Back in my college days I have the pleasure of working in lots of different roles. The summers were filled with many different opportunities and jobs in lots of different industries. One year I had the opportunity to work in the auto industry. I found myself working at an Porsche dealer and found myself in the parts department. My jobs was to manage the entire parts department and keep all the inventory in stock and in its proper location. This unique opportunity lead me to become good friends with lots of different parts of the business world and not just the auto industry. I found right off the bat that being friends with the local delivery companies was paramount to having a shop that ran well.
Knowing what type of shipping boxes would work best in multiple situations was also key. I found that talking with my local FedEx and UPS delivery driver was a crazy amount of knowledge. They understood warehouses and what made good ones work. The vast knowledge was worth taking time out of my day to be friends with them and get to know different aspects of their life. They were able to walk me through different ways to ship items to be the most efficient. They also told me their preferences as driver and deliverers as to how they were able to load their truck and keep items the safest.
In tern, I was able to take their advice and purchase the best shipping boxes possible. It lead me to spending less on damaged parts and overall a more efficient parts department. The cost of many of the high end sports parts I was purchasing and shipping across the country was in some times extravagant. The cost of fenders and wheels for racing vehicles was nearly always in the thousands and having them arrive damaged would cost much more than the cost of proper packaging. These small details meant the return rate for my products went way down to a nearly non existent percentage.
I was able to save thousands of dollars in a single summer and it lead to rave reviews from my supervisors. From there I was able to take their praise and get a higher paying position for the next summer. In tern, I was able to hand off my process to the company and give them a sustainable way of decreasing their costs on a yearly basis. It was a great job to have and much experience was gained at it.