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 Feedback Requested: Lawrence Merchandising Services (CRS/Lawrence) (Stravina)
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2004 :  09:45:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hello,
I too work for Lawrence Merchandising, and have 23 Family Dollar stores that I do. All but two of my stores are perfect, and I am pressed to find an hours work. Let me explain what I do at each store. First off, I explain that I am NOT the MAID! I expect them to keep the shelf at the bottom clear of product. I ask for the biggest plastic bin that they have for sale. I use this for extra product. What won't fit on the peg, goes into the bin. When they sell the product, they have to refill from the bin.
I have put pegs under the shelf, and the stickers either under the shelf, or in the plastic bin. Everything is kept together. That way everything is kept together, and the associates do not have to prowl the back rooms for pegs and stickers. We all know the massive amount of product that FD receives!
All of my associates at FD have complimented me for making their job easier. I ask that they spend 10 minutes per shift....not per day, picking up the shelf on the bottom of the display. I explain that this is a pilot joint project between our two companies, and that FD wants to make their stores as attractive as possible, and that is my job...to help them. Any product that is new to the set, should be put out by the associates. I show them how to criss cross the pegs so that they can create a medium spot, and move the pegs to the left to make room for all the new hanging necklaces that are now coming in.
Some of the stores that I have, I built the wings on the watchcase with the blessings of the Dist. Managers. They just were not in favor of giving up that locked case. I have found that the stores where the shelves were built had great theft over the holidays, and the ones with the cases....sold their watches!
One of my managers told me that they were going to go back to the locked cases for their watches...that FD had no idea that it would be such a problem for so many stores....we will see!! They were told in my area that they pay $1.00 for a watch...and one of the managers said...yeah...but that means it's $7.00 profit walking out the door!!
I have found that CRS Lawrence, now known as Lawrence Marketing is a wonderful company to work for. Once you get your bank established after the first check, the money you earn is directly deposited into your account. There is never a worry about the money! It is always there when it should be, no matter what the date. If a holiday is involved...you get it early! This is a great company to work for. I have left several companies that hold back their money, and mine, 30 days to work for this company and have not regretted it one iota.
Never fear that if you do your job right, and follow their merchandising plan that anything negative will happen. They are a wonderful company to work for!
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2004 :  09:55:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
sorry got carried away with my writing...it's LAWRENCE MERCHANDISING! NOT Lawrence Marketing! DUH ! But no matter what the name...still the very best company I have been associated with in the 5 years that I have been doing this!
Donna
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FaithInGa
Contributor

Rossville, GA
USA
50 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2004 :  11:15:14 AM  Send FaithInGa an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JJinNWIN

I too would like to hear what they say about you giving up your Family Dollars.
I was told to hang in their and we might get more hours, but then that was before January's email that said everyone was still only going to get an hour, so now I'm faced with either giving them up or biting the bullet. I absolutely Love my Target and have really gotten to know the managers and the jewelry boat crew.....and I like that it's stable work as well. I guess they can't let anyone give up the Family Dollars because then they'd have to let everyone give them up and they'd have no reps, so they are telling everyone if you want to keep your Targets then you have to keep visiting your Family Dollars.

Merchandising in Northwest Georgia and Tennessee.
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2004 :  12:28:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Faith!
Hang in there! You can do it. Just be VERY up front with the managers;tell them you are there to HELP them have a lovely rack, do your HOUR and leave! Believe me...they get the message after a couple of visits. Our job is to make sure the jewelry gets as close to the schematic as possible with what we have to work with. Nothing more. My understanding is that we are to set what is available.
I set it, I put the extra for refill in the plastic box, explain what I have done, and leave.
If you continue to clean up after them, they will continue to leave everything for you. I was told by one store that they were not allowed to touch the rack, that we were vendors and we were to do it all. NOT!! And any manager at CRS will tell you the same thing I am sure. Our job is to help them....not do their jobs.
It's the same as with any other type of job. The job is enjoyable and fun to do, however, there are always a couple of stores that are the "rotten eggs." If you continue to have stores that leave all the messes for you to take care of, bring along a camera, take a picture of what you find when you get to the store and send it to your advisor. They want to know what is going on in the field, and I know they will find it interesting as well as any successes you have. Besides, its fun to tell them that you are taking pics of their rack so everyone involved can see how they are doing with it. MAKES them stop and think that maybe the Corporate Office is seeing there work. (LOL) Although, I've only sent the pics to one of the coordinators. What they do with them is their business.
This company is great to work for, and they help you in any way they can. Just remember...do your hour...do what you can, feel good about what you have done...and leave. You did what you were hired to do. Nobody can ask for anything more. If FD thinks we aren't doing enough, they will increase our hours. They have to realize how long it takes to open all those plastic bags,hang the product, rearrange the set, and make the rack look great! Personally, I don't worry anymore about what is on the bottom shelf. I will pick up and hang what is obvious, but like I tell the managers...I AM NOT the MAID! That should be taken care of each shift of employees....10 minutes each shift...that's all it takes and that is all I ASK! This is a team effort. A new experiment for FD as well as for CRS. Working together is the key to a sucessful project...and I'm just stubborn enough to make it work! I actually have stores that have NO clip-strips left of RR....you know...that woman???? A good plan works!
Donna
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FaithInGa
Contributor

Rossville, GA
USA
50 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2004 :  1:21:41 PM  Send FaithInGa an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Donna Miller

I actually have stores that have NO clip-strips left of RR....you know...that woman???? A good plan works!
Oh yes, Rachel is not my favorite person right now....LOL So I have a question for you, I'm sure with as many stores as you have you've ran in to it. Some stores don't have a lot of RR stuff, so I rearrange what they do have and then pull it all to the front...etc. Well when I return they've combined all the RR on a few pegs and put out stuff that doesn't belong on the new fixture. I've got lipgloss, fake hair, some black carded jewelry that isn't RR, tons of little nick nacks...etc. It takes up most of my hour just to get the stuff off that doesn't belong and then try and straighten what does belong, so putting out new product is last minute. I'm a very very organized person, and usually spend every last minute of my Target visit hours because I like to organize, straighten, step back and take it all in, go back and move this or that. So giving me an hour to organize and make presentable a rack only once a month is not only hard but it's like scratching my finger nails down a chalkboard.....driving me CRAZY! I keep thinking that I'll just use my own time, and spend what it takes to do the job right everytime, but then I just can't afford it.....I've got 5 stores and that would be one for each day of the week if I stayed at them the needed hours to get it right every time. I guess that is just my gripe....everyones stores seem to be coming along and getting better, while mine are worse than ever. Maybe it's just my part of town? I'm just tired of tarnished, dirty, broken jewelry or having nail polish sitting on the shelving under the hanging jewelry, or other nick nacks finding their way on to the wire side panels. I've still got a nice HUGE lime green stain on a pair of my tan work pants from having nail polish sat on my shelf and then it spilled and was all over the place. Like you said, I'm not the maid but I'm feeling more and more like one lately :(

Merchandising in Northwest Georgia and Tennessee.
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2004 :  4:22:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
You are so right! RR is nobody's favorite person right now....but believe me..she is a nice lady!! If you are having probs with the store, address the manager and tell them what you expect them to do. It's not our fault, all the problems that have occurred. The management themselves do not know what is going on. The information they get comes from us. They get emails from FD and it may say when we are suppose to come, but that's about all. A Stores get 2 hours per month...everything else, get 1 hr.
With working with my managers, we have developed a program that works. They are always interested in anything that makes less work for their employees and themselves, as you must have seen that the managers work more than the clerks.
I have developed such a respect for the employees of the FD stores, as their work is neverending. As to the accessory problem....accessory should be anything that has a hair care product included, such as the dolls, or anything that may come in on a clip strip such as bandanna's etc. Nail Polish would be kept on a side wall, and should not be included as an accessory, in my personal opinion....but who am I to say...???? An Accessory can be anything they want it to be. Personally, I put the tins wrapped in cloth, and the tabs of keychains on the shelf. I added childrens purses to the Pink side, anything that a child would like....anything such as lipgloss, pink hair...etc. It is impossible to have all pink on the childs side, however, you have to go by product. Anything that a child would like...Pink side...anything over 11...Blue side. That makes it destinquishable for everyone. FD has yet to get the backings on the jewelry changed over, so you are always going to have some blue on the pink side. To put some of the blue on the blue side is almost an insult, as it is so young looking. You have to make the decision.,.know your product and forget the color.
Some of the FD stores have not received all the new product, for whatever reason, I know not why. There is nothing wrong with hanging a clip strip on the side of the wire racks that may have bandannas or knit hats, or comic wash clothes. They are attractive, and sell well for the store. That is our goal...to increase their sales..ultimatley, in my opinion...maybe I'm wrong...but most of my managers could not believe the difference in sales since the new rack was put up...they love no more stooping to pick up the jewelry..etc. YOU know what we took out of there! They love the new racks!
Many of my racks were bare when I got there this month...bare because of sales! It works!!!! There is so much new product coming out, that the staff of FD can't believe it! They either want to Kiss RR or Bury her!!!!!!!!!! LOL But truly...stick with the program..it will get easier. If you need some tips, feel free to email me at nigaranow@aol.com I'm more than willing to help anyone who may need a pick me up!! We all need them once in awhile!!!!!!! LOL
Donna
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FaithInGa
Contributor

Rossville, GA
USA
50 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2004 :  10:28:14 AM  Send FaithInGa an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
I am doing 4 Family Dollars and because I did not wish to do 14 stores, I was forced to give up a Target. They hired a new rep for that store.
May I ask why you are still working for them if you lost your Target and don't really agree with their practices regarding hiring and reassigning? I keep this job because I enjoy the Target, if all I had were Family Dollars I'd definitely be turning in a 2 week notice and looking for something to fill the space. It's like when you were little and you get a nice big plate of food that you like, but there were always those dreaded vege's to the side that your mother insisted you ate too, a little bad to get to the good......my Target keeps me around, those Family Dollars are definitely not worth the 9.00 flat rate pay. (My opinion of course :) )

Merchandising in Northwest Georgia and Tennessee.
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LindaLou
Apprentice

Oldtown, MD
USA
2 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2004 :  05:04:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have applied and requested numerous jobs with CRS/Lawrence and have recieved no action. They don't even respond to my emails. I have removed them from my lists of contacts.
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.TammySGilliam
Inactive

Bourbonnais, IL
USA
139 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2004 :  1:42:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been working with CRS for quite some time. This is my favorite company of all. I have been reimbursed for mileage if it goes over 20 miles from my home. I always get assignments that come up just by calling and leaving a message if they are not in the office. This is a wonderful company and I reccomend them to everyone unless of course you are in my area ha ha because then I want those accounts!!! This is a wonderful company and I totally disagree with anyone that says different. If you do have problems just call and talk to Lauren Johnson. She is so sweet and will fix your concerns asap!!

Tammy G.

Take care,
Tammy G.
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.TammySGilliam
Inactive

Bourbonnais, IL
USA
139 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  05:12:35 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Actually I love my Targets!! They are fun to do. And I will service the Family Dollars that are by my stores. I have great managers to work with though and do not have all the problems that I see that some people are having. My managers do a good job in keeping up their stores. all but 2 of them do anyway!!

Take care,
Tammy G.
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  12:33:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Linda Lou,
Please don't take them off your list. Email mirgens@lawrencemerchandising.com, and tell her that I told you to call her. She is my rep for the Region of the east coast, and I see you are in Md. so I believe you might be in our district. You may have just applied when they didn't need new reps, but if you have any Family Dollar near you, I'm sure that they would like to hear from you. It isn't the best of work, but can be very enjoyable once the managers know what you are there to do for them, and get them to work along with you. If you would rather, email me, and I will submit your name. They always ask if we know anyone looking for work. Who knows? Once you get your foot in the door...you may get other projects in your area!
Donna
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JJinNWIN
Contributor

Wheatfield, IN
USA
69 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2004 :  06:48:03 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I had the same thing. Three of my C stores aren't on list for this month, but two of them became B stores, and my two B stores became A stores. My question is, when you hit print ready to bring up the call report to print, there is nothing to push to then print it. How do you print a copy of the call report to take to the store with you?

Jean
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2004 :  08:18:32 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Mary,
I just checked my list and some of my stores went from C to A and C to B. I also had some that went from A to B. As I sat and thought about the changes, I realized, the stores that need a little more help are getting an extra visit, and the stores that are "Excellent" are going to be allowed to be on their own for the month after the first visit. This may not be the case for all reps, but that's what I noticed about my list.
I've learned to just go "with the flow" and do what the managers want. I try to always explain to them what we should do the next visit, such as sort jewerly etc, or make major changes in the pog etc. I hate to go into a store where the clerks really take care of their rack, and start changing everything around. I find it makes the clerks feel, "why bother!" On one hand, I'm complimenting their job, and the next, I'd be tearing it down. I always explain why I am doing a change, such as moving all the long chains to the right side etc. " My standard usually is...."now that you have been sent more of the jewerly like the pog, we can set this up to really make it look extra nice for you. You'll find it will make your job easier,having everything that is similar in the same place. That way, all the responsibility doesn't just fall on you. Anyone can do it." Then I usually explain about eye contact, presentation, etc. for the product. It works every time, and they feel like they are learning something of value and don't feel so bad when I change their hard work.
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JJinNWIN
Contributor

Wheatfield, IN
USA
69 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2004 :  09:09:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
How do you print the call reports? Or do they still send them? I am able to hit print ready on the store call list, and it brings up the call report, but then there is no tool bar to select print, to print the report. I like to have a paper copy to take to the stores, so how do I get a copy of the call report?

Jean
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SylviaS
Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2004 :  10:40:28 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JJinNWIN

How do you print the call reports? Or do they still send them? I am able to hit print ready on the store call list, and it brings up the call report, but then there is no tool bar to select print, to print the report. I like to have a paper copy to take to the stores, so how do I get a copy of the call report?



I use IE browser. When I hit print ready I get an abbreviated tool bar with the call report. At the far right, next to the "Q", you should see two small arrows. If you click on them you will see the print option come up. Hope that helps.

Sylvia
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JJinNWIN
Contributor

Wheatfield, IN
USA
69 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2004 :  11:35:06 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you, it turned out I had to right click on my mouse, to get a tool bar to print. Finally got it. Anyway, on Family Dollar again, in this months call report, it asks if the glasses are set up to the diagram in the instructions. I can't find a diagram in the instructions of how they are to be set up, can you? Emailed my coordinator and asked her where the instructions are for how the glasses are to be set up.

Jean
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2004 :  1:15:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Does that mean we are supposed to now do the glasses too?????I never pay attention to them because they are always such a mess!!! Oh dear! I feel a headache coming on...think I better go check out the call report! you would have thunk!!
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 02/29/2004 :  8:47:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Mary,
After I read that yesterday, I went into the call reports and checked out the line about the glasses. To me, the question seemed to be were the glasses neat or something to that effect.On my fixtures, all the glasses have been set, but nobody has been back to service them in some of my stores, so of course they are a mess. I'm sure that if they expected us to service glasses, we would have a POG to follow and there was nothing on the list...so gonna do what I do every time..IGNORE them!!I think Lawrence wants the whole rack to look nice, and if they don't have proof that the glasses are a mess, they can't do anything about it. I intend to put a note on every one of my reports this month about it. Why should our reps work to make the fixtures look nice and have another company not do their part? I'm sure that if there comes a point in time that we do have the responsibilty of the glasses, we will have the guidance we have always had from Lawrence, and they will pay us for our time. I'm willing to wait and see.
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JJinNWIN
Contributor

Wheatfield, IN
USA
69 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2004 :  03:41:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am thinking now that the question of whether they are per the diagram, is the diagram from the original set up instructions. More or less, just are they on the endcap that they are supposed to be on. They are also asking if the watches are out of the locked case and on the shelves. So that is how I am going to treat it. My stores have not had anyone to service their glasses either, so I wonder if that company was just hired to do the setup and the store employees are supposed to maintain them. Whatever, I will just answer whether or not they are on the endcap, which they all are. I may comment on the condition of the endcap in the comments section. I did email my coordinator, so if I hear differently, will pass it on to all of you also.

Jean
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Donna Miller
Contributor

Newfane, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2004 :  05:40:34 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I know that one of my managers asked if I did the glasses too, because they haven't had anyone from AAI in there to service them since they set them. Some of the stores take care of the glasses themselves, and they always look nice, but ofcourse, those are the stores that care how their rack looks. I did meet one of the reps that services the glasses in one of my stores while I was there. Ofcourse, she only has a few of the same stores I do, but those endcaps are always done. I work in some pretty bad sections of the city, so maybe they just can't find anyone to go in to some of the stores. I know the lady I met spends at least 2 hours in each of her stores, and only does the glasses. They are a very slow product to service when you have to sort and clip them all.
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