I recently got a great opportunity to go to our distribution center in Wisconsin with a group of our team members for training. We spent a day and a half touring the facility and learning about the daily challenges that they faced and how we can work better together to achieve the same goals. Plus, sometimes it’s nice to just put a face with a name that you’ve been emailing back and forth a million times.
We got there in the early afternoon on day one and started with a tour of the warehouse. I’m used to grimy warehouses from my personal experience, but this one was incredibly spotless. Everything was put away neatly, and I’m pretty sure the floors were cleaner than the my house. I’m used to sending material to the warehouse, but seeing how they had to store some of these big inventory was really an eye opener.
The rest of the day was spent learning about how they get orders and transfers out the door and got to watch the organized chaos in action. First with picking orders, which we were so slow we were at a snails pace, and all the way to loading trucks at the end of the night. So many people, machines, shipments, and trucks, yet somehow they’re able to all do their own thing and work to getting each shipment out correctly and on time every night for next day shipments.
In the era of Amazon Prime and free shipping for all, it’s hard to think about all of the effort and coordination needed to make those pretty little brown boxes arrive every morning, but seeing how it actually happens is really amazing.
Then next day was spent learning about the inbound process, receiving orders, put away, special requests, and how they work together to improve quality and performance. Seeing these shipments come in is a complete eye opener. I’ll never forget seeing 16 pallets of coolant stacked 5 high and 5 deep. There’s a lot of hurdles they have to deal with receiving material, figuring out what it is, where it needs to go, potential damage, hiccups, issues. When each action is evaluated for speed and efficiency, there’s so many little steps that are taken in to account and analyzed to increase speed.
I won’t go one for too much longer, I’m probably needing out harder than ever. Honestly if you’ve made it this far I’m impressed. There’s a lot of detail I could go in to, but overall it was a great hands-on learning experience that will help shape how I do my job on a daily basis. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to go through all of this training and seeing what we can improve and work on together.
My Tips For Going to Off-Site Training
Dress the part // Wear comfortable shoes, ask about the dress code
Ask all the questions // even the silly ones might lead you down a path you weren’t expecting
Make a list of takeaways and benefits // was it worth the time and money? Why?
Create a powerpoint or one sheet to present // even if not expected, take the time to summarize your time and what you got out of it
Have you done an offsite training program? Any more tips?!