Thursday, October 02, 2008

A "fairly straightforward decision" for some.

[Nora Cole, Cotton & Company]
Warehouse: I can see that you have put significant effort into downsizing your warehouse functions and therefore costs. However, what led you to downsize your warehouse? Was there a cost study that led you to do this downsizing? Are you using certain cost analyses to see how much you have, or will save by downsizing? If these studies exist, I would be interested in seeing them.

From: Miller, Marla (ESC) []
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 7:21 PM
To: Cole, Nora L.
Cc: Taylor Dribben; Brossoit, Nick
Subject: Performance Audit Follow-Up: Warehouse

Nora and Taylor,
This message includes attachments related to your questions regarding our analysis of our warehouse operations (see below).
Included with this message are the following:
1. Description of reduction in staff in 2003-04
2. Description of analysis of discontinuation of office supplies (just in time delivery)
3. Description of elimination of leased facility for surplus storage
4. Description of progress report on reducing warehouse inventory
5. Changes to mail delivery times to accommodate reduction in delivery staff
6. Analysis of value of changing shredding procedures
7. Message asking a UPS manager to train our warehouse staff on productivity WITH customer service
8. Initiation of study of merging warehouse and food service delivery operations

Much of this is to give you a flavor of the ongoing nature of our review of ways to improve the efficiency and service of our warehouse operation. We eliminated the surplus storage leased warehouse to save $100,000 per year in the General Fund. That was a fairly straightforward decision – can we fit everything into one warehouse, and if so, downsize!

Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thank you,


I find it peculiar that Marla wanted to sell the District Warehouse and consolidate all warehousing functions in the leased warehouse, just as the rates there were scheduled to go up. This didn't make any sense at all. Despite my vocal opposition, I contacted Kidder Mathews and arranged for an appraisal to be performed for the District Warehouse. That appraisal came in at just over $1,000,000.00, out of reach for the only party interested in buying the site. Their offer was approximately $850,000.00.

If the District Warehouse had been sold, there would have been substantial on-going costs for leasing the facility for an unknown period of time. Particularly since the new District Support Center hadn't yet been purchased and is still "under development".

What is happening with that site anyway? $5.6 million to buy. $2.3 million to grade. Property values continue to fall from the site's original valuation of $3.3 million.


Anonymous said...

A very simple and precise way to evaluate the warehouse workload before and after all this downsizing and staff reduction, is to count the number of Hauling Orders. Warehouse hauling has not changed over the years. What has is the number of employees. Nobody wants to touch this one. Just a good thing for the Edmonds School District, that these five guys are able to absorb the physical workload, minus a Surplus employee, a full 260 day driver, and two drivers that had 60 days taken off their contract beginning 2007-2008. With that in mind the warehouse gets to listen to the threats by administration of not replacing Dale when he retires. Nice circumstances to have to work under. Who would like to address this?

Anonymous said...

Could you please re-explain this article? I don't get it at all. PS I LOVE the blog!!!!! said...

There will be more on this topic in the near future. The point I was attempting to make here is that Marla wanted to sell the District Warehouse and consolidate at the leased space.

She gives the impression to the Auditor that keeping the District Warehouse was part of her grand plan.

Anonymous said...

The only thing grand are the missing pianos.

Anonymous said...

Who is Nora Cole, Cotton & Co.?
Mark, I'd like to get talk to these people.Thank you, Just a employee.

Anonymous said...

Cotton & Company
635 Slaters Lane Alexandria VA. 22314
This might be the firm. They do compliance audits,financial statement audits,performance audits, and IT audits. The Washington State Auditors Office tops their client list. They are over there next to Old McDonalds Farm, down from the Corn Cob Pipe Manufaturing Plant by the Free Baptist Church accross the road from the white Victorian with the Yellow Lab sleeping on the front porch underneath the rocker that has Mr Green Jeans sitting in it drinking a malt beverage while carving a Marla Miller action figure.
Alright, maybe there is something productive going on back there. I don't know.