Yesterday, a group of PSU Master in International Management (MIM) students, a MIM alumni, and a professor got together in the evening to tour Columbia Sportswear Company’s Rivergate Distribution Center in North Portland, Oregon with the facility’s Operations Manager Gene Williams.
This facility is situated on 32.41 acres with 1.5 million square feet of total floor space (approximately 31 football fields) between the first and mezzanine levels. The group started their tour with a brief informational video about the facilities followed by Q&A session with Williams. Williams then walked the group through the facility and explained the distribution process from receiving, reserve storage, the unit picking area, upper and lower sorter areas, value added services (VAS), and shipping.
Williams has been working for Columbia’s Rivergate Distribution Center for 13 years. He laughed when he explained the unconventional way he ended up in his current position as Operations Manager. He previously worked in accounting and somehow got involved in marketing. Eventually he managed other distribution centers and landed the job at Columbia Sportswear Company’s Rivergate facility.
Students on the tour included Ali Mondragon, a PT MIM student who will be graduating in December 2011 and MIM soon-to-be graduates as of this December: Genevieve Tandon, Matt Snyder, Clayton Kynerd, Will Sandman, and Jasmine Avgerakis. Also in attendance was Will Hutchens, MIM 2009 alumni, and Dr. Lee Buddress, an Associate Professor and Director of Supply and Logistics at Portland State University’s School of Business Administration.
MIM thanks Dr. Buddress for setting up the tour, Genevieve for coordinating schedules, and Gene Williams for being a wonderful tour guide and answering 101 questions related to staffing, supply chain, and international business operations.