Three generations: A life in the supply chain

I grew up immersed in the supply chain industry. My father worked with The Raymond Corporation as a brake supplier, and I witnessed industry changes and advancements from a young age. Recognizing the supply chain industry as innovative, exciting and a promising field of work, I chose to study industrial marketing at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. The knowledge I gained there on topics like ergonomics, product management and pricing prepared me well for my future career.

After graduation, my father recommended I apply for a position at The Raymond Corporation — I was hired in sales and marketing. I am fascinated by the constant changes in the supply chain and material handling equipment. I’ve always enjoyed seeing just how far the supply chain reaches. Just think: Every item in homes or offices, in your daily life or anywhere was once handled by a forklift. Raymond invented the reach truck, which has revolutionized warehousing and is still the backbone of warehousing 65 years later. This alone showcases the veracity and steadiness of the supply chain industry.

I gained far more from my career at Raymond than I had ever imagined I would. The way I feel about the supply chain industry has reached my family, as well. Through the industry, I met my husband, who also is a Raymond employee. Our daughter, who is now a junior in college and an engineering student, is a co-op student in Raymond’s quality department. Student programs like this serve as one example of the strong ties the company has to the surrounding local community.

Raymond is the largest employer in our rural Greene, New York, area and because of the company’s large presence in the Southern Tier of New York state, it has a significant impact on the community. Last year, I was proud to be involved with facilitating a donation of a deep-reach truck to our local food bank. It took several months to work through specifications and to find, update and prepare the correct truck so it could be placed directly in service. This truck now helps the food bank deliver to those who need it most, and donated food is transported much faster than it could be with only manual labor. My career enables me to contribute to my community like this every day.

I love that I can have a positive impact on those around me when I work with customers and help them improve their material handling operations. I also teach training programs to our Raymond Sales & Service Centers, where employees are prepared to work in the field, learning where to apply the right products and how to identify problems we can solve. A mentor of mine once said, “You need to learn a product so well that you can set it aside and focus on the customer,” and I repeat that to each class I train. This program allows me to help not only the customers I work with directly but also the customers my trainees interact with. It is an honor to have such an impact on the service Raymond provides.

In my 30 years at Raymond, I have learned this industry is so much larger than just material handling. I have worked with many companies and experienced the unique ways they conduct business. Different processes, speeds, items and waste all lead to different configurations of material handling solutions, so I have learned to be adaptable. I have seen that although customers may not be experts in material handling, they are experts in the materials they handle. This experience has offered me countless learning opportunities, and I am so thankful for a career that challenges me to grow and give back every day.