Comments
1 - 20 of 63 Comments Last updated Aug 19, 2012
First Prev
of 4
Next Last
FormerSM

Chicago, IL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#1
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

1

I would to hear your thoughts about something. A person/persons start a business with the intent to realize a dream, sell a service or product and make a profit. At the same time, they provide jobs with the intent to provide a fair living.

At what point in the game does it get turned around to where they sacrifice the intent of their business and profit in order to "please" the people they pay to be a part of their business?

Customer driven business or employee driven business ?

nedm - 250 words or less.
Pedro - try to answer without a diatribe about how much you hate managers.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#2
Jul 27, 2012
 
FormerSM wrote:
I would to hear your thoughts about something. A person/persons start a business with the intent to realize a dream, sell a service or product and make a profit. At the same time, they provide jobs with the intent to provide a fair living.
At what point in the game does it get turned around to where they sacrifice the intent of their business and profit in order to "please" the people they pay to be a part of their business?
Customer driven business or employee driven business ?
nedm - 250 words or less.
Pedro - try to answer without a diatribe about how much you hate managers.
The happy employee goes by the wayside when companies go public and answer to Wall Street. Human aspects are jettisoned in favor stock price increases and the associated bonuses. Hard to blame I suppose, that's how their compensation plans are based. When wages/salaries are cut and/or positions eliminated, the results are immediate. Executing a business model for sustainable sales increases and profit takes time and isn't guaranteed. Another reason to fear the end of the fiscal year when your company's progress is either stagnant or in reverse.

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#3
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

2

1

I am not angry towards management-from my experience in management during 80's and running my own business I know there is a better way. If you don't know what I am talking about read Tom Peters book-In Search Of Excellence. Read writings from Dr. Juran and Dr. Deming--Understand how management changed from top down to "let's work together, let's solve problems together, how can we help make your job better".

Businesses have to make a profit and they are turning a good profit if they can afford to pay their executives millions of dollars between stock options, salary and perks. Maybe if they took less compensation they could pay better wages or create more jobs that pay better.

Since you are probably in management-could you live on $10/hour,$20/hour?

Lastly sir-have you ever been a small business owner? I have my MBA, been in management for over 30 yrs and started two businesses. I know something about management-but it is management styles from the 80's--I saw first hand how involving employees in solving problems in their work area made them feel wanted, good, and engaged. How many Lowes employees are engaged?

Most any problem is only management controllable. You are in charge of training dollars, processes, procedures, computer programs. You, and only you can solve most problems. You will have the best of both worlds if you involve your employees, but it takes earning trust. You don't get trust by becoming a manager-you have to earn it--every day.

Management is reverting back to the style prior 1950--and it doesn't work well.

Sorry for the diatribe-but I am passionate about management who cares for their employees, who respects them because I saw how much more productive, happier and their willingness to help when management honestly wanted their input.

Since: Feb 12

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#4
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

1

1

FormerSM wrote:
I would to hear your thoughts about something. A person/persons start a business with the intent to realize a dream, sell a service or product and make a profit. At the same time, they provide jobs with the intent to provide a fair living.
At what point in the game does it get turned around to where they sacrifice the intent of their business and profit in order to "please" the people they pay to be a part of their business?
Customer driven business or employee driven business ?
nedm - 250 words or less.
Pedro - try to answer without a diatribe about how much you hate managers.
It's not driven by employees: it's driven by the customer. And THAT'S who we are failing.

Since: Feb 12

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#5
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

4

How does under-staffing, zero qualified salesmen, and little product in stock help put the customer first?

Most on this site are upset because we see the corporate office make the wrong decisions as far as the customer is concerned. Do you really want to hold on to Lowes stock with the current direction the company is headed?

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#6
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

3

1

Some more thoughts:
What was the EOS score? Good, bad?
Has it improved over the years?
Now, a little history lesson-"those who fail to learn from history will repeat history"
Early 1900's-railroads started to use Employee Involvement
During WW1 & 2-America came together to help the war--women went to work in factories while the men were fighting for our freedom.
After WW2-America could make anything and it sold-we were the leader in production of products. Working conditions & pay-pathetic-why-because there was a glut of people looking for work. If you didn't like the work there were plenty of people waiting to work.
Around 1950-Unions started to come on the scene-why-because of the despicable working condition and treatment of employees-Unions formed to force management into changing working conditions, pay & security. Everything "made in Japan" was basically junk. Dr. Edwards Deming worked with them to improve their quality and make them competitive.(America didn't want what he was teaching)
Late 1970's Early 80's-Japan started producing our products cheaper and just as good. Instead of rolling over and letting our jobs go overseas we fought back. We started listening to Dr. Juran and Deming. We went to Japan to learn what they were doing and we came back with a concept of Teams and working together to solve work related problems (processes, procedures, and quality)--Quality Circles. We taught the employees problem solving and data collection so when they complained about a problem they had data to show how big a problem it was ($$$ saved). The customer wasn't interested in our poor procedures, quality and rework-they only wanted a good product and reasonably priced. As the employees got more involved and management started implementing their solutions the employees started to take more ownership--they felt they were being heard.
Late 80's early 90's-companies started implementing JIT (Just In Time). The goal was to identify and eliminate all wasteful activities.(looking for things,rework, paperwork etc.) Companies needed to become lean to be competitive in cost, quality and delivery times.
Late 90's-companies started implementing LEAN--goal was to identify more complex problems and use cross functional teams.
2000--We started losing our jobs to China because they could produce them cheaper but not always good. Corporations were buying up locally owned mfg businesses and stripping the profits without reinvesting in the business. We went from long range plans (5 & 10 yrs) to quarterly goals. They were more worried about keeping Wall Street happy and employee involvement was on the way out-Top down management was put in it's place. Corporations are taking as much to China as they can. Their bonuses are based on dollars saved and China labor is much cheaper. Now, my opinion-greed took over. We are no longer interested in our people--it is all about quarterly financial goals. As more technical jobs (& better paying) went overseas America started to become a service country-and paying the employees poorly, using temps(to avoid paying benefits). Many employees went from making over $20 an hour to about $10/hour. Management wanted bigger salaries and bonuses so they continued to outsource and their BOD's (business colleagues) started rewarding themselves financially with large salaries, bonuses, and perks. Now they say they cannot compete,they cannot pay a livable wage--my theory-profits are either used to reinvest into the business and their people or to line the pockets of the execs-the good ole boys club thus using the profits from the business so they could build big houses and live a lavish lifestyle.
My prediction-unions will start to sneak in because the employees will get tired of the poor wages, hours and management getting fat wallets.(I am not a union supporter) but unions usually come in because the employees don't feel valued and the poor pay and benefits.
We can reverse this......

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#7
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

1

PS-there are very good managers and poor managers in every business. Our store is lax in holding people accountable. We can do just about anything we want-come in late, don't do zone recovery, don't do certain tasks that they don't like etc. This hurts morale and productivity goes down. If you want to know how your people feel about their job-walk up to one and ask "tell me what is hindering you from doing the best job you can.) But, you have to listen and not justify your actions. Then do this to all your employees or randomly choose people. Then go to your management room and read the ideas-look for common themes and you will have a pretty good idea what needs to be fixed. If you do this and then help with solutions (financially) you will see morale pick up, your EOS should improve. You just keep doing this until you have all the problems solved.

Good Reading--In Search of Excellence--Tom Peters, and the works of Dr. Deming, Juran, Steven Covey, Dr. Kenneth Blanchard, The Goal by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt. Look for common themes of management styles etc--then try them. You will be surprised IF you have the right intentions and IF you don't blow off your employees problems and solution.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#8
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

3

1

Lastly....

I was a Sales Mgr. let go in the 2011 purge. This spring my son and I started a landscape company in addition to both our full time jobs. We expect about $100K in sales this year, starting from absolute 0. I hold no ill will against my old store, have many friends there and shop there frequently.

Earlier this week my son measured a client's property for some SYNlawn, high quality artificial grass, about a $3,000 job. I know Lowes' stores don't carry it, but it's on the website. The site said I could pick up a brochure in the store. We ordered a product sample from the site, since a job this size would require something to show the customer. I stopped in the store after work today and finally located an associate. 20 something, scraggly beard and obviously bored by my questions. He said the store didn't sell "fake grass, sorry". I went inside and spoke to a pleasant, but clueless young lady. No brochure, no info. I was told the ASM in that dept. was off and the OSLG manager was covering 4 depts. We need a estimate and presentation by Monday, so I located another supplier online that we'll visit tomorrow.

That's what happens when you cut full time, knowledgeable people and replace them with "weekenders".

To answer your question FormerSM.... Neither customer driven business or employee driven business.
Whickerbill

Mooresville, NC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#9
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

1

Many of the above comments cover pretty well how most of us long term employees view Lowes in its current incarnation. I took over a 20% pay cut with the elimination of spiffs and commissions. Now, if this had been a necessary move for the survival of the company, I could understand. But when upper management pats themselves on the back and gives themselves big raises and bigger bonuses, then it is not for the benefit of the company. If it is truly necessary for the survival of the company, I expect to see cuts at the top, also.
Thatoneguy

Cape Girardeau, MO

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#10
Jul 27, 2012
 
In my market we dont carry synlawn in stock but we do order it thru the website. I have tried multiple times to get a sample thru the vendor kind of like flooring samples but it just wont happen. Sorry for your inconvenience and i can tell you that not every store is the same.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#11
Jul 27, 2012
 
Thatoneguy wrote:
In my market we dont carry synlawn in stock but we do order it thru the website. I have tried multiple times to get a sample thru the vendor kind of like flooring samples but it just wont happen. Sorry for your inconvenience and i can tell you that not every store is the same.
I ordered a 6" X 6" sample. They charge for them on the site. I really just wanted a brochure or an answer that there were no brochures. A bonus would have been some knowledge of the product. I can get blank stares anywhere.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#12
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

3

1

Well it would be like judging something qualitative with something quantative. Personal satisfaction towards a goal might not always be able to be listed as dollars and cents. I would argue that it really depends as to how much satisfaction and how much profit people want. Just as I know certain professions that always look for people but not everyone wants to do them.

From the mid 50's to early 70's my grandfather had two hobbies. Coin collecting and bird watching. I still have the coins and he detailed notes about all the proof sets and when each one was ordered. But the real graphic accounts were the books of each tye of bird that he wrote of each type and when and where.

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#13
Jul 27, 2012
 

Judged:

2

2

1

We spend 23-28% of our time at work---it shouldn't be a drudgery. What I experienced in late 70's and 80's was a group of hourly folks helping in the cost reduction effort because 1) Management applauded their efforts, 2)for once they felt they were part of the decision making and 3)they took great pride in what they were doing. They learned how solve problems and put the data into a language management understood--$$$$. They not only identified things that were hindering them doing the best could, collected data to see how big a problem it was, looked for the root cause and brainstormed solutions, lastly they did an ROI--when they felt they solved it and had a good solution they presented it to upper management. The GM gave them a round of applause after each presentation. He and his staff were on board and the employees knew it, they felt it. Management went through Juran training to help them understand what the employees were up to. Trust grew between both sides and they solved problems that our engineers said couldn't work, so we got the Engineers involved-cross functional teams. One maintenance person was so excited to present a problem with his team he cut his hair, trimmed his beard and wore a suit-he looked like a consultant-they were proud as peacocks because they had the ear of management. Today, the GM is gone, they are no longer a family owned business but part of a corporation that is sucking the money right out of them. There is no trust anymore-people come to work, do their job, keep their head and go home.

Today that 23-28% of day working is a drudgery-management doesn't care about their ideas. Sound familiar? Yes, at least in my store and it would be so simple to change and the EOS score would be better. But, if you do what you have always done you will get what you have always gotten--no change. This is exactly the scenario in my store.

Most people come to work wanting to do a good job but when they have systems, processes and policies that are inefficient or don't work the life blood is sucked out of them. They know better ways of doing things but people won't take the time to listen and understand--"seek first to understand and then to be understood"---Stephen Covey. "People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care." Zig Ziglar
You still have good, hard working hourly's and a few good managers-but some of our dept managers are being trained by a SM and ASM's who act elite. They scoff at new ideas that employees suggest or do--what can us hourly people know?

Maybe our store is different than the rest of Lowes but I don't think so after seeing District people come in and walk around without saying anything to us peons...it is like they are taught not to talk the employees-keep them at a distance.

I like my job, like the people I work with and work hard when I am on the clock but I know it will go un-noticed and when my review comes I will get "meets standard" and a 1-2% raise-the same raise all employees will get. Then we get told we should appreciate 1%-1% of $10/ hour is like not getting a raise. There are no attaboys, thanks or anything. HR must have a huge file of write ups but I bet the file on attaboys is pretty thin. If your write up file is larger than your praise folder you are focusing on the wrong thing.
OhNoHeDidnt

Lakewood, OH

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#14
Jul 28, 2012
 
Pedro Rodriquez wrote:
Since you are probably in management-could you live on $10/hour,$20/hour?
I made $12.50 as a department manager and that was after 3 years in position with raises (this was not as long ago as you might think). People do and have to survive on those wages. I would have never dreamed of making what we pay department managers today.

If you are trying to support a family with one income then I can see how difficult it is. I was single and it was tough for me but I had to make it work. There's also people out there making less than that and surviving. So maybe you have to shop at Aldi or Sav-a-lot for groceries, but so what?
nedm

Pembroke, MA

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#15
Jul 28, 2012
 
"So maybe you have to shop at Aldi or Sav-a-lot for groceries, but so what?"

Funny you mention Aldi there's one near me. I don't know about sav-a-lot.

I'd argue that generally what lowes pays where I am is not competitive. People have left to go to non profits, government and other competitors.

I know of entry level jobs that have a starting pay of around $16 an hour with $19 if you don't need the health insurance. For the life of me any cashier would jump at the chance of this same with many csa's. Things do cost more up here than other areas. The median house price is $320k. The closest metro to lowes hq is Raleigh and that is $210k.

If lowes cannot raise the wages then add hours or staff because the turnover is sky high. Sure there is seasonal help for the summer but that is about it. It is no longer the 100 days of hell here. Try 40. After the 4th of July the summer dies down although there is a sales tax free weekend coming up.

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#16
Jul 28, 2012
 

Judged:

1

1

1

OhNoHeDidnt wrote:
<quoted text>I made $12.50 as a department manager and that was after 3 years in position with raises (this was not as long ago as you might think). People do and have to survive on those wages. I would have never dreamed of making what we pay department managers today.

If you are trying to support a family with one income then I can see how difficult it is. I was single and it was tough for me but I had to make it work. There's also people out there making less than that and surviving. So maybe you have to shop at Aldi or Sav-a-lot for groceries, but so what?
What's so wrong with thinking that the job you do should be paid a livable wage? No one wants to be the working poor. Dept Mgrs take a lot of crap from customers & senior mgmt.

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#17
Jul 28, 2012
 
Spec too wrote:
<quoted text>
What's so wrong with thinking that the job you do should be paid a livable wage? No one wants to be the working poor. Dept Mgrs take a lot of crap from customers & senior mgmt.
Some Dept managers don't get paid enough as with most of Lowes Employees--not sure what ASM's get paid but because they are salaried their hourly wage probably is not very good.

Just got home from a good day at Lowes. Received some good compliments from customers. It is fun to help them solve a problem.
Whickerbill

Mooresville, NC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#18
Jul 28, 2012
 

Judged:

4

2

1

To come back more on topic, I have another point that was not mentioned in my previous post.

Many millions of dollars was paid to Lowes by quite a few vendors at the first of the year. I know of one vendor alone who cut Lowes a check for over 50 million dollars for spiffs. This money was designated to go into the spiff and commission pool that Lowes was supposed to pay to employees for the 2012 year. Only Lowes knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars that millwork and appliance vendors paid them at the first of the year. This was all done before it was announced that spiffs and commissions would no longer be paid. Lowes then told the vendors this money would not be returned, but would be used to lower prices. Anyone who works at the store level knows prices were subsequently raised, not lowered. I consider this information reliable because I have heard it from both appliance and millwork vendors. So basicially, this money was misappropriated under false pretenses.

My point is that when you, as a company, destroy the loyalty, faith and trust of both your vendors and employees, you probably aren't going to survive much longer. Frigidaire and Whirlpool are both appearing in Home Depot now. I surmise that the vendors are looking at alternatives.

Many of us old timers hate to see all of this happen. It certainly isn't the Lowes we worked for under Bob Tillman.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#19
Jul 28, 2012
 

Judged:

1

1

1

whickerbill but the are prepairing for vendors to leave. Ther ewas a LLC about Kobalt being expanded and they weren't kidding. It is only a matter of time before hd or lowes has a store brand appliance line.
DMxMD

Gardner, KS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#20
Jul 29, 2012
 

Judged:

3

Vendors want to sell their product. They're not going to pull it out of any store that wants to sell it. They also don't care in the least what happens to spiffs.

Tell me when this thread is updated: (Registration is not required)

Add to my Tracker Send me an email

First Prev
of 4
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Lowes Companies Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Carpet install 4 hr whydotheydothis 6
Not Again!!! 5 hr CharlotteGirl 9
PSA EMS Dead 14 hr guest 5
If you think lowes owes you more - read this. Tue Eh whatever 20
coordinator Tue Lowes Bitch 12
an hr manager at lowes....just say no!! (Apr '13) Tue unocdarkhorse 61
Life's not fair! Mon CharlotteGirl 5
•••
Enter and win $5000
•••

Lowes Companies People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

•••