Using Stand Alone Research in lieu --

Dynastic

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Jun 19, 2011
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#1
This is something I have been curious about... Can you effectively use Stand Alone Research in lieu of the Instock Research schedule to essentially work ahead of the research schedule? For example, on Monday you do all of Monday's priority tasks, then get into Stand Alone Research and do all the Aisles/areas for Tuesday. Will this adversly affect things in any way?

I heard somewhere that certain departments have certain order dates when it comes to the research process, and if they haven't been researched on that day, then the items potentially won't be pulled from the DC, or at least not in a timely manner. I also vaguely remember from the instocks training quiz there is mention that if you skipped a task/aisle accidentally it advises not to return in Stand Alone, but rather pick it up the following week. I'm wondering if there is more than meets the eye to that statement...

We're implementing doing a few days of instocks in lieu of heavier trucks when we're not able to research on truck days sometimes. I'm curious if doing it this way is in vain or not...
 

The Mule

Jack Of All Workcenters
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Jun 9, 2011
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#2
I can't comment on the ordering dates as I haven't heard of that before. I can tell you though that you will simply create more work for yourself. Even if you scan something in Standalone Research, it will still generate the workload like normal on their regular days. You'd have to go through and either scan again or close them out, even then you'd have all the RIGs to worry about like normal. Standalone Research was meant to supplement the system in only certain instances, not to replace any of the normal procedures.

I'm more curious as to why you can't get your research done on truck days. Is there problems with your FLOW process? Backstock taking too long? Not enough early morning hours allocated to the Instocks team?
 
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Dynastic

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#3
Certainly, it's called an ULV store :) Anything over 1,000+ pieces stalls all other work centers from having a full day dedicated to their tasks. The flow process in this store is particularly and practically broken. This has to be mainly due from a limited payroll. I've worked at a higher volume store and seen a difference in the instock process when there's a team of 4 dedicated to it weekly as opposed to a team of 1 and a half.

Plus, before you take the aforementioned approach, I'll shed insight. I am not proposing doing instocks this way, but am rather questioning my TL, as this is his approach to tackling the weekly instock workload.

If areas were done in stand alone research ahead of time, there isn't much additional double work added (RIGs notwithstanding) as you can zip through the tasklisk by selecting the tasks done, or even faster at a workbench PC via my home.

So, what I'm trying to get at, is there anyway this will affect percentages or anything else instock related or even store wide metric related rather than creating extra work? Otherwise, could this potentially be a possible accepted practice to circumvent the workload due to setbacks (ie. instocks doubling as flow)?
 

Rock Lobster

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#4
Certainly, it's called an ULV store :) Anything over 1,000+ pieces stalls all other work centers from having a full day dedicated to their tasks. The flow process in this store is particularly and practically broken. This has to be mainly due from a limited payroll. I've worked at a higher volume store and seen a difference in the instock process when there's a team of 4 dedicated to it weekly as opposed to a team of 1 and a half.

Plus, before you take the aforementioned approach, I'll shed insight. I am not proposing doing instocks this way, but am rather questioning my TL, as this is his approach to tackling the weekly instock workload.

If areas were done in stand alone research ahead of time, there isn't much additional double work added (RIGs notwithstanding) as you can zip through the tasklisk by selecting the tasks done, or even faster at a workbench PC via my home.

So, what I'm trying to get at, is there anyway this will affect percentages or anything else instock related or even store wide metric related rather than creating extra work? Otherwise, could this potentially be a possible accepted practice to circumvent the workload due to setbacks (ie. instocks doubling as flow)?
I think it doesn't hurt anything in terms of "orders" being placed, I can't see a reason why it would other than you have to deal with drastic counts on the spot instead of on the report (which is wasting time and perhaps making them get missed if you forget)...

Now there is a number on the Instocks Team Scanning Report that tells you what % of your total scans (both outs and research in different categories) are getting done within the task list, so yes corporate and visitors will see a large amount of stand alone getting done within your store and wonder why you aren't using the task list/pathing and "smart" batch dropping (by fillgroup instead of by individual batches) to get instocks done...
 
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Dynastic

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#5
I think it doesn't hurt anything in terms of "orders" being placed, I can't see a reason why it would other than you have to deal with drastic counts on the spot instead of on the report (which is wasting time and perhaps making them get missed if you forget)...
Agreed, those endcaps that have flexed product so you don't get a double beep will ramsack the numbers! :disappoint: Same with a double beeping an having something in 3 or more places. Additionally, I'll bet a lot of things that would get triggered on the report won't kick back on it since it's being done on the fly this way.


Now there is a number on the Instocks Team Scanning Report that tells you what % of your total scans (both outs and research in different categories) are getting done within the task list, so yes corporate and visitors will see a large amount of stand alone getting done within your store and wonder why you aren't using the task list/pathing and "smart" batch dropping (by fillgroup instead of by individual batches) to get instocks done...

Ah yes, those metrics are found in store reports. We are freshly implementing this work around, and I skeptically had my doubts from the beginning about doing instocks in this fashion, I just haven't yet spoken up about it. Thanks Rock, this is exactly the feedback I'm looking for.

Regardless if I fight it or not, it looks like it will get noticed very quickly. I think I'll remain passive on this for the time being, although challenging upward is fun to me :p
 
Joined
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#6
The flow process in this store is particularly and practically broken.
If just one of the "Logistics Triangle" (Flow, Backroom, Instocks), isn't working/done incorrectly/not being done 100%, then the other two aren't going to be working smoothly either. If Flow isn't pushing 100% of what needs to pushed EVERYDAY, or Backroom isn't backstocking 100% of everything that needs to be backstocked EVERYDAY, or Instocks aren't scanning 100% of their tasklist EVERYDAY, then the other two teams are going to have a harder time.

If Flow is the problem in your store, then your Instocks-TL needs to partner with the Flow-TL and ETL-LOG to fix it.
 
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Dynastic

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#7
Yeah backstock usually gets left over into the next day when we have anything past 1000 pieces.
 

Rock Lobster

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#9
If just one of the "Logistics Triangle" (Flow, Backroom, Instocks), isn't working/done incorrectly/not being done 100%, then the other two aren't going to be working smoothly either. If Flow isn't pushing 100% of what needs to pushed EVERYDAY, or Backroom isn't backstocking 100% of everything that needs to be backstocked EVERYDAY, or Instocks aren't scanning 100% of their tasklist EVERYDAY, then the other two teams are going to have a harder time.

If Flow is the problem in your store, then your Instocks-TL needs to partner with the Flow-TL and ETL-LOG to fix it.
While that is true, you have to look at the Instocks team (as it is right now) as both part of the logistics process AND the transition process (which is what I think makes certain parts of the Instocks thing alittle uneven)... Yes their scanning has a large impact on logistics, but the PTM process is the middle man between Presentation setting the aisles, logistics filling, instocks flexing, and pricing marking down before it all starts over again! How well the team manages BOTH workloads defines how well your store does with the process as a whole...

The reason I say this is because what always happens is people only view instocks as logistics, and they get roped into helping with logistics projects instead of moving on to working on the salesfloor where they belong!!
 
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#10
At my store Instock TMs don't do anything with the PTM tasklist, or PTM batches/product in the backroom. Our ETL-LOG drops the PTM batches each day, and Backroom Dayside pulls them. If there's a lot of PTM product, the ETL-LOG will get the Flow team to work it out. If there's just a few tubs, our STL (yes, the STL), will work them out on Thursdays, along with any marked clearance product sitting in the backroom.
 

Rock Lobster

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#12
At my store Instock TMs don't do anything with the PTM tasklist, or PTM batches/product in the backroom. Our ETL-LOG drops the PTM batches each day, and Backroom Dayside pulls them. If there's a lot of PTM product, the ETL-LOG will get the Flow team to work it out. If there's just a few tubs, our STL (yes, the STL), will work them out on Thursdays, along with any marked clearance product sitting in the backroom.
And see, this is where I think its funny how different stores can be (and how the expectations of the team can vary so much throughout the company)... Corporate does not really give out clear direction on what they want the Instocks team to be doing and leave it up to stores! I agree with the direction your store has taken (making Instocks almost completely focused on scanning/priority pulls/counts)... However most stores can't really get their ETLs or STLs to be that involved withsomething that drops everyday like the PTM Tasks... I think that there needs to be a set amount of hours that go to this process down from corporate with how much time we should be spending on PTM Tasks, Discontinued batches, and flexing SEPARATE from the Instocks hours... PTM will get pushed to the wayside in most stores if not...
 
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#13
And see, this is where I think its funny how different stores can be (and how the expectations of the team can vary so much throughout the company)... Corporate does not really give out clear direction on what they want the Instocks team to be doing and leave it up to stores! I agree with the direction your store has taken (making Instocks almost completely focused on scanning/priority pulls/counts)... However most stores can't really get their ETLs or STLs to be that involved withsomething that drops everyday like the PTM Tasks... I think that there needs to be a set amount of hours that go to this process down from corporate with how much time we should be spending on PTM Tasks, Discontinued batches, and flexing SEPARATE from the Instocks hours... PTM will get pushed to the wayside in most stores if not...
I agree, ULV stores basically get to dig out of a pile of ************ before we can get the Instocks team to focus soley on Instocks task without getting pulled to different Logistic processes.
 

Rock Lobster

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#15
If there's a mountain of backstock and/or stuff to push, the Instock Tasklist shouldn't be worked, anyways.
I would say do whatever you can that is completed for push, obviously never scan anything that still has freight left to be worked... For backstock, it is ok to scan as long as the backstock is recent (usually within 24 hours) because there are filters that keep it from changing OHs right away... If you are REALLY backed up on trucks though, do not research until it is caught up!
 

walruses

Former Softlines TL
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Jul 7, 2011
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205
#16
I know this is an old thread, but as far as I know, you're only allowed to do research one day early in Stand Alone Research. The only areas that are supposed to be done in SA are the softlines tables and Pfresh. The other issue with using SA is that you get a drastic count change prompt, and sometimes you need to have a bit of discretion when changing numbers; I believe that's best left for the Instocks TL / whomever works the Drastic Count Change Report. Like others have said, it's also almost pointless since you'll get RIGs and Research tasks for those fillgroups the next day. If you're having that much of an issue I would suggest talking to your ETL-LOG (armed with best practice), or even your STL. When I transferred to In-Stocks we had a lot of issues with Flow and their supposed wave push. Now they are on Best Practice and pushing research areas first (well, besides Market "Food First" :/).
 

Rock Lobster

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#18
Sorry a bit late, but I believe that the wave for flow is still best practice, but your pathing should reflect the company's focus which is food first! In the end, I don't understand why you would need research pushed first in most stores, since freight should be done everywhere and the ENTIRE store should be scanned by 11AM anyway... does it really matter that you did the research areas before the outs? I could understand maybe 6AM stores not doing this rule since a lot of them are on the program of only scanning research anyway... but they usually take 3 trucks a week...
 
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#19
We are taking 5 trucks a week and don't have the personnel to support it. We are pushing and scanning food first, whether it is outs or research (research has to wait until the backstock is done, but not usually an issue). We are now required to do SAR in p-fresh 2 days each week, even though one of the days actually falls into the task list. The IS team is the first pulled to help support pushing freight, reshop and backstocking so we find that if we don't do the research areas first, they may not be completed by 11 since 1 person simply cannot do over 400 tasks in a 4 hour period. It's just a "stand back and shake your head" situation at our store and the frustration is being felt by everyone.
 

walruses

Former Softlines TL
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#20
Sorry a bit late, but I believe that the wave for flow is still best practice, but your pathing should reflect the company's focus which is food first! In the end, I don't understand why you would need research pushed first in most stores, since freight should be done everywhere and the ENTIRE store should be scanned by 11AM anyway... does it really matter that you did the research areas before the outs? I could understand maybe 6AM stores not doing this rule since a lot of them are on the program of only scanning research anyway... but they usually take 3 trucks a week...
Erm, that's kind of the reason I brought it up. In my district at least... we are having difficulties getting everything pushed before 11 am. We are a 4am process store and get 5 trucks a week. 2200-2800 pieces. This does not include our FDC.

We are taking 5 trucks a week and don't have the personnel to support it. We are pushing and scanning food first, whether it is outs or research (research has to wait until the backstock is done, but not usually an issue). We are now required to do SAR in p-fresh 2 days each week, even though one of the days actually falls into the task list. The IS team is the first pulled to help support pushing freight, reshop and backstocking so we find that if we don't do the research areas first, they may not be completed by 11 since 1 person simply cannot do over 400 tasks in a 4 hour period. It's just a "stand back and shake your head" situation at our store and the frustration is being felt by everyone.
I feel your pain. Every day I feel like my team is more and more fed up. We are trying to remain positive but it is quite difficult when there is no zone, and the push integrity is awful. We have voiced these concerns to anyone that will listen, but .. with payroll the way it is .. no one cares anymore. We don't do abandons at my store but will often help push our research areas.
 
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