By Jennifer Erb
2017-04-202017-04-20https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Industrial Engineering Class of 2016
What does the company do? Amazon has a few different businesses that they are currently in but I work in the fulfillment area of operations. Our fulfillment center is just shy of 1 million square feet and employs nearly 4,000 employees.
Current role: Area Manager L4
A day in life of an Area Manager – The schedule for my normal work week is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. When we had overtime during the holiday season, I would also work Sunday and Monday to help fulfill all of our customer’s orders. The shifts are 13 hours total with pre- and post-shift checklist items that varied by day. The tasks I completed during work would depend on which day of the week it was, along with the process changes that would update every couple weeks. Here is an overview of my typical shift
5:00 PM – I arrive to work. Some days it is earlier if traffic is not bad and I will have some extra time to prepare for the shift. I read through emails, post my associate’s performance for the previous shift and get ready for the day.
5:30 PM – Pre shift meeting begins for the 7 area managers and 2 operations managers for my department. We discuss the goal for the day, go over any new announcements or callouts, and balance any staffing needs we have at the time. After the meeting, I set the staffing board that lets our associates know which role and station will be their’s for the day.
6:00 PM – Inbound standup meeting begins. I lead the meeting going over the daily goal, safety tip, and announcements as well as stretching to get everyone ready for the day. I walk the floor to make sure my associates don’t have any questions or concerns. I then get prepared for the outbound standup.
6:30 PM – Lead outbound standup giving instructions and tips for the day and follow up with everyone once they reach their station and start working.
7:30 PM – We go to our weekly meeting that goes over our team and associate performances for the previous week. The meeting typically lasts a half hour. Then I follow up with my process assistant (PA) who runs the floor when I am not able to.
8:45 PM – First of 3 sync meetings of the night. Managers and their PA’s discuss each floor’s performance and needs for the next quarter. I talk about plan to improve the next quarter and what areas we should focus on coaching.
9:15 PM – Inbound associates go on their first 30 minute break.
9:45 PM – Second inbound standup meeting.
10:00 PM – Outbound associates go on first break.
10:30 PM – Second outbound standup meeting.
10:45 PM – Begin delivering feedback to associates. This includes associates who miss on the productivity or quality standards and celebrating the people exceeding their weekly goal. This can last a couple hours or the rest of the shift depending on how the team performs each week.
12:15 AM – Second sync meeting of the night. Very similar to first sync, analyzing performance increases or decreases.
12:45 AM – 2nd inbound break of the night. Half hour break. Last break for inbound is at 4:30AM and is a 15 minute break. Outbound’s final two breaks are 2AM and 5AM.
1:00 AM – Coach associates for improvement and follow up on reports and audits. We hold power hours sometimes to see who can perform at the highest level for an hour with gift prizes for the winners. Throughout the day I need to make sure any issues on the floor are resolved quickly and noted. We use radios and messenger on our laptops to communicate labor adjustments we can make that have the smallest impact on associates.
4:00 AM – Third and final sync meeting of the night. Go over strategies to finish the shift strong and make sure every station is ready by the time that day associates begin their shift in 3 hours.
7:00 AM – Outbound finishes for the day and all associates go home. Day shift begins their day.
8:00 AM – Time that I usually finish for the night. I go home and catch some Zzz’s.
Why choose operations? Operations may not have been my first choice for a career path coming out of college, but it has been better than expected and leads to many opportunities for advancement. People are usually surprised when I tell them that I rarely sit down during my night and walk at least 10 miles per shift. The facility is huge and filled with cutting edge technology and robots.
What’s the end goal? My current goal is to get a promotion at the location I am at then see what opportunities there are at other cities around the country. I have also been looking at what positions are available in other departments in the company. At this point I want to keep learning and developing myself in multiple areas if possible.
Most surprising thing that I didn’t expect coming out of college – The amount of people that would report to me. I currently have over 100 associates, and it looks like it will grow in the months to come. It has been difficult, but I have also really learned how to train people and delegate work. The key to this is follow up.
Least favorite thing about corporate – At my position, I don’t really have much interaction with “corporate” which in my case would be the headquarters in Seattle. We do have managers and directors at our facility that are multiple levels about me who report up the ranks back in Seattle. I think my least favorite thing so far has been how little notice we are given to various changes. This has been things like overtime shifts or changes in a process or responsibilities etc. These can change on a weekly basis with little notice in advance.
My 2 cents – Develop yourself with the things you do. If your projects do not benefit you in the long run, create your own projects.