August 2019 | Directors Corner
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS NORTH
What is your background and career path at Heidelberg?
I joined the company in September, 2013 and my first year probably started my upward trajectory. We tackled some delivery team issues and I also wanted to redesign and set up the warehouse to work much more efficiently. I put together a proposal that would lay out what the warehouse would look like and where I could cut costs, from cases per hour and labor to picking errors and inventory accuracy. I took that project on head first by completely re-racking the entire warehouse myself with a very small team of three other people. That project was wildly successful and completely turned the operation into one of the top-performing operations in the Heidelberg network.
These major projects along with several other wins led me to my first major promotion with the company to Director of Operations North. Some of my major accomplishments in this role include completely redesigning and remodeling two large warehouses in less than a year. Similar to the Youngstown project, we have seen major gains in efficiency and reduction in talent and overtime. I have tackled a lot of major projects that have amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings for Heidelberg along with new processes and procedures to streamline practices across the company.
What are your job responsibilities and priorities?
I team up with Brian Oakes, Director of Operations South, to oversee the operational success of my facilities along with assisting each other with projects that encompass the entire company. In my mind, my job is to support my team and the company in any way possible. My focus is to make sure my team is successful and has the help they need. I offer training, advice and ideas for improvement to my team. I consider myself an asset to the General Manager of each market by helping them better prepare and manage their operations. I am also responsible for leading major projects and aligning, developing, and implementing best practices and procedures that help the company drive down costs and operate more efficiently.
Any recent accomplishments or notable projects from you/your team?
Myself and the fantastic operations team of John Kelly, Eric Flattand Jon Loucksjust came off a year that included two major warehouse restructuring projects. This meant completely restructuring the entire Cleveland warehouse with Eric Flatt and John Kelly leading the way and a complete restructuring of the wine warehouse in Toledo with Jon Loucks leading the way. These two projects would not have happened if it was not for the hard work, long hours and dedication of the amazing Ops teams in both buildings.
Who do you interact with on a regular basis – suppliers, retailers, management, HDC “wheel” teams?
General Managers, Operations Managers, Operations Associates and other Directors.
What alcohol beverage trends are you seeing?
White Claw seems to be the juggernaut this year. I think people are looking for a good tasting, refreshing beverage that is easy to drink and White Claw checks all those boxes. The huge number the brand is putting up in sales really proves that this is what the consumer wants and loves!
How has the business and/or company changed since you joined Heidelberg?
“Cohesion” would be the word I would use to describe the biggest change at Heidelberg since I started. Heidelberg feels more like one company than each facility operating as its own entity. The communication and the streamlining of corporate processes and procedures have improved dramatically. The teamwork between each building has greatly improved.
How do you like to spend time when you’re away from work?
Vacations with my family (wife Kelly, nine-year-old Gabriel and four-year-old Jaxson) and participating in sporting activities with my two sons. I get great joy out of watching my boys grow and experience new things every day. Watching them get into superheroes is probably one of the coolest things to experience. Their favorite superhero is Spiderman right now (even though I try to tell them that Superman is the best).
I also enjoy tinkering with electronics. I find joy in learning how to fix and build different electronics or platforms. I have been known to fix/build PC’s or repair iPhones for friends and family. I am generally the go-to guy for anything tech related in my circle of family and friends. I also enjoy things that involve gaming or building media servers to store and stream my movie library or build a platform for playing retro video games.