road trip to Cedar Falls Iowa!

Six a.m. Wednesday morning, two vans of group leaders were headed down to Iowa. Our destination was the T-590 Distribution Center and T-3895 Food Distribution Center in Cedar Falls. We had a full agenda ahead of us once we arrived at the buildings. Our first stop was the Distribution Center to complete a best practice assessment.

We conduct best practice assessments to help Distribution Centers support our distribution mission of driving sales profitably while delivering what guests want. Distribution Centers are typically assessed by the Assurance team from Headquarters once a year. To ensure that we’re following best practices year-round, we conduct self-assessments and assessments of other buildings when we get the opportunity.

Upon arriving at T-590, we split up the series of best practice questions and got to work. We checked to make sure everything was compliant – from updating training files to observing safe behaviors of team members. After completing the questions, we recapped the findings with the best practice captains, the general manager, and senior group leaders. Although we found some opportunities, overall the assessment went very well. The building was so clean and organized!

After the assessment, I was able to take a tour of the new technology to process freight that is only in a few of our Distribution Centers in the network.  It was really awesome to see how different a group leader role is at T-590 compared to my role just because of this technology. I was also able to meet with my counterpart group leader to share focus areas for our departments such as staffing strategies, team member engagement and communication tools. This different perspective already has me thinking of different things I want to try with my team.

Next stop was the Food Distribution Center. The first thing the group leader tour guide asked us when we walked in was “Do you all have a coat?” I later found out that it was definitely beneficial to bring one after standing in a -15 degree freezer.

The first area we walked through was the banana rooms. There are actually separate chambers with varying ripeness for the bananas! We then walked into the cooler, which at first I thought was quite chilly. We looked at how meat, fruit and other food items were stored and picked. Next was the freezer. The group leader asked first if we wanted to go in and of course we all said yes! I walked in there, felt my eye lashes freeze, took a brief look around and exited quickly. The cooler then felt more like a spring day!

Even though we have many Distribution Centers across the country all looking to achieve the same goals, it was interesting to see the differences in team culture, technology and building layout at T-590 and T-3895. I am looking forward to sharing what I saw with my team and also applying the new things I learned!

Interested in a career in Target’s distribution & supply chain management areas? Learn more and apply for openings here.

  • Joel A

    June 11th, 2012

    The road trip to Iowa was a great experience for the GL team. Great article Julia!

  • Rebecca

    June 24th, 2012

    Great to hear about your best practice journey to Iowa. This type of cross building collaboration and sharing of ideas is critical in helping us to continue growing and performing at our best. Thanks Julia for your drive and engagement in the business!!

  • Chris

    August 9th, 2012

    Technology at the FDC as amazing! I’m jealous that I took the picture now and was not in the picture.


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