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 Feedback Request: Acosta Retail Service
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
180 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2015 :  2:14:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ed-

You have the right of it yet again.

I am leery of getting into specifics, but I am being asked to add more to my already full plate (though my plate is merely "full" as opposed to "overflowing" plates on other teams). We are having calls forced out to us, without any regard to the rest of our schedules. I can't speak for others, but I have not been trained to do many of these forced calls. I'm pretty sure that I will be able to figure them out, but we could have used some advanced warning- we heard of tasks being forced out to us starting Monday only this past Friday- and some training.

Doubling down on Chaos is never a smart move.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2015 :  12:11:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
RobertH,

You think it's bad now?

Wait until you see what Wal-Mart is going to do in a few months across the board. No More Sparc for anyone. They are going back the the old way of inventory management.

They do not want vendors in the back rooms anymore. So that should be fun without Sparc trying to find a case that's missing and has not had a sale in five weeks.

But Acosta in a whole is really going down the tubes. They need to focus on the client and not confusing employees on a daily basis. And they need to stop with giving big titles to themselves. They grew to quickly and are now scrambling to keep pace because turnover is so high with them.

Ed Mikes
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
180 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2015 :  5:30:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ed-

That SPARC change is happening right now.

Walmart is convinced that vendors are the ones messing up their on-hands and no doubt we are partially responsible.

However, the bigger problem I have is when the on-hand shows product in stock but there is none on the shelf and it is not showing any binned in the back. Since vendors do not unload the trucks and separate the freight on pallets dedicated to particular departments and also do not place the product in the overstock bins if it will not fit on shelf (not to mention management does not want to approve on-hand count corrections), Walmart really needs to take a look in the mirror if they want to determine who is more responsible for the mess. Blaming vendors is just an easy out.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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MindyZ
Star Contributor

Hesperia, CA
USA
512 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2015 :  7:01:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Still the same `ol mess.... huh!!! Glad we don't have to f@rt around with them no-moh! Guess if they got rid of the number crunchers and put people with in-store hands-on experience things might get fixed.....??
HubbyZ

Mindy
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
180 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2015 :  5:13:24 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, HubbyZ....I'm not positive that even Walmart knows yet.

Sometime in the past couple of years, Walmart introduced the Zone Manager position, a sort of step between department managers and assistant managers. Now those positions have been eliminated. Some ZMS were let go and others were moved into Dept Mgr positions that were created when Walmart began splitting up departments that were frankly too much for one person to handle (like having one person over paper, chemicals and pets- that was just nuts).

Also pretty recently, Walmart created the IMS position. I'm not positive what the acronym stands for, but it might be along the lines of Inventory Management Specialist. The folks roamed the stockrooms, continually auditing bins and creating picks. Walmart has now eliminated that position.

Instead, Department Managers are now being required to scan every single thing in their bins and Wacos EACH DAY to generate picks in the backroom and then are required to scan all of their outs on the floor to create a second chance to pick items and also to order if somehow the automatic replenishment system misses something.

Merchandising companies take their lead from Walmart, for good or bad. If Walmart is so disorganized and chaotic, how can even the best-run merchandising company figure out how they can best fit into the puzzle?

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

PA
USA
389 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2015 :  7:12:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This is what happens when the merchandising companies bent over backwards to please Wally World, when the Wally World does not even knows what goes on. The result is total chaos, and the vendor reps and respective take the all to convenient hit.
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2015 :  08:44:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Here's the issue.

Wal-Mart is going to blame anyone they can besides themselves on taking a profit a loss. Frankly Wal-Mart's sales numbers are declining from previous years.

So instead of blaming themselves for the ways the stores look they want to blame it on something else such as backroom theft and the vendors.

The reality is Wal-Mart is losing money due to the consumer habit changing. They don't want to just say that. They are also starting to close supercenters down from midnight to 5 or 6 AM.

I don't think Wal-Mart wants to accept to reality of what things are right now. They are also in that age range where as history has told us major retail chains start to go on the decline.

Wal-Mart's attitude is they think they are to big to fail and they don't need to worry.

Unfortunately people that are in a reality world can see the signs.

Ed Mikes
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Robert A. Miller
Star Contributor

PA
USA
389 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2015 :  7:54:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The other reality is that Wal Mart built way too many stupor centers, and too many too close to each other. Saturation must not have been a part of the vocabulary in Bentonville.
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
180 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2015 :  5:50:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Fairly quick story....

I worked for a trading card distribution company a few years back. We serviced KMart and Toys R Us.

When KMart went through one of their rounds of closing stores, I was given the choice of either working my present territory half as often and lose half my pay or double the size of my territory and make a wee bit more than I had been. Since the expanded area included Nashville, and I happen to love me some Nashville, I took the expanded territory and enjoyed another couple of years running that route.

In late 2009, my supervisor called me to let me know that we had received permission from Walmart to do test service in a limited number of stores to see if we could do a better job than their existing service company. He was thrilled- after all, we'd gotten our foot in the door at the World's Largest Retailer. I was terrified, because I know what happens when you put a majority of your eggs in the Walmart basket.

Within a year, my company had expanded service to half the Walmarts in the nation.

Three months after that, the company laid off its entire field service force and because merely a card distributor. Rather than have full time, well-trained and well-paid service reps, Walmart now has reps who treat the category as a sideshow and an undesired sideshow at that.

And neither Walmart nor the trading card distributor minds that because the price they pay for 'service' is low.

You dance with Walmart, Walmart calls the tune.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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AnnCamp
Contributor

USA
59 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2015 :  10:54:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Anyone familiar with the Retail Sales Rep. position in convenience stores? Opening says it is full time. It also says there may be overnight travel. I'm wondering what a sales rep in this position actually does- and is there really overnight travel?

Ann
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2015 :  4:15:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ann,

I would really think on that job. Alot of C-Stores. However very limited if any overnight travel. I will caution you however as I know one of the Sr.Managers in my area in charge of that team. She does not work well with others and people quit or move to other teams because of her. How Acosta keeps these people in these positions is beyond me.

Now for Acosta in general. Please take note of what forum posts are being posted about Acosta. They are really on a downward spiral at the moment.

I would caution you. If you can find a better position such as on a team(Purple,Red,Green) that is the better option.

Ed Mikes
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Stacey
Member

Bella Vista, AR
USA
13 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2015 :  09:32:31 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Does Acosta still have a TRAC team doing Walmart audit work and Hostess work?

Stacey
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
180 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2015 :  3:44:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stacey

Does Acosta still have a TRAC team doing Walmart audit work and Hostess work?



Yep.

In fact, that team has had some members receive more stores and more hours over the last couple months.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2015 :  4:11:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well,

Depends of your view of the Trac team at the moment.

Alot of Acosta employees will back me up on this. Seems two dedicated teams have now gotten the cooler calls on Fridays yet again. Not the Mon or Tue calls that they used to get. This has upset alot of employees since Trac used to service the coolers on Friday.

Sorta reminds me of the Dept 2 resets they did a few months ago. Instead of having the Purple team handle that(as it was their client)They had the Green and Red teams do it. And after that the Green team had another reset in Dept 92 to complete(a huge one)

Really has placed some Green and Red team members to the point they are about at the breaking point. I really don't know why Acosta is doing all these resets for Wal-Mart anyway. Let the store do it.

This is getting really bad with Acosta. They won't give the staff that needs hours the hours. Yet the pile everything on the teams that are already overloaded.

Ed Mikes
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ChrisS
Contributor

USA
89 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2015 :  06:46:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Has anyone here worked for another company that has been bought out by Acosta? One of my companies just has, and was wondering what I can realistically expect in terms of pay, responsibility, management, etc.

Chris S

Providing merchandising and related services to Southeastern Indiana.
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Sue A
Star Contributor

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2015 :  1:15:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I worked for a small company that was bought by Acosta about 8 years ago. Acosta let us go and put their own reps in our place.
Told us we could put in an application if we were interested in working for them. Never heard another word from them.

Sue A
Silver Certified
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Stacey
Member

Bella Vista, AR
USA
13 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2015 :  11:48:45 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I heard that Acosta is on the verge on centralizing all of their retail teams - in effect merging the Walmart team with the grocery team. I also heard that they recently laid off a lot of people at their Walmart office. Are they losing business?

Stacey
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
180 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2015 :  11:46:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
To chime in on a couple of recent posts:

I am not aware of ACOSTA recently acquiring any rep companies. They did acquire a fairly sizable one about a year ago (Mosaic) and have been trying to merge what they did and how they did it with what we do and how we do it. The process did result in many folks losing their jobs, mainly due to geographic concerns (like most companies, ACOSTA doesn't want to pay you to look through your windshield). I think that merging process is drawing to a close, though my team has been called on to do a handful of projects Mosaic- now called the Flex Team- would have done.

There have been personnel changes at very high levels within ACOSTA recently. I don't want to say anything that would get me in trouble, but I think I can safely say that the changes were NOT related to losing business. Our various teams have been adding new clients and taking on new projects on a pretty regular basis for some time now. We did lose one major client about a month back, but the contract was up and the client chose to put it up for competitive bids and another company won by "flooding the field" (blanketing various markets with maximum personnel to gain the contract but will not be able to sustain that service. this isn't unusual- I've been on both sides of it and I don't blame our competitors one bit for doing what they had to do to get the contract).

I have heard nothing about "centralizing teams". They are working at redistricting us- yet again- so as to reduce drive time and increase in-store service time, but that's an ongoing effort. ACOSTA is attempting to align their districts with Walmart's districts so that the WM DMs do not have to deal with many different ACOSTA managers, which makes a good deal of sense to me.

TRAC is an ongoing issue. It requires- or, at least, did require- that someone agree to take a part time job in which they worked parts of four days, including one weekend day. Typically, they worked Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and Saturday or Sunday. Most reps got about 16 hours a week, and the only benefit they received that regular ACOSTA reps didn't is that they were paid home-to-home mileage for weekend work (ACOSTA typically does not pay for the first hour to your first store and the last hour from your last store, calling that "commute time"- not many jobs require a 2 hour commute each day). The turnover is, as you might expect, horrendous. Yes, other teams have had to step in and perform this service, in addition to their other calls, on occasion, even frequently. Unless the TRAC positions are made more lucrative, I don't see this changing.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2016 :  1:08:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well Acosta Has done it yet again.

I am sad to say that The Green/Red as well as the flex teams just suffered more layoffs including reps as well as managers.

This is really not looking good for Acosta. It seems very constant and struggling.

Personally I am thinking it is fallout from taking on alot of clients over the past few years and now the business is on a decline partially in a Wal-Mart setting due to new policy's like CAP and top stock.

Anyone else have any thoughts as to where Acosta is headed?


Ed Mikes
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Robert A. Miller
Star Contributor

PA
USA
389 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2016 :  4:14:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I do, but it probably be censored. Many of the merchandising companies have ruined themselves, and get no sympathy from me. After 20 years in merchandising, and watching numerous merchandising companies ruin themselves, I decided to cut most of my ties, and get out.
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