As an RSM/RCM, you’ll more than likely be working in many different store chains, each having their own in-store procedures that you will need to learn.
Though procedures will vary, here are the common in-store procedures you’ll want to make sure you are aware of…
On arrival, sign into their Vendor Log book –
- For most retailers this is a requirement as you are a guest in their store.
- This also confirms you were actually in the store if ever questioned.
- The Vendor log book is commonly found at the customer service desk, in front of the store.
- Usually you’ll want to sign your name, the name of the company you work for, and the name of the client company you are representing.
Locate the Manager of the department you need to work in –
- If you cannot locate the manager, you can ask to have he/she paged from the customer service desk.
- Introduce yourself to the department manager letting he/she know what company you work for, what client you’re representing, and the scope of the work that you need to
- If you have any questions, now is the time to ask them while you have their attention. Most dept. managers are very busy and can be difficult to track down. Plus you
don’t want to annoy them! Some examples of questions you may have would be…
- If a POG is needed, who should you see to get that POG?
- Are you allowed to use shopping carts, rolling carts, and/or UBoats for when product needs to be stripped from the shelves?
- If new tags are needed, who should you see for those when you’re done?
- Where are the new item, discontinued, and back stock locations in the store?
- Would he/she like you to check out with them when finished?
Make a great first impression / build those relationships -
- Store / Department Managers will be more willing to approve your work and assist you if you’re professional, respectful, and friendly with them.
- Not only do you need their approval to do your job, you will probably be back in that same store in the future, perhaps needing to work in that same
department. So work on developing a great rapport with them!
- The elite retail merchandisers work hard in developing these relationships, as they understand it is in their best interest to do so!
- If any store manager refuses to allow you to complete your work or treats you unprofessionally, make sure you inform your manager ASAP so they can
address the situation.
Back Room Procedures-
- The back room is where stores keep their inventory, therefore only store employees and vendors are allowed back there. Always have your
name badge, and if available a vendor badge, visible when walking into the back room of any store.
- If you need help locating anything in the back room, usually stores will have a back room manager or “receiver” you can see for assistance.
- It's important to be respectful and courteous when doing anything in the back room, (IE: If you need to borrow a U-boat for example, make sure you
ask the receiver or manager if it’s okay).
- Make sure anything you bring back there is properly put away or disposed of in it’s designated location(s).
- Make sure any boxes you bring back there are properly labeled so there is no confusion as to what’s in those boxes when you leave the store.
Sales Floor Procedures -
- If you’re working in a store during their normal business hours, customers will be shopping at the same time. Remember you’re representing
that retailer as well when in their store, so you need to respect the customers while also providing help if asked.
- You don’t want to ever put product directly on the sales floor. This could be considered a health violation.
- If a customer asks for help finding a product, try to assist them. If you aren’t sure where the item is, walk the customer over to a store
associate who can help, or the customer service desk.
- Have a plastic or paper trash bag with you for any trash you need to discard while on the floor.
- Keep your work tools in-sight / right near you to avoid losing them.
- Keep your jacket / coat or any other extra clothing under your shopping cart.
- I would also highly recommend leaving any valuables such as your wallet or purse in your vehicle.
- If you receive an emergency phone call or text, address it outside of the aisle.
Safety Procedures -
- Your safety as well as the customers around you should always comes first. Therefore it’s essential that you follow proper safety protocols
while working. Here are some important safety steps to remember…
- Keep your work area clean – You neither want yourself nor a customer to trip / get injured from work-related items or product laying around.
- Don’t leave your tools unattended – You ALWAYS need to be aware of where your tools are. Don’t leave any tools on the shelves when finished using them,
(IE: cleaning supplies, box cutters, screw drivers, etc.), as this be would unsafe to the customers, especially children!
- Carefully stack product – When using carts or U-boats to transfer product to the sales floor, you need to make sure that product can’t fall off, potentially injuring a
customer or yourself.
- Don’t obstruct shopping – Make sure any carts, bossy's, U-boats, ladders, or tools you have in the aisle are neither preventing a customer from getting through that
aisle, nor preventing them from shopping.
- Lift Properly – When lifting heavy product, boxes, or anything else work-related, make sure to use your legs, not your back. You want to bend with your knees,
squat down, and then use your legs to power your way back up without twisting. This will put the least amount of stress on your back.
- Ask for help lifting – If something is simply too heavy, ask for assistance from store personal or a team member.
- Handle spills / breaks carefully - If you spill or break an item, carefully clean it immediately and then let the store know. If you need assistance cleaning,
(IE: if a break occurred), block off that area and then locate an employee asap for assistance.
- Don’t stand on milk crates or shelves – If you can’t reach product or signage, use a step-stool / ladder, as using objects such as milk crates or shelves are not safe.
- Cut away from your body – If using a box-cutter to open a box, you need to make sure you are cutting away from your body at all times.
- Wear proper footwear – You want to wear footwear that will protect your toes as well as help give traction on slippery floors. Tennis sneakers for example are a good choice
where as open-toe shoes would not be.
- Wear gloves when needed – It’s a good idea to have a pair of gloves handy in case you need to work with cold / frozen items. Not only will they help the product from
slipping out of your hands, they will keep your hands warm!
Before you start your work -
- Carefully review your Visit Instructions and any other project materials.
- Take your time when reading these materials as it’s important you completely understand what the objectives are. Not doing this
can potentially result in the service not being completed correctly.
- If there’s any confusion with the objectives, reach out to your manager prior to beginning.
- If something just isn’t right, (IE: Your POG shows a 4ft set, but the store has an 8ft set), discuss with the dept. manager of the store
rather than guessing on how to proceed.
- Make sure you have the time to complete the objectives. You never want to leave a job unfinished!
After you have completed your work -
- Clean up your work area. Make sure there aren’t any documents, tools, materials, ladders, or trash left in the aisle.
- If you are in need of boxes for overstock and/or discontinued items, ask the backroom receiver or dept. manager for help.
- Overstock, Discontinued Items, and Out of Codes should all be sorted, boxed up, and labeled separately, (IE: A box only consisting of
overstock items with the word “overstock” written on the box).
- Place your labeled boxes in the back room in their designated locations.
- If working with DSD vendor items that are stocked by those specific vendors, therefore not by the store, make sure those items are not
mixed in the same boxes, as they will have separate homes in the back room - For example, you wouldn’t want to put Pepsi and Coca-Cola overstock in the
- Check out with the department manager prior to leaving if that manager requested you to do so.
- Sign-out of the vendor log book.
- Communicate any important issues with your supervisor prior to leaving the store.