Logistics and Supply Chain Taught Me About Organising

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I worked in Logistics and Supply Chain for 10 years before I made the leap into Professional Organising. There are lots of parallels between logistics and organising.  My first professional job was to keep a huge paint warehouse organised for Dulux Paints.

It was my job to maximise the stock accuracy in this vast warehouse. Dulux was very keen on supplying customers with their orders IN FULL and ON TIME. We had daily statistics to track how well the warehouse achieved this. It was my job to find any missing cans of paint to complete the order. This was trickier if we were down to the last couple of cans. To get ahead of running out of the paint, we did stock checks. I was very skilled at hunting high and low to find the elusive last can of Harbour Bridge Grey that someone had put in the wrong place.

I  was up a scissor lift, high in the air, when the Newcastle earthquake hit 170 kms away. It felt like the building had been hit by a truck. I’m lucky we were not close to the epicenter. After seeing the destruction 12 years after the Christchurch earthquake recently, I am grateful that I was really nowhere near the epicenter.

It became clear that it was very important that the staff, were able to make up their orders easily and efficiently. It  was one of my jobs to lay out the warehouse properly with “fast movers” at the front and the “slow movers” down the back. I have taken this efficiency theory to most places that I live or work. Put the things you use the most in the most accessible spot. Try it- it works in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and garage.

The warehouse was also a delightfully cold place in the  Summer because the cans of paint retained the cold very well( like an esky).  Because we ran a night shift ( this was the 1990s). The warehouse was not shut up, but running all night to let in the cooler breezes.

We all remember our first job. I fell on my feet being part of a new warehouse and being able to shape it somewhat. Over the next 10 years I have worked in medical devices, sutures, orthopedic supports,  olive oil, direct mail distribution and custom manufacturing in China. All have contributed to my skills at turning homes into efficient, calm and happy places.

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