September Heidelberg Star 2021
Heidelberg Lorain Driver Doug Hall began working as a part time as a welder at the age of 17, while he was still in high school. Once he graduated, he began working full time. It was a good job but after 12 years, Doug wanted to take his career in a different direction. He went to work for one of Heidelberg’s competitors in the Lorain market, as a shuttle driver working overnights on third shift.
After three years in that position, Doug made his way to Heidelberg and in 2019 began working as a driver, where he has been for a little over two years. “I really needed a change,” he said. “When I was welding, It was the same factory and the same work for a long time. I wanted to see what else was out there and available to me. With this position at Heidelberg, I’m outside, moving around, enjoying the weather, talking with customers and really enjoying what I do.”
On a typical day, Doug leaves his house around 5:00 am and arrives at the warehouse by 5:30 to check his route and get ready for the day. “I’ll take an overview of my day to make sure there is nothing different with my route, such as an added stop or an extra trip and check in with Lorain Warehouse Supervisor Ray Ott,” says Doug. “After that I load my kegs on the truck and I’ll head out for my first stop.”
The best part of the day and of the job for Doug is the interaction with the stores on his route and the customers that run the businesses. His accounts are a mix of small family and large corporate owned stores. “I love being able to visit with my customers each and every day,” Doug says. “As the driver and delivery man, I’m usually the last point of contact that this account is going to have with someone from Heidelberg and I always want to make sure that are left with a positive experience from our company.”
Shortly after Doug began driving with Heidelberg, the Covid-19 Pandemic struck and the way everyone does business changed. On-premise accounts were shut down, off-premise accounts saw their business increase dramatically. Over the last 19 months, as many people have worked remotely, drivers have ‘masked up’ and kept the deliveries going. “There has been a lot of short-handedness with my accounts, so I make sure to help out where I can,” says Doug. “It actually helps me with my day. I love the relationship that I have with my customers. It puts a smile on my face when I can put a smile on theirs.”
What has gotten Doug through the challenge of the pandemic, besides getting the opportunity to interact and help the customers on his route, has been the constant communication from Heidelberg. “This has been a big challenge,” he said. “But we have made it work with great teamwork and communication. Before coming to Heidelberg, I worked for one of our competitors in the area and we didn’t have anywhere near the communication that we have with Heidelberg. The preparation we go through each day and the updates and conversations that we have with our management has made this so much easier.”
Away from his customers and deliveries, Doug enjoys spending time in the outdoors in both Ohio and West Virginia, where he owns property. “I Love to hunt, and fish as well as playing golf,” he says. “My wife enjoys the outdoors as well, so we take our dog out with us and spend time together. There are some great outdoor areas around us locally, that we really enjoy.”