Thursday, November 6, 2008

Field Trip Day!

What a day! We just had 17 kids from Greybrook Academy Private School come to Costless for a tour!

Greybrook is a customer, so when the grade 9 teacher approached me to host a field trip, it was my pleasure. Since I told Alisha our warehouse manager about the special guests a few weeks ago, she has been so excited (and nervous, she admitted) for them to come.

The kids came at 12:30 on the school's bus, and they sprinted across the receiving parking area in the pouring rain. Once inside, we had a quick meet and greet, then broke them into 3 groups.

GROUP 1 - Hosted by Alisha.
In her group they learned about pick tickets, warehouse flow, bin locations and safety. They were given a pick ticket and sent off in the warehouse to find the bin locations and pick the product. It turned into quite a race with lots of running, screaming and laughter. The highlight for GROUP 1 was getting a chance to strap into the full body harness and stand on the Cherry Picker Forklift.

GROUP 2 - Hosted by Nader
In his group they learned about receiving, shelf stocking and date rotation. They also picked some orders in our Repack Mezzanine Section. Since it was full of cookies, candy and other treats, the kids were loving being able to pick or "shop" as they liked to call it, all their favourites. The highlight was definitely the motorized conveyor system that moves the plastic totes with orders from upstairs to down by pressing the up/down buttons on the controller.

GROUP 3 - Hosted by yours truly.
In my group I had our boardroom set up as a sample tasting center. I conducted a live focus group with the kids and had them sample items we were contemplating selling to our school customers. I had them sample everything from juices and spritzers to kettle corn, fruit bars, cookies and snacks. All the items met the health guidelines for schools, but I wanted to see if kids would actually like the product.

After testing, a few items I felt would do well the kids shot down, while others I felt were not worth listing, the kids loved. For example, we have a new line of cookies from Dare called Bear Paws. There are three flavours - Chocolate Chip, Honey, and Molasses. Well, what flavour did they like best in blind taste testing? ...Molasses! Who knew! What is funny about that story is the kids called the flavour Gingerbread, and it does smell like gingerbread. I think Dare needs to call in a focus group of kids and change their packaging.

The field trip was the best the teachers had ever been on, they told me at the end. It really did mean a lot to all of us to hear that. I'm sure the goodie bags full of drinks and snacks helped.

Later that afternoon, I went to make a delivery to Greybrook and the Grade 9 class saw me in the hallway. Several kids ran up and were thanking me and high fiveing me.

What a great day.