A Day in the Life of…Packaging and Shipping Team Leader

Each member of our Back Roads team is essential. Without our bakers, there would be no granola. Without our sales team, there would be no personalized customer service, nor any nationwide retail locations selling Back Roads. And, without our packaging and shipping team, our fresh-out of the-oven granola wouldn’t be packed neatly in bags and boxes, and shipped safely into the hands of our customers all across the country.

Erica, longtime Back Roads employee and head of our Packaging and Shipping Team, is the focus of this installment of our Day in the Life series. She’s been with Back Roads since 2014 and she feels more like a member of the family than an employee at this point! Here’s a glimpse into her well-honed daily routine.

Erica, pre-COVID, still smiling after loading up a tractor trailer load of our granola.

On an average day, Erica heads to her office and looks over orders that came in during the night. She checks her inventory sheet to keep an accurate count of all granola in stock, and tallies new orders as they come through. She prints shipping labels for all the orders received thus far, puts the labels on boxes to be shipped, and puts them all on a cart for UPS to pick up that evening. She continues this process right up to the end of her work day.

“My goal every day is to try and make sure we accomplish same-day shipping.”

With a handle on the morning’s shipping, Erica then jumps on and off the packaging line throughout the day, helping to fill individual bags of granola, seal them shut, and pack them into shipping boxes, 12 bags per box.

Each afternoon, Erica collects the day’s production sheets from the bakery team. She’ll enter the information on the sheets into inventory, documenting which flavors of granola were baked that day and how many pounds of each flavor were produced. Based on the day’s production, Erica discusses what will be packaged the following day and sets the production schedule with our bakery team leader, Katie, as well as Brooke, who oversees the packaging line.

Erica also completes build assemblies, which means that she keeps track of all boxes, labels, and other components used to package and ship the day’s orders. These she deducts from inventory sheets so she can always make sure she has plenty of tools on hand to do her job.

In addition to her daily tasks, Erica can also be found fielding a host of shipping questions, establishing and fostering long-standing relationships with each of the delivery drivers she works with, setting up freight shipping to our distributors, and making contacts with different trucking companies.

Erica’s day ends at 4pm. Before she’s out the door, she will make sure each and every order for the day has been completed, including every individual box and all finished pallets. She’ll complete an end of day report in time for UPS pick up. And, she’s gone, off to pick up her girls.

Since COVID hit, Erica has been busier than ever before, working hard to keep up with a shifting set of demands. As more customers are ordering online instead of venturing into stores, there’s a larger number of boxes to ship out to individuals. And, with stores shifting away from bulk items towards packaged goods, there’s more work on the packaging line, as well. Erica continues to bring her positive attitude to work every day. She knows the work she does is important and valued.

“I love my work. I love who I work for.  I love my set schedule and the flexibility I am allowed since I am a mom of two.”

Thank you for all of your hard work, Erica! The fact that we’ve grown as much as we have with such a small shipping department is thanks to your expertise and skill. We couldn’t do it without you.