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 Feedback Request: Acosta Retail Service
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
178 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2013 :  08:25:50 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Cynthia:

You probably have the answers to your questions, or at least most of them, by now. For the benefit of others who might have similar questions, though, let me take a stab at them:

1) you will NOT get a cellphone, nor will they help you pay for a personal one. At the same time, you pretty much have to have one to do your job. If they require it, they should help you pay for it. That's not aimed just at ACOSTA.

You WILL get a laptop and a decent amount of training on how to navigate ACOSTA systems and such. That's not always typical of companies either.

2)compensation for use of your auto is kinda complicated, as it involves a reimbursement plus mileage scheme. In my case, it works out to roughly 32 cents a mile. Not great- I was getting more than that over ten years ago- but, in a climate wherein companies are eliminating their reimbursement programs entirely, "something" beats "nothing". Note also that your car has to be no older than, I think, 2007 to receive the use reimbursement (I think that is for IRS purposes).

3) Yes, you will have to have full coverage insurance and the coverage levels will be far above your state's minimum (at least mine were).

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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SharonQ
Star Contributor

East Coast!
USA
881 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2013 :  7:36:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hello All! Is anyone familiar with the TRAC merchandiser position? Specifically, their site says:
quote:
The TRAC Merchandiser primarily provides retail sales merchandising coverage, and performs work in free standing single-serve coolers in other areas of the store. The incumbent may be required to perform TRAC audit work and coverage of retail special projects as needed.

It appears that all of the work will be done in coolers, which doesn't seem like many hours. Does anyone have more information, like what chain they service? Thanks in advance!

Sharon

Call me crazy, but I LOVE resets!
Yes, even cosmetic resets.
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
178 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2013 :  5:14:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Greetings Sharon:

I >think< I know what this position entails.

ACOSTA has recently purchased coolers for placement in Walmart stores. Typically, each store has two of them: one located by their new self-service checkout bullpen and a second one located well away from it on some random register lane. These coolers hold tea, milk and various juices.

Right now, the existing ACOSTA teams that service Walmart have added cooler service calls to their other projects but they are working towards creating a team whose main focus is the service of these coolers (and possibly other projects as well).

What you would have to do is to work with the dairy department manager to keep those coolers full of product. You would have to work in their large walk-in cooler to pull whatever product you need to fill the front coolers. I probably spend all of ten minutes actually in their large cooler, though a fair amount more time seeing what items I need, straightening the rack and sometimes cleaning it, and other related tasks. While I'm not positive, I would guess that the position would be part-time (we're given up to 90 minutes per store just to work the cooler), largely depending on how many stores on your route.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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DarlaR.
Valued Contributor

TX
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2013 :  08:23:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just got a job with Acosta as a TRAC merchandiser. I haven't started yet but it is described to me as working the little coolers up front by the register at Walmart.
What seems puzzling to me is that they say it will take up to two hours in the store just for those little coolers. I wonder why. Guess I'll find out! :)
Very excited about this job. Always wanted to work for Acosta.

Darla
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Shelby
Trainee

MD
USA
6 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2013 :  1:23:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I work for Acosta and have covered the cooler call a couple times. If you have a store that bins their juice it can take a while to get someone to scan it out for you. Other than that it usually goes pretty quickly. Enjoy!
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2013 :  12:02:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just wanted to post a revision update to RobertH's input about Acosta's Mileage policy. Some of that information is misleading. I will explain a bit more for the forum.

1.Cellphone paid for(Correct.) not alot of companies will pay for this anymore. And as Robert stated they "require" it. They should pay at least half in my opinion but it is what it is!

2. Mileage. It is paid a .35 cents per mile under I think 1,000 and anything after that is at a reduced rate(I think it is .16 cents per mile).

3. If you drive over 7,500 miles every six months Acosta gives you a Per-Diem car allowance based on your territory. If you are getting paid straight mileage and not the allowance then Acosta only requires you to have the state minimums as far as insurance is concerned. And no restrictions on year of car. If you are getting the car allowance then your car cannot be more then 6 years old and you must have 100/300 coverage as far as insurance. They do check this via CRS and you must prove it. Note that is only for people getting the car allowance which Acosta is really trying to cut back on.

4. As far as The IRS is concerned on the mileage you need to report via the CRS system no matter what plan you are on. CRS will pay the mileage/allowance and you have no tax taken out of the reimbursement amount.

I know some policys have changed since the date Robert wrote the comment. But I thought I would share.

Ed Mikes
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
178 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  10:37:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Shelby

I work for Acosta and have covered the cooler call a couple times. If you have a store that bins their juice it can take a while to get someone to scan it out for you. Other than that it usually goes pretty quickly. Enjoy!



Yep, that is exactly why the calls can take so long.

I cover a store for another rep on my team (he'd have six if I didn't take one off his hands) and the store has created a spot in their stock room cooler for items that are supposed to be in the coolers we service. They have this product counted in their inventory, but it is NOT binned in so no finding someone with time and a Telxon to scan it out for you. Saves MUCH time.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
178 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  10:42:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ed:

Thank you for the clarifications.

Since I fit from the start of my employment with ACOSTA into the higher tier auto reimbursement tier, I wasn't sure how the lower tier worked and your explanation rights that omission on my part.

ACOSTA isn't the best when it comes to reimbursement, but it seems to be far from the worst, as I've spoken to reps with other companies whose bosses want them to drive 100 miles a day with no reimbursement whatsoever and paid their regular (or a lower "travel wage") wage for only part of that time. Given the alternatives, I count myself lucky.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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Robert A. Miller
Star Contributor

PA
USA
387 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  7:22:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Any company that requires a car to be a certain age or mileage, damn well better be prepared to assist a rep in purchasing a car of that calibre. I own an older auto that runs just as well, if not better than some of the newer models out there. Another term is discrimination.

Robert
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  9:06:51 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert A. Miller

Any company that requires a car to be a certain age or mileage, damn well better be prepared to assist a rep in purchasing a car of that calibre. I own an older auto that runs just as well, if not better than some of the newer models out there. Another term is discrimination.



This is becoming the norm. I know of 2 DSD companies that require FT merchandisers to have a car that no older than 5 ot 6 years. They also charge their salaried sales reps for their company car...about $125/ month. BUt when you factor in the fact that you don't pay for gas or any maintenence, it's not that much. But still shocking.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  9:11:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RobertH


ACOSTA isn't the best when it comes to reimbursement, but it seems to be far from the worst, as I've spoken to reps with other companies whose bosses want them to drive 100 miles a day with no reimbursement whatsoever and paid their regular (or a lower "travel wage") wage for only part of that time. Given the alternatives, I count myself lucky.



When compared to most of the other large 3rd party merchandising copmanies like crossmark and ASM, Acosta is leaps an bounds better. As long as you are in tier 1, you get paid mileage after 20 miles and you get paid DT after 40 min. That's better than Crossmark and ASM, who use the 40/60 rule.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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DarlaR.
Valued Contributor

TX
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2013 :  04:19:36 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Had my first day with Acosta yesterday. I now see why the call could take as long as they say.

I felt overwhelmed with information. They gave me a Samsung Tablet. It will take awhile to get used to the questions, the reporting, etc.

I STILL don't really understand the "drive time" thing. It's not mileage..you get paid drive time after an hour. It was all rather confusing to me but for now I'm only doing one store anyway.

Other than that..seems like a good company.

Darla
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2013 :  04:43:44 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Your drive time doesn't kick in until 1 hour???

Unless they changed something and I am unaware of it, last I worked for them I was paid drive time after 40 min and mileage after 20 miles (to my first store and from my last store, but full mileage and drive time in between stores and absolute full mileage and drive time from my driveway and back if working on weekends - meaning no commute time or miles are subtracted).

Maybe they have different policies for different positions?
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DarlaR.
Valued Contributor

TX
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2013 :  05:31:35 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Larry...I didn't hear anything about mileage and it was a little disappointing. Right now I only have one store so it doesn't concern me much but I'm pretty sure he said "after an hour". And the whole thing was rather complicated.

Darla
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2013 :  07:15:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DarlaR.

Larry...I didn't hear anything about mileage and it was a little disappointing. Right now I only have one store so it doesn't concern me much but I'm pretty sure he said "after an hour". And the whole thing was rather complicated.



Don't you have to go to the CRS website (a outsourced company that takes care of mileage and vehicle reimbursements) in order to log your mileage ? I don't know of any Acosta employee that doesn't do this. I know many acosta employees that work for many different acosta teams and departments and we all have to use CRS. The amount of mileage reimbursement you get per mile depends on how many miles you drive in a given year. In CRS, it shows the following..

1 to 500 miles/year 35 /mile
501 to 1,200 miles/year 26 /mile
1,201+ miles/year 16 /mile.

Acosta increases and decreases mileage according to gas prices, but it has been at 35 miles for well over 6 months now.

Didn't you go through any of the general Acosta online training? If so, all this is covered in the training.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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DavidCar
Valued Contributor

Charlotte, North Carolina
USA
114 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2013 :  10:58:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The first hour to a store and the last hour from the store to home is considered normal commute time. Your drive time from store to store is payable. The CRS website is only for mileage.
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2013 :  11:24:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidCar

The first hour to a store and the last hour from the store to home is considered normal commute time. Your drive time from store to store is payable. The CRS website is only for mileage.



Yes, I understand that CRS is only for mileage. I brought it up for a different reason, not for the drive time issue.

But as far as the commute time being 60 minutes, that's news to me. I pretty sure my commute time is still set at only 40 min. But I will have to check on that. But as I said before, maybe different teams are subject to different commute time policies.
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DarlaR.
Valued Contributor

TX
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2013 :  6:21:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yes I have gone thru some of the online training but not all of it. I just remember something about "drive time" as opposed to mileage. I'll have to find out for sure.

Darla
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Missie
Apprentice

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2014 :  6:18:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Is the TRAC Merchandiser assigned only in WM & how many locations are usually assigned? How many visits per week in each location?
Thanks
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DarlaR.
Valued Contributor

TX
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2014 :  2:29:26 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi..I am considered a part of the TRAC team although my main job is to maintain the dairy/juice coolers. Every Walmart is getting two coolers. In addition to that we have been receiving other side projects like stocking the Hostess and Planters products twice a week.
I have 4 Walmart's. We are hoping that other stores will want us but haven't heard anything yet.
I wind up getting about 20-25hrs a week.

Darla
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