One of the main reasons that I chose to study abroad in Buenos Aires was to augment my global business acumen. This week, I started my internship at ShipNow. The commute from Recoleta is fairly easy; I walk for 30 minutes and take a 20 minute subway ride. The subway is reminiscent of New York City; it is very straightforward and easily accessible.
The neighborhood that the office is in is very different from the city centre; it is quite residential and does not attract many tourists. In addition, we pass a variety of warehouses and long haul trucks on the walk to the office. The ShipNow facility consists of a small office space connected to a warehouse. There are many warehouses in the compound; trucks and packages are moving around the area constantly.
ShipNow is a small logistics company that takes over the shipping process for a variety of companies, mainly e commerce organizations that don’t have the ability handle the logistics themselves. ShipNow acts as a middleman; once the clients make a sale, ShipNow handles picking up the products, storing it in the warehouse, and delivering it to the final customer. Clients and customers can view the status of orders and products on ShipNow’s online platform. The main selling point for companies to use ShipNow is to streamline and simplify the shipping process.
It is amazing to be able to experience life in an Argentinean warehouse. However, there is limited warehouse technology such as automated chairlifts to reach packages stored higher up; most boxes are located within reach on foot. The warehouse is microscopic compared to the warehouse I worked with last summer; the organization is small and young. The employees are extremely friendly and outgoing, but they speak quite fast and it is hard to pick up everything they say. It definitely helps that I have transportation experience because I have a basic understanding on how a warehouse works.
I have been tasked with an extremely broad project; the manager wants me to propose a change to the current operational routine. Although this seems like an overwhelming project right now, I just need to break it down into separate pieces. I plan to spend the first few weeks learning the business; I need to grasp how things work once they leave the initial client and up until the final delivery. Once I know how things work, I can then begin to think of processes to change. Before initiating any new operations, defining an end goal is imperative; having an understanding of what you attempt to achieve with the change determines if the project is successful.
There are two main sections of the warehouse: the cross docking area and the fulfillment area. Cross Docking is closer to the entrance and is where products are coming in and out of the warehouse. The fulfillment area is where products are stored as inventory. When a client wants to ship something, they are able to determine if there is already product in stock and then the products can be shipped without the need to send more to the warehouse. Understanding the area, optimizing the space, and streamlining the process of moving products within the facility is my main learning goal for the first weeks.