“I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about maps and inventory,” said one Whole Foods employee who spoke with Business Insider. “The stress has created such a tense working environment. Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal.”
Under the new procedure, store managers and employees are instructed to display the store’s inventory mostly on its shelves, rather than hold a larger inventory in a back room and constantly restock — a practice that leads to stores “constantly running out of products,” according to one employee.
This order-to-shelf system, or OTS, is also the same system that was recently blamed for the empty shelves spotted at Whole Foods locations across the country, but employees have claimed that the “militaristic” inventory system prevented them from doing much to correct the problem.
As orders arrive they are filled from the on shelf inventory and walk in customers often can’t find product.
Making matters worse are the new “scorecards” that managers are expected to grade their employees with. According to Business Insider, these scorecards record how an employee stocked a certain shelf, or managed the storage area for their department. Supervisors are also expected to quiz employees on the best-selling items or sales goals for that particular week, and deduct points for unsatisfactory results, if necessary.
Any employee who scores below an 89.9 is possibly subject to termination, say workers.
And while lower-scoring employees have been terminated under the new “scorecard” system, an anonymous employee said store leaders and even one regional vice president have quit “because they consider OTS to be absurd.”
Mall of this leads to high turnover. Long waits to hire and retrain workers which causes more unhappy customers as new workers are by the very nature not up to speed.
Other employees say they hope that Amazon, which recently acquired Whole Foods, will come to their rescue. (The implementation of Whole Foods’ OTS system predates Amazon’s acquisition of the company.) But as Gizmodo notes, Amazon’s own delivery drivers are working under “similar conditions” and struggling to finish their routes on time.
Amazon is struggling in the hrovery delivery business as Walmart and others enter the grocery delivery business.
To Walmart’s credit, walmart unlike Whole Foods carry’s back stok while Whole Foods uses a just in time delivery system.