People know that their favorite stores carry the products they want and need. They expect those products to be on the shelves, but many of them do not know how those products get there. Distribution centers (DC) all over the world help make sure consumers get the products that help them stay healthy, get work done and be entertained. We wanted to let readers know what actually goes on in a warehouse from day to day, so we decided to blog about it. This post is the first in a three-part series and follows Troy Frink, a receiving clerk at Express Scripts. Stay tuned for part 2 when we cover a day in the life of a shipping clerk.
Frink scans his badge and walks to the receiving dock at the back of the warehouse. He grabs his wrist-mounted RF unit from its charging station and greets his co-workers with friendly words and high fives. He looks at the white board that displays the daily work load: 95 pallets to receive. "That's a relief," he says. "Anything under 100 pallets is a light day, and that means we get to go home at a decent hour." Express Scripts' work volume is so heavy that its employees work until the day's work is finished.
A designated unloader brings pallets from the trailers to the receiving dock where Frink removes the shrink wrap from one pallet and begins counting the cases stacked on it. "I feel bad for the drivers sometimes," he says. "These pallets can have hundreds of cases on them, and the drivers have to wait while we count every piece."
After Frink's morning break, he begins a process called re-distributing, which means puts products in a convenient staging area to be put away with powered equipment.
After lunch, Frink starts putting the re-distributed product in its designated picking locations driving an order picker."This is my favorite thing to do," he says. "I love driving powered equipment 40 feet in the air. It's a new perspective on the entire warehouse."
After Frink finishes the product put-away process, he helps the stocking team finish its work day. The receiving team sends product to single-item picking locations all day, and things can get hectic for the stocking team. He stocks the picking locations until he gets the OK from his supervisor to leave for the day. "Timing out at the end of the end of the day is my absolute favorite thing to do," he says tongue-in-cheek.
"I see a real benefit in what I do," he says. "I've worked for a warehouse that shipped guitars and I've worked for a warehouse that shipped books.This one is the most rewarding because our products save lives."