Workflow Management Operations

Staff Spotlight: Warehouse Manager Randy Batson

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RANDY BATSON COMPANY: WATSON CHEVROLET LOCATION: TUCSON, ARIZ. POSITION: WAREHOUSE MANAGER YEARS AT COMPANY: 22 YEARS

TRUE TONE-SETTER

From the moment he walks into work each day—at 5 a.m., roughly an hour before parts delivery trucks roll in—Randy Batson tries to establish positive energy at Watson Chevrolet in Tucson, Ariz. That’s just one reason why the longtime warehouse manager is viewed as an asset by his bosses.

“You don’t get a lot of people that put their heart and soul into their job,” notes Ron Kiepke, the Arizona facility’s parts director. But Batson, “just jumps into any issue, or problem, without even blinking. And he gets the business moving.”

Batson says his primary focus each day is to make sure the entire parts department’s operations roll along smoothly. Whether it be communicating with parts drivers or getting freight handled, he typically acts decisively.

He aims, “to make sure operations flow smoothly, so that it flows smoothly to the customers.”   

01 Prioritize and Organize.

Watson Chevrolet’s parts area is rather sizable, featuring two shipping docks, three floors, and more than $2 million in inventory. Batson is instrumental in keeping auto parts organized because he has a knack for working efficiently.

After arriving to work around 5 a.m., Batson wastes little time addressing any paperwork that needs tending to, or tying up customer returns from the day before.

He says he prefers to take advantage of the early morning hours, before new work starts pulling him in different directions.

02 Emphasize Bin Checks.

Batson’s workplace isn’t lacking for employees, a fact illustrated by the 40-person parts department. Because of that, he feels there’s no excuse for having the same couple staffers perform bin checks over and over.

Because, as any parts employee can attest, bin checks can make for some awfully tedious work, even if modern technology, like scanners, significantly help control inventory.

“Use different people to do them at different times,” Batson suggests of bin checks. “That way, you don’t have one guy that gets resentful that he’s got to do all the bin checks, [often thinking], ‘I’m going to be sitting here looking at these bins … and putting away stock … and dusting shelves.’”

03 Embrace Mentorship.

Batson has become indispensable at Watson Chevrolet not just because of his tireless work ethic, but because of his attitude, too.

He is a willing tutor to young coworkers, for example, and makes sure to let them try their hand at several tasks. And, all those shifts spent learning about shipping and receiving, or delivery routes, or parts sales, help provide the facility with a surplus of great full-time job candidates in the event of staff turnover.

“Whenever we hire somebody,” Batson explains, “we always tell them, ‘We’re not hiring you to stay in the warehouse; we’re hiring you to progress forward, and it’s just a starting point.’”

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