A day in the eCommerce life
By Edison Barrientos (with Johnny Cochran)
My name is Edison Barrientos (people call me Ed) and I’m the logistics coordinator for Goodwill’s eCommerce department in San Francisco. As the logistics coordinator, I’m responsible for all inventory items that arrive and leave the eCommerce warehouse. I hope this blog will shed some light on how our team operates.
My day starts like everyone else’s around here by clocking in at 8 a.m. The first item of the day is to locate all outbound orders in the “non-media” warehouse and deliver them to the shipping team. The “non-media” warehouse is where we keep items like shoes, handbags, clothing, jewelry, accessories and everything except books and media items.
Every day, we have about 200 of these items to pick, pack and ship to our customers.
The shipping team has to pack each item so that it doesn’t break while it’s being delivered to the customer. This takes a while because these items can be breakable, large or strangely shaped. Packing things correctly is an art as much as a science because we don’t just want the item to arrive safely, we want the customer to be able to open the package easily and also be able to recycle the packing materials.
Once all of the daily orders have been taken to the shipping team, my attention is turned to the freight elevator. Everything that arrives at and departs from the warehouse first comes through the freight elevator.
All inbound deliveries of donations need to be recorded in our own log book and checked against what the shipment reports say should have arrived.
Each day we receive about 10 gaylords of donated books to sort. A gaylord is a 4-foot by 4-foot cardboard box on top of a pallet that can weight up to 1,500 pounds. Each of these gaylords must be logged and staged near the production team, whose members will sort, scan, warehouse and process all of the books. We process at least 10,000 books every day.
When the production team scans the books, the software tells them whether to sell it online or whether to sell it in the retail store. If the book should be sold online, we print out an inventory ticket that tells us where in the warehouse to store the book. The production team scans 2,500 to 3,000 books every day that will be sold online. The rest are sold in our retail stores.
We now have a really big warehouse in which to store books. I’ve been told we can stores hundreds of thousands of books. Maybe we should start calling this place “the Goodwill library”! I can tell you for sure that we have a lot of books right now and we just had a bunch of new shelves built, so we plan to put up many more soon.
To the left is the view of just one of our aisles in the warehouse. We have six more isles just like that.
There is obviously much more that we do on a daily basis, but I hope this post has piqued your interest in our eCommerce department. We are planning an “open house” once our construction project is complete, so keep an eye out for an invitation from the team.