Let me tell you, looking for a single package in an infinite amount of carton boxes in a 20 000 m2 warehouse is not an easy job to do. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. And ShipMonk is processing thousands of orders every day with outstanding precision. Here’re a couple of our observations from a business trip from the Prague office to Florida headquarters.
In the warehouse
Our main goal for the trip was to attend training for all the diverse jobs being performed in the warehouse. Receiving the inventory, managing storage, assembling, and packing the orders. Basically all the daily processes, which are utilizing apps and products developed by us in the Prague R&D team. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a personal experience is priceless. Joining your product end-users in their work builds empathy, respect and provides you with an endless stream of new ideas and improvements.
Everyone we’ve met on the warehouse floor or in the offices has been super helpful and open for discussion. I’ve never seen such a united international team. Due to the 6 hours time shift, all Florida morning meetings are afternoon ones in Prague. It was a warming feeling to hear our Prague coworkers’ voices from all the Zoom calls happening around us. It is obvious ShipMonk’s values are well communicated across the globe and help to align everyone with the vision of becoming the most innovative and trusted fulfillment company.
Center of gravity
Covid lockdowns with forced remote work made joining a new company pretty tricky two years ago and unfortunately prolonged the learning period. Working from the hotspot of all action, our headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, was the exact opposite. Being able to shoot questions at the operations and gather tons of feedback, having lunch with our top management and learning about their day to day agenda or attending internal sales conferences has been really eye opening. We can now imagine much better what it takes to implement every single small idea we come up with in the R&D team into production.
While attending training in the US facilities, we were still part of our Czech data science team in Prague. The time zone difference and shifted focus on warehouse processes meant also a change for our team operations. We’d moved from daily standups to deeper syncs two times a week and everyone seemed to enjoy the new status appreciating more freedom, responsibility and exploration time for their own initiative. The provisional measure might thus become permanent and if so, we’ll definitely get back to you with an update on how it goes!
Work hard, play hard!
Although the US work culture is renowned for its intensity, we have managed to squeeze in a couple of trips to the surroundings. Florida is popular for its sunny beaches and alligators but we’ve also seen rockets standing ready on their launch pads in Kennedy Space Center or the Panthers winning an NHL game. And don’t even make me start about the Miami parties.
What about that package from the introduction we’d been looking for? Ordering gifts for your friends and having them delivered to the office front desk seems to be a standard practice. Just the couriers are more used to delivering everything to the warehouse floor so we ended up hunting down the packages ourselves. Warehouses are fun to explore!
Matyas Lustig & Karel Gavenciak (Data Scientists at ShipMonk)