Hardware Buyer

Hardware: Buying and Maintenance

This job description should be read in conjunction with:
(a) Guidelines for staff in charge of a section
(b) Guidelines for buyers


This responsibility requires you to maintain a store, monitor a considerable number of catalogues and price lists and keep up to date the sundries order list and prices. All products are to be kept on this complete computer list. This list must be updated regularly as it is for stock ordering each week.

However, what really matters is what the customers see, that is, the products in the general shop area must be maintained and displayed to a high standard. The job is not being done properly if the products on display are not looking spot on and priced professionally or we are out of stock of products.

Display and maintenance

1. The shelves have to be continually organised and faced up throughout the week as customers pick through them. It will be necessary to take the products off the shelves and clean regularly. A daily check up and down all aisles and sections is necessary to pick up and tidy all products. Aisles must always be clear and wide. Endcap displays must be off ground and not spill into aisles.
2. On the first Thursday night of each month the restock crews must do a complete shelf clean. This will need prompting of staff every time and close supervision to ensure that the job is done properly. They should remove stock off shelves and wipe the shelves down with a damp cloth. They will need a bucket and cloth with them at all times.
3. No damaged products are to be left on the gondolas. (Its best to throw them out or give them away to the other staff)
4. The shop floor and areas near the trellis, potting mixes, pond moulds and shadecloth must be swept or raked.
5. Whenever possible the same products in different sized containers should be displayed one above the other with larger container at the best selling eye height but 20kg bags at base. Blocked products allow increased facings at the better selling heights.
6. Make sure similar products are displayed in the same area, for example lawncare, fungicides, spray equipment and fertilisers.
7. Put products that do not fit into these categories into a miscellaneous section. Clear signage of what is in the area must be maintained at all times. Use perimeter section signage where possible so as the view through the section is not blocked.
8. Every product must have its position on the shelf specified with a ticket which specifies the products name, size and supplier. If available the supplier’s code should also be on this ticket. Danks products should have the appropriate Danks sticker on the shelf display. Each product facing should have a separate shelf display label. Ensure the Danks labels are updated every time the product arrives at the nursery.
9. Make sure you prepare for seasonal sales lines and stock accordingly. Eg. bulb planting mix and food, white oil, tomato dust, leaf rakes, irrigation kits, tomato climbers, etc.
10. Create interest in new products by placing them in high traffic areas and getting back up demos from suppliers and show benefits of use. Run seasonal instore promotions whenever possible eg. lawn seed, fertilisers, potting mix, etc. New products should only be promoted if we are sure that we will stock the product in the long term. All new products need to be shown at the monthly meeting and try to give staff as much information on them as possible.
11. Three specials must be run in the sundries section all the time. Each special shouldn’t run for longer than 3 weeks. Usually try to use known value lines such as osmocote, lawn builder, saturaid, defender etc and ensure you are at a competitive price, and ensure that you receive the best price available from our suppliers. These special lines can be run at a minimal mark-up. Attempt to merge in some environmental values with the endcaps, give preference to products that are more environmentally sustainable.
12. The shadecloth area must be kept fully stocked at all times and swept. Any offcuts must be tied up and specialled professionally.
13. Every Friday prepare a list of jobs for weekend cashiers to do in the shop area. Place the list on the cashier to do board and maintain the list (on the wall behind R4).
14. Do not stock worms for months of Dec Jan and Feb as the shop becomes too hot for them to survive. During this period replace the stock with a sign on empty box stating the reason, so staff can explain to customers. Keep a store under Storage King during this time
15. Do not stock sprays categorized as poisons. Stock safer alternatives.
16. Potting mixes. Multiple buys of potting mixes is a must (Greenery undercutting us at the moment on multiples). Clearly tell customer what deal is at point of sale and make sure it is clear in pricing book. We must always have a value pack of potting mix (cheapest line) at front to give competitive impression with Bunnings etc. price clearly. Make clear on the point of sale if the customer needs to fertilise, how long wetting agent/water chrystals/fertilisers works for.

Pricing and buying

1. You are expected to make any new product purchasing decisions. Consult the shop manager where necessary.
2. When buying new products bargain for the best buying price and stress our possible volume. Do deals. Periodically check prices against other suppliers. However, don’t change preferred suppliers without approval of manager.
3. We aim to archive a minimum mark-up of 65% on most sundries lines. Where possible we would like to get a greater mark-up but don’t be outrageous. On known value lines use the danks recommended price or set our retail price at a price that reflects the market price. It is important that we are competitive on these products as this is what our customers perceive our entire prices on.
4. You must continually work on setting up specialist sections (eg propagation, potting mix) to differentiate BAAG from opposition and the chain stores. Look at product ranges which suit our image and theme eg arty trellis.
5. All products must be clearly and correctly priced so the customer can see them at a glance. The price should ALWAYS be in the top right hand corner of the product. This will save a lot of time for other staff searching through price lists they are unfamiliar with.
6. Products are to be priced as they go onto the shelf and not in the store.
7. Shelf labels should be put in front of each facing of products and they should be updated each time the product changes in price. Danks supply tickets for the shelves as well as price tickets for the products and they should be installed every week regardless of price change. Update the sundries list for any price changes. Both the wholesale and retail prices should be altered along with any markup changes. These price changes should be made when as soon as an update letter is sent.
8. Danks supply us with price tickets. Use them rather than the pricing gun, as they look more professional. The Telxon machine can be used to order extra price tickets and can also be used to change the prices on the tickets. Also use the Danks shelf product/price tickets.
9. Any changes to prices in the price book must be noted immediately in the signs in tray.
10. As a general rule no more stock should be bought than can be sold in a two-week period. Excess stock on the bench or in the store is money wasted. The obvious exceptions to this rule are if additional orders have to made to get a delivery of another product and when pack sizes are too big or Danks spring buy. For bulk discount buys only buy what we can sell in a 6-week period and only with a discount of 10% or more.


Some bags weigh up to 20 kg so manual handling needs to be supervised and lifting techniques taught. Rigorous lifting training of restockers must be done on initiation and supervision is needed after initial education.
Keep emphasing to your restock crew to tidy as they go. Hassle them and regularly review and inspect their work while in progress. Once they get into bad habits it is very hard to change them.
On the first Thursday of each month, restockers must do a complete check that all products are priced and a tidy of all shelves including the removal of product and wiping down of shelves.
Regularly go over the restockers job description with your staff and always go over thoroughly when you start a new restocker.
When restocking, restock from the back of the bench. The old stock should be at the front so it sells first.
If a product is regularly running out on the bench, allocate more facings to it and reduce the facings that a slower moving product has.
Keep a minimum number of restocking trolleys in the shop area and make sure they do not block the aisles or create a hazard. Ensure these trolleys and any pallets are put away at lunchtime, at the end of the day or when you will not be using them for a while. Safety with quite frail older customers is something you have to be continually aware of.

Product range

A new product should only be introduced if there is space available without cluttering displays, or if you are confident it will sell better than a product we have on the bench at that time. If you are going to replace a slow moving product then get rid of it quickly so it is not cluttering our displays.
Monitor your product range. You should keep a slow moving product on display only if it is the sort of product that a customer will come specifically to the nursery to buy. Do not put these products in key sales areas.
Your product list must be up to date. Note alterations to your product range immediately, retail and wholesale prices and product location onto weekly stocksheet and regularly update the computer. This product list should be updated every six months checking all cost prices, retail prices and margins. An updated product and price list must be kept in the back of the pricing book under the R4 counter. There should be two lists, one sorted to product location and the other sorted alphabetically to product name.
Stock levels should be include in database for weekly stocktakes. The stock levels should be separated to account for seasonal variation.
A folder with your weekly stocktakes should be kept for management to check if they wish.
Ponds. You have to record and monitor system where you keep bigger ponds on display and backup stock down back at all times.

The store and deliveries

All deliveries are to go into the store and not dumped around the cash registers. If products are delivered to the shop area contact the driver or supplier and insist that they deliver to the store in future. Pallets of goods should be placed inside the store immediately and not outside the entrance. Deliveries should be unpacked as soon as possible after they are received and the delivery area inside the store kept clear all the time for the smooth functioning of the area and for the safety of people working in the area.
There will always be significant losses to rodents. Address the problem quickly and follow up on it. Rat Zapper (02 6077 1261) Ongoing use of this system and maintenance will stop the problem getting out of hand. If we have to poison rats it results in smells in the walls of the office
There should be no need to keep any products in the store that are ordered through Danks, and any other products from other suppliers should be kept in the store only when there are minimum order quantities.
All products are to be checked against the invoice to make sure the correct number of the right product is delivered. The invoice prices should also be checked.
It is important that any damaged products or short deliveries are clearly marked on the relevant invoice, the supplier informed immediately and the action taken is noted on the invoice.
The store is using valuable space, it must be used properly.
Broken bags should not be left in store, toss them out or give them to other staff. Slow moving stock should be specialled, tossed out or returned to the supplier. There is a specific area for Danks and other supplier returns.
It is your job to maintain the shop fittings on top of the lunchroom. This will need a thorough re-sort yearly.
The main access aisle in the storeroom must be kept clear at all times to ensure the safety of all workers. Do not leave stock in this aisle and if you find stock in this aisle, move it. Ensure that the stairs in the store are kept clear at all times. Clear any other potential safety hazards when you see them.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the driveway is swept by the restock team on a Thursday night.


(a) Your price lists and catalogues must be kept up to date. Up to date filing will save a lot of time for you and other staff. As soon as a new price list becomes effective the old one should be thrown out to avoid confusion.

(b) The Product Safety Data Sheets are in a folder. These must be maintained monthly and any new dangerous products must have a data sheet with them filed in this folder


(a) Returns. Returns are an area that needs constant attention particularly of the more expensive items. Clear the returns box weekly, use the telxon to arrange danks returns and once the stickers arrive for the unwanted products, label them, put them in one of the danks blue bins and put the return slip into the box for the driver to sign. Also organise returns from other suppliers, and follow these returns up within a week to ensure the supplier doesn’t forget. If a returned product is less than $5 retail it is cheaper to throw the product away than to get a refund from our supplier.
(b) Keep your eyes open to make sure the delivery guys are not stealing from the store.
(c) Whenever necessary a special bin should be set up to clear slow moving or damaged stock.


You should control your reps, if you only need them in once a month you should be insisting that they come in once a month only, or if you need them in once a week, e.g. Danks, try and get them in accordingly. Representatives can waste a lot of time if you do not rush them a little. Watch out for pushy sales reps. If you don’t have an order ready, phone it through later when there is no pressure on you to buy stock that is not needed.


There should be enough information displayed in the lawncare section to enable all staff to give good, consistent advice on what seed to use for particular applications, what fertiliser to use etc.

Signage should be erected in the pesticide isle to inform our customers about other options in regard to dangerous chemicals. Try to advise customers to consider the environment.


During spring it is necessary to start at 6.30am on a Monday to complete your Danks order by 9.30am.
You should organise a regular Thursday night restock team.
Shelf stocking and tidying your desk must be completed before going home even if this means staying back late. (Ensure you inform your Manager that you are going to work overtime).
It is important to report to manager if stock is running out on weekends and not being stocked up.
The Telxon machine must be looked after as it costs around $3000.
Pallets must be sorted into their labelled stacks everytime they are taken to the yard, and not more than 15 pallets high. If there are more than 15 pallets, start a new pile in front of the full stack. Any irregular or broken non return pallets should be crushed and put in the rubbish immediately. When you have finished operating the fork lift, always remove the key from the ignition and hang it on the hook above the drivers head.

Point of sale

Point of sale, including that which we produce internally, is entirely your responsibility as the staff member in charge of a section at Bulleen Art & Garden.
Good point of sale will generate a lot of sales and can make Bulleen Art & Garden a more interesting place and a lot less frustrating place for our gardening customers to shop.
If our customers find Bulleen interesting and do not become frustrated solving their gardening problems they will come back and recommend us to their friends.

12.1 General guidelines for all point of sale.

(i) Never leave any point off sale which is tatty or faded out in your section.

(ii) Minimise the colours and use standard nursery colours whenever possible.

(iii) Display signs at uniform heights.

(vi) It is important that you make the effort to secure all signage properly to an appropriate stand. Frequently in the past we have incurred all the cost of producing the sign to see it lying face down on the ground a day later. This will not be tolerated.

(v) All point of sale must be authorised by your area manager.

(vi) Be efficient in your specification, communication and putting up off time, your time is costly and this exercise will become uneconomic if you waste time.

(vii) It is very important that all signage that might be used again is stored properly. Give it to the signage staff member or store it properly yourself. Look after your signs at all stages of their handling.

Internally produced signs

Internally produced signs are expensive to produce. It costs the business for your time in specifying them, the cost of the printing and plastic paper, any editing by your area manager and then your time in putting them out and maintaining them.
Your objective with these signs should be to make money out of them or provide information that is very interesting to the customer and might encourage them to come back or talk about us to their friends and neighbours.
Always think before requesting internally produced point of sale.

These guidelines must be followed when specifying internally produced signs.

(1) Always use minimum size for signs that will enable our customers to read readily. A5 in preference to A4.

(2) Never specify colour for computer signs if you want to use them outside for more than four weeks. They will fade and look tatty.

(3) Prioritise your signs, eg. you should be doing price pointing of bulk colour first.

(v) Always fill in standardised forms with all appropriate detail.

Promotional material
Promotional material will be available from our suppliers.

We avoid using supplier point of sale because it gives a conflicting message to the customer, we lose control of the colours and type of sign and it reduces the impact of the primary message we are trying to get out, who we are and what we are doing.

Environmental Policy and expectations of staff.

Bulleen Art and Garden aims to deliver a service to its customers that recognises the importance of environmental issues, both local and global. In this respect, concentrating on long-term custom, we are prepared to sacrifice individual sales to offer customers a range of environmental gardening options and outcomes.

Bulleen Art & Garden is prepared to sacrifice sales, but not customers on environmental issues. For example, if a customer asks for a more toxic spray than needed, we expect staff to suggest an alternative, even if it means not selling a product at all. However, we do insist that staff do not get into arguments over the environment with the customer, which may lead them to shop elsewhere. Our policy is strong customer education.

Bulleen Art and Garden aims to take the lead in respect of retail nursery practice, to encourage customer interest in an environmentally friendly approach to gardening that encompasses the following issues:

– To foster the concept that our land and gardens, however large or small, are not ours to ‘do with as we wish’, but rather, something we have the responsibility to care for and enjoy, leaving it good health for those who follow us.
– Fewer adherences to strictly formal garden design.
– Increased interest in produce gardening.
– Increased awareness of the environmental benefits of using native and indigenous plant species within the garden.
– A style of garden design and practice that encourages the use of water and soil conservation principles.

In light of these aims, staff at Bulleen Art and Garden are encouraged to consider the environmental implications of any advice they give to customers. It is hoped that staff will avail themselves of environmental information and literature available at the nursery, so they are able to give informed advice to customers.

Staff members are also encouraged, where possible, to draw to the customers notice environmental initiatives, information handouts and signage throughout the nursery.

Environmental Policy and Buyers.
Under Bulleen Art & Garden’s environmental policy, buyers in all departments must consider the environmental impacts and implications of the products they purchase. They must aim to minimize the purchase of goods that are environmentally unfriendly (eg. Toxic, from unrewnewable resources, at the expense of other communities, environmentally unsustainable) and where possible provide environmentally friendly alternatives. Buyers are encouraged where possible to provide a range of environmentally friendly products and have these merchandised in such a way as to encourage their purchase.
It would be useful if buyers could keep a record of environmentally influenced decisions made in their sections.

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