Meet Britiany, Inventory Analyst

What is your favorite part of working as an Inventory Analyst?
I really love that I am able to utilize my curious nature and develop new strategies or process improvements to help my business run more efficiently. This role is truly what you make it and you are empowered to challenge the status quo and think outside the box.

There’s never a typical day so, what does a week as an IA look like?
At Target the workload comes in waves depending on the time of year/season. Sometimes you are preparing for a Transition- where you are getting out of old product, and replacing it with new product, others you are building strategies to protect inventory for special events (i.e. promotions, holidays, bad weather, competitor liquidation, etc.). Mondays are primarily spent recapping the previous week, “Status” (aka meeting) with your Business Unit (Buyer, Planner, Associate Buyer, Merchandise Specialist, Manager, etc.), and validating domestic purchase orders. The rest of the week consists of troubleshooting out of stocks, putting out fires, collaborating with vendors on forecasts, and any tasks that need to be done for your captainship.

What have you learned / what skills have you built in this role?
In this role I have mastered organization and prioritization—there are constant “fires” that pop up in the business that require immediate attention, so you have to be good at recognizing what is top priority and ensuring that gets done first. That leads me to the next big skill I have developed in this role: communication. Things are always changing and I’ve learned that it is important to keep everyone in your Business Unit updated since everyone’s work is so reliant on one another. Lastly, I have developed leadership skills as an Inventory Analyst through various captainships and mentoring new Inventory Analysts.

What is your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to build a strategy for my Division to help safeguard inventory in Target locations impacted by the closure of a major retailer. By implementing this strategy, the team was able to funnel more inventory to those locations in an attempt to gain share in the market and support our planned sales for the Division.

What brought you to Target after your first job?
I have always loved Target. Growing up in Southern Virginia, the closest Target store was an hour away—so it was always a treat when I got the opportunity to go. Fast forward several years- imagine getting a call from that same company that you always loved and admired. To say I was elated is an understatement. I flew out to HQ for interviews and experienced Target’s culture firsthand, I was hooked. It was such a stark contrast from the company I was with at the time, and I knew I had to be a part of the Target Family—I say family very intentionally because of the strong friendships I’ve made not in my time here.

You relocated to Minneapolis. What drew you to the city and why do you stay?
Obviously Target was a big draw to Minneapolis, but outside of that I fell in love with the city itself when I flew out here for my interview. I think it is so great to be able to have a city atmosphere and then walk three blocks to a park or walk around one of the many lakes. It’s the perfect mix of industrial and nature. And there is ALWAYS something to do. There is truly a festival for everything here—even a food truck festival! Most importantly, through Target I have been able to build so many friendships not only with my past and present coworkers, but also externally. Moving here without knowing anyone was extremely scary, but I am so happy I did.

Best career advice you’ve received?
Always assume positive intent and know that everyone is doing the best they can. Things go wrong, deadlines are missed, out of stocks happen, but always know that everyone you work with is working toward the same goal and at the end of the day, you are a team.

Are you involved in anything at Target outside of your day to day work?
Yes! I am part of a kickball team that plays in Northeast Mpls. I am also part of the notorious Target Donut Club.

Favorite memory on the job?
When my Director trusted me enough to present the BRU strategy to all of Inventory Management Leadership. I was so nervous, but it was such a great experience!

Friday team breakfast is a huge part of the Inventory Management culture, what’s your go to item or the most epic breakfast someone’s brought?
Someone once brought homemade crepes with all kinds of toppings. Another time someone brought banquet sized scrambled eggs, pancakes, and bacon. My personal go-to is Mama’s Breakfast Pizza- SO GOOD!

Interested in learning more about the Inventory Analyst role? Visit target.com/careers!

Meet Erika, Inventory Analyst

What is your favorite part of working as an Inventory Analyst?
I really like how much responsibility and ownership I get to take of the inventory and the supply chain strategies. I manage the inventory for Office Supplies and when I identify opportunities in my business I am supported to go after them with new initiatives. This has allowed me to take on some projects that I’m really passionate about!

There’s never a typical day so, what does a week as an IA look like?
It is so true that no day is the same and I really enjoy the variety that this role offers! I do typically start the week with out of stock troubleshooting. I look at the previous week’s performance, what orders I have coming in, and identify any problem areas. I then put together a plan to get out of stock items back in a good inventory position. Another big weekly task is writing orders. I have both domestic and import items in my business so I spend a good amount of time looking into how much inventory I need to be ordering and placing those orders. The rest of my time is spent communicating and collaborating with suppliers or other business partners here at Target.

You recently took on Training Lead responsibilities, what’s that experience been like?
Being a Training Lead has been a great experience! I have gotten the opportunity to develop training content in partnership with other experts in the company and facilitate training classes. I have now played a role in helping two groups of new hires learn the Inventory Analyst role!

Describe what the onboarding experience is like at Target?
We offer a really great training program for all new hires coming into the Inventory Analyst role! It is six weeks of training really focused on best methods and processes. All new hires also have a mentor that they work closely with throughout the training process.

You also recently mentored a new Inventory Analyst. How did you get them caught up to speed?
As a mentor I helped support the training program with additional post training activities. For example, after my mentee learned how to write orders in class, I then helped him write his first order for my business. It really helps to reinforce the concepts and provides in department application of the processes that are being taught.

What advice do you have for new IAs?
Ask a lot of questions! It is important to leverage the more experienced analysts on your team, your manager, and other experts in the company to learn as much as you can while you are in training.

Are you involved in anything at Target outside of your day to day work?
I am a member of the Target Donut Club! We meet once a month to eat donuts and talk about donuts. We have had guest speakers from local donut shops and have played donut themed games.

Favorite memory on the job?
Writing my first million dollar purchase order!

Interested in learning more about the Inventory Analyst role?  Visit target.com/careers!

Meet Tyler, Music’s Inventory Analyst

What is your favorite part of working as an Inventory Analyst?
My favorite part is the responsibility and autonomy that you are given. You are in charge of executing and managing inventory strategies for multi-million dollar businesses!

There’s never a typical day so, what does a week as an IA look like?
My calendar can go from being pretty tame to being totally packed from 8am-5pm. For me, it depends on the season and what new music titles are coming out. The bulk of my time is taken up by speaking with vendors, troubleshooting inventory problems, and planning the next big new music title. #department12

What do you hope to learn / what skills do you hope to build in this role?
I have been honing my leadership skills. The IA role has made this easy as opportunities are plentiful through captainships and being a “subject matter expert”. They are there for the taking and as long as you have the ambition to take them on, you are supported and trusted to do so.

What is your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
The successful planning and execution of the inventory strategies for two highly visible music programs from Taylor Swift (Reputation) and Justin Timberlake (Man of the Woods). The planning period for those albums were definitely times where my calendar was packed for the entire day…

What brought you to Target? Why Target versus other companies?
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who hasn’t loved shopping at Target, so why not be part of the reason Target is such a lovable place? It may be a cliché answer, but the culture at Target allows you to be comfortable being yourself.

Best career advice you’ve received?
To always say, “yes”, to opportunities that you know would ultimately be beneficial to you, regardless of how uncomfortable/nervous/scared they make you feel. These opportunities are the ones that help you grow.

Are you involved in anything at Target outside of your day to day work?
Yes, I am a member of the Target Volunteer Council and have recently been doing job shadows for prospective IAs.

Favorite memory on the job?
My favorite memory is when my fellow IA, Mark, spilled his entire coffee on our table during a division-wide meeting. If you ever see him, make sure to ask him about it…it is one of his most cherished memories as well!

Friday team breakfast is a huge part of the Inventory Management culture, what’s your go to item or the most epic breakfast someone’s brought?
Most epic breakfast was homemade crêpes, eggs, and bacon. But on a regular week, I am team breakfast pizza and very against team bagels.