etheracide's Reading Room
My Job: Defined
by: Christopher-Michael Snyder
I always have so many people question me about my job and then there's usually too much of an answer for anyone to get it all when I speak them. So I am going to give all of the details/duties/whathaveyou of my job which will help better explain certain things in my entries from here on out:
I work in a Home Depot but I do not work FOR The Home Depot. I work for a sales company that is based out of New York. They are paid by The Home Depot's corporate offices as well as all of the manufacturers' whose products we service. I will first tell you what each side gets from us and then the duties that I actually perform. In doing so I am not aware of any rules that I am breaking but this would be removed if it turned out that I were breaking rules by anything in this writing.
The Home Depot: First off, they are paid by the manufacturers to have certain items they produce in certain places to help them sell better. There are places where products are much more visible and therefore likely to sell items from that location. So companies pay extra to have certain things in certain places. Well are to help make sure that everything is as it should be and where it should be. We prove to the manufacturers that everything is kosher so that THD gets their money.
We also clean/dust all products and displays to make them as visually appealing to customers. No one wants to buy anything that looks horrible and/or dusty. Which is tough because my department is between lumber (where they cut wood), the garden center (where we end up with a lot of light soil blowing around from time-to-time and where they cut the steel pipes for plumbing purposes.
We process returns for the manufacturers that we also represent. Customers always return items that they either break somehow or simply change their mind about the purchase. If they broke it somehow, they will create some kind of lie as to it having been defective or something of the sort to get their money back. Or even if nothing is wrong with it, they feel that the store won't take back the merchandice if it isn't defective. When in almost every case the store takes it back because they want to keep the customers happy.
Well the store doesn't want to eat that money. So they try to get credit for the goods from the company so that they don't have to pay for it. But this costs the company. So we have to look everything over and see if it is defective or if there is a valid reason why the store should get credit. We then process the credit if it is good for it. You will hear where this starts to suck later on.
Well since they are paying THD to have things in certain places, they use us and the pictures we take to make sure that
the stores have everything how they are paying for them to be. For each infraction found in pictures the manufacturer whose product isn't 'correct' will fine THD corporate. This is their way of verifying that they are getting what
they pay for.
Now manufacturers want to offer credit for truly defective products to help keep up relations with the corporation. And
they do not want someone from the store simply telling them that they need credit for something because what's to keep
them from lying to get the store more money? And trust me, it would happen. Reps in my position usually feel pressure
over time and that's when they KNOW that they aren't supposed to influence/pressure us in any way.
And then we have Special Projects which are tasks that the manufactures want done by us. They pay our company directly
to have these things done which will range from putting up new signage to placing new merchandice in particular spots.
Now on to my duties:
Each week have "sheets" that we need to do. These are different categories such as bath accessories, bath fixtures, kitchen
design, appliances, home comfort, range hoods, vacuums, etc.... We are responsible for ordering all signage and brochures
that show the benefits of different products, cleaning/dusting all product boxes and all displays and making certain that
things are located where they should be according to the planogram.
Then we have MAPS which are special monthly displays which are usually on endcaps because that's where things are most
visible to the customers. We have to make sure that they are set correctly..if at all..and try to help out to get
everything 100% the way that they should look.
And then again, the special projects which are a wide range of things. As well as processing RTV's.
Now where one really runs into troubles is that you basically are the rope in a game of tug-of-war between your sales company, THD, the manufacturers and the managers in your store. Many times managers just want to fill holes with product that doesn't go in a certain spot according to the planograms and put stuff in incorrect places because they feel that it will sell better there. Well higher sales looks good for the store of course but then THD gets notices
that the store isn't complying to the planograms so you have to try to create a balance there. And many times special
projects or other things you have to do require getting merchandice marked down at the store's expense to put up displays. I need to get them put up, but the store doesn't want to take the hit most of the time. So the job is all about
compromise...sorta. Mainly on the rep's part. it can be stressfull. All of the time.
There's much more to this but I think much of it will be explained in nearly everdays' posts. So read on each day to
see how it expands. But now you have some basis. Thank you for hanging with me!