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sack316
02-10-2012, 08:06 AM
Hey all, glad to be back from training finally! Overall it was a pretty good experience and I got to learn a lot about my "evil" company for whom I now work!

Funny side note, for those that know me and have ever seen my kitchen... I am officially Serve-safe certified through the FDA now /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif That... is... a .... scary... thought!

Anyway, I said I'd come back with some facts and figures as I got them, so let's see what I can remember.

First, it's reported and accepted that we have a 70% turnover rate... which is false. Yet can technically be true if you choose what you are looking at. We do have a 70% turnover rate when it comes to SEASONAL AND TEMPORARY hires... say for Christmas, inventory prep, etc. The other side of that, of course, is that we actually KEEP 30% of our temporary/seasonal hires. Understandably there may be a difference of opinions here, but I think that's actually a pretty good number.

The actual turnover rate is somewhere between 30%-40%. While obviously the previously mentioned figure is very exaggerated for certain agendas, the true figure is still not an impressive number. We are better than comparable companies in the industry... but facts are facts and losing 3 or 4 of every 10 hires due to quitting or termination is unacceptable to me.

It's actually an issue I hope to address, as the majority of our turnover is within the first 90 days of employment. I chalk it up to communication and training failure. It's actually a very steep learning curve for any position there, and I think many get overwhelmed. I also feel our hiring process needs to be "tightened up" so to speak, with an emphasis on ensuring the right person is in the right position. But I'll digress for now, as that could get long winded. But I'll gladly go deeper if anyone wishes to discuss.

Second, the evil empire who makes sooooo much money and profits so handily off of their employees and the communities we are in... operate at a whopping (roughly) 3.5% margin. That's right, for every dollar taken in only 3.5 cents ends up on the bottom line.

The other misconception tied to this is that they are profitable through low wages and poor benefits. Not so much the case... I saw figures and the bulk of the competitive advantage in pricing is due to effective logistics and distribution methods. I honestly wouldn't have believed it either to be honest, but I saw it all from the ground up over the last month. And having previously worked in other distribution centers, I must say I was pretty jealous! lol.

Now I will also admit, when times are tough as with anyone else, labor is the first chunk of the expense pie to get cut out. We are doing that right now. It's not popular, especially at store level, but it is what it is. I also am of the opinion that certain initiatives being taken currently and coming soon are far too reactive and will cause some bigger problems coming down the road. IE there are a lot of "quick fix" and band-aid solutions being utilized, which is unfortunate.

One other newsy note, it is a myth that the people greeters are going away and losing their jobs. Yes, the JOB CODE is being eliminated... but all those in that position are being reassigned a new job code, specifically to be "Ambassadors" and on the sales floor to provide assistance. This is actually a very good thing, considering the payroll cuts in terms of hours in all stores right now.

The negative is that stores have a habit of utilizing their positions in ways they are not intended to. So the ambassador, whose sole purpose is to assist customers, help them find merchandise, and inform on products will be abused and probably used as an extra stocker to throw freight out. I've found this to be the case in many positions... we have Zone Managers (who are basically a departmental assistant manager) that become glorified stockers... and VERY expensive ones at that. Due to this I foresee more job codes being reassigned, and honestly I think some will be eliminated... but that's my own personal speculation there.

Anyway, there's my quick rundown off the top of my head. Feel free to discuss or ask anything. Hope everyone is well!

Sack

eg8r
02-10-2012, 10:22 AM
Thanks for the info. Once sofla popped off his "alarming" statistic he vanished. Fact is that was his shock and awe which when looked at really meant absolutely nothing. He knew it and cowered away.

Attrition is always a problem but if yours is happening in the first 90 days you can bet a large portion of it has to do with job placement and training.

I hope everything works out great for you.

eg8r

Soflasnapper
02-10-2012, 11:11 AM
all those in that position are being reassigned a new job code, specifically to be "Ambassadors"

Good luck with getting the Senate to confirm them!

Now, is your report of about half the claimed turnover rate (by me, quoting many others) related to the company as a whole, or just your location or region?

Soflasnapper
02-10-2012, 11:13 AM
Fact is that was his shock and awe which when looked at really meant absolutely nothing. He knew it and cowered away.

Not a fact after all. Please, you know better than that! Haven't vanished, and I don't cower-- what a ridiculous thing to say!

sack316
02-10-2012, 03:42 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">all those in that position are being reassigned a new job code, specifically to be "Ambassadors"

Good luck with getting the Senate to confirm them! </div></div>

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Now, is your report of about half the claimed turnover rate (by me, quoting many others) related to the company as a whole, or just your location or region?
</div></div>

Company wide.

I don't hold it against you for quoting others... hell I saw a lot of the same stories and assumed them accurate as well prior to all of this.

Sack

cushioncrawler
02-10-2012, 04:14 PM
If i make 1 cent in every dollar, and if i turn over one dollar a day, i make 365 cents profit a year, thats 365% return.
mac.

LWW
02-11-2012, 02:28 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Fact is that was his shock and awe which when looked at really meant absolutely nothing. He knew it and cowered away.

Not a fact after all. Please, you know better than that! Haven't vanished, and I don't cower-- what a ridiculous thing to say! </div></div>

I agree ... you just shout the party line louder.

Soflasnapper
02-11-2012, 06:04 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sack316</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">all those in that position are being reassigned a new job code, specifically to be "Ambassadors"

Good luck with getting the Senate to confirm them! </div></div>

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Now, is your report of about half the claimed turnover rate (by me, quoting many others) related to the company as a whole, or just your location or region?
</div></div>

Company wide.

I don't hold it against you for quoting others... hell I saw a lot of the same stories and assumed them accurate as well prior to all of this.

Sack </div></div>

If it is indeed not true now, that doesn't mean it wasn't true before (as in 2006, when the PBS special on Wal-Mart cited this fact or factoid).

And indeed, because of multiple lawsuits around the country, I would imagine that WM has cleaned up some of their worst abuses of employees that might have reduced their turnover rate in the meantime.

I mention the 'if it is not true now' specifically, because a corporation like WM has many incentives to massage their reporting, by reclassifying normal turnover as 'seasonal worker' turnover.

Their stated 3.5% margin SOUNDS VERY LOW, but it needs to be put in context of what that industry sector has for an average margin. Supermarkets in particular typically run on half that margin or less, iirc.

LWW
02-12-2012, 07:37 AM
It amazes me how people can claim to be uber sympathetic towards the poor and middle class ... and then condemn those that have saved the poor billions while cheering on the machine that makes them slaves.

sack316
02-13-2012, 09:12 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
If it is indeed not true now, that doesn't mean it wasn't true before (as in 2006, when the PBS special on Wal-Mart cited this fact or factoid).

And indeed, because of multiple lawsuits around the country, I would imagine that WM has cleaned up some of their worst abuses of employees that might have reduced their turnover rate in the meantime.</div></div>

Yes, I actually agree... and I do believe in another thread where this came up I did say something along the lines of how I honestly can't be sure if it is the nature and culture of the company, or a reaction to bad PR of recent years.

What I can say for a certainty, though, is the original concept and values that came in the vision for the company were really quite wonderful. The more I have learned about Sam Walton the more I respect his vision and what he did. He truly did care about everybody!

Now, after his passing and with the company long out of his hands there was quite a stray away from those values... which became mostly lip service from the company.

At this juncture, I can say with certainty that the company is attempting to put focus back on such values... not only in employee relations but also in customer relations as well as community and the environment. Obviously I can't speak for the board room as to whether these are altruistic goals or simply image initiatives... but I do know what much of my focus for my job is supposed to be.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I mention the 'if it is not true now' specifically, because a corporation like WM has many incentives to massage their reporting, by reclassifying normal turnover as 'seasonal worker' turnover.</div></div>

I assure you that the system and store reports I pulled were not reclassified in terms of job codes. Those under seasonal or temporary were hired in as seasonal or temporary... and not changed after the fact.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Their stated 3.5% margin SOUNDS VERY LOW, but it needs to be put in context of what that industry sector has for an average margin. Supermarkets in particular typically run on half that margin or less, iirc. </div></div>

Comparing supermarkets to WalMart is apples to oranges through a broad scope in terms of operating margin.

If you take our grocery category alone, the margin is actually less that than compared to grocery chains (such as Kroger, Safeway, Winn Dixie, etc.) I'm sorry that I don't have an exact figure in front of me at the moment, but I'll see if I can hunt it down when I'm back at work later this week.

The rest of it is where the higher margin comes into play. Come for groceries, but while there it's convenient to pick up that hose you need. Or some ink for your printer. etc etc etc. (but don't get a TV, I'm losing money on those lol). So the stores as a whole each department all together is around 3.5%. And actually last I saw it went down to 3.1%, not intentionally.

Now you will see some small local neighborhood stores begin to spring up, and those will be closer to a supermarket style store. I think this is good, but I question how they will balance filling the "small box" with the same zero to low profit price point without having the higher margin items such as furniture to balance it out.

Sack

Soflasnapper
02-13-2012, 09:29 AM
That's interesting information and I appreciate your sharing it!

We all know of instances of kindly founders of companies doing things one way, and then when the company gets very large and/or the founder passes or retires, the suits start changing things to more corporate and ruthless policies. Generally, if the bottom line continues to grow well, they get to continue doing these things that were against the former corporate culture when the founder was running things.

I have never blamed Sam Walton for the company's subsequent bad personnel practices. And if very bad publicity and being dragged into many courts has caused the successors to clean up their act somewhat, I'm happy to hear that. (Or if they did it because it was the right thing to do, ditto.)

eg8r
02-13-2012, 09:54 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Their stated 3.5% margin SOUNDS VERY LOW, but it needs to be put in context of what that industry sector has for an average margin.</div></div>LOL, now you are worried about comparing against the industry sector? LOL, that is what we did when you ran and hid the last time this came up. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif You made it sound like people were leaving Walmart in droves when in reality less were leaving that had in decades and Walmart was actually quite in line with the "industry sector".

eg8r

eg8r
02-13-2012, 09:55 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What I can say for a certainty, though, is the original concept and values that came in the vision for the company were really quite wonderful. The more I have learned about Sam Walton the more I respect his vision and what he did. He truly did care about everybody!
</div></div>This is what is funny about all the anti-walmart tree-hugging lefties. They hate Walmart for using capitalism to provide for the poor and needy.

eg8r

Soflasnapper
02-13-2012, 11:57 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Their stated 3.5% margin SOUNDS VERY LOW, but it needs to be put in context of what that industry sector has for an average margin.</div></div>LOL, now you are worried about comparing against the industry sector? LOL, that is what we did when you ran and hid the last time this came up. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif You made it sound like people were leaving Walmart in droves when in reality less were leaving that had in decades and Walmart was actually quite in line with the "industry sector".

eg8r </div></div>

I've already corrected that claim, that I've ever run away from any point raised. As you well know, I'm quite disputatious, like a dog chewing endlessly on a bone. I don't shrink from answering anything, and as LWW said on this question, if anything, I bark louder and longer when challenged on anything.

If, perhaps, I dropped out of a thread, it was inadvertent at most, probably not seeing a later reply or something.

Comparing WM to its industry sector, and if it were shown that their numbers (as in, average wage, turnover rate, etc.) were in line generally with that sector, would be a compelling point. However, I doubt you'd find any comparable industry figures on making people work without pay, denying overtime that was due, and the like, and if perhaps you did, those violations of work and labor laws are violations, regardless of how widespread they may be (and I don't think they are).

Perhaps turnover rates ARE comparable, since retail is a relatively bad work condition job (long hours, low pay, must work on the holidays, etc., typically). Or perhaps WM still has among the highest turnover rates in the industry, even after having cut them by half.

As for WM 'providing for the poor and needy,' if that's even true as a policy which I doubt, they leave a fair number still poor and needy, meaning they qualify for state or federal aid programs that are means-tested. Most likely, if a family of 3 or 4 have a single bread-winner who works at WM, they are still at poverty or near-poverty (up to 150% of poverty income) levels.

eg8r
02-13-2012, 12:44 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Comparing WM to its industry sector, and if it were shown that their numbers (as in, average wage, turnover rate, etc.) were in line generally with that sector, would be a compelling point. However, I doubt you'd find any comparable industry figures on making people work without pay, denying overtime that was due, and the like, and if perhaps you did, those violations of work and labor laws are violations, regardless of how widespread they may be (and I don't think they are).
</div></div>The entire industry was at 70-80% when you thought that was such a big deal in the mention of WM. When it was pointed out, you were no where to be found. Glad you caught the scent again but nothing you state here changes anything. Employees were and are not leaving in droves as you were praying your "70%" figure might imply.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As for WM 'providing for the poor and needy,' if that's even true as a policy which I doubt</div></div>That was meant to be ironicly tongue in cheek. They provide goods at a price point so low more and more people are able to shop there. Instead of the poor being relegated to thirft stores for shirts and pants they can now get new clothing at Walmart for the same prices or maybe slightly higher. Prior to WM that was not even close to possible because the mom and pop shops could not afford to sell that cheap. On top of offering goods for an affordable price WM also provides many more jobs than little mom and pop stores.

eg8r

LWW
02-13-2012, 02:07 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Their stated 3.5% margin SOUNDS VERY LOW</div></div>

Actually ... that's quite good.

Soflasnapper
02-15-2012, 02:45 PM
Oddly, all these retailers have GROSS PROFIT MARGINS closer to 25%, even as the net profit margins are in the lower single digits.

cushioncrawler
02-15-2012, 05:13 PM
Why shood Ali go for 3% per year when he kood get 3.6% per sale at Walmart. Now, if he haz one sale per day, dats 3 times 365 = 1095 plus 0.6 = 219 makes 1314%. But Ali would havta pay say 15% at the end of the year. But that 3.6% kan be reinvested in more underpants which are sold the same day or next day which means 3.6% compounding for say 365 days which iz i dunno praps 403,934,292% which only leevs 343,344,148% after tax.
mac.

Gottalove Walmart.
Aktually, if like in Ozz many of the producers havta send their produkt for free and hav it sitting on the shelf for free and only get payd if/when the produkt iz sold then that 403,934,292% needs to be divided by zero. Hold on, this shoodnt take long. I will be back shortly.
mac.