My Story

Material handling. It is what makes the world goes around. It is life for everybody. You, me, even the birds and the bees, literally. People who work in an office building pick stuff up and put stuff down every day. I help make sure everything in warehouses and stores go smoothly and keeps working. Birds and bees pick up their resources and take them elsewhere as well. Every single product in this world is touched by at least one kind of handling some where along the line.

I started my career in the supply chain industry just over four years ago. A friend of mine had been working for Associated for a number of years, and had nothing but great things to say about the industry. I thought about it, and I realized there will always be a need in this world for forklift technicians. The next day, I submitted an application. The farther I get into my career, the more I realize just what an impact this industry has in the world. My Dad has driven a semi truck for 44 years, and I have always thought it was a cool job. People would always say truck driving was a lazy job, but I think they would change their minds if they understood what exactly semi drivers do and the role they play in the world. Growing up and seeing what really happens with a single package, from putting a product in a box to receiving it at it’s final destination, is incredible. Stop and just think of all the steps, and how many people are involved. Then stop and think about that product. Where did it come from? Who made it? Where did the materials come from? Everything is connected. I try to teach my kids life lessons, as with any parent. One of my biggest things is, no job is too small, and always be proud of your job. Everything makes a bigger impact than you can imagine.

Being at a customer’s facility and knowing that my job is depended upon, is a big deal. Sure, they may be looking to get a new tire on a forklift or something simple, but if I don’t do it, then that pallet of food doesn’t make it from the warehouse to the grocery store, and it won’t make it to your house. Thinking of that and how I can influence my customer’s day, makes me proud. I am happy to know that I can try to do anything possible to make them happy, by just fixing or maintaining their equipment. If I can make the customer happy and fix their equipment, I have done my job. After I have done my job to the best of my ability, I return home and start noticing what all has come down the line of material handling. Parts of my house, appliances, cars, food, triathlon and workout equipment, parts, you name it. This is what makes this industry so great. It is all one big, revolving door that will never end.

Mike Hardy
Ankeny