Company Profile: AutomationDirect Logistics Team
Think your work day starts early? Bet your start time is later than the AutomationDirect Logistics Team! On any given weekday when most people are just waking up, members of the Logistics Team have been hard at work since 4 a.m. getting prepared to fill the day’s orders. That’s when the team’s replenish group begins pulling parts to fill pick stations and shuttles to ensure the company is prepared for customer orders.
The early birds from the replenish group continue to organize and get ready for orders that will start coming in soon. Two hours later, more replenish members begin placing parts into their designated stock locations. At 7 a.m., the receiving team starts to receive incoming parts shipments. At 10 a.m., the picking team begins processing customer orders. Throughout the rest of the day, the entire team works hard to fulfill the AutomationDirect promise that all orders received by 6 p.m. will ship out that same day. On a typical day, that means Logistics team members ship thousands of packages to customers worldwide via a variety of carriers and methods.
“We make sure that we meet our promise to customers by shipping the right product in the right quantity, in the right condition, and to the right place,” said Glenn Payne, Logistics Lead. “We ship at a 99.9 percent accuracy rate, and we’re proud of that.”
How do the Logistics team members accomplish that amazing feat every single day? They do it by working as a dedicated team with the traffic, replenish, receiving, picking, and Ppacking groups delivering superior service to their internal and external customers. This value system has been part of the company’s culture and success since its founding in 1994. At that time, customers were able to choose from 200 products in one catalog, and six Logistics team members picked and processed orders manually. Through the years, the team expanded as they company grew and moved from manually picking parts to using Radio Frequency (RF) guns to scan barcodes to receive and pick parts.
Now, 24 years later, the company’s online offering has expanded to include tens of thousands of products. There are 51 Logistics team members ranging from 21 years of service to new hires that handle traffic, receiving, replenishing, picking, packing, and value add services. They continually evaluate and improve their processes and technology to ensure they meet customer demands.
The entire logistics process looks different too at AutomationDirect. Not only are there more highly trained team members, the technology incorporated into the way the orders are fulfilled, categorized, and shipped is a blend of human knowledge, robotics, and industrial applications. Much of the order fulfillment tasks – identifying products, moving items, monitoring supply, and restocking inventory — that were done by people years ago are now accomplished by automated machinery.
“Our Logistics team searches for technology and equipment to help provide continuous improvements and efficiencies as we grow,” Payne explained. “We have implemented automated storage and retrieval systems, goods-to-person picking, Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV), and packaging equipment that doesn’t need human intervention most of the time. This focus on efficiency helps us maintain our service to customers.”
Payne emphasized that the team’s purpose is to be unsurpassed in all areas of Logistical Operations while preserving a high degree of accuracy in receiving, warehousing, and shipping. “We achieve this by delivering superior service to our internal and external customers through integrity, dedication, and hard work.”
The team also maintains a safe, fun, and supportive working environment that recognizes and rewards team efforts and accomplishments. Team members continuously strive to exceed previously set goals while also anticipating and developing practical solutions to the future requirements of the business.
To make this magic happen every day, each group within the team continuously trains to meet state, government, and AutomationDirect requirements. For example, team members in receiving, replenish, and case picking positions must have forklift training to perform their duties, while all Logistics team members must have AGV safety training and dangerous goods training. A safety coordinator sets up and keeps all training records.
This emphasis on training plays an important part in how the team earns its incredible accuracy rating. On the rare occasion when a package is miss-shipped or damaged in transit, team members address the issue in a timely manner, getting replacements to the customer as quickly as possible and at AutomationDirect’s cost. Each team member is accountable for the miss ships they make, which reflects on their Customer Driven Leadership report card.
“We have the most awesome Logistics Team,” Payne shared. “We all work together to serve and delight and satisfy our customers internally and externally and have fun doing it!”
Clearly, the team’s attention to detail, teamwork-driven culture, and focus on customer satisfaction is a winning combination. It seems the proverbial early bird does indeed get the worm 99.9 percent of the time!
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