Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

Since the summer of my junior year I have been working at Market Basket, a local grocery store that is well known in the New England area. I started as a someone who bagged groceries,  but after only a month, I was asked to move into the meat department because they were looking for an extra person. Even though I was in the meat department, I only was considered a clerk. I usually worked after school and nights, so it was my job to put the new stock that came in on the daily loads out in the aisle, and make sure the extra was properly rotated in the coolers in our department. In the food industry, it is extremely important to rotate stock. Whether it is out back in the coolers or out in the aisles, every item must be rotated  so that the oldest product is at the front and the newest in the back. This way, the product would stay fresh, customers would still be getting good products, and the food would not go bad from sitting in the back with new product being put on top of it. This saves the company money, the customer will have a very low chance of selecting an item that may have already gone bad, and overall, everyone is happy. Although this seems like a simple and easy concept, many of the kids in my department, and also in other departments in the store cannot seem to remember to rotate stock. I am not kidding when I say that I have found packages of hot dogs out for sale in our aisle that have gone bad over a month after I find it. Even though it takes common sense and motivation to make sure you are dong your job correctly, many people seem to forget a very important step in this process.

One of the things that I have thought of is a scanner that keeps track of all the products.When we get the product in on our loads, we can scan each item quickly because they already have bar codes and see how many others we already have in stock. If we need any out in the aisle, we can know to put it aside to be taken out into the aisles. If not, we can also see how many boxes we have out back in the coolers so that we can put the ones with the oldest dates in the back and pull from the dates closest to expiration. Also, if a customer asks for a particular item that is not out in the aisle already, we can quickly look it up so see if we have any instead of looking through all of the product we have trying to find one box. Ideally, this system would be linked with the registers at the checkout so that as an item is sold, it no longer is present in the system. This would allow every item to individually be accounted for, and can make the employees and customer’s lives much easier.

-James Bedard