March 17, 2010

A couple of days ago, raplano asked in a comment to a recent post

Hey Walt, what is the current minimum acceptable APH to keep your job at RGIS? What APH do you have to reach to be “promoted” to Specialist?

1040 APH to reach Top Gun, right?

There are no simple answers to these questions. Every store has its own aph standards. Financial inventories tend require higher aph levels. To count at a top gun (the highest ranking) at a Houchens Save a Lot, you need to count at least 14300 pieces an hour based on the last aph list I received. On the other hand, in an upc scan clothing store the aph minimum for a top gun could be as low as 618 pieces an hour for the Bebe clothing chain. It is important to remember that aph levels are determined not by the difficulty of the inventory but rather by the amount of money that RGIS charges its customer. The higher the rate the lower the aph required.

If you want to be a specific ranking, you should ask the store supervisor at each and every inventory to tell you the aph minimums for each ranking.

I reckon that I should explain the ASET ratings just in case some punter that doesn’t work for RGIS has blundered into reading this.

A – Auditor: The lowest ranking. New hires are auditors and get the starting wage.
S – Specialist: The next step up. They earn 50 cents more than auditors in our district.
E – Expert: The next step up. They earn $1 more than specialists.
T – Top Gun: The best ranking. They earn $1.75 more than the expert.

I consider specialists and experts to be the backbone of the company. We do the shit work so that the top guns can count the easy stuff to keep their aph levels high. RGIS has the “protect the five” policy that ensures that the top 5 counters in an inventory get to cherry pick to keep up their top gun standing. In reality, this policy should be called “protect the five and fuck everyone else.”

By its very nature the ASET program is an unfair caste system that rewards the few and fucks over the many. Specialists and experts are the backbone of RGIS. Without them, the top guns would not be able to be top guns.

Every inventory counter has strengths and weaknesses. Some are better that scanning inventories. Others are better that financial inventories. There are a few who are good at both. Because of this, schedules can be manipulated by the managers to reward or punish. Scheduling someone for inventories that they do not excel at almost guarantees that they will lose their current ranking. Of course, the reverse is true as well. Scheduling someone for inventories that they are good at can lead to a higher ranking.

One of the most unfair things about the ASET program is that it judged on a quarterly basis. And within that quarter you are judged at 6 week intervals. Only the current quarter matters. It doesn’t matter how well you did for the previous quarters. In a very real sense, we are only as good as our last inventory.

I think the ASET program is both corrupt and bogus.