Burris Blog

How Burris Atlanta Weathered the Ice Storm With Good Old-fashioned Teamwork!

Last week, the Atlanta area was hit by a crippling ice and snow storm that created difficult conditions for any business, but especially those of us in the transportation and logistics industry.

Luckily, Burris Logistics is no stranger to adapting and overcoming hurdles. Over the years we have weathered numerous unpredictable circumstances with amazing flexibility.  When Atlanta came to a halt, the rest of Burris rose to the occasion once again to help fellow team members and our customer.

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The entrance to Burris Atlanta last week!

As you know, when the weather gets bad, grocery store shelves empty at an alarming rate.  Our job at Burris Logistics is to make sure that the shelves of our customers stay stock, even during the most difficult conditions.  Last week our entire Burris team came together again to prove that we live our mottos of “Get it Right” “Make it Happen and “I am Burris”!

When the roads got icy and traffic came to a standstill, we had up to 25 inbound truckloads that were either very late or didn’t come in at all.  While our customer service team worked hard to get the loads rescheduled, our partner warehouse in New Castle, Delaware started planning how to help.  The New Castle team organized, picked, and shipped out multiple loads to cover six of the stores that were schedule to be sent out by our Atlanta location that day.

Out of our 21 outbound trucks that were schedule to ship out that day, 10 arrived at the stores on time. The other 11 arrived but they were late.  While we strive for on time deliveries this was still quite a feat for our transportation team considering that we had two team members stuck in their cars on the highway for over 22 hours before they were picked up by the National Guard!

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Here is a photo of what the roadways looked like around Atlanta.

While there were numerous Atlanta team members that went above and beyond by staying at work around the clock, one in particular deserves some recognition. Eduardo Quinones one of our Receiving Supervisors came in on Wednesday morning at 1am,  worked until about 9am, went home to sleep for a few hours and was back at 1pm to help receive trucks that trickled in throughout the day and following evening. Even though he was extremely tired he knew he might be one of the only few who could make it in since he lived close to the facility.  He happily volunteered his time to help the rest of the team get caught up.

Lastly, the rest of the extended Burris Family jumped at the opportunity to help their fellow team members from Burris Atlanta.  Many helped from afar, holding conference calls with our customer every few hours throughout the ordeal in order to come up with the best and safest strategies to recover from the storm.  Our Support and IT team members also remained on high alert and stood ready and willing to help the Atlanta team in any way they could.

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Burris IT team member Lauren Thomas hops on a forklift to support Burris Atlanta.

There were also team members from multiple facilities that dropped everything and traveled to Atlanta on a moment’s notice to lend support.  From our IT department in Milford, Delaware, two of our Business Analysts, Lauren Thomas and Gary Walstead, flew in to help receive some of the incoming loads.  From Rocky Hill we had three warehouse team members, Arenzo Washington, Jesus Nieves, and Claudius Wallace, that made the long trek south along with two warehouse team members, Joe Grieff and Luis Silva from Burris New Castle. We also had four Burris Orlando team members Andre Morris, LaRondrick Robertson, Manny Arroyo, and Ramon Santiago that braved the cold weather and came up from the south.

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Longtime Burris IT team member, Gary Walstead lending a helping hand.

The Atlanta Team asked me to express their sincere thank you to these team members and the many others that helped out last week.  Steve Mueller, Burris Atlanta’s Operations Manager said, “We were so impressed with the way these Team Members came in with only one thing on their minds and that was to do whatever was needed to help get us caught up.  The focus and dedication of these team members as well as the Atlanta team members truly defines the part of our culture that “We Are Burris”.

Thank you to our many dedicated Burris team members that truly care for our customers and our team members!

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Duke, a Loader from Burris Atlanta, shares a big smile while helping the rest of the team get caught up!

 

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Burris Team Member Success Story – Herman Littleton

It’s time for another Burris Team Member Success Story! Meet Herman Littleton.

Herman Littleton - Burris Logistics

Over the past 12 years, Herman has worked in many areas of the company.  Since starting as an Order Selector at our Harrington warehouse in 2002,  Herman has continually gained responsibility, moving on to other positions within the company such as Supervisor, Receiving Manager, and Lead Shipping Supervisor.  Most recently, Herman accepted the position of Safety and Sanitation Manager at our Harrington facility after longtime team member, Bill Adkins retired from the position after 37 years.

Herman has worked at four Burris locations (Harrington, Federalsburg, Atlanta, and New Castle) and has also been a key player in several of our start-ups (Rocky Hill, Elkton, Honor Foods, and Atlanta).  His versatility,  knowledge, and “get it done” attitude have made Herman a go-to Burris team member for years.

In the midst of what seems like constant relocation, Herman has managed to raise a family with his wife and 5 children.  He enjoys spending time with his family, including hiking, traveling, and anything outdoors.  He is also a die-hard Saints fan…. Who Dat! 😉

Burris’ continuous success is thanks to our dedicated and dependable team members, like Herman, who are always willing to go above and beyond for our customers and fellow team members.  Thank you for all you do, Herman!

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Burris Elkton’s Vicky Alexander Named RefrigiWear’s Warehouse Persons of the Year

Each year, RefrigiWear recognizes the outstanding men and women who work in our industry by holding their “International Warehouseman of the Year” Awards.  We have been very fortunate to be well represented by some of our talented team members over the years such as Gil Ayon (2012 winner) from Elkton and Issac Alamo (2013 winner) from Rocky Hill.  This year, we are well represented once again!

Vicky Alexnander of Burris Elkton Refrigiwear's warehousemen of the year

Vicky Alexander, a checker from Burris Elkton, has been announced as one of the 24 winners of 2014!

Don Byerly from RefrigiWear shares, “We had almost 300 nominations this year.  We select 24 winners, based on performance. These nominations are “the best of the best”, so it is a challenge. However, the exceptional performers do usually shine through.”

Below is the letter of recommendation submitted by Vicky’s team:

We would like to nominate Victoria Alexander of our Elkton AM Shipping Department, for the RefrigiWear Warehouseman of the Year award. Vicky is a lead checker for our Quality Control Team at Burris.

As a leader, Vicky meets with her staff of checkers at the start of shift and asks for their input on how they will meet productivity goals and objectives for the day. Whenever there are special projects that need to be addressed and handled, Vicky is the first person to volunteer. She has excellent communication skills and enjoys working with all of our teams within the warehouse.
With regard to her productivity, Vicky and her team have checked 17,142,195 cases so far this year and they have excelled at a 99.97% quality standard.

Vicky is extremely resourceful, and whether she is checking cases or observing dock flow, Vicky will inform all warehouse management of any potential roadblocks that may impact the productivity for the day. Also, our auditors rely heavily on Vicky for her in-depth knowledge. She is extremely versatile with all of our commodities in the warehouse and is also a great trainer to all of our new team members.

For all of the reasons listed above, please consider her for the award.

Thank you,
Elkton Burris Logistics Shipping Team

Don also went on to say, “It is one if my favorite things, every year, to read the success stories of what I believe to be our country’s greatest resource….The American Worker.”  We couldn’t agree more Don!

Congratulations to Vicky and thank you to RefrigiWear!

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Burris Logistics Takes Advantage of Industry Opportunities

It has been a busy Fall for the supply chain and retail food distribution industries!  Burris is thankful for the many opportunities to connect with experts from across the country on everything from fresh produce distribution challenges to the best ways to recruit top supply chain industry talent.

Here is a quick highlight of two beneficial conferences Burris participated in this fall.

PMA – Fresh Summit

Over 18,000 attendees gathered in New Orleans on October 17-20 to participate in the produce industry’s largest annual event – PMA Fresh Summit.  Three attendees from Burris Logistics were able to connect with customers and vendors while participating as exhibitors.  Burris is a PMA Gold Circle sponsor and John Haggety of Burris serves as a member of PMA’s membership committee.  In 2014 Fresh Summit will return to Anaheim home of Fresh Summit 2012 as the event alternates each year between Anaheim and an eastern location.  Below is Burris Logistics, Account Executive, Megan Fusco have fun posing with the Jolly Green Giant.

PMA Fresh Summit ConferenceBurris Logistics PMA Fresh Summit

For more information on PMA and Fresh Summit:

http://www.pma.com

http://www.freshsummit.com

CSCMP – Global Conference

Seven Burris team members joined over 3,000 supply chain leaders from several industries and companies throughout the globe who attended CSCMP’s 50th Global Conference in Denver October 20 – 23.  The Burris team participated in several educational opportunities, as were exhibitors during Student Recruiting Day and in the Supply Chain Exchange program.  The keynote speaker was former Mexican President, Felipe Calderón.  We look forward to CSCMP Global 2014 which will be held in San Antonio.

  Burris Logistics at CSCMP Global CSCMP Global Burris Logistics at CSCMP Global

For more information on CSCMP and CSCMP Global:

http://cscmp.org

 http://cscmpconference.org

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An Inspiring Burris Logistics Team Member Success Story – Vlad Navitski

We have a truly inspiring Burris Success Story to share with you this week!

Vlad Navitski and his wife moved to the United States from Belarus in September of 2011.  Vlad had been a student and a teacher at the European Humanities University before it was closed by the Belarus’s authoritarian government.  Anxious start a new life in America away from the unstable political conditions of their home country, Vlad, his wife, and their daughter came to America and established their permanent residency.  A month later in October 2011, Vlad decided to start his career with Burris Logistics and took a position as a selector at our Rocky Hill location.  Fast-forward to today, and Vlad is the newest addition to our IT team working as a Web Developer out of our corporate headquarters in Milford, Delaware.  Read on to hear more of Vlad’s Burris success story!

When were you hired and what was your first position with Burris?

I was hired in October 2011 as a selector.  Used to work AM shift mostly in the freezer. Good old times 🙂

Why or how did you come to join the Burris team?

Well, a month before I was hired, I came to the United States with my family and I wanted to find a job as soon as possible. I didn’t have a particular preferences and a friend of mine knew some guys working at Burris Rocky Hill and suggested that I try that.

What other jobs have you held here at Burris?  How did you learn about and become interested in your career path with the company?

I started as a frozen selector and four months later I was transferred to fresh.  Believe it or not, for me,  that was almost like a promotion!  By the end of that next year, I knew that I wanted to do something else in Burris so I applied for the open position of Shipping/Receiving Clerk.  Honestly, I didn’t know much about what I was going to do, but was very determined to try.  That was a challenging transition for me, but thanks to the great leadership and support of my fellow Rocky Hill Team Members, I soon learned how to do this job properly.

Although, I enjoyed that position, I had another plan.  Working as a clerk, I was able to save some time and energy compared to what I had when I was a selector.  I used this time to begin to studying scripting languages, first JavaScript and then other Web tools like HTML and CSS.  Now, imagine my surprise  in June of 2013, when I saw a posting in the Rocky Hill break room; the Burris IT department was looking for someone who knew JavaScript, HTML and CSS! I couldn’t believe my eyes and applied on the same exact day.  A month later I had an interview in Milford.  After a successful interview, I was offered the position! I moved my family to Milford, Delaware and began my new role as a Web Developer in the Burris IT Department on September the 9th, 2013.

What did you learn that helped you to grow? Was there anyone who was a mentor to you?

The most important thing that has helped me is my diverse background in a variety of positions at Burris.  When I was a clerk, I used a lot of the knowledge I had learned while working as a selector on the floor.   This allowed me to see the greater picture.  Before being a clerk,  I was missing the overall understanding of the company’s business, its challenges and opportunities.  Being a clerk helped me to get the notion of that and it really expanded my horizons as a warehouse professional.

This is why I’m confident that this diverse experience will help me in my new role.  I’m not just doing something personally interesting, I have a lot of experience to contribute in the process of making our operations more efficient and less stressful for people on the floor.

When it comes to particular names, I was always amazed at those Burris Team Members who seemed to know everything about our daily job.   For example, Mike Wingate, Dexter Lee, Glenda Montie, and many others. These people are quite different from each other, but they have something that they share in common – a willingness to take responsibility and to ‘get it done’ no matter what.  The example they set is always inspiring!

What advice do you have for fellow Burris team members on career opportunities at Burris?

I would put it simple – “Do not waste your time”.  If you feel you wanna do something else, just do it! Don’t be afraid to lose something at present, you will gain more in future.  It’s not only about your check, it’s also about your life and the perspectives you have.  I can say for sure from my own experience that we do have opportunities here at Burris and this company really cares about promoting its own employees. If you’re good with what you have – this is awesome, but if you wanna try something different, do not hesitate.

What do you like about the positions you have held at Burris?

This is the easy one:

1) Picking – allowed me to bring enough money for my family. I really liked that!

2) Clerking – gave me an opportunity to spend more time with computers. Good stuff!

3) Web developing – all of the above:)

The most important thing all three of these stages share is working with awesome Burris teammates! You guys are doing a great job every single day!

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