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Whole Foods Shortages on Shelves Blamed on New Inventory System

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By    |   Friday, 19 January 2018 12:17 PM

Whole Foods stores are suffering from food shortages, which are leading to emptying shelves, a problem employees are blaming on a newly implemented inventory-management system.

The issue arose months after Amazon bought the grocery chain for $13.7 billion last year, and the tech giant has taken the rap.

However, several employees told Business Insider that the problems arose before the acquisition, citing the chain store's inventory-management system (OTS) as the root of the problem.

The system, which was introduced last year, meant that food went straight from delivery trucks to shelves, with less being kept in stock rooms, Fox News noted.

The streamlined system is meant to reduce food waste and save the company money, however it seems to be creating more problems than solutions when it comes to customer satisfaction.

"At my store, we are constantly running out of products in every department, including mine," an assistant department manager of an Illinois Whole Foods told Business Insider.

Another employee of a Sacramento store explained that the system was set up in a way that there was only "enough product to keep the shelf full and no extra."

Last year Whole Foods' vice president of operations, Ken Meyer, said the OTS system had "transformed the inventory levels that we have in the back room, essentially clearing them out so that we're mainly focusing on what we call our never-outs, the key items that we need to have in stock all the time in our stores," Business Insider noted.

While employees agreed that the system was effective in reducing extra inventory, it meant things had shifted into the complete opposite direction, with empty shelves driving away customers.

"A lot of team members are hoping Amazon saves us, saying, 'I can't wait until Amazon learns how much money Whole Foods is losing with order-to-shelf," one employee said per Business Insider.

"You would think that with Amazon's reputation for being a brutal employer that they would be behind the system," he added. "But they are not. This is an entirely Whole Foods-driven problem."

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Empty shelves at Whole Foods stores are being blamed on a newly implemented inventory-management system.
whole foods, shortages, shelves, inventory
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2018-17-19
Friday, 19 January 2018 12:17 PM
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