(Courtesy of Rick Hawkins, HGR’s receiving supervisor)
What does your department do?
The main objective of the Receiving Department is to safely and accurately receive and prepare our incoming merchandise for sale. Our goal is to achieve the main objective along with ensuring that we present our customers with the best possible first impression of our merchandise. Many processes take place in order to prepare our surplus for sale: unloading, weighing, sorting, expediting, displaying, and inventorying are processes that are completed prior to sale. We supply our showroom and sales associates with ready-to-sell merchandise on a daily basis.
How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?
The Receiving Department operates on two shifts to help accommodate the high volume of deliveries each day. There are four forklift operators per shift who unload and prepare everything for the inventory process. There are four inventory clerks, two expeditors, and the chief pricing officer. Receiving also works closely with the eBay Department, the Recycling Department and the logistics coordinators. Together, we work toward a common goal; each position and every responsibility plays a crucial role in the desired end result: happy customers, happy vendors, good sales, and prosperity for all.
What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?
Those who possess self-motivation to achieve goals, those who pay attention to detail, and those who are highly organized will succeed in the Receiving Department.
What do you like most about your department?
The fact that every single item in our nearly 600,000-square-foot showroom has been processed through the Receiving Department is a pretty amazing feat to consider. Every available item and every sales transaction is dependent on the efforts of those in our department. Knowing the contribution that our department makes to the whole of the company is gratifying.
What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?
I have been with the company since its earlier days. I have seen and been part of the evolution and can attest to the great accomplishments we have achieved over time. Any prosperous company must be willing to adapt and improve processes to accommodate growth. We constantly strive for improvement in efficiency and productivity. There was a time when a 10- truckload delivery schedule was nearly impossible. Now, a 10-truckload schedule is considered a light day. A lot of things have changed over the years. Improved organization, refined processes, better employee training, increased department size, additional docks, and effectively utilizing available space have greatly increased the capabilities of our department and our business, in general.
What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?
As implied by one of our five company core values (personal dedication to continuous improvement in creating employee and company success), we are constantly evolving, adapting, and improving. During the past few years many changes have occurred: promoting company culture, major building renovations, the treat it like it’s yours initiative, several employee-recognition programs, and the implementation of safety regulations. All of these companywide changes and improvements have created a better work environment as well as added to the foundation of our business for future growth. The biggest recent change in the Receiving Department was the addition of second-shift receiving operations. This occurred about four years ago and was an attempt to alleviate employee congestion, extend receiving hours, and enhance production. The outcome has been increased production, less forklift traffic with a safer work environment, and more accommodating receiving hours.
What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?
I’m interested in streamlining some of our older processes and utilizing available technology to better improve efficiency. We have come a long way, but there will always be room for improvement.
What’s HGR’s overall environment like?
HGR not only sells machines, we are a machine, and a juggernaut of a machine at that! Everyone involved here knows that it takes a lot of effort and care to keep this machine operating with precision. In the industrial-surplus world, we are a massive entity. This is a fast-paced environment where things regularly change on a moment’s notice. Our showroom is an ever-changing expanse of new arrivals and older equipment that has been further reduced in price. HGR is a place where you can find customers enthusiastically combing our isles to take advantage of our unbelievable deals and a place where the staff is well-versed in accomplishing goals and providing in excellent customer service.
What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?
As long as there are consumers with demands for products, there will be machines, manufacturers and competition to supply those demands. As long as there is competition among manufacturers, there will be more advanced, more precise, faster machines being developed. The manufacturers themselves become consumers in a competitive market. The need for evolution in manufacturing and machinery engineering will keep the need for new and used equipment revolving. There will always be a market for used equipment as new, and expanding businesses seek to compete, improve, and evolve within their means.