If you’re a shopper, retail associate, or job seeker, you may have wondered what it’s like to be an inventory auditor for RGIS or WIS. I spent a couple weeks conducting inventories for RGIS and have some advice for job seekers on what to expect on starting a career or part-time gig with RGIS
RGIS Advantage – Available hours
In my first four days at RGIS, I accumulated approximately thirty-five hours of work. The job interview was essentially a job offer, so you have a good probability of securing a job with hours of availability… at least in the short term.
RGIS Advantage – Location
As a global inventory systems company, RGIS has hundreds of offices opened in major cities around the globe. They also have offices in smaller towns. It is likely that you can find one in your area. If you relocate, you shouldn’t have much difficulty finding employment where you relocate, especially if you meet RGIS’s APH requirements.
RGIS Advantage or Disadvantage – Traveling
If you want to start a career with RGIS or want a job that will enjoy, I believe it’s critical that you find these next three elements as advantages from RGIS.
RGIS requires a substantial amount of traveling between jobs. I put approximately 275 miles on my car during my first four days at RGIS. This does not include the 350 mile road trip that I took in the company van.
On one hand, employees may enjoy traveling to different destinations. They may be going to cities or even states they would have otherwise never went to. They won’t find themselves stuck in the same office cubicle or residence each day.
On another hand, employees may dislike having to waste two hours of their day on uncompensated traveling. Trips within sixty-minutes are uncompensated. Trips that exceed this are usually done on the company van and the first two hours are uncompensated, including the trip back. Fuel, hourly wages, and automobile depreciation are all uncompensated aspects of traveling while working with RGIS.
RGIS Advantage or Disadvantage: Redundancy
As an inventory auditor, your job is to scan merchandise at a philosophy that seems to pursue efficiency over effectiveness. Your goal is to accurately scan at least 800 – 1200 items every hour for possibly over 12 hours a day.
It’s a straight-forward task, but it’s a tad more complicated than it appears. Since retailers know that the RGIS inventory auditors are going to wreck their store, they often don’t bother zoning their areas the day before. This results in many of the UPC tags being void or hidden within various items. Also, you need to learn to watch your laser instead of listening to it because with so many lasers beeping at once, it can catch people off guard and lead them to miscount. The lasers don’t always scan the UPC tags.
Redundant, but not necessarily simple; it can become aggravating depending on the store being inventoried. If you don’t like doing the same thing over and over, then RGIS would make you miserable. Personally, the redundancy was unbearable for me.
RGIS Advantage or Disadvantage – Co-worker morale
Your co-workers will have an impact on your experience with RGIS. You’ll barely communicate with them during your job, but you will be around them during breaks and out-of-town trips. With the lack of work/life balance at RGIS, employees may be feeling the brunt of their schedules. With any job, it can be difficult to leave if you establish a bond between your peers.
RGIS Disadvantage – Work/Life Balance
This is the biggest inconvenience to working with RGIS as more than a part-time inventory auditor. You will get work hours, but they will vary. Basically, much of RGIS is on-call employment, meaning they expect you to be available to do stores within twelve-hour notice. It’s hard to schedule your life outside of RGIS when you are always wondering if they are going to assign you to a job. In addition, you may work awkward hours and extended days. By the time you’ve completed these stretches, you may just sleep away your free days. At $8.00 per hour with uncompensated traveling, you may not find it to be worth it.
If you are promoted to a team leader, your work/life balance will probably become more unfavorable. If you care about spending time with your family, then search for alternative options to RGIS.
RGIS Disadvantage – Pay
For all the inconveniences that RGIS employment has, I found the pay insulting. $8.00 per hour with mostly uncompensated traveling, on-call availability, and limited work breaks is taxing. The work may not be difficult, but you’re still doing more than you would at most other low-tier jobs. Ironically, you’re not really getting compensated for it.
Fuel can be a significant cutoff from your paycheck. Consider someone who gets paid $8.00 per hour and works 40 hour weeks, taxes excluded. That is $320. Many trips exceed forty miles, so you can spend $40 on gas. You’re now down to $280 over a 40 hour week, or $7.00 per hour. This still excludes automobile depreciation, extra upkeep, and the amount of uncompensated traveling time with driving back and forth.
RGIS Disadvantage – Retail Associates
If you’re paranoid about people watching over your shoulder, you’ll hate RGIS. RGIS inventory auditors are followed by retail store associates as they recount what you just counted. I found it ironic how retail stores have their own associates count all their merchandise while they have inventory auditing specialists doing it throughout the store. It didn’t seem like retail managers expect much from RGIS.
RGIS Disadvantage – Limited Breaks
During a day that exceeds twelve hours, you will get a thirty-minute lunch break and two ten-minute breaks… maybe. RGIS is committed to finishing stores as quickly as possible, and they don’t want disturbances. If there are many people who no-show a job, then it becomes even more crucial that the working associates have no hindrances.
If you’re the type who needs an hourly cigarette break, don’t bother with RGIS. You might be able to breathe if you do it behind the supervisor’s back.
RGIS Disadvantage – Unprofitable Jobs
Don’t let management assign you a 100-mile trip that results in three hours of inventorying. Including traveling time, you’ve just spent 5 hours accumulating $10. Make sure that your managers and team leaders inform you of the length of an inventory.
RGIS Disadvantage – Communication
RGIS has poor communication. This can be expected from a company that expects their employees to attend inventories with short notice. It became a game of phone tag with my supervisor with jobs that I was given less than 24 hours of notification. I also had difficulty contacting headquarters with issues concerning the job and my paycheck. Response time to my queries could take up to a day to complete, even if I was just asking for my work hours and expected pay that week.
Imagine if you are a team leader who has dozens of inventory auditors to contact for a job the next day. You also need time to get sleep from your jammed schedule, so you won’t be available to answer your cell phone. You can see how communication can be problematic for supervisors and inventory auditors.
RGIS Disadvantage – Safety and Health Hazards
RGIS requires demanding schedules from their associates. You could find yourself waking up in the middle of the night in 5 hours after just finishing a 12 ½ hour shift. You could work for days without an off day. You may be exhausted and frustrated from your schedule.
You may feel okay, but your co-workers may be suffering from their schedules. Doesn’t impact you, right? During my first road trip, our driver was so tired that he parked the car in neutral, nearly backing into a gas pump. He also nearly got rear-ended by another car when he didn’t see him entering the interstate exit ramp. This person could barely make a right hand turn that would have passed a drivers education exam. I saw this person the day before and he was barely getting by then before finishing a 12 ½ hour shift. Despite his lack of rest, I know he had to work at least two more days. This included doing inventory in some flooded stores.
My next road trip consisted of someone blasting rap music with seven people in the car. He also managed to drive over a curb en route to our destination. By now, I’m terrified of driving with anyone.
You will be expected to work in unfavorable conditions. You’re expected to maintain the APH minimums regardless of whether you’re reaching for items on a ladder. One day required inventorying flooded stores where shelves had the potential to collapse. I was asked to wear tennis shoes, which seemed awkward in a store with flooded tile. At one point, we we’re trying to read UPC tags in an unlighted facility by using flashlights or even holding the tags up against the corner of our terminals. Despite that, we were urged to maintain our speeds.
Lack of rest, stressful conditions, low wages, and unfavorable situations can be a detriment to your health and safety, even if you are feeling satisfactory. You need to be tough and be great at paying attention for this job.
RGIS Disadvantage – Replaceable
It’s a relatively simple task, and management has no problems replacing you if you skip jobs or perform below their standards. With a high turnover rate, management is already prepared to replace employees at a moment’s notice. During a recession, it becomes even simpler.
If you want respect, RGIS probably isn’t the answer.
RGIS Disadvantage – Beep Beep!
When I got home following my first day, I couldn’t get the sound of Atari Pitfall out of my head. So many inventory auditors scanning merchandise at the same time can make you hear things once you relieve yourself from such an atmosphere.
How to apply for RGIS
Just go to the RGIS website and search for employment opportunities. If you would like more information on what to expect from employment from RGIS, then check out some of my articles concerning my employment with them.