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ReStore makes strategic changes with help from Leaders Alliance

ReStore makes strategic changes with help from Leaders Alliance

Back on October 8th, 2013, the Twin Cities ReStore hosted a meeting for the Leaders Alliance Warehouse and Distribution Group. This peer group is just one of 18 currently offered by the Manufacturers Alliance, which has provided Minnesota manufacturers with practical peer-to-peer education, training and resources for over twenty years. Leaders Alliance members serve as a consulting forum and a way to expand networking contacts for benchmarking best practices.

"As a fan of Habitat’s mission, I reached out to the ReStore to see if they were open to hosting the Warehouse Management group," said Vickie Parks, Operations and Programs Manager at Manufacturers Alliance. "The group was excited to visit a non-manufacturer and have a chance to do some problem-solving. We were impressed by the ReStore’s dedicated staff, vision for growth and openness to our improvement ideas."

The recommendations suggested during the meeting resulted in several strategic changes for the ReStore. A new conveyor system assists workman’s comp volunteers and is a big help for ergonomic reasons. The overall safety of the space was improved through the implementation of new signage and demarcation at electrical panels, a dedicated “garage” for the forklift and greater awareness of items that may cause a slip, trip or fall.

New ReStore Warehouse Space

Perhaps the biggest change as a result of the meeting is the additional 4,000 square feet of warehouse space the ReStore acquired on February 1st. The previous cookie-cutter shaped dock area did not adequately support the store’s workflow, and the new space will allow them to better manage the logistics of their ever-changing inventory and provide an opportunity to stage existing floor space for their customers.

"We looked at the new space and joked that we would never be able to fill such a large warehouse area," said Pete O'Keefe, ReStore Operation Sr. Manager. "In a blink of an eye, several multi-pallet donations of ceramic tile, hardware and flooring arrived. In the past, we would often reluctantly respond with 'No thanks, we have no room right now'. We are a 100% donations based operation which requires some flexibility on the part of the ReStore Team. Our 'Procurement Department' often revolves around blind faith and a line of cars at our Donation Door. Therefore, the new warehouse space allows us the flexibility to take in much more usable material, especially larger loads from local contractors and construction retailers."

 

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