Inbound Logistics | March 2022

READERPROFILE There’s Always Something to Make Better

as told to Karen Kroll

A long with producing and shipping doors and frames and miscellaneous parts, at Tubelite we move a lot of 24-foot aluminum extrusions on our dedicated carrier base. Occasionally, we have to ship these extrusions by common carriers. The less-than-truckload (LTL) world can be scary. Sometimes a 24-foot extrusion is bent and returns as a 22-foot extrusion. Or, some might disappear. Most LTL carriers are not willing to move this type of material. In reviewing the processes we used to load and move the extrusions, as well as the volume of damages, I brought together the carrier, the packaging engineer, the safety people, and others, making sure everybody who touched the items was involved. When you bring together the affected departments so they have input on the project, they’re going to help make sure it works. We went through about eight renditions of the packaging before we came up with the nal design. It works really well. We dropped our damage claims down to less than 0.01%. Similarly, when I adjust customers between routes and carriers to make

the routes more efcient, I bring the carriers into the same room and we go over the changes together. The open communication with our carriers, who also communicate with each other, makes a working partnership. For instance, at times one carrier may be short a driver and another carrier will help them out and vice versa. A MARINE CORPS START I started in the Marine Corps the year after I graduated high school. They needed people in logistics— embarkation as they called it. I didn’t know what logistics meant, but I took classes and started to learn. My job was to move everybody into the necessary operational area, and support them with whatever they needed, such as food, ammo, and repair parts. Then, I’d dissolve everything and bring them home. Then we’d do an after-action report and ask what we learned. It was always important to talk with each other. In the Marine Corps, you got the guy on your left and the guy on your right. That’s how you survive. If you don’t communicate with them, there are problems.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Oversee freight movement, distribution, and continuous improvement initiatives for the transportation and logistics of Tubelite’s storefront, curtainwall, entrances, and daylight control systems. DANIEL POLITOWICZ is logistics & transportation manager of Tubelite, an architectural aluminum manufacturer and division of Apogee Enterprises.

EXPERIENCE: Supply chain manager, Velocity Glass; operations & procurement

In reviewing the processes we used to load and move aluminum extrusions, I brought together the carrier, packaging engineer, safety people, and others. When affected departments have input, they will help make sure the process works.

manager, Palogix Supply Chain; sr. transportation mgr., Coca-Cola Refreshments; U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, as a 0431 Logistics and Embarkation Specialist.

18 Inbound Logistics • March 2022

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