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!

Best Practices – Getting That Job!

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Hello all, Marty and the Warehouse and Operations as a Career Podcast back with you this week!  I’m sure it’s been a busy week for all of us & we appreciate your visit today!  I was out on the road last week, attending a few meetings and hitting up a couple of industrial parks, I enjoy seeing the different warehouse configurations, the history of the buildings and how you can see the different building designs, many times built to accommodate the shifts in the transportation world and the movement of freight efficiencies.  I guess those thoughts could be an episode all on its own one week! I find it really interesting how we’ve came from straight line buildings, to rail dock facilities, to the L Shaped designs and even the Inbound In on one side with Outbound going right out on the other side.

Anyway, the question came up of Best Practices and where did the phrase come from and what does it really mean?  I first started hearing of Best Practices in the mid to late 90’s.  Before we get into what Best Practices means to me lets look it up, some of that self-education stuff I’m always talking about:

OK, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_practice first sentence states: A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/best%20practice say’s : a procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption

And I found like 50 sites explaining or selling Best Warehousing Practices online, one https://www.thebalance.com/warehouse-best-practices-2221401 had a pretty good article called 5 Warehouse Best Practices to Lower Picking Time, it’s informative and worth a look.  I’ll add each of these links to our website for you to check out if you’d be interested.

So, let’s talk about what Best Practices may mean to us as associates.  Like I was saying earlier I first started hearing the phrase Best Practices from my Manager in the mid 90’s, we were installing a Warehouse Management System, a full-blown system with inbound inventory scanning, directed putaway and Selection scanning.  Of course, with such systems every step has to be completed correctly as to keep the inventory levels, slot quantities and selection to flow smoothly.  At the time I guess it looked more like a check list to me.  These steps if you will were the best practices or steps that had been learned as the most efficient in past rollouts.  I learned pretty quickly a best practices list needs to be fluid or as additional efficiencies are found they should be included.  I think our industry started recognizing the importance of best practices as Warehousing and Transportation costs grew and we went from the wild west mentality to a more structured and efficient movement of freight model.  I believe all the systems have helped us as employees, structure and disciplines can only help us succeed, our positions are documented and defined right?

We all use best practices every day, I mean we all have routines that we’ve honed over the years that work for us.  My morning routine is efficient and gets me started each day, Laundry is pretty much on a schedule, when we’re cooking we follow a recipe etc.  Here in Texas we do quite a bit of grilling or smoking meats and we take our patio time seriously.  That means we marinate or dry rub the meat, let it sit as we go out and start the charcoal.  Of course, any beverages are already on ice and conveniently placed at arm’s reach. We place the meats on the grill and prepare the side dishes and time everything to be done at the same time right.  We just followed the best practices of barbequing!

Seriously though, Best Practices have been researched and implemented by our individual facilities to be the safest, efficient and most cost effective for each task in the building.  I think in many instances we should think of Job Descriptions, Job Hazard Analysis Sheets, and our SOP’s or Standard Operation Procedures as another form of Best Practices, keeping us Safe and Productive.

Us as an order selector could consider a quick Best Practices guide as something like this:

I arrive to work early with my clean PPE’s

Put my lunch away and outside clothes, cell phone etc in the locker

Use the restroom

Get dressed for the environment i.e. freezer suit, steeltoe boots, safety vest

Punch in on the time keeping system

Go to the Start of Shift Safety meeting and participate in the stretching exercises

Proceed to the equipment area, identify my equipment and sign it out

Perform my Pre-Trip & turn in the sheet to maintenance

Pick up my Selection Unit

Down Load the first selection batch

Proceed to the first slot as directed

Utilize proper lifting techniques and ergonomic movements as I’ve been taught

Complete batch and drive directly to staging area as instructed

Pick up pallets for next batch

Down load new batch

Continue until Lunch Break, Punch out and back In after the break

Download another Batch and continue selection as before

Complete last batch as others

Turn in Selection Unit

Plug up my equipment

Complete Post-Trip inspection and turn sheet into Maintenance

Punch Out in time keeping System

Change and gather my personal effects from locker.

Kind of simply put but you get the idea.  A list of what we’ve found to be the safest and most productive course of action for us as individuals.  Our companies Best Practices are just that, a procedure that’s been researched and tested by time to be the safest and most efficient and productive way to perform the operation.

Best Practices may be one of the over used buzz words today, at least with us on the floor as we now have, or should have, our job descriptions and task SOP’s as well as any Safety Practices thoroughly explained to us during our Orientation and by our Leads or Supervisors on the floor.

You know over the last few episodes we’ve discussed some Best Practices actually.  Episode 62 5 of the Dangers & A Visit with Joe we talked about front dock safety and Joe walked us through some of the Trailer Yard precautions.  Oh and I think it was episode 60 Thoughts on Recruiting & Benefits with Sharon and Michele they did a very good job of explaining our responsibilities as a job applicant, kind of a Best Practices to interviewing and getting hired or at least improving our odds of being chosen for the position.

That being said I’m reminded of something I’ve been wanting to talk about regarding getting that job.  Over the last couple of months I’ve been a little more involved or had the opportunity to be involved in the hiring process with a few different companies.  Since we’re talking about Best Practices lets create a quick Best Practices for us applicants or job seekers!

Remember as we’re checking out the classifieds, job boards and advertisements for a job let’s do a little research on the companies and make sure we want to invest our time in training and working for them.  I mean are the advancement opportunities there and do they offer the exact job or position I want?  We want to make this our career, are they going to offer that to us?

One thing we’ve learned from past episodes, and it’s been talked too by John, Sharon and a couple of others is our Social Media pages and postings.  Remember many potential employers, right or wrong, are going to check out our profiles and try to learn a bit about us from them.  Remember that old saying, a picture prints a thousand words.  It’s important we understand we’re selling our abilities and experience, BUT our personalities and attitudes are being looked at as well.  Would you hire us based solely on our Facebook Feed?  If our mothers wouldn’t question anything on there we’re probably in good shape with an employer!

I think the next practice would be to have a clean, honest and detailed job history sheet or resume.  List everything we’ve done, every piece of equipment we’ve operated and how many hours, day’s or years operating them.  As Sharon explained to us in many instances a recruiter could have a client or position willing to train us.  The more we share about ourselves the more our hiring agent has to work with.  We should do everything we can to increase those opportunities.

Now I’d think we should prepare for the telephone interview.  If we’ve used those keywords or our experiences or what we’re looking to do within our history we’re going to get that call! Now this brings up something I hear about often.  If your experience is in the hospital staff arena don’t just send in your resume to a warehouse position without stating that you want to change fields and maybe why.  The recruiter needs to know that your interested and why you applied to an unloading position.  If we just send in our resume without any notes or reasoning they may just consider it as your blasting the resume to every ad out there and never give us a call! By preparing for the call I’d make notes, what I’ve done, how good I was at it, why I left and really think about what questions he or she may ask and have some bullet points for my answers.  We need to sell ourselves here really strong, be up and energetic, very personable, we want to make them want to call us in for that face to face interview.  If we do a good job here the face to face may just be a formality!

This may sound silly or like over kill, but a recruiter was telling me about a prospect that had sent them an email after the phone interview thanking them for calling him and how forward he was to hearing back from them.  That gesture alone solidified his face to face interview.  He was going to be called in anyway because of his experience but now he’s out front and on his recruiter’s mind.

I think the next practice to list could be being ready for our interview.  We should bring a copy of our work history or a resume with us and be ready to answer questions about our previous employment.  Let’s have a few questions ready for our hiring agent too, that could only show them that we’ve spent a little time researching this job and our interest working for them.  I ran across an article on https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-17-perfect-responses-to-do-you-have-any/f-c51382635b%2Fbuzzfeed.com titled 17 perfect responses to do you have any questions for me during a job interview.  Check it out if you have a moment, I’ll add the link to our website  http://warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com/  It’s fine to ask a few questions, Things like What common Characteristics do you see in people that perform this job well?

What do you think about the Safety Culture here?

Could you give me a tour of where I’d be working and the people I’d be working with?

What do you think of the Company?

How did this position come to be open?

What does success look like in this position and is there advancement opportunities?

You don’t want to go overboard here but a few questions will only show our interest and motivation!

And your hiring agent may be asking us a few pointed questions to learn something about us as well.  I found a funny article that explains what they may be using those odd questions for.  It was a flipboard article I think at https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-9-weird-interview-questions-companies-u/f-b984398638%2Finc.com 9 Weird Interview Questions Companies use to reveal your true self. It was satire, or I hope it was but the point being their going to ask questions and we can prepare for them by thinking through the interview, practicing if you will and making sure we present ourselves as Positive, Informed and motivated with the positions we have experience with.

Oh, and every recruiter and hiring agent we’ve spoken with here at WAOC reminds us to take the face to face interview like it’s our first day on the job.  I think it’d be a Best Practice to not bring the Spouse and children with us to the interview.  Make sure we dress appropriately, no need to over dress but let’s make sure we look the part.  I had one interviewer tell me the first thing he looks at is the footwear, if he’s interviewing an order selector or forklift operator he wants to see a pair of steel toes.

If we’ve followed all these Best Practices that we’ve just created, then I just can’t help but believe we’re going to be hired so our last practice should be to have all our personal information with us.  Michele explained how important our Benefits are in episode 60 and it’s our once a year chance to get our tax withholdings, insurance and benefit information done correctly.  We need to ask questions if we don’t understand something being offered or explained, I mean it’s our responsibility, right?

Well I hope I didn’t stray too far off the subject and you found value with the show today.  Remember to Subscribe to us on iTunes, Apple Podcast and Google Play Music or any of the Podcatchers in the play store so you get notified each Thursday when the newest episode is released.  We appreciate you checking in with us and hope you have a Safe and Productive week.  Lets all check out the Best Practices for our Facility and mention them to our management Team, nothing will get us noticed quicker than talking about our Best Practices and Safety!

Warehouse Freight Handler to Transportation Driver – Thoughts on ELD’s

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Well here we are in week 49 of the year & Welcome back to Warehouse and Operations as a Career where we talk about the many different opportunities in the Operations Industry each week!  The Warehouse, Logistics, Transportation or Operations whatever you want to call it can provide us great jobs to support ourselves and our families, and everyone of those jobs can be a fantastic career for us to retire from & really enjoy, hey, we have to work for the rest of our lives and I just think its better, easier if we love what we’re doing!  I’m Marty and each week we try and answer some of your questions about these positions & occasionally speak with those doing the task, or with individuals whom may of stepped through those positions on their way to the job they were interested in.  Now don’t be harsh with us, we’re far from audio experts, if you’ve caught some of our earlier episodes I hope you’ve felt like we’re learning or trying too, at least trying to make your listening experience a little easier on the ears.  We are however Op’s men and women with plenty of opinions, thoughts and experiences and we like sharing them & talking about the many opportunities in the fields of operations!  We’re having fun with it and hope each of you are as well.  I’d like to encourage your participation with the group, feel free to suggest topics or just send us a shout out to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com and of course join our Twitter & Facebook feeds using @whseandops.  If you’ve missed any of the shows you can catch them on Apple Podcast, iTunes and Google Play Music and on our website warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com.

We’ll enough of all the sales sounding stuff as I have absolutely nothing to sell ya!, I’m not really sure why I went down that road today BUT let’s get to today’s topic.

I was excited to see this question last week as we haven’t seen many on Transportation and Transportation is a large part of our industry.  All that freight and material handling we do really means nothing if there’s not a way to get it to us end users or consumers right!  If you missed our Episode titled, I think it was episode 22, Driving, Transportation & Logistics you might enjoy it, check it out!  A gentlemen named Jim asked what we thought of moving from Freight Handling in the warehouse into a Driving position.  His company has a training program where you can enter transportation as a driver helper and they’ll help you get experience in their yard and help with the testing.  He also brought up a regulatory change that’s occurring at the end of this year regarding ELD’s and wanted to know what we thought about those units also.  Thanks for the questions Sir, lets talk about the ELD’s or Electronic Logging Devices first and we’ll share some thoughts on making the switch from warehousing to transportation, both are fields I’m really passionate about & believe them to be fantastic Career’s!

Ok, Back in March of 2014 DOT or the Dept of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, better known as FMCSA, you can check out their website at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/   announced a proposal to require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices in their vehicles to improve compliance with the safety rules that govern the number of hours a driver can work. They stated, in part, “Todays proposal will improve safety while helping businesses by cutting unnecessary paperwork”.  Transportation Secretary Antony Foxx went on to say  “By leveraging innovative technology with Electronic Logging Devices, we have the opportunity to save lives and boost efficiency for both motor carriers and safety inspectors.”  An interesting statistic the article states is – Analysis shows it will also help reduce crashes by fatigued drivers and prevent approximately 20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year for an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million dollars.  It’s an interesting article, I suggest checking it out if you’d like to see how changes are proposed!  There’s been a lot of talk, discussions and changes over the last 3 years but my understanding is it becomes law DEC 17th, or maybe the 16th depending what article or news agency your tuned into and I read something just this morning that stated the 18th.  And there’s a couple of last minute exemptions I’ve heard about in the last 30 days so if you need to know any of the particulars I’d point you to the FMCSA website for all the facts.  I found another good article at https://www.overdriveonline.com/  you may be interested in, it does a good job of spelling out the requirements as they interrupt them.  Basically we’ll have a unit in our vehicle that will take the place of our old paper copy log books, it’ll need to record things like the date, times and locations of the vehicle, engine hours, miles and know who’s using the vehicle.  I think it has to record engine on and off time too or when the tractors moving.  Although we won’t need to keep our old time graphs & charts, the machine will need to show one or be able to print them out I’d think.  We could talk about the new regulation for hours but hopefully we’ve hit the high points, its new and interesting information, we’ll add the websites mentioned above in our show notes if you’d like to check them out!

Part of the question was what did we think of the units.  I think it’s a good move in the right direction, like anything new though its going to have some pro’s and con’s, be great for some instances and create hardships for other situations.  Many companies have already made the switch, several years ago actually.  I’m hearing in the distribution world or route delivery men’s positions there’s been little effect and probably it’s been a positive thing.  For an over the road driver, that’s say only an hour from his or her designation and has ran out of hours it could present a hardship.  You know I’m kind of big on Safety and rules, so I try to see the positive in them.  Every time there’s a change with the hours of service laws the industry just works better with schedules and appointments, it always works out and after all, these kinds of things are to really protect the employee and the public so I think it’s a good thing!

And the first part of Jim’s question was what did we think of moving from the warehouse into the transportation fields?

Transportation is a great career field.  Wither your looking at Distribution or Route Delivery Driving or something more like Vendor Supply and Long Hauling it can be fun and rewarding.  In Jim’s case he has an opportunity to move from a Material Handler position and into a driver training program that’s sponsored by his present employer.  The first step could be training as a Driver Helper.  As we’ve talked too in previous episodes the driver helper may be responsible for stacking down freight inside the trailer, sorting out the freight by stop’s, maybe stacking the dolly or two wheeler and hand truck loads for the driver to run into the delivery location.  Once trained on using the hand truck our driver may teach us how to wheel the product into the delivery, proper stacking and storage for their customer, things like product rotation and FiFo or first in first out, possibly even how to mark or check off the invoicing, documenting returns and returning the product back into our companies inventory!  His company is going to let him use their equipment and their yard to get the feel of the tractor and prepare to take his driving test after he’s received his permit and completed his testing.  If you’ve ever backed a trailer you know practice is the only way to teach it!  I think it’s a great opportunity for those of us that like being on our own and want the responsibility a driver position brings with it.  We’ve spoken several times about how us as drivers are like the president of the company once we leave the facility.  We’ll hear about every error made from the sales dept, to the order selector mispicking the product to the loader that left something off.  Even the credit dept that forgot to notate a discount or credit to the accounts invoice, we’ll hear about it and in someone’s eyes it’s going to be our fault.  But there’s no greater feeling as a days delivery’s being accomplished and all our customers being pleased and successful due to our accomplishments!  It’s hard work, we may leave with 20 stop’s and 1200 cases to be broken down and delivered each day but the pay is usually good, Route Delivery can be very rewarding and a great career choice!

Vendor delivery or Long Hauling is a little different yet I find it very interesting too.  If you don’t mind being away from home a bit it’s a good deal, the open road, the freedom, and you are truly in charge of yourself out there.  I think we need to be a little self-disciplined with this choice as we’re the boss, AP/AR, the credit dept, and President, shoot we’re the whole company when we’re out on the road!  Maybe not for everyone but the long-haul world is a great career for the right individual and there can be great money here as well.  I feel any type of driver position can be a fantastic career choice!

I’ve heard people talk about all the regulatory and rules associated with today drivers and although that’s true, there’s just as many regulatory concerns in warehousing.  Safety is of course the first priority in all industries & fields.  Check out the You Tube Videos for transportation, you can get a pretty good look at the opportunities regarding accidents out on the road.  Many of them make you think what in the world was that driver thinking!

You know, just as when we’re on the road in our own personal vehicles or out shopping at a lumber yard or one of the big box stores or DIY stores it’s usually not us being unsafe we have to worry about.  And in the warehouse environments we know what we’re doing operating our equipment its everyone else were watching.  I mean we know we’re focused on our job’s and tasks, I think that’s where the phrase defensive driving comes from and I’d like to add working defensive also.  It’s those other drivers on the freeways and equipment operators in the warehouse we have to watch as closely as we do ourselves.   You know last week we visited with our Safety Guru Joe and discussed several of the dangers on the front docks and the transportation yards, I’m not sure how I jumped off topic again but hey, my rant kind of applies to what we’re talking about!

I hope I answered Jim’s questions today & I hope you all found a little value in the show.  I had fun talking to the points, I’ll reach out to a few people that’s gone from warehousing into transportation and vice versa.  Maybe we can have a few guests tell us what gave them the idea and how its worked out for them.  I think that’d be interesting.

Until next week please remember wither our job is in Transportation, Distribution, Production or Manufacturing, it’s our job to keep Safety our first priority!

5 of the Dangers – A Visit with Joe

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Thanks for checking in with us again this week, Marty here with you at Warehouse and Operations as a Career and I’m a bit excited about today’s Episode. We have our go to WAOC Safety man in the house, we’ll on the line actually, Joe how have you been my friend?

I know what you mean, for all our listeners out there last Thursday was Thanksgiving here in the States, I’m still eating on all the desserts left sitting around the house.

I know you just came off the road, you traveled quite a bit in Nov!

Joe, your from Texas, I don’t think you could sustain a trip to Alaska right now bub, it’s a bit colder there than our 73 degrees here today!

I hate talking about things like this but I recently heard about another accident that resulted in a fatality in our industry, one that happened at the loading dock.  I checked out a few different articles on line and found a really interesting one at upsideinnovations.com on “10 most recent loading dock injuries”, check it out, they have a hyperlink in the article with a Loading Dock Safety Checklist I found it to be really good too.

The article begins by naming Top five warehouse injury areas:

  1. Loading Docks – I think some of us wouldn’t have picked this as number 1?
  2. Forklifts – I guess this is where your P.I.T or Powered Industrial Truck training comes into play Joe. Maybe I can sneak in my Never get on or operate any machine or piece of equipment you have not been trained to do so statement!
  3. Conveyors – I’ve seen loose clothing and fingers, especially when we wear the wrong size or tattered gloves get caught here.
  4. Materials Storage – Again the importance of securely stacking or building our pallets and the proper placement or racking of them.
  5. Manual lifting and handling – I think this is where good ergonomics training comes into importance

I have to agree with their number 1. You know we can never be too Safe around a dock area.  I find myself letting my guard down when I’m standing in a dock areas, maybe it’s because we can see the daylight or outside environments, I don’t know what it is but I do have to make myself pay attention up there.

Quickly here’s their listed 10 incidents:  Be sure to check out the article, I’ll put the link in our show notes today https://upsideinnovations.com/10-most-recent-loading-dock-injuries/

Each one of these is an individual article:

Employee crushed and killed between a truck and loading dock

Worker crushed by dock level is killed

Worker is killed in fall from loading dock

Employee is crushed when fork lift drops off a loading platform

Employee is struck and killed by falling truck wall panel

Employee is crushed when forklift falls from loading dock

Employee sustains heart attack and dies

Employee is caught in between a tractor trailer and the loading dock

Employee crushed by forklift

Employee is crushed between truck and dock and is killed

We all know, and I hope we’re taught and trained, on the dangers of our front docks.  There’s a lot of precautions taken up front to keep us Safe, from Security, Procedures with the tractors and trailers to locking systems etc, Joe what are you teaching & preaching out in the field, I guess what are you seeing out there?

I agree with you Joe and I guess its safe to say that Safety period begins with YOU.  What’d you think of that Loading Dock Safety Checklist I sent over to you, and I’ve added it to our show notes at warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com for our listeners as well. http://upsideinnovations.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Dock-Safety-Checklist.pdf

Let’s kind of walk through the inbound cycle as we know it, kind of discuss the A to Z process.  I guess first off there’s Security, I know of several DC’s utilizing a Guard shack, a secure gate approach.  Why and how’s that being used?

I think the next step could be securing the trailer or container to the dock, what’s some of the choices or procedures your seeing used?

Now that we’ve got the loads and the dock connected, what’s some examples of our responsibilities as associates or I guess us as managers to make sure we’re training our employees on, what procedures are you seeing in place and what thoughts could you add?

Absolutely, I know pallet jack and forklift operators that will not enter a trailer to unload or load until they themselves make sure that trailer is secured to the dock.  I’m ashamed to say it but it took me three near misses in my early years to learn it the hard way.  Once I lost a dock plate, once a trailer rolled forward about 8 inches with myself and my pallet jack in it and my most embarrassing one I even had a driver pull away from the dock with me standing inside his trailer!  Not a good feeling at all, one of those feelings that takes your lunch away!   

You know Joe, when I’m researching something about Safety or occurrences and reading through an Incident Investigation Report I always try and think of what sideboards or procedures can be put in place to prevent something from happening again.  I’d like to believe all accidents could have been prevented, now that may not be the case always but If we’re all diligent in our duties it’d seem we could prevent them.  I guess I’m talking about a Culture instead of just a bunch of processes and procedures.  I work with individuals regarding their job’s, tasks, attitudes and perspectives quite a bit.  That could be considered a work culture or our Safety Culture.  Do you do any work or training regarding a strong Safety Culture, lead us down that path Sir!

A couple of weeks ago we visited with Lavoil and Nelson on our Safety Meetings, how they prepare for them, why there important and how they as Managers they keep us as Associates engaged. I think that engagement by all is what plants the seeds for that Culture don’t you?

Over the weekend In a new Facebook Group called Warehouse Equipment Operators Community the question was asked Where are the Dangers found in the Warehouse and I found the answers really interesting and spot on.  A few things that were mentioned were the Trailer Yards and Dock areas, kind of goes along with todays Topics nicely.  Another member from Florida mentioned how dangerous broken boards from pallets can be with nails sticking up or equipment running over them, oh and another member, from across the pond in the UK brought up the dangers of machinery and also Heights, when working with like scaffolding or the Cherry Picker.  I think discussing Safety, sharing Safety experiences, keeping Safety in the forefront of our minds helps build and instill a Culture of Safety I us.

Joe as always, I’d like to thank you for your time today, I know you stay busy and we here at WAOC appreciate your visits Sir!

And I hope each of you our listeners enjoyed todays episode, and I’d like to thank you for your time and we hope we bring a little value to you each week.  Lets all look at the Safety Culture within our facilities this week & step forward and change someone’s outlook about Safety.  We may just be saving them or ourselves from an injury!

General Labor Positions – A Great Start

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Hello all, Marty with you again from Warehouse and Operations as a Career.  It always makes us feel good to wrap up another week doesn’t it.  And I guess for many of us it’s a Holiday week as its Thanksgiving here in the States.  In any event the weeks coming to a close, and I hope we’ve all had a Safe and Productive one!

Last week, on two separate occasions the topic of general labor came up and I’d like to talk about it a little bit today.  The term general labor is a pretty broad term and encompasses a lot of different tasks in the warehouse and transportations fields I guess but I think there’s some confusion, at least in my opinion of what general labor jobs are.

Last week I was asked about the difficulty of finding candidates for general labor positions.  In my experience General Labor work is readily available as well as there’s people to work those positions.  When I think of G/L positions I’m seeing a task that doesn’t require any type of machine operation or equipment maybe usage.  The way I’ve always thought is that if your trained on a particular machine you’d be a machine operator or if your operating a piece of warehouse equipment then you’re an equipment operator.  With both of these examples theirs some training involved, you can’t just walk up to the machine, hit a green button and its done.  I mean we have to know what that button operates, why the machine runs as it does and what it’s accomplishing.  I bet since it’s electric, gas or fueled there’s going to be some sort of Safety training involved also.  And of course, the same goes for any equipment as well, the way I view it is even if we’re using a hand truck or dolly there ought to have been some time spent training us on its proper use.

I know of one facility that boxes and bags food products.  A general labor task there is a person reaches out and grabs a #40 bag of meal or flour and stacks it on a pallet right there beside them.  Their responsible for the proper ti and hi and to make sure its stacked well and somebody else hauls it away with an electric palletjack.  It’s repetitious, and requires someone that can stand for long periods of time, takes their stacking seriously and enjoys the workout.  This facility considers the palletizer position as an entry level position and then promotes from within on to the palletjack operators, forklifts, and receivers etc.  Of course, the normal safety procedures are given and reviewed daily, they really teach proper lifting and ergonomics to the new hires but the job description and hazard analysis for the position is pretty general.  A good general labor position is a great way to break into our field and start learning warehousing.

My talks last week we’re focused around unloading or lumping trailers and containers.  At this particular building they unload hundreds of items, all of which are separated by item and stacked or separated as to fit into a certain slot according to their WMS or warehouse management system with a proper ti and hi etc.  As we’ve learned a ti is how many cases are on each layer & hi tells us how many layers to stack up, rotating the configuration or reversing it with each layer as to kind of lock the cases together creating a sturdier pallet or load.  I definitely do not consider this a general labor position.  We have to be taught to read the load breakdown sheets, understand the pallet configurations and the importance of separating all the products correctly and in the most efficient manner possible.  Now if we’re talking loads and loads, trailers and trailers of the same item or product I’d agree that’s more of a general labor task.  You take the cases out of the trailer, place them on a pallet in the same configuration every time with somebody hauling them away for us and we repeat our task the same way all day long.  That, to me, is more of a general labor job.

I think we may see more general labor jobs in the production side of warehousing than we do in distribution but that could just be my opinion.  I think the construction industry probably has a lot of general labor duties.  I honestly know very little about construction positions, but I’d think there could be a whole lot of positions we could learn around us and it’d be a good solid industry to be in as well.  Actually, during the winter months, I see a lot of construction experience looking for warehouse work and to be honest find, in many instances, their great hires and wanting to learn and work.  Dang, I got off topic again, where was I, oh yeah

One of the conversations that brought up todays topic was a young recruit had asked me what I thought of an unloading job.  He did not have a lot of warehousing experience per say but had worked for a grocery store for about 3 months stocking shelves at night and for a lumber yard for about 5 months.  He had applied for a lumping or unloading position and was told he wasn’t qualified for that job and that they didn’t have any general labor positions open right now.  He had felt that unloading trailers was a general labor job and stopped me outside to ask what skills were needed to unload freight.  Of course, I’m sure he really just wanted to vent to someone and I’m certain he didn’t like my thoughts on the subject either, but I think he parted that afternoon with a bit more understanding than he’d planned on!

You all know, or will know if you’ve listened to all our shows that I’m very passionate about our tasks and jobs AND I believe a general labor position is a great job to lead us into any direction we may desire within Operations.  A good entry level or general labor position can expose us to production, productivity and how a warehouse runs and distributes goods AND can provide us exposure to equipment usage and the many different positions we can reach for, become proficient at and learn to be the best of the best at.  Anyway, I’ll quit ranting and get back on topic here now.

You know how I love self-education and looking things up, so I cruised on over to Answers.com to see how far off the page I was.  Answers.com says general labor is: another term for unskilled labor and you will be doing tasks that need little to no training.

General Labor positions, or in my opinion a few tasks that I see listed on Recruiting groups, social media and advertisements of positions are like:

Stackers – remember the palletizer position we spoke about earlier

Stockers – Grocery Stores and big box stores

Sorters – Separating items on conveyors may be an example

Packers – I think this could mean like closing the boxes or cases after production has filled them.

Assembly Workers – Light assembly, maybe placing A and B together, I’d think anything more shouldn’t really be considered G/L

Wrappers – Shrink wrapping pallets after selection has them stacked and before the loaders run them onto the trailer is what comes to my mind.

I think we can get the idea of general labor.  Not menial, the task has to get done but no involved or specific training or operational experiences may be needed.

It’s true general labor doesn’t usually start out paying all that great but hey, we’re learning something, and we have our foot in the door.  We’ve spoken before about how our first objective is to get hired on, perform our task well and start learning all the other jobs around us or that touches ours and making sure we communicate to our bosses that we want more duties and responsibilities.

If we’re changing jobs or even industries, we should do a little research on the company that’s placed a general labor ad or opening.  A lot of times we can figure out what the general labor position may entail and where it could lead us!

A couple of quick examples.  I myself answered an ad for a loader position, it was advertised as a G/L position.  I applied, got hired, and like on night 1 I started looking around at equipment operators, order selectors, inventory control people, leads and supervisors and something like 26 years later left that company as V.P. of Operations.

I know of a good man, hired on as a maintenance man for a general labor job of changing air filters in air systems and light bulbs through a staffing agency and now something like 12 years later he is running the Safety department for that very facility and has been with the company for maybe 10 years.

If we’re looking for work, even if we’re coming from another Industry try and not get hung up with the general labor word or position.  It may not pay what we’re looking for or even needing to make but try and focus on what the Company can bring us and what other positions that job could lead to.  I bet in many instances by working hard and being there for every shift and of course making sure our managers know we want more we’ll be surprised in just how short of time we can achieve our goals with both position and pay!

Speaking of job’s and postings be sure to follow us on Twitter where we retweet as many postings as possible each week and we’d appreciate a quick like of Facebook too!  You’ll find us @whseandops on both of them! And of course, you can catch up on any missed episodes on iTunes, Apple Podcast and Google Play, shoot subscribe today to be sure you catch our episode each Thursday! Send us suggestions and/or topics or even just say hey, our email is host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com.

To close this weeks episode I’d like to leave you on a thought of Family & Working Safe, we’ve all got others counting on us, lets take care of them!

Thoughts on Recruiting & Benefits with Sharon and Michele

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Welcome back to Warehouse and Operations as a Career, Marty here with you again and I’m excited about todays show. We’ll have a couple of Ladies on the phone with us today from Belmar Integrated Logistics that can maybe help direct us to finding the position we want, get that Job and set ourselves up in the most financially responsible way possible!  Oh, I saw a caption on Facebook this week that read Success – It’s all in your hands, I think I’ve mentioned the podcast before, its Unlocking the Secret to Living Rich, anyway that caption on her page kind of reached out and grabbed me.  We talk about our responsibilities as Applicants and Employees quite a bit here at WAOC and the more people we visit with the more I’m learning just how important we are to our own success!  I think once we think about it it’ll help us project ourselves with the way we want to be seen by our hiring agent or employer.  Anyway, I jumped off topic again, I’ll get back to today’s introductions!  Sharon is a Sourcing Specialist; Recruiting for Light Industrial Positions in the Warehouse fields and Michele is a Benefits Coordinator assisting the new Associates through the maze of benefits companies may offer or participate in and helping us understand them so we can make informed decisions. I’m looking forward to them both sharing a few of their thoughts and opinions with us here today!

Sharon, welcome to WAOC ma’am

So Sharon, tell us a little bit about yourself, I hear you’re a bit of a worldly traveler and speak 3 languages fluently, how’d you get into the Recruiting field, and in particular into filling those Warehouse or Light Industrial Positions?

Michele, now this is actually your 2nd visit with us here at WAOC I believe, didn’t you help us out with a few questions once before, I think we were visiting an outdoor Job Fair Belmar had put on back in July?  So Welcome back!

Now Michele your title is Benefits Coordinator, and I understand you’re an independent supplemental agent and a self-published Author & already working on a second book now.  I bet us op’s guys can keep you busy with all our day to day questions or questions from our significant others?  I assume you enjoy the intricacies of insurance and benefits?

Here at WAOC we talk a lot about our Resumes, the phone Interview and how to really prepare ourselves for that Face to Face Interview, we’ve done several episodes on just those subjects and we really try and stress their importance and what we should, as applicants, do to prepare for them.  If you’ve missed those previous shows try and check them out, we tried walking through the process from like A to Z. Personally I believe the initial Company Orientation is an important part, maybe the most important part of any new job.  It’s where we learn the do’s and don’t policies of our new employer and have the opportunity to take advantage of any benefits that may be offered. And I feel we should take advantage of everything that’s  discussed, most importantly ask enough questions to understand what we’re signing, wither we’re declining it or signing up for something!

So Sharon, our group’s talked quite a bit about the importance of our Resumes and the Phone Interview that we’re hoping to get from them.  Can you give us some examples on what we need to include in our resume and how we should conduct ourselves on that phone interview, what do you look for?

We’ve talked about the importance of being prepared for the Face to Face interview, what do we need to bring with us, both physically, like paperwork and even mentally, what do you want to see and feel from us?

Michele, are we as new Associates in too big of a hurry or maybe just excited we’ve been hired on to focus and pay attention with our Orientation, I hear from recruiters all the time it’s hard to get individuals to sit down and listen to all the information offered? And Why do you think that is?

As applicants, we could be looking, really needing a Job, maybe we’ve been out of work for a while, it’s understandable we’ll approach you and try to sell you on the facts that we’re a fast learner or give me a chance and I’ll show you how good I can be etc.  Sharon, can you share why this just doesn’t work under most circumstances?

Michele, I’m sure you experience the same thing, we’ve been hired, we’re excited and looking forward to that first paycheck.  How can or what do we need to do to be financially responsible to ourselves, I mean our Benefit paperwork is important right?  What can we do to help you explain them to us?

OK, so we’re looking for work, maybe changing jobs or just entering the warehousing world.  Sharon could you walk us through the process, give us some tip’s, share what hiring agents are looking for, what can we do to make sure you bring us on-board, maybe summarize what you want from us?

Sharon, any parting words of wisdom for us today, have you held back one more secret to our success?

Michele, share that one secret you use to calm us down that allows us to focus and think responsibly about our future and our growth where Benefits are concerned?

Ladies I really want to thank you for calling in and visiting with us today, I learned a lot and appreciate you taking the time for our WAOC Group.  We love learning from those in the know on all these subjects and value all our guest’s thoughts and opinions!  Maybe we could get you both to stop in again and share some more with us sometime?

And a Thank You to all of you out there listening in with us each week!  If you’re a Recruiter or Hiring Agent and would like to share your thoughts with the group or a listener with a topic you’d like us to talk about please email us, host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com and don’t forget we’d appreciate a quick follow and Like on both our Twitter and Facebook feeds where we can be found at @whseandops 24/7!  Until next week, think of our responsibilities with our Job, we owe it to ourselves and our families, and of course one of our biggest responsibilities is practicing, sharing and following all Safety Practices!