Thursday, 26 June 2014

"Return" to the Jungle: I Wanna Watch You Bleed

As time goes on, this new system thing gets easier and easier.  Problems seem to get solved faster and recurring problems occur less often.

However, this week presented me with a new set of challenges.  Challenges that make me despise a task I hated in the first place.  Returns.

I never liked returns because they were disorganized.  Now they're even more disorganized.  Let's look at some pros and cons.


  • Having to scan the location with the RF gun ensures that product is being put in its proper place.

  • Everything else.

Under the old system, things to be returned were hand written on a list separated by aisle but not written in numerical order.  You did, however, have a vague idea of what order would be most efficient because you could see where everything needed to go.  Now that we have no list, just a bunch of items with bar codes to scan, we have no way of knowing what order to put things away in.  I now spend more time running back and forth through the aisles than I spend doing returns.  It's terribly inefficient, but I get my cardio in.

Sure, I could scan everything first and make a list in order myself, but that's both time consuming and negates the purpose of switching to a paperless system.  Brad came up with scanning everything and sorting it on your cart into three groups: front, middle, and back of the aisle.  It's a help, it saves on running back and forth so much, but it's still time consuming because you have to scan everything and those RF guns are the most fickle things you ever did see.  Takes six tries to get it to scan.

What's worse is trying to put things away in the aisles with three floors.  Items to be put away in these sections are separated by aisle but not by level.  Even worse is the locations we're provided with.

In the picture you can see that where the forklift drives is labeled as 207 while where I walk is 206, but the forklift driver and I are looking at the same boxes.  To be able to put things away, I need the 206 locations, yet I am given the 207 locations.  I can put away anything I can reach from the floor if I walk where the forklift drives, but I can't put away anything I would have to go upstairs for.  But because product is sorted by aisle and not floor, I have to scan everything first to find the few things I can put away.  So much time is wasted.  I see no reason why the people who process returns can't sort them by floor as they go.

I hope this makes sense.  It's crazy complicated.  As I said Monday, feel free to ask questions about anything you don't understand.

I wrote up a list explaining all the problems I've been facing and gave it to the yellow shirts.  It was admitted to me that not much thought had gone into how returns should be done.  But they were glad I had given them the list because it let them know what needed to be worked on.

(Please send me to Ontario)

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