Facility Operations: The Lifeline of Target Distribution

A simple definition; not such a simple department. The complexities that go into leading a Facilities Operations team, while helping drive the success of the building as well as the Target brand, can be a daunting task for a summer intern. Having my internship experience dubbed “The Experiment” before day one with only a single predecessor in the department’s history, it was safe to say that my internship went from daunting to, “buckle up, this is going to get VERY interesting” in the blink of a Target bullseye!

From the moment I stepped onto the property in Midlothian, TX, my T-3801 peers have been there to guide me through. Interning in Facilities Operations is very different from interning in an operational department, mainly in that my team never actually does what team members in the other departments do: move boxes through the building. We never offload a trailer in inbound. We never stage any freight in the aisles. We never load a trailer out in the shipping wing. But without my team, operations couldn’t do those things either.

As the “Lifeline of Target Distribution”, Facilities Operations remains a complex and intricate world within the distribution center. Managing my own vendor, answering team member questions – even though I have to do quite a bit of collaborating to find out those answers – and ensuring that the building continues to run were all tasks that I had to fit into my daily routine. If the program was solely built on intern productivity in the building (and thankfully it was not), then this summer was not a success. If the program was built around establishing rapport with your team members, peers and senior leaders (which was evident from the word “go”), then this summer was the best one ever! Not only did I manage to…well, manage, I was also able to establish trust in the team that I was leading and help drive their efforts to make this team (and as a result, the building) more Fast, Fun and Friendly.

So yes, the internship experience was VERY interesting. And yes, there were quite a few mistakes. But it is safe to conclude that “The Experiment” provided some incredible results (check out my photo- it’s a repair being done on a pipeline for our fire system!)

Post by Josh, Distribution Facility Operations Intern

 

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