles ISM pallets when loading trucks?
 

trowa03

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#48
Do people find themselves pressured to perform beyond their scope and push items into the truck that cause the kind of damage we see even though they know better?
Sometimes yes. I think other times it's just retaliatory, same as the store really.

I imagine it must be frustrating to watch people just dump things in the truck and not give a damn about doing it correctly.
Thats the problem with the way low skill work is now days, you have no real incentive to work any harder then others on your team. Doing the bare minimum to skate buy gets you just as far and makes you just as much as the person who busts their ass and does an amazing job. Bring back opportunities for advancement or offer financial compensation for great performance and you will see a change, but I realize that kind of management philosophy is quite dead.
 
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#49
Thats the problem with the way low skill work is now days, you have no real incentive to work any harder then others on your team. Doing the bare minimum to skate buy gets you just as far and makes you just as much as the person who busts their ass and does an amazing job. Bring back opportunities for advancement or offer financial compensation for great performance and you will see a change, but I realize that kind of management philosophy is quite dead.
Hallelujah Amen *bows to trowa03
 
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#50
Regarding the ISM loading it is always loaded on store prefered side, unless there are heavy PIPO days and we get approval to side by side pallets throughout the truck. My DC services 80+ stores. On somedays we can get an average of 6-8 pallets per store along with the nonmerch pallets. You multiply that by 8- 10 stores per team member, plus the noncon pallets and the conveyable boxes that come down the chutes for you to build walls with and it can get quite hectic. The tractor trailer loads traveling up and down the roads, well things do shift. Probably alot of damage occurs because a truck closes at less than 100%. The stores are on a schedule to get 3 loads per week, regardless if they are full or not. When that trailer is on the cut list and the team member knows that time, they will clear they conveyor line and put on any pipo and nonmerch sitting in the aisle. I believe that most damage is done due to unfull trucks.
 
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