Volition.com Forums

Username:
Password:
Save PasswordRegister
Forgot Password / Username?
Home | Search | Chat | FAQ | Posting Rules

 All Forums
 Mystery Shopping, Merchandising & Demo
 Merchandising & Demo
 Feedback Requested: SPAR
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly

Previous Page | Next Page

Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 68

Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  06:28:12 AM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've posted before that I take care of Mom as much as the merchandising allows. Dad is passed. This morning, I'm taking her to a doctor's Appt.
I dropped a note to my DMM yesterday so she would know my pacing would be a bit off. Her response yesterday was supportive.

Gas with 10% ethanol was $3.45 Friday. $3.55 without it.

Looks like several of us have that in common.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
Go to Top of Page

Jenny41
Star Contributor

Ohio
USA
746 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  10:41:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow, Kris and Jeff I am jealous, I put about 3-500 miles a week on my SUV, welcome to rural America!
Go to Top of Page

Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  8:21:40 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jenny - Yikes!! I'm not sure how you do that and have a pay check left...hopefully you are getting good access fees!!

Jeff & Marla...yes, this is a good job for that time in life of taking care of parents. I'm not to that stage yet, but have a son with learning disabilities that I homeschool, so that is why I appreciate the flexible schedule.

Have been doing lessons with him in the AM & assigning him work for the rest of the day and then doing merchandising in the afternoon. That has become a bit of a problem as I have been getting more and more work. And a lot of stores are asking me to come early, like before 11am. It's frustrating because flexibility is why I am doing this!!

Marla, I found things more flexible when I had less stores. I work at least 25 hours a week, sometimes as much as 35. I count travel time in that because it's all done for the job and time away from my life for work! I have 5 weekly stores, plus 3 kiosks, plus 3 bi-weekly stores. Then I have a whole bunch of stores and visits that run about once every 6 weeks or so, as well as a lot of one time visits for specialty stuff.

I have a bad feeling that we are all going to be wishing for these gas prices again once the summer hits. I hope I am wrong.

MSPA Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  9:08:21 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kris - Allowing for the time differences, I don't know how you do it.

I had to quit just before 9:00 PM local time (7:00 PM your time) in order to get home - check on Mom and file 13 reports. That was necessary in order to file by midnight eastern time. (9:00 PM your time.) I still have several RTS to file.

I have one NCR/BB blue box that now has to wait until midnight my time. I'm not allowed to work nor report between 11:00 PM and midnight local time. I had to quit early. It's fustrating.

I dropped $32.30 on gas for the past 7 days today. I found a Shell station at $3.299 for 10% Ethanol gas. To be fair, that includes work for other companies as well. In addition to SPAR, I had over 40 hours last week on resets helping new hires for another company.

The guidelines from SPAR say to visit several chains before 2:30 PM. I'm blessed with a half dozen stores that don't know that and are not upset to see me in the afternoon and even some evenings as long as I'm done by closing. That way, I can cover the whole chain the same day. The exception will be the first week of April when there is a reset scheduled. Then it's B to D with one exception ... B to E.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
Go to Top of Page

Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2011 :  12:30:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jeff,
Glad to hear I am not the only one out late!! We have a 9pm PST reporting deadline, which means most of the time I have to be done and home at least by 8. Most of the time it works out fine, but I have had a few times where I haven't made it just because I had such a full day and didn't want to spend my gas money and time driving back and second time to the same city.

My DM sent out an email that a group of us "apparently do not care when we report" and that we had all waited to "report the next day after our visit".
Well, I was on that list because of one day out of a month that I didn't meet my reporting deadline. Mind you, my assignments were done 2 days ahead of the deadline, but because I reported at 10PM.....not "the next day". It was considered the next day because of the time change and I was told I don't care when I report.

Sounds like we have it about the same actually....if they are cutting you off at 9pm as well. I don't seem to have that "not allowed to report" issue, it's just they consider it late and "the next day" if it is reported at 9:02!

That particular day I was very sick. I drug myself through my assignments and came home and napped on the couch for a few hours because I was dying! Then got up and reported before I went to bed.

I just wish everything wasn't so negative. I would be more motivated by some positive acknowledgment and encouragement. It's not that I don't care about the deadlines...I'm giving it 100%, but it's hard when I have to spend more of my own money on gas to revisit a place just so I can meet a reporting deadline.

When you said you emailed your scheduler that you pacing would be a bit off....I guarantee if I emailed that to my scheduler, I would get no response whatsoever. The message I feel she gives out is she doesn't care and that it is a pain for her to hear from me unless it's something that is really going to effect her bottom line.

Glad you are able to find some places to get gas to shave off a little at least, but I know you still have to work 3 or 4 jobs just to cover that gas!! Out here we do not have choices like that as to the ethanol, etc. It's a solid 3.89 at the cheap places. It's $65 now to fill my tank.

Well, we should share tips on how to make things a bit easier. I too have resets for one of my chains. They are actually this week. One of the things I do is to color code my new POG's. It takes a bit of prep time, but when I have 5 stores that I will be doing exactly the same thing in, it is worth the extra prep time. I take my old POG and highlight all the returns in one color, so when I walk in the first thing I do is pull all those. It seems to be easier to go by POG than by title/alphabetical.
Then with the new POG I highlight all the new titles in another color. This particular account is for DVD's with a 2-sided fixture. So I then use a 3rd color to highlight movies moving from one side to the other. I've got it down to a science now and it sure eliminates a lot of time and confusion on the floor. Everything flows a lot more efficiently and I do not spend any time looking for specific titles. I stand on the right side and grab all the titles moving to the left and take them over and visa versa.
I also print out one form for chains I have multiple visits...then I use different color inks for each store.
Do you have any time saving/money saving tips?!!

MSPA Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2011 :  2:18:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just thought I would mention that there is at least one DM that views this forum. I'm sure she knows the other DMs and MAYBE our problems might be brought to higher ups.

I didn't notice the 9pm cut off, but I'm barely awake at that time.

Marla
Go to Top of Page

Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2011 :  6:20:46 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
We work the DVDs very similarly. I just mark in felt tip. I don't color code. I keep a copy of the alphabetial listing with the pocket number at hand just in case when loading the fixture. I leave both an alphabetical and POG at each store in the header. Otherwise, the DVDs replenishments end up in whatever pocket is handy.

I print enough copies for the header copies plus one extra each. IF the HH goes out, I can still take the needed info home by marking up the backup POG in an organized way.
I have 4 such resets the first part of April. The other one is whenever SPAR HQ decides to let me know. The last one of those, Sony forgot to send the new DVD and BD stock for two weeks after I did the reset. What really hurt was I was not scheduled back for that task for 6 weeks from the reset date. Someone got tired of the half empty rack and put the new stock out helter skelter. It was essentially a reset to straighten the mess out.

For the NON-Sony DVDs, I do get a copy of the KM version of the POG as it never matches what SPAR sends out.

============
In a pinch, I have reported my blue boxes (kiosk) by cell phone internet. With the keypad on my cell phone (old style 10-key), it's a royal PIA, but I have done it.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
Go to Top of Page

Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2011 :  6:24:19 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Marla the reporting cutoff is midnight EASTERN TIME. That makes it 9:00 PM for Kris on the west coast.
Allowing getting home, etc I have to cutoff working about 9:00 PM Central time in order to get home - check on Mom and file by 11:00 PM my time which is midnight Eastern Time.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
Go to Top of Page

Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2011 :  7:23:06 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
DMMs are having a big huddle at HQ. So I hear.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
Go to Top of Page

Sue A
Star Contributor

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2011 :  9:38:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I work for another company that the DM wants all reports in by 5PM pacific time. I'm not home until 7pm pacific time(I don't live in pacific time zone) a lot of times so i guess my reports she list as being late. The comapny headquarters are in a eastern time zone.

Sue A
Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

Sue A
Star Contributor

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2011 :  9:43:51 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think all the companies are having powwows with their managers. My spar dm sent a email saying she would be out of contact this week for spar and a couple of weeks ago a couple of other companies I work for the dm's sent out messages saying they had to go to corparte for meetings that week.

Sue A
Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

Jenny41
Star Contributor

Ohio
USA
746 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2011 :  03:20:19 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Spar is having a DM meeting in Auburn Hills this week.
Go to Top of Page

Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2011 :  06:01:44 AM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
My original SPAR DMM was pushing for reports to be done by 9:00 PM Central time / 7:00 PM Pacific. This gave her time to check on the possible late or delayed reps. She fully disclosed the true deadlines at that time. Once I established myself, she softened that for me knowing I'm dependable and work as late as time allows many days.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
Go to Top of Page

MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2011 :  1:06:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't think I received the message regarding the time cut-off. I knew about reporting the same day, and have only reported late once, and have only had 1 time that I couldn't do my work on time (this last winter).

My DM is great and I don't want to EVER lose her. I might quit if that happened.

Marla
Go to Top of Page

Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2011 :  2:13:26 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Marla - that does not apply to you if you are on EASTERN TIME which I believe you are. All you have to worry about is reporting by midnight.
Some of us are on different time zones. You did not miss a memo.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
Go to Top of Page

MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2011 :  7:00:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
i get so many from so many different companies that sometimes I might miss 1. Yes I'm in the part of Indiana that is on Eastern. Parts of Indiana is in Eastern and parts are on Central Time. I wish they would have left us alone, we didn't change time at all. It's hard to get used to.

Marla
Go to Top of Page

Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2011 :  12:18:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jeff, I feel your pain on that Sony store...I have two that only have visits every 6 weeks on Change out. One of the stores just puts out EVERYTHING the day they get it. So I get there and it is ALL crammed in the fixture, including old NR they took out of corrugates. Plus, because they frequently have titles that don't scan when I am in, I leave some old titles in to fill in gaps and put the scan errors in back. They put those out too after they get them turned on. So there is old titles that need to be returned from the previous reset, plus all the new titles they threw out that have not even been scan checked, plus corrugate titles that don't belong at all, plus all the replenish that has come in all crammed in just whereever. It takes me forever just to pull that massive amount of product out of there and figure out where to start!!

The other store does sort of the same thing but not as bad. They usually don't have the new CO titles out yet when I get there.

Another Sony store I visit every two weeks just took their Spring Kids corrugate and threw out the stand and put all the product in the fixture! UGH!!

Ya, no matter how you organize, just having a system that works for you is the key. The first time I did a reset I almost cried!! I had movies stacked everywhere and I couldn't find anything! Now it's nothing, I almost look forward to them as a challenge to see if I can get faster or more efficient. Just today I figured out I am going to use some of that tacky stick up stuff to stick my POG on the fixture at eye level while I am doing a reset so I can look at it hands free.

But I try to keep my printing down. So far the reimburse from SPAR is only covering about 1/2 my printing cost. So I try to find ways around printing more.

MSPA Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2011 :  12:23:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sue,

I hope the "pow-wow" don't mean bad news. Everyone is feeling the squeeze, so I hope the squeeze doesn't flow down stream!!

We will see if companies will dare to ask even MORE for less out of their merchandisers.

MSPA Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2011 :  12:39:56 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
One thing that has driven me nuts is the ever changing deadline on the Blitz's. For us it is 5pm. When we have Sony blitz's, I have all 5 to do in one day which is my 80 mile route in one day. Blitz's are easy, but I try to get my regular service done in at least 4 of the stores as well because it's too expensive and time consuming in drive time to go back the next day. And since they lock up product, I hate bugging to get in the room for the Blitz and then again in a day or so for reg. service.

So I'm used to the 5 PM deadline now.....so a couple of months ago it turned into a 4 PM deadline...then on the last blitz, I got one email that said 3PM deadline!! At that point I just laughed!! Whatever!! I still made it the last two Blitz's by the 4PM deadline I believe. I think I may have been 4:30 on the last one.

Then there is the never good enough deadline on Kiosks!! First the deadline was Thursday's, which was client set and then the client changed it to Wednesday's. Okay, that was a bit of a problem for me because of the schedule on one of my other weekly visits in the same area, but I've been making it work.
But then we were told that too many people were picking Wednesday's to do their kiosks so they started pushing Tuesdays!!! So we get emails all the time pushing to get kiosks done by Tuesday. I'm at about 1/2 and 1/2 I believe right now...1/2 the time done on Tuesday and 1/2 the time on Wednesday. But then we have an 8PM reporting deadline on those instead of 9PM, and if the kiosk isn't reported by noon on Wednesday, we get a phone call.

I don't have internet on my phone, so in a pinch I have called in a report, which we are encouraged to do. I have numbers for 3 people who will take my kiosk report.

MSPA Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

Jenny41
Star Contributor

Ohio
USA
746 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2011 :  03:00:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can tell you that the "pow-wow" was NOT bad news and as for the time cut-off, I am happy if I get up, like this morning and our kiosks are 100% reported.
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 68 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Volition Copyright All rights reserved. Volition is a registered trademark of Volition.com LLC. Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.34 seconds. Software © Snitz Forums