Is Lowe's moving Installed Sales from the stores to a Call Center?

Oct 24, 2009 Full story: redaprons.invisionzone.com 65

What is the latest rumor at Lowe's? Answer: Are Install Managers going away?

That is the question Lowe's store employees are beginning to ask. After weeks of rumors of a Installation Call Center test program, word is spreading like wild fire.

Of course, Associates in the stores that manage the program are concerned about their jobs. It appears Lowe's is secretly planning to move most functions of the Installed Sales programs from the stores to a centralized Call Center.

Lowe's Executives alluded to a "Centralized Project Management" initiative on a conference call with investors in September, but gave little details.

There are still many unaswered questions that are leaving many employees concerned about their jobs being so close to the holidays.

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aaa

Mooresville, IN

#23 Oct 16, 2011
ISMs are no longer in stores under $20M. There has been much restructuring obviously this year and the corporate level of installed sales has been drastically affected. There used to be 21 regions, we are now down to 14 which means that 7 regional offices were closed and their personnell was gone. Welcome to the new changes...better start circulating my resume!!!

Since: Apr 11

Location hidden

#24 Oct 26, 2011
wow wow wubbzy wrote:
We just got notified there is a mandatory store meeting this sunday. So Im sure all the rumors will be answered.
wish that this had been what your meeting was about... sorry. I hope something comes your way soon.
Installer Guy

United States

#25 Feb 10, 2012
I guess it's true. I heard rumors and suspicions of this a couple months ago through convoluted sources from another installer. Then, last night, yet another installer friend of mine called and explained the whole secret Lowe's affair to me and said he was giving me a 'heads up' on it because he wanted me to do his cabinet installations. His company apparantly was blessed with being chosen as the 'G.C.' to run everything in our state. As a side note, he said corporate has apparently been watching to see how all the installers were communicating with the store offices, and corporate chose his company because, in part, they e-mailed a lot.(???) Gee, had I only known phone calls were considered dinosaur technology...(Personnel turnovers here are pretty fast, hence so are e-mail addresses, but whatever.) At least I got notified, though not by Lowe's, and my friend likes my work enough to let me continue to install for Lowe's through his company. Now I'm wondering what to expect from an installer's point of view. Are there any Lowe's installers who can clue me in before the spit hits the fan here? Pay, coordinations with the designers, etc.? Seems to me a great big can of worms is about to be opened here. God help us all.
Concerned

Stockton, CA

#26 Feb 24, 2012
Installer Guy wrote:
I guess it's true. I heard rumors and suspicions of this a couple months ago through convoluted sources from another installer. Then, last night, yet another installer friend of mine called and explained the whole secret Lowe's affair to me and said he was giving me a 'heads up' on it because he wanted me to do his cabinet installations. His company apparantly was blessed with being chosen as the 'G.C.' to run everything in our state. As a side note, he said corporate has apparently been watching to see how all the installers were communicating with the store offices, and corporate chose his company because, in part, they e-mailed a lot.(???) Gee, had I only known phone calls were considered dinosaur technology...(Personnel turnovers here are pretty fast, hence so are e-mail addresses, but whatever.) At least I got notified, though not by Lowe's, and my friend likes my work enough to let me continue to install for Lowe's through his company. Now I'm wondering what to expect from an installer's point of view. Are there any Lowe's installers who can clue me in before the spit hits the fan here? Pay, coordinations with the designers, etc.? Seems to me a great big can of worms is about to be opened here. God help us all.
How did they get chosen to be the "GC"? What steps were taken? They now do installations for the entire state or are all installations just coordinated through them?
sooner d

Mooresville, NC

#27 Feb 25, 2012
here's what is going on with IS offices. Currently, depending on what part of the country you're in, the AIMS are in the process of weeding out most of your installers. Starting in flooring, they are taking the top two or three installers and essentially forcing them to go into business together. The rest of the installers will receive a phome call informing them that their services are no longer needed, without any notice. The remaining installers are being required to open an office, hire office staff, and have a warehouse capable of receiving product directly from our DC's. They are going to be required to keep a large selection of our stock inventory on hand in their warehouse. The goal is to cut down on lead times, and keep the installers from having to step foot into the stores. I have no idea how the logistics of the whole thing are going to work out, but this is coming straight from the mouth of one of the installers that was not let go, and is having to go through this process.

As for the production office, the plans are still being finalized. The assumption is that, yes those positions will be going away. There is already a centralized production office in place. Your AIMS should've been part of the "corporate buyout" that was offered, and if they're not gone yet, they will be soon.

Since: Jan 12

Nashua, NH

#28 Feb 25, 2012
sooner d wrote:
here's what is going on with IS offices. Currently, depending on what part of the country you're in, the AIMS are in the process of weeding out most of your installers. Starting in flooring, they are taking the top two or three installers and essentially forcing them to go into business together. The rest of the installers will receive a phome call informing them that their services are no longer needed, without any notice. The remaining installers are being required to open an office, hire office staff, and have a warehouse capable of receiving product directly from our DC's. They are going to be required to keep a large selection of our stock inventory on hand in their warehouse. The goal is to cut down on lead times, and keep the installers from having to step foot into the stores. I have no idea how the logistics of the whole thing are going to work out, but this is coming straight from the mouth of one of the installers that was not let go, and is having to go through this process.
As for the production office, the plans are still being finalized. The assumption is that, yes those positions will be going away. There is already a centralized production office in place. Your AIMS should've been part of the "corporate buyout" that was offered, and if they're not gone yet, they will be soon.
Couple of questions for you. Which part of the country are you in? They are doing the AIM reduction in the northeast market right now. I wonder if the CPO would be only for smaller volume stores instead of the largest volumes. Any idea on the time frame for all this?
NEDM

United States

#29 Feb 25, 2012
That is a interesting concept. Think of how many times installs or some other department has been asked to pull an order..

I heard there was a plan to pretty much have appliances off site because with free delivery it makes little sense to really distribute them per store. Without seeing the sales numbers vs delivery options it can be hard to say.
Installer

Manteca, CA

#30 Feb 25, 2012
Its about time. the program we use today needs help!
Concerned

Stockton, CA

#31 Feb 25, 2012
I agree!
Installer

Manteca, CA

#32 Feb 25, 2012
Concerned wrote:
I agree!
Installer yes
Chris Nolan

Charleston, SC

#33 Feb 26, 2012
yes, home depots install program is a much smoother process, Dishwasher installed on time in 2 days of purchase with no follow up phone calls to them they called me once told me what time they would be there and it was so. Wow!!! totally radical concept.
Luna

Charlotte, NC

#34 Feb 27, 2012
I was a DMIS for years and about 2 years ago lost my position due to the CPO taking over. It has been a bumpy road since then but we have not choice but to make it work. So to answer all of your questions, yes we are going to a CPO based in North Wilkesboro (for this region). The only benefit to the CPO, in my opinion is that we are no longer required to make calls 1,2 & 3 to our customers. Being a Specialist now (I stepped down), I still call my customers afterwards because I feel it adds a personal touch.
sam

Chicopee, MA

#35 Feb 27, 2012
I live in Massachusetts. Does anyone know when they are making the centralized production office here?

Since: Jan 12

Nashua, NH

#36 Feb 27, 2012
sam wrote:
I live in Massachusetts. Does anyone know when they are making the centralized production office here?
The rumor has been floating around New England for 2 years now...
sooner d

Mooresville, NC

#37 Feb 28, 2012
NE Lowes wrote:
<quoted text>
Couple of questions for you. Which part of the country are you in? They are doing the AIM reduction in the northeast market right now. I wonder if the CPO would be only for smaller volume stores instead of the largest volumes. Any idea on the time frame for all this?
We're in Oklahoma. From what I'm being told, all of this is taking place right now. That being said, they are rolling it out in phases across the country. From what our ISM has told me, they believe the stores'(at least in this area) production offices will be gone by the end of this fiscal year, and this whole rollout is happening very quickly.
sooner d

Mooresville, NC

#38 Feb 28, 2012
NE Lowes wrote:
<quoted text>
The rumor has been floating around New England for 2 years now...
The centralized production offices are already up and running. There is one in Wilkesboro, and I believe Atlanta. If you pull up job postings for Lowes, you can see the openings for them.
Concerned

Stockton, CA

#39 Feb 28, 2012
I'm in California, when do you expectthe time frame for the Centralized Production Offices to begin here? What exactly are the CPO's responsible for? I'm not sure I understand the role they play?

Since: Jan 12

Nashua, NH

#40 Feb 29, 2012
Concerned wrote:
I'm in California, when do you expectthe time frame for the Centralized Production Offices to begin here? What exactly are the CPO's responsible for? I'm not sure I understand the role they play?
I think the only ones with the time frame are corporate (and they're not sharing) and they handle installs for the stores. They make phone calls, handle issues etc. So the install office is done away with.
Concerned

Stockton, CA

#41 Feb 29, 2012
Thank you NE Lowes
LOWES DMIS

Milton, FL

#42 Mar 2, 2012
On March 9 2012 Lowes will shut down numerous ISO's in North Carolina and shift the office to a CPO. THIS IS A DONE DEAL!

Lowes announced at the Vegas Store Manager meeting that all yellow installed sales folders are going away and contracts will all be computerized. This is simply another step towards the march to a CPO nation-wide.

If you are in the ISO and think this is not going to happen, you need to get your head out of your ....and wake up! Your job is going away!

What you will see is as follows;
PSE's PSI's and PSK's will move into the ISO and receiving will be the ones to get the intallers out in the morning. Refunds and rebills will not be tolerated by the CPO, which means ALL mistakes will be corrected by a cash payout. This mean many poor quality specialists will also be forced out because mistakes will no longer be covered up.

Also....now for some rumor stuff. I also predict the Department managers to be forced to salary level positions (Note the keys they now carry) and will take a 3% pay-raise. Once that takes place Lowes will eliminate all ASM,s other than the one doing Admin. The store will run with a store manager, one assistant manager and the Department managers.

With all that said...."we are a team" and we remember it is the people that makes Lowes great!

How many times have you heard that?

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