Lowe's inventory records a disaster

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I needed a sheet of 1/4" maple plywood. According to the Lowe's app. on my phone, the local store had 13 of them. When I got to the store, I found that the spot labeled for them had underlayment instead, so I called one of the staff, but he couldn't find them. I said, "I know some stores only update their inventory overnight; maybe you sold them today already." He replied, "I think we do updates only once a week," which I told him I thought was terrible. After much searching he decided to check their computer, which told him that they had 17 sheets -- as at *9/10/2015* (yes, more than a year ago!), and that their last delivery was at about that same time. He said he would update their computer system to show that they had no stock and would order more -- but they will not be available for 9 days.
I said, "Even if I had called, you would have looked in the computer and told me that you had 17 of them, wouldn't you?" "No," he said, "I know that the system is a mess, so I would have gone and looked on the racks."
Now the Lowe's app. does show that there are none in stock at my local store. So if it gets synched so promptly now, how come they were out of synch before (13 vs. 17)?
Perce
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On 10/14/2016 8:45 PM, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

I've used the Lowes web site to finds things at two stores. Always accurate. Also tells you the location. Maybe your store manager is the problem.
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On 10/14/2016 11:06 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

But why does it depend on the store manager? Why isn't the system automated? Why doesn't the quantity in stock shown on their Web site or by the app. -- and let alone on their own in-store computer system -- update within minutes -- or less -- of a sale being made?
Perce
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On 10/14/2016 11:20 PM, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Because the job of the manager is to make sure things are running right. He knew it was a mess, his job is to get the right people to fix it. His responsibility is to get things done.
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Percy,
A sale is only one of the ways that items are removed from stock. Shoplifting by customers and employees is quite high in many places. Defective returns affect the stock. And, of course things get mis-shelved.
Dave M.
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On 10/15/2016 09:49 AM, David L. Martel wrote:

I know that things walk out of the door without being sold. But 4' x 8' sheets of plywood? And how come the store's own computer records -- at least for this item -- hadn't been updated for more than a year?
And where did the "13 in stock" figure shown by the app. differ from the "17 in stock" shown in the store's own system? Doesn't each store's system link to the company's centralized record keeping?
Perce
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On Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 9:13:59 AM UTC-7, Percival P. Cassidy wrot e:

ed.



I cut a lot of firewood. I was getting my bar oil at WalMart. Suddenly th e spodt on the shelf was empty...and remained that way over several visits. I checked the website that showed thay had it. Went to the complaint desk and asks what the problem was. Had to show them there was none on the she lf. They looked, couldn't find any in stock room. Ordered me some. I pic ked it up a few days later and from curiosity checked...still none on shelf . About a month later the gallon jugs were back.
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In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 15 Oct 2016 11:14:35 -0700 (PDT), Harry K

To order a gallon for you and 5 gallons for the shelves would have required two separate orders. I haven't got time for that. You're lucky I waited on you.
/s MMT, manager of your local Walmart.
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote: "- hide quoted text - On 10/15/2016 09:49 AM, David L. Martel wrote:

I know that things walk out of the door without being sold. But 4' x 8' sheets of plywood? And how come the store's own computer records -- at least for this item -- hadn't been updated for more than a year?
And where did the "13 in stock" figure shown by the app. differ from the "17 in stock" shown in the store's own system? Doesn't each store's system link to the company's centralized record keeping?
Perce "
In theory, yes. The POS(point of sale) terminals - cash registers for those of us old enough to call them that - automatically reduce inventory by the number ofmthat item sold. When inventory falls below a point set by regional or store management, the computer alerts staff to order more stock, or, automatically places an order tombring stock up to the quantity normall kept in stock at that retail location.
Defectives are returned to store for refund or credit, but if the computer system is set up appropriately, defectives will not be added - on paper - back to inventory by that system.
Again, this is ideally what should happen, and reordering and delivery of new stock should occur at a rate that ensure that an "out of stock" condtion should rarely if ever occur. But it doesn't always. A cashier with a long line or short on experience may not enter the stock or PLU correctly for an item, so even if they charge the customer and receive payment for it, the computer controlling inventory cannot reduce quantity of that item. Additionally, 2 of item #447J were pocketed. So computer thinks there are 12 of item #447J in stock and doesn't need to order more when quantity drops to 10, when in actuality there are only 7 on the shelf.
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On 10/15/2016 11:15 AM, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Here's how: if the SKU isn't attached to the item - in this case, stamped on the sheet, or at least a price tag stapled to it - the customer can load the sheets on a cart and helpfully write down the SKU to provide to the cashier. But that customer may accidentally or deliberately note the wrong SKU, and odds are the cashier won't notice. The sheets of maple plywood are rung up as something else - probably something cheaper - and that's how the inventory gets screwed up.
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On Monday, October 17, 2016 at 8:39:51 AM UTC-7, Moe DeLoughan wrote:

I was working in an agricultural fertilyzer plant making parts for applicat ors. Shop boss got the brilliant idea to put pads of paper on the bins so I could add the number I put in there and theusers subtract the ones they u sed. Now what could be more brilliant or simpler than that? I pointed out aht that system will only work if two people are involved and even then co mmonly fails. Nothing I said would convince him until the day he said he n eeded a batch of part # so and so, I pointed out to him that the bin was fu ll per the pad.
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On 10/14/2016 11:20 PM, I wrote:

The maple plywood is not yet in stock again at that store, but I was there yesterday evening to buy something else. The app. showed two in stock, and that was the number on the shelf. I bought one and did not think to check in the app. again straight away, but this morning it showed only one in stock. So something is getting updated reasonably promptly.
Perce
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NEVER EVER EVER trust a computer when it comes to retail inventory!
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On 10/15/2016 12:37 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

People are thieves. If it ain't nailed down, someone will steal it.
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Same thing at the big orange store. I've had store associates check inventory many times and it is always off.
I know for a fact that they do perodic inventory checks, but that is done by an outside company using people who are not familiar with the merchandise.
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John G wrote:

As a salesperson at a big mall retailer, we closed the store and did the inventory once a year. "Every" single space (closets, etc.) was accounted for. They all were assigned numbers. So even though some might be out of their normal territory, there was an "expert" nearby to help. By the way, the "project" was no fun at all (I only brought it to the front of my memory because you forced me to!) : )
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wrote:

The problem is , the count is not accurate when the wrong stuff is put in the wrong "bin" and the counters are functionally illiterate.
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Izzat "illegal" illiterate counters or jes our own bozos from the US education system? ;)
Regardless, not a problem. Lowe's has formally sold out to the Mexicans. Even Lowe's regular TV adds are now spoken in Spanish with English subtitles. Amazing how 10% of the population dictates which language we should all speak.
nb
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US college grads for the most part. Whether Anglo or Latino makes no difference - still "functionally illiterate"

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On 10/15/2016 7:01 PM, notbob wrote:

Seems unfair not to have some ebonics commercials.
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