Written by: Sophia Elefter
Wear jeans and a tshirt, expect it to be very hot, bring snacks, and know you will be working overtime! Sound intimidating? These were suggestions for me before I went on my first physical inventory. I was sent to Orriville, OH to a warehouse that Scott’s owns to audit our inventory held there. Traveling with work has always appealed to me—I knew it would be a nice change of pace getting out of the office for a day or two but still being productive! I was excited. I learned a lot on this trip: about the company, distribution, logistics, our products, and safety precautions. The warehouse was 400 square feet! It seemed bigger than a Super Wal-mart, and smelled like a Lowe’s or Home Depot —appropriate, right?-Those are our biggest customers; in ascending order. The process we followed required a first, and second count of the entire inventory in this warehouse held by different groups of people so that we were assured the numbers were honest. If there were any variances between these two counts then a third count completed. This was just for the first day; to give you an idea of how much product and man labor to cover such an big area.
The second day we determined if there were any variances in our counts that differed with the amount accounted for in our system. If they were material enough, we would complete a fourth count of those items. Much tedious counting, but necessary to do our job! I went on a couple counts and became more familiar with the set up—bin locations patterned in grid formations with bin #’s painted on the floor, yellow lines indicating where workers can walk through to avoid danger from forklifts etc, the stacking strategy design of hundreds of pallets all around. The picture included is in the raw materials storage locations where fertilizer ingredients are stored before mixed and packaged. The best part of the trip was our attractive apparel–Protective glasses, a hard hat, and flashy vest were always a must!