A Day in the Life of...
We all have our work routines (editor’s note: mine looks like coffee, coffee, meeting, meeting, meeting, coffee)–but ever wonder what someone else’s day looks like? Take a peek inside the daily shenanigans of our team members and learn what a day in their life looks like for them. What you learn may surprise or inspire you.
...Manager of Inventory & Parts, Juan C. Valle
Breaking Down "Manager of Inventory & Parts"
My main role at Jonathan Louis is to maintain the raw materials that we use at Jonathan Louis—like fabric, lumber, foam, and fiber—are in supply and under control. This includes managing the Inventory, customs intel and the internal supply chains within all factories at JL. I also manage the Parts and Sales Aids departments with the help of my team.
Arrive at Work
I have a big cup of coffee (I normally like a nice pour over or a latte if I have time, but here I just go black) while I glance through emails and reports from the day before. I’ll send out a “flare" to Albaro Garcia (Purchasing Specialist) and Bobby Hwang (Purchasing Manager) just to see if there is any turbulence I should be aware of before I settle in.
I also eat breakfast in my office, usually around 9:30 am -10:00 am. Usually it's a protein shake and plain greek yogurt with berries and some granola. Sometimes I'll have these little egg bites that my wife makes. I love breakfast. On the weekends, I usually get “aggressive" with my meals, but I keep it rather boring during the week.
Meeting with Carely Torres
I touch base with Carely (Import/Export Coordinator) every day to discuss the movements of raw materials through our locations in the US and in Mexico. Even though this meeting is daily, it’s not at a set time. We are basically on standby for each other. Sometimes we’ll pull in others as necessary, but usually it’s just the two of us discussing situations that come up.
For this meeting, I followed up on the status of importing a new machine that will be arriving in a month. We need to have all our ducks in a row, especially as it is a machine of considerable size and value. We also discussed the Design Lab bed mechanism parts and the ability to import each part individually for repairs and consumer part needs. This has been a hot button topic and the first separate PO is a month out, so we need to make sure we have no problems.
Meeting with JL Internal Supply Chain
This is a standing meeting between the Production, Purchasing, and Inventory departments, to ensure open communication. It’s evolved over the years from a daily 7 am production meeting to a twice weekly general discussion and planning meeting. It's not mandatory that everyone joins, but usually anyone involved in whatever is moving between the countries that week will join. The meeting kicks off with the US fabric and Mexico fabric teams discussing the week's load coming from the US mills and other local vendors. After we go through any urgent issues, we move onto all other raw materials. It is in this meeting that we decide to add or subtract any shipments to the week's loads between the US and Mexico. This week we have 19 shipments set for export to Mexico.
We decided whether or not to add a load for wood component inventory or see if it will fit with the fabric load that we will be transferring to Mexico, later in the week.
Meeting with Supply Chain
Next up was a general touch base in all things supply-chain related. It’s recurring, but also without a set time. We just set time aside for each other and make it work. It's usually in the morning and at the beginning of the week, but regardless of this touch base, I am in constant contact with Albaro and Bobby, who lead the purchasing side of JL. Together we form the supply chain team that also includes scheduling, planning and production. We bring other departments as necessary, but today is more of a general touch base.
We only discussed open items we are trying to close out before the end of Q3. We prioritize based on the list that comes out of it and plan accordingly. One of our top priorities is updating statuses of our many raw material SKUs. We have a trip to Mexico with Engineering to clear up the process, so we will try and delegate some tasks to be prepared for that upcoming summit.
I normally make a salad for lunch on Sunday night, but was out of town for the holiday weekend, so today I DoorDashed a cobb salad. I’m pretty boring when it comes to lunch, but I try to make sure I get enough to eat as I'm pretty much always hungry.
Generally, I eat at my desk, but on Mondays I eat with my dad (Johnny Valle, COO) and we use it as a weekly touch base. He's been extra busy of late, so this is a good way for us to catch up.
Other days, I typically catch up on the news during lunch. I like to go out and have lunch alone at least one day a week as well. We have a good variety of food options from various cultures that are not too far away from the office.
I also tend to snack throughout the day. I love snacks. I have a friend who considers himself the King of Snacks and I now take snacking very seriously. I have an assortment of nuts, Nick’s Beef Sticks, Duke’s smoked sausages, Keto Clusters, pickles, Fairlife protein shakes, dark chocolate covered almonds, canned sardines, pitted olives, and a jar of organic peanut butter that I eat one spoonful at a time. I'm always willing to try new snacks—if anyone has some good ideas, drop me a line!
At this point in the day, I go and check in with key players on the Gardena factory floor. I try to walk the floor once or twice a week. I catch up with members of the Inventory and the supply chain team. Carlos Tovar (Inventory Specialist) and Elvis Garcia (Production Planner) are my main points of contact, and I'll stop and talk to Daniel Pinon (Pluma Inventory Specialist) and Manuel Monreal (US 02 Plant Manager) as well.
As I’m doing the walkthrough, I will check the variances we had in inventory to bring up to the team members, but today was more of a pat on the back for a job well done at our semi-annual physical inventory. I usually follow up on things we need to take a closer look at—at the moment, it’s cycle counts or general inventory levels. This week I'll be looking at the lumber inventory since we are about a month away from moving all lumber shipping and receiving to the 132nd building.
I also talked with Elvis about running a quick report before the weekend to make sure his floor is in line with what the system is saying. He’s great at following instructions and giving feedback, so this should help us maintain high levels of accuracy. I then sat with Manuel and discussed some thoughts on how we can combine forces to work on an issue we are having with the cutting fabric process.
In general, I was happy that our mentality has shifted and the entire team understands that inventory accuracy is our number one goal.
Meeting with Adrian Najera and Raul Gaspar
I met with Adrian (Materials Manager) and Raul (Warehouse Supervisor) to combine reports that we are working on for Power BI, so that it’s a unified set of requests for our Inventory team. I brought forth the three reports I have been working on, and Adrian and Raul also brought their reports, and we discussed what we deemed priority. When we reviewed the material, we realized that we were all asking for the same thing, but coming to the goal from different angles, so we were able to reach a consensus on what we wanted to do with Power BI. Almost all the reports were interconnected in a way, so maybe that's a good thing for Karina Rodriguez (IT Project Coordinator) and IT.
Meeting with Raul Bernal
Raul (Sales Aid Coordinator) and I usually have a daily touch base toward the end of the day—we set up the meetings if we think it’s necessary. Raul manages the day-to-day of the Parts and Sales Aids departments but he always keeps me up to speed on all things related to those areas. We reviewed a template he's been working on with the Product Development style add sheets so that we can go over the next step. We planned for an upcoming meeting and a few other pending items—this meeting often turns into a brainstorming session and we spend most of the time going back-and-forth with ideas. Raul has a great handle of the departments. He really makes it easy for me to focus on the big picture while he handles the daily ops.
Run Excel Reports
Normally, I spend the end of the day working on various tasks and setting up the next day.
Today, I ran an Obsolete Inventory report by product code. I run this report quarterly to see where we stand in obsolete inventories. I use the fact that we just ran a physical inventory as an anchor for this. I will then work with Javier Sanchez (CEO), Johnny and Randy Barbera (CFO) to decide the disposition of some of these items. Going forward, I am developing a process so that we can go through these in a more effective way; but for now, I am just shedding light on what we have that is collecting dust.
End of Day
Days usually end around 5pm, depending on whether or not I have to grab the kids from an activity. Most days, I just go home and take it easy, but on Wednesday nights I play hockey. I also practice hockey every Tuesday morning with some guys and a coach. Otherwise, I'm hanging with the kids until they go to bed, and then I either do a mini workout or play some guitar while watching sports before I head up to watch something with my wife. I also like to golf on occasion, but I don't get to do that too much.
I stopped reading books when I had kids, but recently started up again. Right now I'm reading The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. I'm a nerd when it comes to American history. I just finished “Beef” on Netflix and loved it all. Nothing better than a crazy trainwreck. I loved the acting and character build up. I'm now onto “The Bear" on FX and I love that show. Great acting, plus it’s sneakily funny. I watch a ton of sports. I think I watch more hockey than any other Mexican in the world. I also love the NFL, college football, baseball, some college basketball and even a little NBA. I listen to some podcasts, mainly general knowledge stuff (stuff you should know, what you’re wrong about), hockey (again) and true crime. When the well runs dry and I've exhausted all options, I turn to books on tape. I normally prefer physical books, though, when it comes to reading.