Social Media as a Job Search Resource

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Warehouse and Operations as a Career, I’m Marty, and I hope you’ve had a Productive, Prosperous and of course Safe week so far.  Last week we spoke about some of the way’s we’re looking for work these days.  Here at WAOC we’ve mentioned Social Media a couple of times and I believe it very well may be one of the most convenient and easiest way to hear about openings, especially with temp agencies or temp to perm positions.  Over the last couple of months, I’ve joined 9 different groups from various cities and states, really just to learn the platform and I’m trying to decide if it’s a good starting point for us as job seekers to find our career position’s.  I think they may be the easiest thing I’ve seen, very convenient but are they always productive?  I’ve definitely see a whole of scams out there, quite a bit of work from home, like commission work and things that are so ridiculous I seriously doubt anyone ever falls for them.  That being said, I’m also impressed with all the companies doing a good job advertising their positions and job fairs.  I find most of them are really well written, giving us the pay rates, a good job description and all the qualifying information.

I’m excited about our visitor today, Sharon is a recruiting specialist in the light industrial arena and she helps place order selectors, forklift drivers, runners, lumpers, loaders and sanitation positions every day.  She just so happens to utilize social media quite a bit with her searches.  It’s always nice to have a returning guest on the show.

Sharon thanks for join us again, have you stayed busy since we last spoke, you putting plenty of us to work ma’am?

For our new listeners could you tell us how you landed in the Sourcing and Recruiting field?

Do you find it interesting and rewarding?

What all forms of postings or advertising do you utilize for your positions?

Today we’d like to talk about Social Media & Job Posting.  Are you finding them a productive resource?

Can you list a few of the Wrong things you see us Applicants do when replying to postings?

How could we, again as Applicants, better utilize the forum to our advantage?

Do you think Companies ever check out our Profiles, I assume they’re of course wanting to learn as much as they can about our Personalities, Motivation and interest? Just as I would hope we as Job Seekers should learn a little about prospective employers we’re interested in working for?

Any parting advice you could offer us Job Seekers and Applicants, maybe something that would greatly increase our chances of getting your attention to call us or land that face to face interview?

Well I learned a lot here today, I think social media is a great forum for us job seekers.  I think we’ll experience greater success with it though by focusing on it as a resource, another opportunity in finding our next position.  I think we have to remember we’re communicating with a professional that is seeking good workers, someone serious about finding a job and we need to be as direct, informational and detailed as we can with our responses and comments.  There busy and they may have literally 50 people responding and we want to be the one that is answering their questions and to be honest the one making their job of selecting a candidate easier than anyone else.

I think its important to take the information given, call that phone number immediately, leave a message if we have too.  And be sure to email our resume to them if they’ve add an email address to the posting.  If an address is given, we need to dress appropriately and show up with our resume and work history in hand ready to sell them on us!

I want to thank you for listening in with us today, I hope you learned something with me today and found some value with our discussion!  Be sure to check out any missed episodes at warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com and join in on our discussions on facebook and twitter @whseandops.  Good luck on your job search & remember Safety is going to be priority one with any job we land!

Classifieds, Job Boards & Print Ad’s

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Hey Hey, Marty here with you again on Warehouse and Operations as a Career.  This week let’s talk about how we’re looking for work, some of the avenues used today and how we’re using those available platforms.  We’ve discussed a lot of the advantages with Social Media a couple of times but I’m not sure we’ve talked about what all is out there and how companies may be using them.  One of our first go to stop’s may be ad boards or online classifieds I guess you’d call them, one of the most used around here in my area is craigslist.org https://dallas.craigslist.org/ , then there’s job boards, many of those are large national companies with a long reach like monster.com  https://www.monster.com/ , glassdoor.com  https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm , careerbuilder.com  https://www.careerbuilder.com/ , and  ziprecruiter.com https://www.ziprecruiter.com/ , to name a few, oh and Indeed.com, https://www.indeed.com/  it may be the most well-known of all.    In a lot of areas, it may be easy to find a printed classifieds paper, in my area we have things like the Thrifty Nickle and the Green sheet, you can find them at local convenience stores, carwashes, and a lot of apartment complexes carry them around the mail box area’s too.  I’m sure there’s something like that in most neighborhoods. Another good printed source is our local, city, town or even neighborhood newspapers, most of them still have a classifieds section where we can sell things we no longer need or maybe our old bike, car or motorcycle’s.  I sold a boat once through the classifieds ad’s in our local paper.

So, let’s talk about the online classifieds first.  I know for me this was my go too place for advertising about positions in the past, really up until about 2 years ago and I think it’s still a great place to start.

Typically, a company or recruiter will write an ad with a brief description of the position there hiring for, the shift and pay rates and maybe a little bit about their company.  Usually it will tell us everything we need to know about the job and qualifying requirements of the position also.  The ad will list the employer contact information such as the address, phone number or hours and days that applications are being taken too.  Sometimes we’ll have to email our reply for information back through the ad’s publisher though, maybe we can attach our resume or work history to it and send it that way.  I’ve hired many an individual utilizing this process and it worked ok but it can be burdensome for us as job seekers having to search through the 100’s or 1000’s of positions listed.  I think they all have a search function that we can use key words like forklift, order selector, warehouse, transportation or really any position we’re looking for.  It helps to narrow our searches quite a bit, but we’ll still possibly have to scroll through several different industries worth of stuff that may be using the same key words. I think these online classifieds are probably stronger in smaller cities or townships, well maybe not stronger, that’s the wrong word, I’ll say a great place to start with though.  It’s important to remember we need to really describe our work history, what we are good at and how we’re going to be an asset to their company, we want them to call us and set up that interview!

Job Boards are a great online tool also.  These are companies our prospective employer can subscribe too to post their open positions too.  We’re probably all familiar with the larger one’s as you may see tv commercials and bill boards promoting them to employers and applicants all the time. They work in much the same way as the online classifieds sites, but they are much dressier or streamlined and may give us much more search criteria to really drill down to the positions we’re actually seeking or looking for.  Again, as with the online classifieds these are typically free to job seekers with the prospective employer paying for the advertisement. These ad’s may even use sharp looking graphics and colors to produce an ad that really reaches out and grabs us or sucks us in and gets our attention.  With Job Boards we can usually get to a lot more information about the positions, either by clicking on a link within the posting or actually having the opportunity to complete an online application right from the website!  Let’s be sure to use this opportunity and fill in every blank on the forms, sell them on us, make sure they know their search for an employee is over.  I’ve seen recruiters skip over incomplete applications, and we can’t blame them.  There’s 100’s of applicants filling out applications every day.  If they have to hunt down our phone numbers or email addresses it’s just not going to happen, they truly don’t have that kind of time.  Some of these sites may repost or distribute an ad to many other smaller or community sources also.  One thing we need to remember is that the original advertisement may have been filled and the posting has been removed from some sites but may stay up on others for a long time or maybe forever.  Just this week I heard about an applicant that got really upset over a posting with a recruiter over hearing the position had been filled already.  The gentleman just didn’t understand that She didn’t know where he had seen the post, she’d taken down her original offering but even she doesn’t know what all boards may have picked it up and left it up.  That’s one of the downfalls with internet searches, some sites may not keep their servers as up to date as others, it may not be the person’s fault that actually advertised the job, it’s just gotten dated somewhere out of her control.  Anyway, I think job boards are a great resource and I find them much easier to reply too & usually easier to upload or attach our resume and work histories too, getting them directly to the recruiter or hiring agents.  Some of these job boards have apps for our phones too, when someone post’s a position that meets our qualifications we may be able to receive a notification immediately and can review it right then, putting us first in line to summit our interest in the job.

I mentioned print ad’s earlier.  These advertisements are usually smaller and get right to the point, I mean we may see the position, like order selector, a pay range and the contact information to the company or agency hiring.  It’s usually going to require a little more action from us as applicants, we’ll probably have to call and speak to someone to find out the shift, hiring requirements and qualifications needed for the position.  I’ve found the printed ad’s really productive in smaller communities or cities, maybe not so much in larger environments or large metroplex areas.  Calling someone about all the advertisements we’ll find can be a lot of work and then we’ll probably still have to get an email or fax number to send our resumes or work history in for their review.

So, what brought all this up this week, I was asked what’s the best platform to look for a job with.  The individual knew there were online classifieds, she’s used them before, and had of course seen advertisement about job boards online, and stated a friend had found her new job in the paper.  She wanted to know which was the best or quickest way to find her next employer!  I personally believe we, as applicants have to utilize every tool at our disposal, I mean we’re not presently employed and we want to be right?  You know I almost forgot about another great resource, one we don’t think about every day is our friends and family, a lot of times information about positions may be setting right beside us, remember to put the word out and let everyone know we’re looking for a new or different job!  Looking for work can be rough, and I like to look at it as a full time job in itself.  In my experience we’ll need to seek out and apply to every posting we can find, that we qualify for of course and that we believe we’ll enjoy doing. Throw those hooks in the pond and be ready & prepared to catch whatever tugs on the line.

I want to go back to ready and prepared for a minute, this is where we have to shine.  We’ve talked a lot here at WAOC about being prepared for those phone interviews and face to face interviews in earlier episodes, we’ll need to be ready, have our experience on the tips of our tongues and make the hiring agent understand we’re the right person for the job, that their search is over!

That makes me think about our resume, our resume is our introduction, it’s really important we have our work history and our accomplishments written out, using those keywords that an HR generalist or computer system is going to be looking for, we want to have ours pulled out, reviewed and for them to feel like they just have to speak with us.  It needs to read as they’ve found the perfect person for the job!  Check out episode’s 4 & 5, The Resume and The Interview if you missed them, oh and I believe it’s episode 59 where we interviewed Sharon and Michele on Thoughts on Recruiting and Benefits.  I think we covered just how important those things can be a couple of different times, you may enjoy reviewing them again.

One platform I left out today is Social Media, we’ve briefly discussed it a few times and I tell you what, I’ll reach out to some pro’s and we’ll take a deep dive into how recruiters are using those platforms to engage with us applicants and job seekers.  Maybe we can get some InSite on what we can do differently or do much better to help ourselves.  I’ll see if we can put that together here in the next few week’s!

Thanks for checking in with us this week & so until next week please take care, think Safe and work Safe!

A Few Thoughts on Responsibilities and Maybe Why

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Warehouse and Operations as a Career, and I guess  we’re on Episode 72 here today. I’m Marty, and I’m back home in Texas this week.  I’ve been traveling the last couple of weeks, been up north, in the snow for a while.  Each quarter I try and visit several facilities, I stop in on a couple of Production Facilities and several Distribution Centers and perform some observations and visit with Associates & Customers for business reviews.  I really enjoy the conversations, and the opportunity I have to learn from everyone. I was lucky enough to meet with several new comers to our industry and a few individuals just recently promoted to the Lead and Supervisor positions.  Through my visits I noticed a recurring thought, the word responsibility came up with almost everyone or position that was discussed.  We’ve spoken to the responsibilities of our jobs and our careers on several episodes.  I just found it interesting, and I was excited to hear all these new associates recognizing the points of their Jobs and planning as they were towards their careers!

One of the things I’m looking at when I enter a facility is the sanitation practices, what the transportation yard looks like, is the fence line clean or are there leaves and debris blown up into the fence, and are the Bollard post, I know a lot of us call them ballard post but anyway, are they nice and yellow or red or has the paint been knocked off or faded real bad.  Another thing I check out, are all the trailers or containers locked to the docks or are the wheels chocked.  Several facilities I’m involved with requires Glad hand locks or air line lock out devices thats applied to the red airline on the trailers.  We’ve had a few episodes where we’ve mentioned Audits and how every facility is subject to some kind regulatory concern each year, city, state or federal agencies may be stopping by, oh and probably a Fire Marshall or Building Inspector even.  As employees it’s all of our responsibility to follow the practices and procedures in place for our Safety and to adhere to those regulations of our industry.  If I find all those things look good I’d bet the facility will have all their paperwork in place with every employee being safety conscience.  I usually find a very strong Safety Culture within the shifts.  Now on the other hand, if all that isn’t 100% I know I’ll probably find a few deficiencies with the safety practices or procedures.  It’s kind of the same with the docks isn’t it, if the unloaders or lumpers keep their work area clean from pieces of broken pallets or torn shrink wrap you can pretty much bet the rest of the warehouse is going to be in top notch shape.  Many times an Auditor or inspector won’t even go on into the aisles, you know if it’s not a regulatory audit of course, but he or she can tell just that quickly what the sanitation and safety cultures are within the first 20 minutes of walking around.  I may even stop a couple of equipment operators and ask them to see their operator’s license and maybe ask them a couple of questions too, that’s a great way to meet them, shake their hands and let them know what a great job their doing.

Another place one can get an idea of how well a facility runs is checking out the breakroom.  Are their storage areas for lunches provided, plates and utensil’s or are things stacked in window sills and counters, that’s another indicator to an auditor of how the facility is ran.  I know as an employee these things seem a little trivial, especially when looked at individually but you can see how important they become as a whole in an auditors or agents world.

I had an associate bring up a concern about a write up he had received for his lunch being on his equipment.  He’d came in for his shift and since the equipment room was closer to the door than the breakroom he’d placed his lunch on his forklift, done his pre-trip and was driving his lift up to the breakroom.  We’ll the Supervisor had stopped him on the way and questioned him about having food in the warehouse and on his equipment.  We were in a food distribution facility, and according to their GMP’s or general maintenance practices there can be no food in the warehouse and come to find out he’d been cautioned at least on two other occasions for the very same thing.  I can see how to us as employees that doesn’t seem like a big deal BUT had the supervisor been an auditor or inspector they would have no problem pointing out that our GMP clearly stated that no food or lunches we’re to be outside the breakroom and points would have been immediately deducted from our score or possibly the company could have been fined.

I hear a lot about our safety vest and steel toe shoes too.  If we’re just walking across the floor and we’re not wearing our PPE’s, although we haven’t started working yet and we’re observed by an auditor it’s a big deal because our practices and processes are written and state that while in that area PPE’s will be worn.  A lot of those little rules, as simple as they seem to us are there and enforced for a reason, a much bigger picture if you will.  I witnessed an employee getting really upset with a Lead because she mentioned to him to put his vest on.  He felt it was not necessary, but it was, that’s how it’s written, and for a reason, and please don’t believe for a minute that a regulatory inspector wouldn’t enforce it and ding the company for it.

Another thing that’s a lot more important than it seems are egress doorways or emergency exits.  Every facility I know of has written that doorways are not to be blocked at any time.  I’m sure we’ve all seen someone place a pallet in front of a doorway for just a minute, maybe just be moving a row or grabbing something behind it and yep, that’s an infraction.  We’ve also probably seen that pallet being forgotten about and the doorway is left blocked.  I’m not sure why it happens or how it happens but I have facilities that have to mention it every week in their start up meetings.  Even if things are congested and cramped all doorways have to be clear, it’s written and it’s a rule, it’s a  regulation actually so there’s not really a leg to stand on in our defense.  We could easily loose our jobs by not following the rules, it’s just not worth getting upset about right?

Another one of those rules that’s hard to understand may be no gum chewing or hard candy allowed in the warehouse.  We could talk about how used gum sometimes ends up in the warehouse, on pallets or even product and candy may end up on the floor on occasion.  But there’s really not much to discuss, its written within our GMP’s that theirs no hard candy or gum chewing allowed in the warehouse so there’s no reason it should come up, yet, someone gets upset about it from time to time and may even receive some kind of corrective action for it.

So how do we as Associates, Leads or Supervisors handle rules, procedures or our company’s processes?  I think as an associate we just need to remember we’re at work, we’re being paid for our hard work.  That pay includes following all the regulatory concerns, processes and procedures right?  It’s hard, and we can say things like I just had my lunch on the forklift for like 5 minutes, or I was just crossing the aisle on my way to the lockers to put on my steel toes or I just hadn’t spit out my gum yet, I had just came in from the parking lot.  All that makes sense and yes, its innocent enough but in the regulatory world of our industry it’s just not permitted.  As a Lead or a Supervisor we have to protect the company by following and enforcing the regulations, procedures and processes.  I feel it’s important that as employees, leads or supervisors it’s all of our responsibility to create that Work Culture, Sanitation Culture and Strong Safety Culture within ourselves.  If we do that all those things won’t ever happen and we’ll never have to be concerned with penalties or fines from any regulatory agency!

Oh and another thing that came up on my visits, let’s talk for just a minute about the time clock.  So many Associates and Supervisors get frustrated weekly over the time keeping.  Us as associates want our pay correct each pay period.  It should be correct, it needs to be correct, we’ve worked very  hard for it.  Pretty much all time keeping systems are computer driven these days.  With a typical system we punch in at start of shift, punch out when we go to lunch, punch back in after lunch and then punch out when we finish up and are going home.  The computer tracks it, it gets turned in and we get paid correctly.  But what if we as Associates forget to make one of those punches, or we punched in earlier than we were suppose too, our time’s going to be messed up.  Our pay is going to be wrong and we may be upset about it.  Now of course our payroll department is going to correct it, we’re going to get paid for what we’ve done but it could be the following week as many companies can’t just cut another check or make another payroll run.  Believe it or not, and really understandably, sometimes an associate will get upset over a payroll opportunity. But because I forgot to punch or didn’t punch correctly it’s going to take someone else’s time to correct it, something that can be quite time consuming depending on the system, it might involve a couple of people to get it corrected.  As an Associate it’s our responsibility to punch correctly and should we make a mistake we need to let our management team know immediately so they can correct it asap.  I feel as Leads and Supervisors it’s our responsibility to help our associates learn to use the clock, make it convenient to use, follow up or check its information before the records goes in each week and coach our employees if errors occur. We all are working for money, I mean I hope we’re doing something we enjoy but we’re working for the money & I’ve always felt our pay should be a top priority.  It’s our responsibility as associates to keep our time correctly and as Leads and Sup’s we should follow up and make sure its correct every pay period.

Here at WAOC we’re always pointing out that it’s too our advantage to get noticed by our management team, in a positive way.  Helping build a strong Work Culture within our shifts, participating with the programs and teaching them to others are great ways to achieve just that.  I hope we all want to take on that next task, reach for that next promotion, and be hungry for that success.

I hope we brought up something that spurs a spark or created a thought for you today.  And if you have an experience you’d like to share send us an email to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com and we’ll try and get it out in front of the group.  You can also use our Twitter and Facebook feeds using @whseandops on either platform and if you have a moment check out the Facebook group Warehouse Equipment Operators Community.  We’re having a lot of fun and communication with it as well.

We’ve talked about several of our responsibilities as Associates, Leads and Supervisors today but let’s not forget our biggest responsibility is keeping each other Safe in the work place and being Safe in our home life as well.  My Thanks to you all, hope you stop in again next week & let’s remember Safety is our First Responsibility!

Change and Culture – A Visit with Joe

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Welcome back, Marty here with Warehouse and Operations as a Career!  Last week we visited with Phillip and were discussing a couple of the challenges a new Lead or Supervisor can encounter when being brought up from within the crew.  It was really interesting seeing the feedback and the messages that were sent into us, I guess we have several listeners that have recently stepped into those roles or a few that are ready too. A lot of times after a promotion we as Leads, or Supervisors of course want to make changes, changes we feel are better for our associates and the company both.  We’ve possibly received our promotion due to someone moving on, maybe our old supervisor was promoted, or had quit or found another job or an entirely new position had been created for us and our talents.  In any event or scenario, we mentioned, something called change is inevitable and in our industry and culture, there’s another good word, culture, anyway change is sometimes met with some seriously high wall’s, very thick walls!  Today let’s talk about handling Change & Culture.  This week I was able catch Joe, our WAOC go to Safety Man and have him on the phone with us today.  You know Joe, Wither as an associate, a new member of management or a long-term Manager, Change is something we’ll need to learn to handle.  Many times, we can maneuver around those walls, drill right through them or easily hurdle over them.  I’ve been taught and found that it’s all in how you present change and handle change that determines failure or success with the project or situation!

What’s your thoughts on change Joe, would you agree it can present itself as a barrier to us on the floor & as Sup’s Sir?

Joe –   Change is one of those things you can’t prevent. Take a look at Vietnam era building and manufacturing practices and compare them to today. Worlds apart and a lot of change to get it there.

Let’s look at the word change, Merriam Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change   says in part

a : to make different in some particular

b : to make radically different

c : to give a different position, course, or direction

2 a : to replace with another

b : to make a shift from one to another

d : to undergo a modification

 

We’re Operations people, we come in for our Shifts and do our Jobs, things work, we get the job done so why change anything right, it all just works!  I used to pull orders with a tugger, some use to call them tovairs, we connected two heavy industrial flats or buggies to them any pulled through the warehouse placing the product on them, then we’d drop them off at their staging door to be loaded by the loaders.  They worked great, I always felt it was the best system period.  I mean the buggies were easy to roll out of your way and reposition any time you needed too, and loading was a breeze, you’d just roll the buggy into the trailer and stack the product on the floor, high and tight!  We pulled at the time on pick tickets which we’re just a computer sheet that told us who ordered what and where it was going.  Simple and efficient.  Or so we thought at the time.

My employer installed a Selection System, we switched from tuggers to electric pallet jacks and from our easily maneuvered buggies to stacking product on pallets.  And the pallets were broken down into 2 zones even, the system told us wither to place the product on the front or back halves of the pallets.  This was change, and I can quite honestly say I didn’t see it working out at all.  I willingly gave 10 reasons to anyone that would listen as to why this wouldn’t work and was a waste of time.  I can remember sitting outside at lunch on the 2nd night that we were working with the new system and a much older gentleman I knew came over and sit down beside me.  He was a trailer spotter at the time, he’d been a driver many years ago with the same company.  All he said was that when he started as a warehouseman for the company they pushed metal carts down the aisles to pull orders.  When the first electric tovars were delivered their charge would only last like half the shift, he’d fought the change until he realized he was making the same amount of money doing it either way.  He said look how much easier it is for you now, get up and go pull groceries and he walked away.  I think from that moment on I accepted change much better.  I was making the same money & after a couple of weeks I did find that my job was much easier.  Since then every change I’ve gone through has brought ease and efficiencies with it.  I see todays warehouse management systems in use and I’m wow’ed by the progress.

Anyway, change is just that, doing something differently, following someone else or thinking in a different way.  In my experience, it’s how we react to a change that determines it’s or really our success.

Joe, as you’ve progressed up through the ranks you’ve seen a couple of those walls, anything come to mind you could share with us & tell us how you overcame them?

Joe –   Yes sir, just wanting to advance and get promoted at work leads you to love change real quick. The minute YOU decide you are really interested in doing something else it’s because we welcomed change!!

You know we need to Embrace change, let it motivate us, smile at it, enter it with an open mind.  It’s going to be better or it probably wouldn’t be happening.  In the words of a old friend just “get up and go pull the groceries”.

So as a new lead or supervisor how are you going to get your team to accept change?  It simply requires you to know it, understand what’s changing and why, if you explain it well, are honest with its approach, are excited and accepting of it your team will follow you with it and accept it.  As an associate lets be positive, it’s going to happen, probably needs to happen and the way it was is just no more.

Joe – I think “Buy in” has a lot to do with it. If you don’t believe in something its hard to sell it to others as fact. As the way things should be. Its also about being on the same page.

You know how much I like quotes, Tony Robbins tells us Change is Inevitable. Progress is Optional.  Change is constant. Embrace it or not – your future depends on it. “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” https://flipboard.com/@dtomoff/%E2%80%9Cchange-is-inevitable.-progress-is-optional.%E2%80%9D-tony-robbins-f15bgtvgz#!

Ok, enough of my quotes, I will include a link for these quotes and several others though in todays show notes if you’d like to check’em out.

So, we mentioned Culture earlier too.  I went back to my Merriam Webster dictionary, I know I’m a word of the day freak, it says in part and defines Culture as:

b : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization

In my opinion Culture is the glue that holds things together and creates Success or Failure in our Operations world.  If we develop a strong culture of communication on and from the floor, those that needs the information will have it to better perform their task.  If we have a strong Productivity Culture within our team everyone will do what they have too to make it happen.  Wither its selecting 10,000 cases by lunch or making our hourly quota of replenishments or loading X number of trailers by a set time, it will happen if everyone’s chasing that same goal! It honestly just happens, every time, but it takes us all, that has to be our culture!

Safety is another place that has to have a strong culture within us as associates and our teams as managers.

Joe you just gave a presentation on the Culture of Safety out in Arizona this week I believe, tell us a little about a Culture of Safety and why it’s so important.

Joe –   I mentioned buy in and believing earlier, this is just that. As per the definition when likeminded people i.e. coworkers show support for the same ideas the atmosphere changes. No that knuckle head employee whose coming in feels less apt to cut up on equipment when he knows Everyone is watching as opposed to an environment that wouldn’t give him a second glance.

Joe, I want to thank you for taking a few minutes with us, especially on such short notice Sir.

Joe – No problem, its always a pleasure to find myself here with your listeners sir.

And as always, I’d like to thank all our listeners and we hope to have you visit us again next week.  Until then let’s remember our end game is our Careers and as Jim Rohn told us Your Life Does Not Get Better By Chance, It Gets Better By Change! http://www.quoteswave.com/picture-quotes/323804   Everyone have a great week ahead and Be Safe Out There!

A Visit with Phillip – Stepping into Lead & Supervisor Positions

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WAOC is on the road this week in Illinois, I’m Marty, and we’re recording this week’s Episode of Warehouse and Operations as a Career in Chicago.  I’m in town visiting a couple of facilities and of course couldn’t come through The Windy City without reaching out to our WAOC Tech & Facilities guy Phillip. Thanks for stopping by the Hotel Phillip, we got to get these episodes in as we can, how have you been Sir?

We’d like to thank you for sitting down with us for a bit today, it’s been too long since you’ve been on the show!

You must be glad to be home, last time we spoke I think you’d been up in Pennsylvania for about a month on a facility rollout?

We’ll we probably ought to get into today’s show but first I’d like to thank all our Listeners out there.  We crossed that 10,000 downloads or streams threshold this week, 10,000 listens to the WAOC Podcast.  I’d like to thank each of you for all the shares, email’s and follows & tweets over the last several months! We have a lot of fun researching the topics you’ve sent in and looking up or gathering answers for the questions asked each week.  I hope we’ve gotten a little easier to listen too, we’re trying to learn as we go and I thank you for your patience! I hope we’re bringing some sort of value to your positions and goals and aiding in the pursuit of your Careers!

Phillip, we were talking a little earlier today about Leads and Supervisors coming up from the floor and how challenging it is for them these days.  You have a pretty interesting story yourself, you’ve had a pretty busy 5 years and accepted several of those challenges.  When I first met you you we’re Lumping or Unloading freight I believe and have held several positions since then.  Would you mind sharing a bit of your story with our group Sir?

As you know I work with several young Leads and Supervisors, it’s so interesting to witness their growth in Leadership and the different ways they each handle the challenges from their peers.  I believe their first big challenge is usually how to go from being a friend, a co-worker on the floor to directing and counseling the very workers they use to hang out with.  I mean we know all their work ethics and how they may or may not be exactly following the rules and procedures!

On my flight out here I ran across an article on twitter, check out @budtoboss, they have some great articles on leading and supervising.  The article I read was 5 Things a Smart Manager Does to Decrease Change Resistance, and I’ll add that link to the show notes on our website so you can check it out. http://www.budtoboss.com/management/5-things-a-smart-manager-does-to-decrease-change-resistence/

WAOC isn’t affiliated with them in any way, I think you may find them interesting though, so I wanted to share a few excerpts with you..  The 5 points brought up were:

  1. Sell more than you tell

Understand that “telling” someone what’s going to happen is very different from “selling” them on the idea.  I myself always try and share a little on Why we’re doing something, maybe share the goal if you will instead of just telling.

  1. Help people tune-in to WII-FM

Be prepared to answer the question on every employee’s mind:  “What’s in it for me?” This sounds difficult but again I’ve found by sharing a little, maybe just taking a little extra time explaining something that it’s easier to give an associate that answer.

  1. Work through the “head grapes”

Every organization has a grapevine—an unofficial communication channel that often moves faster than official ones. You might call the people who other people listen to, those who influence the grapevine, the “head grapes.”  It’s so important to know your associates and respect each one of them, I try to know each one of my employees.

 

  1. Break the change into “bite-sized” pieces

While you can’t wait forever for people to get onboard, understand that people need both information and time to accept a change. Break big changes into small pieces that people are willing to accept more quickly.  I think this is really important.  I myself understand changes better when I’m not dealing with 20 components of change to reach the ultimate goal!

  1. Build positive momentum

By breaking big changes into bite-sized pieces, you create positive momentum.  I think it helps reduces the chance of failure too, even if only one piece or component has to be revisited we’ve broken that forward momentum right?

I found these interesting, definitely gave me somethings to think about.  If your new to leadership roles or contemplating that next step, I’d follow them on twitter and check out some of their thoughts.

How’d you handle it Phillip, I remember you were promoted from the crew, right?

I was lucky with my first step into leadership and lead task, I was transferred from the night shift onto the day shift, from order selecting into the warehouse side of inventory control.  I knew the crew but hadn’t been working with them every day so I think my transition was a little easier.  However I did find that the men I’d worked with every night did treat me a little differently for a while, I associated it with me moving to days but now looking back I’m sure it had more to do with my step into the leadership role!

So Phillip from lead you moved into the supervisor role, along with the normal challenges you were kind of at arm’s length from your management team, actually kind of your companies representative in that state.  How’d you handle that, did it present any additional challenges for you?

And now you’re a Regional Facility Manager with that same company & oversee their Technology and time keeping systems.  And as if that didn’t keep you busy your responsible for houses in 2 states, a total of 3 houses AND work with about 9 others and their Sup’s with their Technology concerns.  Keep you busy, how do you handle all that?

Well Phillip, I guess we’d both better get back to it Sir, I want to thank you for taking a few minutes with our WAOC group again and let’s not let it take so long before your next visit!

And a big thanks to all our listeners this week, we really appreciate your time as well and I hope we bring you something of value each week!  Please remember WAOC is on Twitter and Facebook as @whseandops and our website can be found at warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com where you can always find our show notes and any research material and links we may mention each week!

All of our jobs are tough, our hours can be long and the tasks we’re around can present dangers, let’s remember its all of our jobs to follow our Safety procedures, teach those procedures to others and its always a great thing to participate in our Safety meetings and contribute where we can.

Equipment Certification – CDL Training – Experience

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Hi all, Marty here with Warehouse and Operations as a Career!  I spent quite a bit of time on Social Media this week, if you follow us on Facebook you may have noticed I’m a member or have joined quite a few Job’s Groups in the 5 states I work with and try and post when I know of someone hiring or participating wherever I can.  Since the New Year I’ve seen a real influx with the number of postings from companies offering training for a CDL license in transportation or Equipment Certifications in the Warehouse.  Not that this really bothers or affects me, but I do want us all to understand what’s being offered through them.  When I saw how may replies they get and noticed the number of post from individuals asking things like “Where can I get Forklift Certified, or Where can I learn to Drive a Cherry Picker and Where can I get my CDL License I feel these people are legitimately asking for help and I’m not sure their receiving it, or in an unbiased form anyway or at least in some instances.  So, I pushed back the topic scheduled for today and I’d like to share some thoughts on these two avenues to employment, probably good choices for some but possibly not all of us.

Social Media can be THE tool for us as job seekers, but I feel it can also and many times can get us off track or urge us to go down the wrong path when trying to get our careers started.  Experience and Responsibility are the two components I believe in, and found to be the actual fast track tool.

Let’s look at this scenario, the bosses son has been away to college for 4 years, only worked in the warehouse during his summers in high school, kind of knows how the freight comes in, that its stored in the racks and its shipped out when a customer orders it.  He had a hand in all the tasks before, physically moving the product through the system but not really on a day to day routine.  Anyway, he’s graduated now and is coming back to work with the crew.  Now he’s a great guy, doesn’t come off as a know it all and he definitely has the training and education to review the P & L or Profit and Loss statements, Contracts and turns out he’s a pretty good negotiator or salesman to the customers but his expertise or experience in the warehouse or on the floor activities are going to be really lacking.  He won’t know how to turn a pinwheeled pallet inside a trailer without breaking it and damaging the left corners freight, or how to slide a leaning stack of product back onto the pallet without having to restack the whole thing. And what about placing a small piece of wood between the trailer decking and the dock plate lip so we can drive our equipment in and out of the trailer without bumping the load off the pallet!  Things like that, and about 5000 others aren’t taught at most schools, experience is how there learned.  So, this gentleman has been given the title of warehouse manager, but I feel he’s going to struggle maintaining the productivity and handling the crew and daily operations because he’s still going to have to Learn the task or job.  Is it going to frustrate him, make him work twice as hard, really wear him out?  I believe it can and probably will!  He’s been trained and educated to view and handle things at like a Directors level, he knows, and might I say he’s comfortable with those tasks because he has that training and that education.  Now let’s change the story just a bit and say that he had worked in the warehouse during high school on weekends and after school each day.  He had unloaded trucks, received the P.O’s, ran product from the docks, racked pallets with the forklift and pulled orders and shipped orders for that 4 years, went off to college and was trained in the same qualities we discussed earlier.  I feel he’d be a great Warehouse Manager, a much stronger Director because of his Experiences, right?

I guess what I wanted to talk about are perceived short cuts to our Careers today so I’ll get back on subject, we’ll finish that story on another episode, it actually does goes somewhere and I think that little piece kind of fits in with today’s topic, maybe..

So, while running through the feeds I saw one ad stating something like” Learn to drive in 21 days, zero cost to you, solo and team drivers, and most if not all of those type ad’s will mention Home Time.  Now this isn’t a bad opportunity for the right individual.  Upon looking into the offer, in this particular case the program was paid for through some sort of state or federal funding program for jobs, which I feel is a great thing, but we’re going to be working for their company while we EARN our CDL or commercial driver’s License.  It seems to be a really decent program, for that individual that can be away from home quite a bit, willing to get the needed miles on the road and the experience of drop and hook transportation.  These jobs will pay you pretty well in a year or two.  You’ll have the license in 21 days, I guess the question is do you accept the position and the pay that goes along with it!  Another ad stated something like CDL Training, route, regional and National driving positions, Home Time teams and Solo.  It seems like these school’s range in price anywhere from 2k to 3k dollars and I’m sure their worth it, if only because of all the one on one training, instruction and Safety considerations that’s presented to us.  Upon looking at some of the job referrals they’d be offering I saw those road mile opportunities, home time was there but kind of like in small print.

I think we all understand, at least deep down inside us somewhere that these types of Opportunities can be both advantageous to us or a hindrance to our real pursuits.  The real money we’re looking for is going to come later, after we have the miles, deliveries and experiences and learned the responsibilities of the job.  In my experience, companies are not going to hire us because we possess the CDL license in our hand alone.  Their going to put someone in their Company’s Rig or tractor and trailer that they’ve invested something like 140k dollars or maybe more in and loaded with freight they are responsible for that has experience, years of experience, with a safe driving record and delivery experience first and foremost.

And I’m seeing the same question regarding our Equipment Certification for warehouse equipment.  As you may know this one really irks me.  So, the ad typically goes something like “Forklift Licenses in 1 day, earn up to $xx/hr, we help you seek employment”.  The certification is a regulatory requirement here in the states and your employer, 99% of the time, is going to train and certify us for free.  We should have the training to be on his or her dock, its free.  And there’s a well know component to the standard that we’ll have to be on-sited or observed on the dock that we’ll be working on to complete that certification process.  I’ve seen the cost of these School’s range from $88 for just an electric pallet jack or a forklift to like $189 or more depending how many types of equipment their going to certify us on.  Now these classes aren’t really a bad thing all the way around.  I think there a great refresher course as they pertain to a specific type of equipment, kind of an overview or review of the operating manual and the Safety refresher is definitely worth the cost.  But do your research and know again what your getting for your hard-earned money.  I read so many comments and replies on Jobs Groups this week where people paid for a class and are hearing through their job searches that you need 1 year or 6 months or 2 years of experience for those well-paying positions being advertised.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I think both these Driving Schools and the Certification Classes have their place and in many instances, can help us achieve our goals BUT please make sure we’ve researched them and know what we’re getting out of them and how we are going to make them work for us and to our advantage.  I’ve found those referrals that are offered are sometimes just a list of trucking companies that are continuously hiring or staffing companies that presently have ad’s running.

We’ve talked about Social Media now on a couple of different episodes, Sharon, a Recruiting Specialist with a large national sourcing company, Belmar Integrated Logistics, walked us through how to better use Social Media when we’re responding to Recruiters and handling that phone Interview and what she looks for in that stressful and sometimes agonizing face to face interview we all dread.  One of her points was experience and how different companies look at experience levels when filling positions.  She mentions how there are just no short cuts to experience. Again, Social Media is a great tool for us job seekers, but I feel it can be a distraction if we’re not careful with it.  I saw so many individuals posting this week of how they’ve applied for a position and are waiting for a call back, been waiting for a couple of weeks.  They were told they have the job but have to wait for the position to open back up, sometimes they’ve even sent their friends to the same place and now their waiting on that call also.  Make sure that call’s really coming before you quit searching and applying for jobs would have to be my advice.

Back to the topic’s I guess, I see or hear from at least one person a month that’s walked into an agency or company with their Operators License in hand stating I’m ready to go to work as a Lift driver only to be told he or she doesn’t qualify because they have no variable experience.  Oh, a true story, Last year a friend’s son shelled out $2700 to take a CDL course, it was really a good course and they taught him all about the equipment, hauling, backing, all the regulatory information he needed to know, really a through school or class, I was honestly impressed with his education.  Even with his father’s contacts within the industry he had to sign on with a company, kind of at the bottom rung and start putting in his time, building that experience.  He was far from happy with the starting pay, he won’t be happy with his pay for a couple of years but then it’ll all be worth it as after you have some bankable experience it can be a great and very rewarding profession!

If you’re a long-time listener with us here at WAOC you know we believe the wealth comes from knowing all the positions that your task touches, adding those values to your resume and believe that you’ll increase your earnings with that knowledge and experience.  Mix in a little self-education, participate in all the shift meetings, show up on time for every shift and make sure our bosses know our goals and I cant help believe we’ll see success much quicker than the individual that believes he’s found a short cut.  Experience & Responsibility Pays.

I hope I made sense today and you found some value within the show somewhere.  If your seeking employment use those Job’s Groups on Facebook, use them responsibility, I think their great resources.  Please Like our group’s, WAOC can be found @whseandops on Facebook and twitter and we’re having a lot of fun with the Warehouse Equipment Operators Community Group on Facebook as well, dang I was going to try to get through a whole episode without saying as well, I heard from a listener that I said it too much at the end of sentences.  Oh, and email us with any thoughts or suggestions to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com we love reading your messages!

Thanks for listening and not just good luck but a wish for great luck with your job search or that promotion that your chasing!  And as always, remember Safety is our first responsibility in any task we perform, let’s all Think Safe and Be Safe this week!

Questions & Answers with a Few Thoughts Tossed In

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Warehouse and Operations as a Career back with you again, it’s been a great week, I’m certain we’ve all been productive and made great headways with our careers this week! I’m Marty and I have to say I’m excited about a few of the episodes we’re working on and planning for the next few weeks.  I won’t spoil the surprises, but we have some great topics and guests lined up.  Keep those topics coming in, we love hearing from you and we’re receiving some great suggestions and questions each week!  Today we’d like to explore a few of them and see if we can gather up some answers for ya.  If you don’t follow WAOC on Twitter or Facebook we’d appreciate you checking out those feeds, where we can be found @whseandops and of course any missed episodes can be streamed or downloaded on our website  http://warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com/

 

Ok, now that all that’s all out of the way let’s try and get caught up on a few questions we’re behind on.  Let’s start off with this one, it usually goes something like this:  I want to make more money should I quit and get a warehouse job?  Usually we hear it from someone in the restaurant or retail industry or maybe from someone in the fast food world.  My Career choice was Operations, so I’d cautiously say yes of course.  A Chef is probably going to say No Way, keep honing your skills here and the Retail Manager is going to talk with you about all the advancement opportunities available.  Oh, and your Fast Food boss will share all the Managerial positions and franchise or business opportunities you can grow into.  Remember, as managers we’re all doing what we love, our choices have been great choices for us.  We’ve probably had mentors pay attention to us, teach us and helped us grow in the chosen fields.  I saw a quote on Facebook just today from Herb Health Happiness that said The 3 C’s of Life – Choices, Chances, Changes.  You must make the choice, to take a chance, if you want anything in life to change.  Make you think doesn’t it!  My point is, and you’ve probably heard me talk to it before, we have to work the rest of our lives.  I feel one has to enjoy their work to be successful at it.  If we change jobs for a little more money but we don’t love what we do, not only will we not enjoy our days there but we will not succeed at it.  We’ll just be wasting our time.  I believe we can grow in any field or industry.  We’ll need to get started, learn our job and the task of others working around us, get noticed by our management team, accept more responsibility every time its offered, be on time for every shift offered to us and learn, many times on our own, about our Industry and we’re guaranteed success.  If we enjoy what we’re doing.  Myself, in my senior year of high school, I worked part time at a mall for a major Retail store in the backroom of their catalogue department.  There were 3 dock doors at the docks and I would occasionally be tasked with working out there as our catalogue orders would be delivered.  I found I loved the physical workout and being around the equipment.  Eventually I got to operate the forklift and I was hooked.  I worked several jobs throughout the college years but always wound up back on the docks.  So to answer the question “:  I want to make more money should I quit and get a warehouse job I’m going to say if you’re asking yourself the question you need to make a choice, do your research on it, step out there and take a chance, that will lead to your change.  There’s no law that says you can’t do that over and over again.  If you find you love warehousing I can assure you the opportunities are there, and you can be as successful and make as much money as you’d like within the industry.  The more you learn and the more responsibilities your willing to take on the more you’ll earn!

I rambled a bit, but you know by now I kind of preach Op’s every chance I get!

Here’s another one we see from time to time and we’ve talked to it a couple of times and probably should dive in a little deeper: I’ve been a warehouseman for 2 years, I think I’d like to be a Driver, I’d make more money.  Maybe not really a question, but I see a variation of that sentence at least once a month.  Transportation is a huge part of Operations and the Supply Chain.  And yes, there’s money to be made in the field and I find it to be a Great Career choice.  My first thought is if we’ve worked in the warehouse for 1, 2 or 3 years you must be enjoying the work.  If we’re working hard, showing up on time every day and doing things to get noticed by our managers we’ve probably seen at least an increase or two and may be on our way to that first promotion of some type.  Maybe changed tasks or been trained at another position or two, started climbing the ladder if you will.  If you’ve been speaking with a few drivers, another word doing your research, and we believe we’d enjoy that job the transition is pretty easy and can be a huge opportunity for us!  In earlier episodes we’ve talked about the different ways to break into the field, basically theirs two avenues to pursue.  And I guess we should look at the two different types of Driving also, Over The Road or driving for a vendor & the Delivery or Route Driver. The Driving Schools out there can be one choice and coming up from the bottom or taking a position within transportation like on the fuel island or a driver helper within our present employer is another avenue.  If one has the money for the schooling and don’t mind spending some time over the road I think that’s a great route to take.  You’ll be exposed to the Common Carrier role and it’s a great way to see the country. Most of the delivery or route driver opportunities are going to want us to have several miles under the belt before they turn us loose in the city with something like 20 stops on their tractor and trailer.  They’ve got 10’s of thousands of dollars tied up in that equipment.  And add in the cost of the freight you can understand they’d like to know we can get the product delivered safely and without incident, right?  I feel you have to be a patient person to go over the road.  I once thought I’d make a great driver, signed on with an outfit and went out as a junior driver with an instructor.  My first 3 trips as a Team driver, well really it was 1 trip, a 3.5-week trip with 3 pickups and 3 deliveries was enough to show me I wasn’t going to enjoy the life and there was no way I would succeed at it.  I ended up being stuck in Florida for 2.5 days while our broker found us another load to head home with.  Remember, as a driver your paid for hauling freight, rolling empty cost money.  When I got back home I went back to the warehouse.  I think that’s when I realized how much I loved the job and started planning my career and reaching for my goals.  The other way to give transportation a try is by working in a non-driving compacity like a driver helper.  Here we’ll be traveling with a driver and responsible for stacking down the freight, properly unloading it and if we’re in the distribution or route delivery side of things, two wheeling the product into our customers place of business, shelving the product and working with the invoicing even.  Many companies will work with us, let us practice in their truck yards, help us learn to back up and bump docks.  A lot of times they’ll help us get our learners permits, sometimes even let us use their equipment to take our driving tests and of course give us a driving job as soon as we receive our Commercial License and Endorsements.  I mean we already know all their product, customers and procedures because we’ve been helping the driver all along.  I believe Driving is a great Career, rewarding and lucrative profession.  I hope my thoughts kind of helps, if you’d like to discuss it a bit further with us shoot us an email to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com and we’d be happy to offer up an opinion on your particular situation.

Let’s see, what’s another one we see kind of often, PPE’s.  Here’s one, I’m not sure why we as Associates question PPE’s so much but here’s a question from 2 weeks ago: Why is a Safety Vest so important, it’s hot and it doesn’t help me when I’m unloading a trailer.  I hear something like this all the time in my travels.  Last August I was in Arizona, I was observing the 3rd shift and it was still 107 degrees at 10pm, I had been there earlier in the day and it was 121.  That’s really warm even to a Texan.  I of course was wearing a vest over my tee-shirt.  Does our light weight vest, many vests that are worn in our warehouse environments can be a mesh material even, does our light weight vest really hold in any heat anyway?  I personally wear a vest anytime I’m out on the floor, no matter if the company I’m walking requires it or not.  I don’t think any of us would deny we’re going to be seen better by any equipment operator.  I’ve never talked to a fork driver of pallet jack operator that didn’t appreciate the crew wearing a vest, it’s just easier to see people in the aisles or on the front docks.  Shoes and boots, our steel toe PPE’s comes up quite a bit too.  I know many facilities don’t require steel toes, but I strongly suggest and encourage that anyone that works around pallets and warehouse equipment wears them at all times on the floor.  I’ve seen several incidents where people injure their toes by dropping a pallet on their feet and toes.  Pallets are heavy, drop one on the bridge of your foot or on your toes and it’s going to hurt you.  Why risk getting hurt, missing work or having an accident when it’s something that can be prevented?  Just recently we had a good discussion on the Facebook Group Warehouse Equipment Operators Community about which are better Steel Toe Shoes or Boots.  Myself I prefer boots that cover my ankle when I’m working around pallets, but I do just wear a shoe style when walking a warehouse and observing.  There’s some really nice ones in both styles, even some designer style tennis shoe types are out there.  Don’t argue about any required PPE’s, your company is trying to protect you, wear them.  Many PPE’s may be required, things like respirators, fall protection devices and hard hats even.  Many times, it’s the law, our jobs require them, respect that and follow the rules.  PPE’s are there for a reason, at some point the task has been identified, maybe through a Job Hazzard Analysis, as having a danger, respect it and let’s be thankful to our employer for thinking of us or enforcing the regulatory rules.

I think we have time for one more, lets get to this one, I actually missed it or we would have started with this one or I can say we saved the best for last right .  You talk about being certified and on-sited, never get on a pallet jack until you’ve been trained, what do you mean?

Here in the states our governing body OSHA or the dept of Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set guidelines, rules and regulations and standards. Congress created OSHA to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.  I’ll add a link to the show notes but you can find them at https://www.osha.gov/  in your browser, a lot of interesting information there.  Anyway 29cfr1910.178 is the section regarding Powered Industrial Trucks.  I’ll add the link here as well, its actually a very interesting read and I’d use the word educational too, check it out, you’ll enjoy several parts or sections of it.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=9828&p_table=standards

In a nut shell it states to never get on, touch, move or operate a piece of powered industrial equipment that you haven’t been trained on. If your employer has not certified you to operate your equipment on their docks mention it to them, I assure you they’ll appreciate it or should.  The classes are inexpensive, and any fines incurred are can be very expensive.  The class it self is informative about 3 or 4 hours long and consist of a bunch of videos, instructional information and a test at the end.  There’s an on-site required which is usually a small obstacle course like area where we can demonstrate to our instructor that we can operate the equipment.

Let me take one more minute and get to this one, this question came in about a month ago, I of course replied but I just saw it here and thought I’d share with the group:  Do you have any forklift jobs, is this a company?  Well no WAOC is not a company and we don’t have any jobs to offer.  We’re just a group of old Operations people sharing our experiences, thoughts and opinions about an Industry that we feel provides opportunities with long lasting careers.  We have a couple of mics and a recorder that we carry with us sometimes on the road or too events and job fairs but most of the time the show is recorded out of a room in the house and sometimes in a closet when its raining to hard and the mic picks up the sounds.  So please don’t be to harsh with us on the audio, we’re learning ourselves, some of that self-education I’m always talking about! WAOC isn’t monetized at all, meaning theirs no money, no one receives pay or compensation for visiting with us, we truly just like talking about Operations and sharing our experiences and yep the occasional opinions! Do be sure to check out our Twitter and Facebook feeds though, sometimes staffing companies post positions there and we try and retweet as many job postings as we can there.

Well, I hope we hit on a question today that brings you some value. We appreciate you checking in with us this week.  Until next week, Be Productive and please work smart which means Safe!

Equipment Pre-Trip – Transportation & Logistics – Lets Earn More

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So Week 1 of the New Year has arrived! I hope everyone enjoyed the Holidays and is ready for 2018!  I look forward to the change, the new challenges and all the Opportunities that a new year can bring with it.  I use the word can here because we as Employees or Associates have to capitalize on those opportunities, maybe I can say we have the responsibility, to ourselves, to make things happen for us. Have you sat down and figured out what you’d like to change at your work place this year, written down 5 Goals for the year, have you said out loud how much more money you’re going to make this year?

I was having a conversation with a great group of Op’s guys last week and we ended up talking about efficiencies, employees and how them as leaders can excel at their jobs, reduce expenses and aid us employees in their success.  Every Supervisor and Manager I’ve met needs his or her associates to succeed and make more money.  Realistically Management teams needs their employees to be the best, the most productive in the industry at their jobs.  They need to have associates willing, trained and capable of taking their place or he or she will find themselves stuck in their positions.  You may have heard to always train someone to do your job, so your boss can pull you from it when the time comes right, I’ve always tried to have a #2 ready willing and able to take my place.  I always wanted to be available for that promotion and make that money! I hadn’t planned on speaking to all this today, I tell you what, I’ll reach out to a couple of new supervisors and managers in the next few weeks and we’ll explore some of their thoughts on advancement.  It’ll be fun and interesting to hear their New Year goals & how they plan on their future success!

So what I wanted to talk about today was our equipment, our pre and post trips and equipment maintenance in particular.  I was asked how’s the best way to handle a situation where you’ve reported an issue with your equipment and it’s not addressed.  Well, my first thought was just don’t get back on it, but we all know that may not be the best way to handle it and we’d probably just end up turning our maintenance department or maybe even our manager against us.  A more proper way to address would be to use knowledge to get it fixed, throw out the financial cost that’ll be involved, loss in productivity and the accident potential, if one exist, to our managers and I’m certain he or she will see that it’s addressed and probably immediately. Remember we’re working on our careers, or I hope we are.  Although our first thought could be to get loud, feel like we’re being singled out and our concerns aren’t being taken care of but that’s not going to get us noticed in the light we’re wanting, we’d be reacting like a person working at a job or towards a paycheck.  If we’re doing our job and have our eye on that next position that’s going to pay us more, probably with more responsibilities, we need to be reacting to every situation from the mind set of expenses and productivity.  We’re going to get noticed presenting that type of personality and attitude much better and quicker than being negative or being a problem. Both techniques will get our equipment fixed, one will just earn us more money in the long run.   Remember it’s our responsibility to do our jobs to the letter and our pre and post trips reporting is the first step and the last step to those jobs, we won’t get in trouble by performing in our jobs! But I can assure you by not performing at them we won’t have them very long.

A quick true story, many years ago I had a buddy who’s sitdown or counterbalance forklift had a leaky hydraulic hose, it didn’t leak unless the second stage of the mask was raised really fast or at full speed.  We saw it dripping, talked about how he shouldn’t use it but he didn’t want to be told to go select on a pallet jack, so he went ahead and jumped on his lift.  Well about 2 hours into the shift the hose ruptured and oil went everywhere, all over the floor, soaked a lot of product not to mention all over him.  Through being questioned about the event it came out that he’d known about the leak and he was dismissed like a week later.

Another incident that ended up costing an employee the cost of some freight, his blade on the slipsheet attachment was not true, about a quarter inch warped and when he scooped under a stack of frozen French fries he ripped open the entire bottom layer.  When maintenance checked his preshift sheets and compared them to the previous shifts post trip document they found it had been recorded & that he had not actually performed his pre-trip.  He got to keep his position but ended up paying for the product because he’d been negligent and of course he received a corrective action write up.  Two great examples of how important it is that we perform our duties as directed.

Just yesterday I was reading an article I saw on Facebook from Truck 1 News.com http://truck1news.com/2017/11/20/top-10-most-dangerous-u-s-roads-for-truck-drivers/

Titled Top 10 most dangerous U.S. Roads for Truckdrivers.  It reads as – An additional 36 percent more trucks are on the roads during the holidays, and truck companies can use logistics to keep drivers safe. An additional 36 percent more trucks are on the roads during the holidays, says Zonar, and truck companies can use logistics to keep drivers safe. To aid those decisions, the company released graphics showing the top 10 most dangerous roads in the U.S. for truck drivers. Knowing which stretches of road are the most dangerous for trucks in terms of total accidents can help operators and fleet managers potentially decrease their chances of getting into an accident and help keep other drivers safe – by adjusting their routes or schedules, varying driving times and loads, or increasing inspections and checkpoints. According to the US Department of Transportation, the top 10 most dangerous roads for truck drivers based on total accident volume between 2013-2016 are… I’m not sure I’d agree with their list but I’ll add the articles link to our show notes, so you can go check it out, but I did find some of its statics interesting.  It goes on to say – More than half the trucks involved in accidents were found to have at least one vehicle defect. A point to my feelings of how important a good documented pre-trip can be.  It may not catch everything but its important to perform it and its really our job to do so! Some other statics it states are – 30 percent of those were found to be directly caused by equipment failure including brake, tire, light and transmission failure as well as vehicle overload. Adverse weather caused 14.7 percent of accidents, with rain as the most common cause (72.6 percent) as well as fog (12.5 percent) and snow (10.12 percent).The increased volume of drivers on the road during the holidays are comprised of private passenger cars (23%), delivery fleets (10%) and people-carrier traffic such as rented buses and shuttles (3%).“Look around any room and you’ll find the majority of the things you see and use are there because of the approximately 3.5 million truck drivers on the road at any given time.

3.5 million truck drivers on the road at any given time, that’s a huge number isn’t it! We’ve discussed here at WAOC how pretty much everything we see and use each day has gone through a distribution center and or been delivered by a truck or at least a component of the item was shipped at some point.

Transportation is a key component of the supply chain process.  We can manufacture or produce the goods, and store or inventory the product and then sell it, pull the orders and get them separated and loaded but then we have to pass them along to Transportation to get them shipped and distributed.  We’ve mentioned how interesting the Logistics fields can be in other episodes and really the opportunities are just as endless as in the warehouse segments of the industry.  I know several men and women that started out as Driver Helpers oh and 3 that moved on from dispatch clerk positions, you know routing is another great way to break into the logistics and transportation department.

Oh, talking about breaking into transportation, I was reading a post on one of the job boards from an applicant looking to enroll in a CDL course and get his commercial license.  He was looking for a class that would not interfere with his day job.  I had two thoughts here, I feel the class route of course can be beneficial but from my experiences you’ll need to not only the license but some miles under your belt to get that driving job you’re looking for.  Many of these classes, which can be a bit expensive, will require you to do some over the road work for their company. Now that will get you the needed experience and miles, but you’ll need to be prepared to be away from home quite a bit.  I’m more of an advocate of working in the industry as a driver helper, dispatcher or clerk of some kind and moving into transportation within your present employer.  There’s so many advantages going this route. Your getting paid for learning instead of paying to learn, your showing your present employer you want more.  And I feel in many instances you’ll achieve your goal quicker, especially in the distribution field.  I know others may disagree but that’s my opinion, all two cents worth.

Logistics is blowing up with positions right now, not only is there a huge need for drivers but the whole supply chain component has jobs to offer.  Look on any job board or advertisements and you’ll probably see open positions for Freight Broker Agents & Logistics Coordinators, we retweet several of them weekly on our twitter feed, they can’t fill enough of these positions.  Speaking of Logistics Careers, todays Universities and a lot of our Community Colleges offers some great courses in Logistics now as well.

Another excellent field within our Industry is with Safety!  Right now is a great time to be interested in Light Industrial Safety, companies are always looking for and expanding, its important to keep everyone safe and adhere to any regulations to the letter.  As you know I love being involved and working within a strong safety culture and positive environment!

2018 is going to be a great year, it’s going to be what we each make of it!  Our success and safety in the work place and working towards our career goals is our responsibility and I know I’m ready willing and able to accept them, are you ready for your success?  As you can probably tell this is my most exciting time of the year.  WAOC is looking forward to visiting with you each week, having some knowledgeable guests sit in with us and throwing in a few more mobile episodes this year!  Let’s all rock 2018, get noticed by our management teams and take an active roll in our Safety and the Safety of others!

4th Quarter 2017 – Preparing for a Richer “2018”

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Well the 4th quarter of 2017 is coming to a close.  Marty here with you at Warehouse and Operations as a Career.  Your Company’s probably been busy this month with a lot going on.  Many facilities may be not only closing the books on the month but have the quarterly reporting going on as well as the end of the year.  For us on the floor, if our Fiscal year, or financial year is ending we are probably seeing asset list being made and Inventories being taken.  I remember having to account for every pallet, battery, freezer suit, really everything we used in the warehouse.  My Supervisor and manager would really stress over having the answers for the accountants and their bosses at the end of the year.  And Inventory, or the counting of every box and case of product in the building, a time consuming endeavor to say the least.  Your facility may actually shut down operations and solicit help from the salesforce and all the other departments to perform this yearly function.  Even if your company utilizes a cycle count system, meaning every item is counted a specific number of times a year to keep inventory levels accurate at all times a total inventory may be requested around this time of year.  Of course, as we in Operations know the product so well, not to mention every nook and cranny of the warehouse we’ll usually play a big part in the task.  I guess it’s just a part of the job right, and may even provide us with a good amount of over time.  For me the dread was always having to work with salesmen or the people from the other departments that knew nothing about the product or even how to count the ti’s and hi’s or pallets.  Personally, I was glad when a full blown inventory was over, and we could get started on a new year.

Speaking of a new year it’s just about here isn’t it.  The new year is a great time to reboot and catch that 2nd wind, kind of makes me reflect on the past year and welcome the new one in.  Here at WAOC we’ve talked quite a bit of the importance of Goals in our Career’s, we’ve set several for ourselves this year, how’d you do, did we accomplish all we wanted too?  Several of our listeners worked for and received that promotion, got noticed by their management teams and earned that raise they wanted or earned that next position.  I’d like to think we all did a great job this year, let’s all pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves a big round of applause!

Seriously though, it is time to plan out next year now, if we want to make 5 grand more next year than we did this year that’s only $2.40 an hour we need to make at regular time this year, and we can somewhat control our wages so it’s guaranteed we can.  Sounds strange doesn’t it, but I believe its factual, it’s up to us and we can do it!.  Some of my favorite quotes:

https://www.ziglar.com/category/quotes/

Zig Ziglar, one of my favorites said “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.  If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

I saw this recently on Facebook, I think it came from The Vibrant Mind “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”  I know if I interject myself close to successful people It helps me make better decisions.

https://livelifehappy.com/life-quotes/when-a-flower-doesnt-bloom-you-fix-the-environment/

One that helps me almost daily is Don’t ruin a good today by thinking about a bad yesterday.  Let it go.  I think I found that a long time ago on lifeadvancer.com

One thing I worked hard on this year and is probably my strongest accomplishment is just keeping my mouth shut more often.  I get in a lot of trouble by thinking something and it just rolling out of my mouth.

Oh and how can we talk about quotes and not mention a few from my favorite, Vince Lombardy:

http://www.vincelombardi.com/quotes.html

“Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.”

“Unless a man believes in himself and makes a total commitment to his career and puts everything he has into it – his mind, his body, his heart – what’s life worth to him?”

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

I’ll put links to todays quotes in the show notes at warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com in case you’d like to look at others as well, I like looking them up, its fun and interesting to me.

I wouldn’t want to be the person to tell Vince Lombardy that I couldn’t make and additional $2.40 an hour next year, I don’t feel he had much patience for the word can’t or couldn’t.

Henry Ford left us with “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” I myself tried to quit using the word can’t a long time ago.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/203714.Henry_Ford

This year at WAOC we talked of our responsibilities as employees, from researching where we wanted to work and who we wanted to work for to building our resumes, acing our interviews, being on time for our shifts everyday and learning to be among the best at our tasks and getting noticed by our management teams.  We’ve talked a lot about participating in shift meetings and start up meetings and how they can put us on our managements radar.  Putting all that to practice will earn us that additional $5000.00 next year, I’m certain, I know its possible.

So what are some of your goals for next year, write them out, put it on paper and keep it with you and I feel you’ll meet everyone of them.  What position handles the case after you finish with it, does that pay more, want to do that job, let your supervisor know what you want to do and ask how you need to go about it!  Want to operate that piece of equipment, will it pay us more, let your boss know your ready to take on more responsibility, it’ll happen.  Another thing we’re learning is that taking on responsibility pay’s, the more responsibility we take on the more we’re likely to earn!

In my travels this month I encountered several, really too many stories where individuals had either backed off their goals or was just quitting their positions due to simply not communicating well.  Now some promotions or positions just aren’t going to work out.  Maybe we didn’t do enough research on what our duties were going to be or possibly the jobs duties weren’t explained correctly to us.  Sometimes we reach our goal only to find it requires more hours, tasks or reasonability’s than what we’re comfortable with even.  Or, if we had communicated our frustrations and challenges better, or at all even, we could find that our pain points could have been addressed and solutions could have been found.  In two incidents that were shared with me the management teams we’re unaware of the young supervisor’s feelings and there were solutions available that could have been implemented and solved all their concerns.  That’s of course not always the case but by communicating on the front side, when we’re hitting those walls, we’ll have the necessary information to make the right decisions with.  Who knows, maybe both of these gentlemen could have gone right back to what they were doing originally.

Communicating is probably the hardest thing we do, I mean we come in each shift, get our case counts or production numbers and go straight to work, we’re there to get the job done.  I think every guest we’ve had on the show has tried to stress to us the importance of communicating.  We can’t confuse complaining with communicating though.  We’ve talked about communication on several episodes and Rodrigo, Nathan and Nelson all has given us examples of how important that one word is to us on the floor.  Let’s look it up again,

Communication: a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communication

And Communicating: to convey knowledge of or information about : make known.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communicating

I’ll put those links in todays show notes on the website to at warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com.

Lets remember we’re working to make money, do something we enjoy and turn that enjoyment into a career that we can retire from and that we control our success, not our bosses. I’ve veered off topic again, so where was I,

Ok, I was talking about how responsibility and how responsibility earns us more money.

When our task is cutting and cleaning a thousand linear feet of carpet at an hourly rate and the forklift position pay’s a bit more it’s because we’ll have a little more responsibility.  Yes, a portion of that’s because we’re operating a piece of equipment and are responsible for it and the safety practices that comes with it but also we may be responsible for properly tagging it’s actual length, color etc or getting it to the correct slot or staging area to be loaded on the correct truck heading to the right convention!

An Order Selector might be paid a base rate, but if he or she selects above and beyond an amount per hour, with no errors, they may be incentized for it.  Being responsible for the cases and no errors.

Same thing for moving into a lead or supervisor position, we’ll have more responsibilities and may be paid proportionally for them.

If we show up for our shift on time every day that we can, have a great attitude every day, not only follow the rules, processes and procedures but support them and encourage others too as well, we’re going to be noticed.  Noticed by our managers.  Add in participating in startup meetings and safety meetings, sharing with them that we want more, more responsibility and more money we will have the opportunity to increase our yearly earnings by at least that $5000.00 next year.  I really believe it’s just that simple, I see it done every year.

We are responsible for our own success, and in our fields of warehousing, production, manufacturing, distribution and transportation or the world of Operations we can truly plan it out, implement that plan and reach every goal we set for ourselves.

Like I said earlier, I’m ready for the new year & all it’s bringing for me.  We here at WAOC would love to hear from each of you, what are your goals and where is 2018 going to take you this year? Send us an email to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com .  If there’s any ideas or suggestions through our experiences and opinions that may point you in the right direction we’d be happy to share them.  And don’t forget about our Facebook and Twitter feeds, use @whseandops to find us there and we’d appreciate the Likes and Follows very much.  If your enjoying the show be sure to subscribe so, you’ll never miss an episode!

Until next week, I guess I can add until next year today, lets get those New Year goals written out and a plan in place to reach them & as always let’s put Safety first, personally and professionally, we all have many people counting on us out there!

Cherry Picker, Order Picker & Rider Jack Thoughts

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Welcome back everyone, Marty here with Warehouse and Operations as a Career and I’m back in Dallas Texas this week, it’s nice getting caught back up with regular business and visiting with some local accounts.  I was up North, well I guess I need to call it North Western area last week and found it quite cold for my taste, yes I’m a warmer weather soul without a doubt.  I had a question presented a few weeks ago about Cherry Pickers, what is a cherry picker and is it the same thing as a hi lo machine.  I’m most familiar with using the cherry picker or hi rise machine in the food service distribution side of things so let’s talk about that for a bit.

If your purchasing such a piece of equipment it may be called an Order Picker – Stock Picker or Stock picker truck these days.  When checking them out on You Tube you can search with Order Picker and find some great videos on them.  I’ve heard them referred to as HighRise Machines HighRise Pickers, Cherry Pickers and even High Lows before. Check out You Tube, there’s some great tutorials and videos of them in use on there.  These Order Picker Trucks are used a lot in the furniture industry, theirs a pretty slick square platform made for them where you can slide an item from the slot onto the platform and bring it down with the Cherry Picker.  In larger distribution centers they can be used in narrow aisle environments for the smaller wares or items.  As we know a typical pallet bay or the area or slots between two uprights we’ll find two slots for two pallets to be placed side by side, either straight in, the 40-inch front or sideways on the 48 inch side or 4 way side facing out, with a bay or beam of either 96 inches or 102 inches usually, at least around here.  Anyway, with a cherry picker area or department you can have several pick facings like 9 per bay and the slot may be only like 2ft high or something like that, meaning you can have many slots in the aisle.  I’ve seen these areas being 28 feet high.  As you can see, in one aisle you could have many hundreds or thousands of items in them depending on how long your aisles are.  These areas are built for just such a machine.

Operating an Order Picker or cherry picker isn’t to difficult and the learning curve is pretty short.  Controls wise there’s only a few. Usually a vertical steering wheel, flat mounted on the wall of the driving compartment, typically operated with the left hand and then a forward and reverse lever or roll throttle with up and down buttons within reach of the right hand.  The only other necessary button needed is the horn of course!  In ’88 my Order Picker was Rail Driven, meaning I steered it out on the docks and turning from aisle to aisle or coming out of one aisle and into another.  But as I would enter an aisle I threaded my right outrigger onto a Rail which kept my truck straight as I would drive forward and up or down to the next pick slot.  Many of today’s equipment are wire guided, or follow a wire in the flooring and some are computer guided to the individual slots even.  Technology’s come a long way since I was Selecting.  Here’s a great place for me to slide in one of my favorite points which as you know is to Never get on or even touch any piece of powered industrial equipment that you have not been trained and certified to do so.  Remember, any piece of equipment is dangerous, we must know how to properly operate it before we can use it.  Some of today models have light kits and automatic pallet locks, oh I’ve even seen a few with Fan kits on the driver’s platform to cool us off in the warmer months.

I went online, again some of that self-education stuff and found several pictures of the machines, I’ll add a couple of links in the show notes at warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com if you’d like to see one.

http://www.crown.com/en-us/forklifts/sp-stockpicker.html

https://www.toyotaforklift.com/forklifts/6-series-order-picker

https://www.raymondcorp.com/lift-trucks/orderpickers

While I was looking around on the world wide web, do people even say that anymore?  Anyway, I found a really good Unofficial Forklift Training Video – Order Picker by Raymond Harlall, I’ll add it’s link to today’s show notes. If you’re in Operations, Warehousing or Transportation and have not ran across his channel yet I urge you to check it out.  Raymond does some great videos on different types of equipment, I think you’ll like his work.  There’s no affiliation of any kind with WAOC, we found his channel and are just passing it along, I find them really interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k01FC9JRgC8

Oh, while I was looking for some pictures of the Order Picker I found two links, one that shows a lot of the different Raymond equipment types and one for Crown equipment as well, reference guides I guess you could say.  I found them really interesting and if nothing else they gave me more ideals to go find videos on.  I’ll add these links in the show notes also.

http://www.raymond.mx/assets/media/raymond/literature/truck-literature/RaymondLiftTrucksProductReferenceGuide.pdf

http://www.crown.com/en-us/forklifts.html

https://www.toyotaforklift.com/families/internal-combustion-forklifts-cushion-tire

It’s easy to get excited after looking at all the different kinds of warehouse equipment isn’t it?  I know when we accept a position as an unloader or loader, maybe a packer or sorter and have had the opportunity to be trained on our first piece of powered industrial equipment it’s easy to want a little more.  It’s difficult sometimes to resist the urge to push our experience to the limits but please remember there are no short cuts to our training.  I’m always speaking about not operating any kind of equipment or machine we have not been trained on and certified with but it’s usually the law and it only makes sense.  Let’s not ever even touch anything powered until we’ve successfully completed that training.

Another question we received and it kind of goes along with todays topic is about the word Rider Jack and what is it.  As we’ve learned and speak of the many different types of warehouse powered equipment different industries, regions and even Managers and Supervisors may use a term their familiar with or warehouse slang when calling a piece of equipment something.  A Walkie Electric Pallet Jack is usually one that does not have a platform for the operator to stand on while the machine is moving.  Where as a Rider Jack or Rider Electric Pallet Jack has a platform on both sides for the operator to stand on while operating on it.  Usually their used in the larger facilities and productivity driven environments.  I’ve heard both types called just end control electric jacks before. In this particular instance or to answer the question I’d suggest that you just ask this gentleman to describe the jack to you and explain its operation.  We’ve spoken before how this type of equipment very well may be our first experience with powered equipment.  It’s fairly easy to operate, roll the throttle forward to go forward and roll it backwards to go in reverse turning the end control in the direction we want to travel.  The key is to go slow, very slow until your comfortable with its operation and watch everything around you, be comfortable with your surroundings.  During your training and certification, you’ll learn more about weight capacities, center of gravity with loads and other things like going up or down inclines with your loads.  The key to operating any powered industrial equipment is to Be Safe and know what your doing and following the procedures as you’ve been instructed to do so.

I hope we’ve helped and brought some value to you today and I thank you for listening in with us.  If you have a moment maybe you could Like and share our Facebook page with your friends and check out our Twitter feed, maybe follow us there.  We try and retweet as many job postings as we can each week and share any interesting articles we might find.  You can find us on both @whseandops.

We look forward to you visiting again next week and lets all be Safe on the equipment out there!