A Moving Experience for Send The Light Distribution
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Bristol, TN, June 10, 2015 — How do you move the entire contents of a warehouse the size of four football fields to a new location in three days? Experience, logistics, and perseverance when things don’t go according to your best laid plans.
Over Memorial Day weekend 2015 the entire contents of Send The Light Distribution’s (STL) warehouse in Elizabethton, TN was moved to their new warehouse in Bristol, TN. The move required 205 18 wheeler loads of 1,250,000 units (65,000 SKUs) plus shelving, as well as additional truckloads of office furniture, records and IT equipment.
Why move? STL’s President Glenn Bailey responded, “The lease on our warehouse in Elizabethton, TN expired. A national logistics company came in and was willing to pay 65% more than we could to buy the building.” Bailey added, “Most companies have faced this kind of a challenge at some point. The difference is that we strive to meet this challenge over a long weekend with a minimal delay in customer shipments.”
“Racing to Bristol,” the theme for the move which was emblazoned on employees’ t-shirts motivated them to push towards the finish line. The new warehouse is just down the road from NASCAR’s famed Bristol Motor Speedway.
The move went on 24 hours a day for a total of 90 hours starting Friday afternoon and going nonstop through Tuesday morning. Labor was supplied by STL staff plus church groups, family, and friends. Five church groups participated with a total of 100 volunteers raising tens of thousands of dollars for their churches and youth groups.
The youth group from Freedom Worship Center in Blountville TN was represented by Youth Pastor, Jonathan Walden, and his wife, Assistant Youth Leader, Brittany Walden. Their teen daughter Hannah Walden along with Brandi Rogers and Summer Coleman were some of the most energetic workers. About the work the girls commented, “I loved it. It was fun.” Raising money for a team building outing to South Carolina was a big incentive.
Youth group leader, Ashley Sidebottom lead the teen boys from the Edgefield Methodist Church from Piney Fats, TN in assembling shelving and other heavy duty work.
In the “friends” category, Colonel (R) John McCue and his wife Terry McCue, assembled shelving and shelved products. John plans to use his earnings to purchase a special family Bible for their newly married daughter and son-in-law. Terrie, an avid, reader, plans to purchase books and jewelry.
In the “family” category, Marketing Manager Debra Lyons enlisted her teenage son and his girlfriend to be part of the crew.
Volunteers were kept energized by meals catered by employees. Fried chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, snacks, coffee, and endless drinks were just some of the offerings for the hard working crew.”They sure do feed us well,” commented one of the volunteers.
On Sunday morning VP of Information Technology, Andrew Clyde, lead devotions reading from Acts, Chapter 16; an account of how Paul and Silas overcame adversity, which was something the movers could identify with. The modern day movers didn’t get imprisoned like Paul and Silas. They did face adversity from truckloads of shelving that collapsed while being transported, new fire alarms that incorrectly sensed problems, and near crashes that left vehicle contents in a tangled mess. The result of these “events beyond their control” was that too much product wasn’t where it was expected to be. Of 65,000 actively stocked SKUs, 85% were exactly located during the Memorial Day weekend, and for the last eight shipping days the employees have tirelessly chipped away at the remaining miscues which now number less than 300. Mark Phillips, VP of Sales and Marketing frankly said, “We had no choice but to move, but we apologize to all our customers that briefly experienced lesser service than they normally get from us. We are not satisfied until every item is precisely located and every order is shipped as expected by our customers.”
Send The Light Distribution is an international distributor of Christian products including books, Bibles, communion cups and wafers, toys, homeschooling products, jewelry, apparel, home décor, fair trade products, books CDs, music, movies, and DVDs. STL purchases from over 500 vendors and ships to more than 10,000 locations with more than 90% of the orders shipping the same day and arriving in 1, 2, or 3 days. Bailey states, “Our primary customers are bricks and mortar retailers in North America, but we also send scores of containers of discount Bibles and books overseas through our Great Value Books division. Our fastest growing customers use the internet as an additional showroom and our warehouse as their backroom.