Our business works so people can

By Rick Roberts, Industrial Services Manager

With 2012 coming to a close, and starting a fresh, bright 2013, it is a great time to reflect on our growth and improvements over the past year.

Goodwill’s industrial services department is a challenging yet interesting division to work in. Our ISO 9001:2008-certified work center provides a variety of contracted industrial services (collating, packaging, assembly, labeling, etc.) for local companies (see my personal video tour below for a sampling of our work).

Our unique and diverse workforce is comprised of Goodwill job program participants ranging from persons with severe intellectual or multiple disabilities, to ex-offenders transitioning back into the community. In turn, these individuals learn new skills, build their self-esteem, and become productive members of the workforce and the community.

Our workers are eager and motivated, which makes my job such a rewarding personal experience every day. My staff and I strive to keep everything upbeat and focused, while at the same time concentrating on the serious business of meeting customers’ deadlines and expectations, so that we deliver a quality product on time, every time.

When I began working at Goodwill in July of 2011, the industrial services division was in a bit of a holding pattern. Still climbing out of a struggling economy, we lost some of our customers and work volume. With a renewed focus on quality and performance, we implemented new procedures that focused on continuous improvement in our delivery of services … not only externally, but internally as well.

The results in 2012 were great. Our on-time product delivery score was 99.8% and we significantly increased our quality benchmark scores. We also increased the volume of work with our current industrial clients, while adding three new customers! The results were proven in our annual customer satisfaction survey, netting us the highest score ever received, a positive rating of 98%.

In addition, we reorganized the entire work center using “Kaizen” or quality improvement techniques, and improved and maintained our warehouse inventory accuracy to 96.4%. Our electronic recycling initiatives were also solid for 2012. We shipped 776,556 pounds of computers and 682,780 pounds of televisions to our third-party recyclers.

Finally, providing paid work opportunities and skill development for people with barriers to employment is always our most important measure of success. My involvement and interaction at Goodwill has been nothing but a positive influence in my life. It is a pleasure to come to work every day and interact with the workers and my staff. They truly are an amazing group of people.

So what will 2013 bring? We continue to satisfy and maintain our employer-partner contract relationships, while continuing to attract new customers, grow the business, and provide expanded job opportunities to those we serve.

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