Kanguq - Automne / Fall 2013 - Page 19

Nouvelles de la FCNQ / / FCNQ News\r\nService d’achats et développement de magasins \r\nPurchasing and Store Development Services\r\n\r\n\r\nWhen the FCNQ was created in 1967 it\r\nwas established to provide support to the\r\nfledgling cooperatives in Northern Quebec.\r\nThe Purchasing Department was one of the\r\nvery first departments to be created at the\r\nFCNQ, and its job was to find and order\r\nmerchandise that the cooperatives’ customers wanted at the best value and quality\r\npossible. Alongside it, the Store Development Department was also created and its\r\nmain function was and continues to be to\r\ntrain staff in the stores. Together, they now\r\nform the Store Services Department. The\r\ntwo departments were brought togeth er\r\nto facilitate communications between the\r\nnorth and the south. A few years ago, the\r\nsupervision of the mechanics team also became part of Store Services, moving over\r\nfrom the Technical Services Department.\r\nSome dramatic changes have occurred\r\nover the past 20 years for the purchasing\r\nside of our department. Sales have continually increased over time, which by default\r\nhas meant that we buy much more merchandise than in the past. In order to be able\r\nto follow the increased volume properly, we\r\nhave had to adapt to the way we track sales\r\nand inventory. Previously, buyers had to\r\ncall and or fax the stores and ask the managers to count certain items that they had\r\nin inventory and with this information they\r\nwould make buying decisions. Eventually,\r\nwith the increased volume of sales, this task\r\nbecame an inefficient method. We invested\r\nin a system that allows us to now track sales\r\nand inventory electronically. This was a big\r\nchange and advantageous for everyone.\r\nIt now means that the buyers have the information they need instantaneously, and\r\nthat the managers can use their time in the\r\nstores to do other things instead of continuously count items.\r\n\r\npeople working as Store Developers is to\r\ngive support and training to the staff that\r\nwork in the stores, from the store manager’s\r\nposition and anyone under the supervision\r\nof the store manager. In other words, they\r\nwork closely with the store managers and\r\nhelp them with anything that they might\r\nneed help with such as filling out forms, advice on the repair of vehicles, or the search\r\nfor a special product among other things.\r\nThey must also train any new store manager and help them learn the position.\r\nThe Store Services Department also became responsible for the mechanics team\r\naround 4 years ago; the mechanics team\r\nhad previously been in the Technical Services Department. Today we have 8 mechanics that work for us to cover the need\r\nfor automobile maintenance and repair\r\nfor every village. The number of mechanics needed has also increased over time as\r\nthere are more and more vehicles that arrive in the north every year. Their primary\r\njob is to repair and maintain the fleet of\r\nvehicles within the Coop network. We also\r\nhave contracts to do the maintenance of vehicles for KSB, Hydro Quebec, and KMHB.\r\nAlso, many Coop members now have vehicles and use our mechanics for repairs and\r\nmaintenance.\r\nOverall, the primary goal of our department is to serve our members as best we\r\ncan. We get many requests throughout the\r\nyear and do our best to fulfill them. Every\r\neffort is made to serve our customer’s needs.\r\n\r\nThere have also been new developments\r\nwithin the Store Development side of our\r\ndepartment. Years ago we had as few as 2\r\npeople working in this department. Today,\r\nwe have enough employees so that each one\r\nonly works with 1 or 2 stores. The job of the\r\n\r\n\r\n