This week was pretty good for me. On Monday I got promoted to an account manager. It’s really crazy to me that in only after 3 weeks, I got promoted. This promotion gave me a lot more responsibilities. Some of the responsibilities are small office stuff like making copies and making sure we have enough supplies. The bigger responsibilities are training and teaching entry level employees and in the future running meeting, planning events, and interviewing potential candidates. I trained 2 people this week in the field and one of them did well enough that he can begin what’s call his solo push. This means that he gets him own territory and will go out on his own next week. It’s still crazy to me that I am able to train someone to where they are good enough to go out by them-self, and soon they will be able to train someone else, and I have only been doing this for 4 weeks.
The best part about the company is the fact that everything has a system. What we do everyday is built on a system so I can theoretically go to any location and still be successful. Also the way you get promoted is based on a system and not experience. You need to get the right numbers in order to be promoted. There are people that have been working for 3 weeks longer than I have and I got promoted before they did, because I stayed motivated and worked harder than they did.
I am really excited for the rest of this internship because I am learning a lot about sales, marketing, and management. Also next week I was selected to go to Grand Rapids and work in the territories down their so I’m really excited about that.
Just read this article relating to the recent Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods to their possible move to get into the food service distribution market. This is of particular interest to me as I’m working at US Foods and it’s an immediate threat to our market share. I see this as a challenge, to reimagine our supply chain in such a way that competes with the vast web of Amazon and to keep pushing for new solutions and personalized customer experiences.
This week was met with a lot of rain, but not much time off. This is abnormal at Crop Production Services. Due to the fact that it has been very dry the past couple of weeks, a lot of anhydrous ammonia was used, and we have had to collect the empty tanks. This work was monotonous for many people at the company.
DTN Ag reports that precipitation is 80-90% below average. This dry weather is a cause for concern. It is possible that the dry soil will make it difficult for strong root systems to develop, which could make for arduous situations on the horizon.
I have been delivering a lot of anhydrous ammonia this week. It has become my main task and will continue to be through the rest of the season. Some strong rain storms moved into the area this week, bringing some much needed rain to the area. As a result of this, crops will likely begin to take off and there will not be much to do in terms of anhydrous ammonia deliveries.
It has been a long week. I worked an average of about 11 hours per day. Had I not been given Friday and Saturday off this week, I likely would have worked a 70+ hour week. While I would have enjoyed the paycheck, I am glad I got a long weekend. Long hours in the truck is not as easy as some may think. Even I thought the job would be easy at first, but it can really start to get to you after a while. Considering the weather patterns lately, I shouldn’t have too much work left to do for the season. I am guessing that I will only have two or three more weeks left until the end. I am learning a lot about things in my field and am growing in my passion for what I really want to do in the future.
DTN Ag- https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/perspectives/blogs/ag-weather-forum/blog-post/2017/06/05/dry-late-spring-midwest
This week I began to work with our account and really get more in depth in how all of our technology and systems work. I am learning how to most efficiently use the technology at our disposal to help automate all of my daily activities. I am also learning how to quickly navigate our transportation management system. I am beginning to have freedom and independence from my team as I shadow less and less and take on my own responsibilities. I am really enjoying this aspect of it because I feel like I am contributing to the company in my own way. I am excited to continue to see what I can learn and how I can more efficiently help my customers. It is very interesting to see how we impact companies logistics and how we can improve their supply chains.
This week at Mastronardi Produce I was a trainer and not an intern. Since I’ve catched on very quick they had me training their new CIC hire for grape tomatoes. Pretty much I showed him around the company and then walked him through the commodities he would be working with; grapes and TOV. The training this week consisted of showing him the different types of grape tomatoes, the different formats they come in, and the quality defects you could find in the produce. I also showed him how to locate pallets on the system we use. While I was training him I was also getting sample orders together, helping allocate produce, and fixing any allocations that bumped or were short in produce. I also attended another CIC meeting held by the Vice President of Operations of the company. Below are some pictures of what I work with and do on a daily basis, allocate on my laptop and check product quality.
This week was a special week in terms of learning and events. Monday we met up with our division manager and spent the whole day talking pricing and purchasing. We were able to purchase about 9000 dollars worth of new SKU’s to add to our current line. The philosophy that he has is that would you rather not be able to fill a customers order or be able to. Part of the interns spent their day purchasing while some of us were tasked to create a excel sheet ranking manufacturers by GP (Gross Profit). This was a rather difficult task because the layout of the data was completely wrong so we had to create a layout from scratch. On wed of this week, we took a intern trip with every intern in the division and we went to chicago to attend a merchandising seminar. Some key points that we learned is that in order to draw customers to buy products there are certain ways to go about it. First thing is that everything at eye level is considered buy level. This level is where consumers will buy the most. You also have data that says that consumers are more likely to buy products that are 18cm apart. The ideal space between shelves should be between 4-6 feet. We got to really go in depth on how to merchandise i counters so that we were getting more sales. After that we were given a tour of the Ideal factory. This was a two day trip and we learned a lot. Theres so much that goes into merchandising that i would have never thought of until i went through this seminar.
This week much of my duties were focused on the upcoming driver bids. Anyone who like me hasn’t previously worked in a field with union workers may be unfamiliar with some of the rules, regulations and practices that are in place for delivery drivers. for clarity, I’ll just cover some basics. Bidding occurs once a year, where in order of seniority, the drivers choose the route package that they will run for that year. The standard route should stay mostly the same with small changes for business added or lost and some off day deliveries. There are still opportunities to cover other drivers bids when they take vacations or personal days, and there are other drivers who choose to stay on the “Extra board” meant exclusively to cover personal and sick days or week long vacations. Bidded routes that will be open for an extended period of time, due to most frequently injuries, must be posted so that higher seniority guys have the first choice over extra board.
Coming into this week we knew that we were losing some business out on the western side of the state and needed to completely reroute the businesses that were staying. This caused a decrease in need for shuttle drivers who would now be competing for the same bids as the other delivery drivers. There was a lot of questions swarming around who would get what routes and it was funny how it seemed like the drivers knew who would get what bid before we did because they all gossip so frequently. The process of creating these thick bid books for all 80 drivers was resource draining, but had to be followed precisely according to the union contracts. Also time consuming, was calling each and every driver as they were out somewhere on the road delivering their current bids and unable to answer sometimes for hours at a time. The bidding takes a full two days and at the end we had to create the schedule for next week opening a full 12 bids of vacations, personal days and injuries. These open bids then offered to the extra board in another series of calls. It is interesting to see how even in a large company these tasks are done mostly by hand as so much changes from week to week.
The second week at Kroger was more upbeat than week one. The week started out working in the store atmosphere. The first day went as expected and I started my shift by introducing myself to all my new fellow employees. I then continued the rest of the day job shadowing my boss, which gave me a visual of what the next ten weeks will consist of. Toward the middle of the week, we left for our first internship field trip down to Cincinnati, Ohio where Kroger’s general office is located. This was a good opportunity as we were able to tour and receive better insight on what takes place at the corporate level. Together we toured many different facilities, including the general office, the dairy plant, and the warehouse. With each visit, we learned more and more about different branches within the company and how they operate.
After work, the interns were able to explore downtown Cincinnati. The atmosphere was unlike anything I have experienced before. We were able to enjoy live music, explore different restaurants and spend time learning more about one another. During week one, all interns were timid toward one another. Nonetheless, after the trip we are able to talk openly and express our thoughts and concerns without passing judgment. This will help as we work together the rest of the summer.
As our time in Cincinnati was coming to a close, us interns were able to vote for board members for the summer internship. Each person had the opportunity to come forth and give a speech explaining why he/she thinks they would be a good candidate for a certain position. I have always been interested in the marketing aspect of the food industry, so I decided to run for the marketing specialist position. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I hope to continue my education and receive a master’s degree in marketing. Due to my interest in marketing specifically, I thought this would be a good opportunity to see if this is something I would want to pursue. To my surprise, I was lucky enough to be granted the position and will be able to show the group what I can bring to the table.
Overall, I would say that the trip to Cincinnati was worth the long drive. Not only was I able to better understand Kroger and their operations, but I was also able to make friends along the way and open myself up to countless opportunities.
What a week. Honestly, this week flew by and there were so many things to do. The last tasting for the 1855 Marketplace was on Wednesday and super successful. The opening is almost a month away and I feel that it is going to be so hectic the first couple weeks/ months, but I am so proud of my coworkers and all the staff that participated in all of the tastings because this could not be possible without their help. This is an amazing opportunity for me to see what goes into R&D and the marketing side of things. I cannot wait to take what I learn from all the experiences I have encountered into my future jobs; graduation cannot come soon enough.
For those that do not know of the new marketplace that MSU is building, the grand opening date is set to August 1, but may be moved to July 31. It is part of the 1855 apartments that are being built across from the Breslin. The marketplace is to be set up like a Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme where there is prepared meals, sides, hot bar, cold bar, deli, and bakery. As people may be familiar with the different options that Sparty’s locations offer around campus with prepared meals, they should expect similar products.
Above is a picture of what the marketplace will look like when done. The market will be on the ground floor with offices of Culinary Services, athletics, and more up top. For the housing aspect, the apartments will be behind them and are for students and families. There will be about 300 units within the 10 buildings. As there was a new parking structure built there last year, it is able to allow for easy access to the market. I think that the location is perfect for something like this because Harrison has a lot of traffic and with Brody and South neighborhood right there, it is easy for students to walk and grab some groceries besides having to grab the bus to go to Meijer.
We are still working on finishing our stand counts this week and i am attaching a couple of photos of a good stand and a very bad one. The top left photo has a good stand and the other two are from a very bad one, some seed is sitting on the ground and some did not come up.
Like most weeks, Week 5 was full of new information. I had the opportunity to travel to New Hampshire on a project to recover material before the end of the second quarter. This trip allowed me to see where and how all the material is stored once it has been received from suppliers. Pratt & Whitney and UPS began this partnership around four years ago and the two are working to make continuous improvements. I also had the opportunity to learn more about internal processes and several troubleshooting strategies. About $1.5M was recovered with the help of the team that traveled to New Hampshire this week.