Since 1938, Heidelberg Distributing has relied on its Associates to make our company great. We’ll spotlight some of the hardworking men and women who not only excel in their everyday jobs but also go above-and-beyond in exemplifying Heidelberg’s core values.
REED POULSON - COLUMBUS INVENTORY MANAGER
There are a select few Heidelberg Associates that make the rounds to other Heidelberg locations other than the ones that they call home. Columbus Inventory Manager Reed Poulson is one of those Associates.
Columbus is Reed’s home base but once a quarter, he travels to all of Heidelberg’s nine locations in Ohio and Kentucky (including his home base of Columbus) to conduct each market’s inventory audit. “As the inventory auditor for Heidelberg, I travel to each warehouse to audit 50 items and to judge the accuracy of each locations inventory based on that count,” says Reed.
The goal of each market’s audit is a simple one; make sure that what is on the books for inventory is what is actually on the warehouse floor. Before the current process of cycle counting and auditing, physical inventory was big and was not always efficient, from both a manpower and a results standpoint. The current process is much faster and more efficient than conducting full physical inventories.
“Before we changed to our current process, the way we did inventory was very labor and Associate intensive,” says Reed. “You would have to shut down the warehouse for a day and utilize the market’s salesforce to inventory everything. It was a big process.”
In addition to running inventory audits for Ohio, Reed is the Inventory control manager for Columbus. He is tasked with making sure that receiving for his home base is accurate and If there is anything that is incorrect, it gets investigated and fixed. “We have a cycle counter (in our warehouse), that counts all day every day,” says Reed. “But in a building this size, with the sales that we have, there is always something that pops up. It is my job to address those issues.”
The Columbus market is in the midst of a growth spurt in sales. With increases in sales, there is a need for more inventory to match the increase in demand. Keeping extra inventory on hand, especially of those hot sales items is another task for and challenge for Reed and his team. “We need to make sure that those faster selling items are not only in supply but that they are in the right spot in the warehouse for that night’s pick,” says Reed. “That takes a lot of work moving product around to make sure that everything is in the best place to make us as efficient as we need to be.”
Reed joined Heidelberg Distributing in 2012, when the company purchased Columbus’ Hill Distributing, where he had been working since 2004. He hit the ground running with Heidelberg and has been a key member of the warehouse team ever since. “From running our satellite beer warehouse and shipping in 2012 during the purchase of Hill Distributing, then to night warehouse manager and now inventory control manager and statewide inventory auditor. Reed is always looking for ways to improve our operations,” says Columbus Operations Manager, Duane Wright. “Reed lives our core values and has risen to each and every challenge Heidelberg has given him,”
His one week every quarter on the road is his favorite part of the job. “I enjoy seeing what other locations do well and seeing what I can bring to Columbus to implement and vice versa,” says Reed. “That is one of my goals is to create best practices throughout the state.”
Away from the warehouse, Reed and his wife Abby enjoy spending time with their two sons, Ryan (13) and Jake (8) and watching their numerous events and activities.