I never thought in a million years that I would be part of counting every single item that sits in a Target store, but that was before I found out that I was going to be part of helping with the annual inventory. Target’s inventory is extremely important; it reflects how well the store has done in the past year, what you’ve sold, and how much is sitting on your sales floor and the backroom. It is also part of the achieving excellence score. It is very important that everything be done as accurately as possible. In order to help with accuracy quite a bit of prep work must be done and at first I was oblivious to all that needed to be done. I quickly learned that inventory prep would start about a week and half before the actual inventory were to take place. The entire backroom had to be perfectly organized and everything that could be pushed out onto the sales floor needed to be before the inventory.
Have you ever worked a 5:30pm-2am shift? I hadn’t either until the night of inventory. Once I arrived at the store, I noticed that every department was being zoned perfectly in order to get the most accurate count and make it easier on the inventory team. I then ventured to the backroom and saw that the outside inventory team had already started counting the backroom, and we were soon going to begin auditing the backroom. I was going to be part of the audit team for the night, which meant I was going to randomly check the accuracy of certain sections in the store. My mentor showed me how to fill out an audit sheet, and I was good to go.
At about quarter till ten an army of about 35 more outside inventory workers filed into the backroom; they would begin counting everything on the sales floor right after the store was closed at 10pm. The outside inventory team in total was made up of 45 people and they were extremely fast in counting and typing their findings into their handheld machine. The backroom inventory was complete before the store closed, which meant we were doing great on time. I first started out in electronics, which is a bit different because the value of the products in this department tends to be more expensive, which meant we were going to recount the entire department on top of completing the audit sheets. I have never counted so many CD’s, DVD’s, flash drives, batteries and other products of the electronics department in my life; but I soon figured out the fastest way to count and was able to move through the department quickly with the rest of the team.
The night of inventory was a great learning experience for me and gave me my first opportunity to teach a team member. I not only got to learn about the process of inventory and everything that is involved, but it also gave me an opportunity to get to know some of the team members better. In the time that I did not have audit sheets to complete, I wandered around to different departments that had already been counted and helped zone with other team members. It was important to start zoning right after the count was finished so that the store would be looking its best when it opened in the morning. It was during this time that I was able to chat with the other team members and get to know them better, which I really enjoyed. I was also able to have my first experience teaching another team member how to fill out an audit sheet. Inventory only happens once a year and I was very fortunate for the opportunity to be a part of it and cannot wait to see the results.
Post from Lauren , Executive Team Leader Intern
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