SJF's Material Handling Blog
This past Friday, SJF held its annual Christmas day celebration and employee appreciation dinner. Each year SJF’s owners take time to reflect upon the past years activities with its employees. 2014 was a year which saw several salespeople hitting personal milestone marks.
Jason Dieter and Vance Haugen were recognized as 2014 million dollar+ club members, hitting impressive personal yearly sales numbers along with teammates Kendal Kalamaha & Eric Moen, each surpassing 2 million+ sales marks respectfully. As for Kendal & Eric, neither are strangers to sales excellence. Kendal was last years overall SJF sales champion while Eric Moen has put up impressive numbers each and every month throughout the year.
In the end, the claim for overall sales title went down to the wire with Eric’s final tally being just enough to edge out Kendal Kalamaha (the 2103 champ) for the 2014 sales crown. Competition among SJF’s sales people is always fierce but friendly. The one thing they all agree on is without the help and support from the many people within the organization, what they do in sales would not be possible. Our shop, yard and shipping folks are truly the life blood of the company and the unsung hero’s that make it all happen for our clients each and every day.
Other award winners included Joe Bachel. Joe was awarded a special plaque in recognition for an impressive 20 years of service. Joe has single handedly kept SJF’s equipment running each and every day for the past 2 decades. His coordination & management of the outside crews is instrumental in getting equipment in and out of the yard on a daily basis. Joe has proven himself as one of those rare people who can always find a way to get it done.
Lori Bachel, Ed Salonek and Gregg Labow were recognized for the extraordinary effort and long hours they sacrificed to get the new inventory and data management systems up and running. Brian Springer, Dave Kieper and Matt Johnson were also recognized for their contributions to the design, manufacture and installation of the sweep sorter project at Fun Company in Mankato, Minnesota this fall.
Last but not least, special recognition was given to the entire SJF shop, dock & yard crew teams. Arguably the unsung heros of the company, the effort they put forth throughout the past year getting products picked, packaged & and shipped accurately and on time has been exceptional. Their efforts resulted in SJF receiving a record number of customer 4-& 5 star reviews from clients across the USA in 2014. For your efforts, we salute you!
In the end, 2014 went down in the book as a memorable year that saw many new challenges. 2014 marked a transition from something old & comfortable to something new & bold. A year that saw individuals put aside personal differences to come together to work & succeed as a team. It was a year where everyone’s participation made a difference and has set the stage for an exciting year to come.
The final finishing touches today were put on SJF’s newly refurbished company lunch room. Several weeks in waiting and just in time for Christmas, the new lunch room will be completed just in time to host SJF’s annual employee chili cook-off wars. With credit card in hand, Menard’s was raided and supplies requisitioned resulting in a total kitchen makeover for the employees lunchroom. The revamp included but was by no means limited to new tiled floors, a hipster paint job, new 100% certified imitation wood cabinets, scratch & dent appliances, fully functional electrical outlets and more. All construction was done under the watchful eye of sales solutions specialist and resident celebrity “Rusty Iron Chef” Vance Haugen ( seen above in his snappy colored red shirt). Vance’s review – 2 thumbs up & a full 5 stars approval rating.
It started with your typical Wednesday afternoon taunt among coworkers which lead to a 5K race challenge on a frigid Thanksgiving day.
Kendal Kalamaha (who’s no stranger to accepting a challenge) and Jason Deiter (who’s not shy about creating one) overcame some cold frigid weather and a blistering wind to participate in this year’s annual Turkey Tag-a-Long 5k run in Howard Lake Minnesota.
It was one of those “if you do it I’ll do it to” scenarios that got both men out on the course and across the finish line. While it may have been Kendal’s 1st official 5k race, he is no stranger to running long distances. Kendal has been an avid runner for the past 2 years, often waking at 4 AM to put in as many as 4-5 miles/day before leaving for the office.
Jason is no rookie to competition himself having been an avid distance runner and a local legend a few years back. At the end of the day, Kendal finished with an impressive 25:26:5 time. Kendal’s effort for 5K was good enough to earn him a 10th place finish in a field of over 120 runners. Jason’s 31:22:00 time was good enough to beat over half the field and a 40th place finish. Not bad for going right from the couch to the starting line in frigid conditions.
When Jason and Kendal aren’t running races or taking on challenges they can be found working at SJF Material Handling in Winsted, MN. There Jason, Kendal and 6 of their sales coworkers work with businesses nationwide who are looking for new & used material handling & warehouse equipment… or at least when they are not taunting each other over the next new challenge.
Advantage Sign and Graphic Solutions, a national leader in the sign and graphics industry for over 20 years, has been a client of SJF’s since 2011. Recently, they went though a building expansion in one of their eleven national locations, and called on SJF for a quick turnaround to meet their needs. Advantage Sign and Graphic Solutions is a top rated website with over 400 ratings and a 5 star rating. This project and material was coordinated by Jason Deiter at SJF. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For today’s Employee Spotlight, we return our beam back to the production shop. We have some very talented employees who aren’t always in the forefront, but it’s important that the public face of our company (ie: sales & marketing) remembers that there’s many other guys behind the scenes who make everything possible.
DJ is a senior welder for SJF and has been with the company for approximately two years. His work can be see regularly seen on the refurbished material coming out of our shop. Let’s learn a little more about DJ.
Name: DJ Belden
Position: Senior Welder
What’s DJ Stand for? Donald Jeffrey
What do you like most about working at SJF? The Versatility, I jump from project to project and each can be wildly different.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Watching Football, Motorcycling & Hanging with my Kids
What is your biggest pet peeve? People who can’t drive.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to know? I’m from California.
More than twenty years ago, United Mailing Services, Inc. (UMS) got its start in the owner’s basement. That was in 1989 when mail was sorted by hand. Since then UMS and the United States Postal Service have gone through many changes. By 1997 UMS expanded throughout the entire state of Wisconsin. Being a privately owned business which does work share with the United States Postal Service, UMS has become a leader in the automation industry.
UMS serves hundreds of clients, ranging from small local businesses to Fortune 500 companies throughout Wisconsin. In 2011 they expanded their business once again by offering high-speed digital color print to better serve the needs of their customers.
SJF engineer Matt Johnson & systems integrator Frank Sterner team up with SJF’s fabrication pros to create, fabricate and program a first-of-its-kind sweep sorter.
This is a very specialized piece of equipment capable of sorting hard to sort packages and bagged product (aka Halloween & other Costumes). This was specifically designed for a Minnesota client to quickly process and fill incoming sales orders quickly while minimizing errors.
This system will allow the company to vastly increase the number of orders they can process as well accommodate future growth and product demand.
Our Friday morning cooking crew has returned with yet another gripping episode of Rusty Iron Chef. This time, Master Chef Vance Haugen and Sous Chef Jim Sinz put their talents to work making french toast and bacon for the hungry SJF office team. As a bonus – Vance shares his special homemade syrup, and Jim teaches us how to make another delicious topping. Will they pull it off?