Otis Culpepper, shipping group lead, knows that when Tru Vue® products leave the hands of his shipping team, the order needs to maintain the company’s long-standing reputation for quality.
“We are the last stop, so we have an impact on not just the quality of the product, but also the correctness of the order,” he said. “Shipping is the last chance to make the order perfect.”
His long career
Otis has worked in the shipping department for half of his 40 years at Tru Vue. Otis first started at the Goose Island location, in the etch department, working the conveyor belt. He moved to shipping and then became an order auditor, a second-in-command position. He is now the group lead in shipping and additional responsibilities, including building crates for international shipping and making sure the trucks are loaded properly.
“When you first start off, you’re not sure how long you’ll be at it,” said Otis of his early years at Tru Vue. “Then you grow up and get serious about your job.”
Teamwork and success
His longevity is a source of pride, but he also gets a great amount of satisfaction from the sense of teamwork he has helped build in the shipping department. The team works seamlessly because, like him, a majority have been there for a long time and know and work with their team members very well.
Over the course of his career, Otis has been a part of a lot of change, including the move from the Goose Island facility to McCook. One period that stands out for him is the company’s transition in the mid-1980s from double-sided to single-sided etching. As an employee who once worked on car and bus windshields, Otis was surprised when the company began focusing just on custom framing. He believes the company’s success has been in responding to the market with a variety of innovative products and a focus on quality.
“We’ve got the best product,” he said. “It’s that simple.”
Innovations throughout the years
While the essential function of the shipping department hasn’t changed, innovations have made the job easier and improved accuracy. For example, modern loading equipment is designed for use while standing, versus sitting, which has made using it more comfortable and safer. The use of scanners for deliveries ensures the orders are going on the trucks correctly.
“Picking orders is more time-consuming than a lot of people might think,” said Otis. “It involves many steps to make sure it’s correct. Some orders can take nearly a full shift to pull together. It takes a great team and experience to make this happen.”
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.