A Few Thoughts and Answers on Order Selecting w/James

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Welcome again, I’ve been looking forward to today’s program, we’ll be visiting with James in a bit and learn all we ever wanted to know about a Career in Order Selecting from a professional, I think you’ll find it interesting and we’ll get the true scoop on the job. We discussed the position back in Episode 12 titled Order Selection where we briefly covered, really very broadly and at like a 20,000-foot view of the task and I believe it was mentioned in Episode 19 Warehouse Training Techniques as well.
I’ve received a few questions about the skills needed to be successful and if we could talk about production pay & did I have an opinion on the difference in it vs hourly. As you know I’ve got hundreds of opinions so let’s look at it today!
In the Distribution world, especially your larger National Distribution Centers – Order Selecting may provide us with a good pay rate and as we’ve learned those good pay rates comes with hard work, and more importantly some type of responsibility. Selecting Orders is one of those jobs, it’s important we select the right item and the correct quantity for each order, we have a customer depending on it or counting on us for their business.
Order Selecting, especially in a productivity setting, is typically not going to be our first position or job as we break into warehousing. Most large facilities, well-paying facilities are going to be interested in productivity and productivity comes with experience. Some things our prospective employers may be looking for:
• Two years of selection experience in a productivity setting
• A stable employment history – Selector training is time consuming and expensive
• A strong knowledge of warehouse operations
• Energy, a moving personality and enthusiasm
• Good attendance history, one thing about distribution & productivity based centers is attendance, headcount and productivity is counted on in order to move the cases and loads.

One of the great things about advancement within a company is that they know us, we’ve shown them that we’re going to show up on time every shift, every day that we can. And we know their product & warehouse procedures. Its always important to let our managers know we want more, that we want to advance within the company. Its so important to master each job or task we’re given, use those keywords we’ve learned about our jobs, participate in our start-up and Safety meetings and we’ll get that shot at order selecting!
A few things that make a great order selector are:
• Attention to detail – we have to select the right product & the correct quantity. The customer has to receive what they’ve ordered.
• Stacking, any selector will tell you that stacking the product properly on the pallet, building the load as we’re selecting is the most important component to productivity. We learn to stack well so we don’t have to keep repositioning the product or stopping to pick it up off the floor. If we build the pallet right it will be stable and stay together as we travel throughout our selection path and the delivery driver will be able to find it for the delivery. When we do our job properly we’ll be productive, eliminate damages, the driver will easily find the order and the customer will be pleased with our service!
• Safety – an integral part of selection. We’ll probably be using some sort of Powered Industrial Equipment, maybe an Electric rider jack, a single, double or triple pallet jack, maybe even a forklift of some type during our whole shift. We’ll be traveling several miles, almost constantly moving, our bodies and equipment are in constant use. All the while working around others, it’s a tough job and it can be dangerous. Oh and of course we’ll have to have gone through our 29CFR1910.178 training & have been observed or on-sited to our particular docks but there may be other machines and equipment in the facility as well, remember not to ever get on any other piece of equipment until we’ve been trained too, it’s the law and its dangerous right?
• We may very well be earning some type of productivity pay, were making money by moving and staying busy. We’ll need to learn to think ahead, plan out our movements, our path, our stacking. I always tried to stay a couple of minutes ahead of myself. The more efficient we are the more cases we’re going to pull in an hour, it’s as simple as that!
There’s a few of my thoughts and opinions on the position of Order Selection, It’s a great position with great pay & honestly a good career stepping stone. I think once we break into warehousing, I mean within the distribution world that the order selection positions should be our target or goal. We’ve worked hard to reach it right, we want that pay & everything that we can learn about our operations that it’ll bring us!
We have James here today to share his insights with us. James is a professional order selector, works in a productivity setting with a National Foodservice Distributor. James thanks for taking a few minutes to visit with us here at WAOC today and how you doing Sir?

1.) What was your first warehouse position or how did you get into warehousing?
2.) So how long have you been Order Selecting?
3.) Then you’ve been paid hourly & with Production Pay, what’s your thoughts between the two?
4.) You travel several miles throughout the warehouse daily, give us some tips on Safety and how you approach it Sir?
5.) WAOC is all about us turning our Operations Jobs into Careers, could you share some experience or pointers, how you feel about warehousing as a career I guess?

James, we really enjoyed your visit and thanks for sharing so much with us here today. It’s so interesting to visit with those actually performing the tasks and hearing their individual experiences. Now you’ll come back and visit with us again sometime right?
And we appreciate each of you, our listeners, for joining us each week and we’d ask for your participation as well, it’s great to see all your comments and questions each week. Remember to check our Twitter and Facebook pages for additional topics and sharing. Until next week’s Show, please stay focused, be prepared for each shift & practice all your Safety Skills.

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