Employee Spotlight: 10 Things to Know About Candy Guzman, Freight Coordinator
Candy Guzman has worked at Ocean Mist Farms for nearly 2 years as our Freight Coordinator, an essential function to ensure our field fresh vegetables are scheduled to leave our cooler to reach your favorite restaurants and retailers across North America that much faster. Keep reading to learn more about Candy's role and the Logistics team she's part of.
1. How did you get started at Ocean Mist Farms?
In 2019, a co-worker asked me to join Ocean Mist Farms to help build the new Delivered Program. At the time, I already had 8 years of logistics experience working at another local agriculture company. Since joining Ocean Mist Farms, it's amazing to see just how much Ocean Mist Farms' Delivered Program has grown, which we are so happy to offer as a service to our customers.
2. Tell us more about the Logistics department and what your team manages.
The Logistics department includes our manager, Glen Alameda (view his Employee Spotlight here), Jesus Angulo, Willie Valdivia, Aaron Gomes and myself. Our team is responsible for handling truck-bookings for all sales orders within the Delivered Program, transfers, and all daily cross-dock orders.
- Handling "delivered" sales orders means that we handle the logistics of getting our field fresh vegetables to our customer's destination(s) on their behalf as a value-added service to them.
- To get our different commodities from our multiple growing regions to our main cooler "hub" for centralized order fulfillment, Logistics manages all product "transfers" traveling between our cooler facilities.
- Recently, we started managing cross-dock orders, which involves transferring our product to other local non-Ocean Mist Farms coolers so our product can be transported with other fresh products a customer is shipping from the same growing region.
3. What internal departments and external people does Logistics work with?
Internally, our Logistics team works closely with Sales, Accounting, and Shipping. Logistics is different from Shipping in that Logistics plans and communicates the product shipping, whereas Shipping completes the actual order fulfillment.
When our seasonal growing operations move down to Coachella every winter, we also work closely with Receiving and the Value-Added team to get our product transferred between Castroville and Coachella.
Outside of Ocean Mist Farms, we work with carriers and their respective teams to get quotes, secure loads, and maintain open lines of communication for ETAs. Our carrier relationships are incredibly important to us and we are very appreciative of each and every one!
4. What does your typical work day look like?
With transportation being round-the-clock, our logistics team has to be very responsive. My typical workday involves a lot of emails and phone calls coordinating freight, timelines, and payment. Our internal Sales team calls to inquire about different rates for upcoming truckloads. Carriers call to quote freight rates, schedule appointment loading times, and provide ETAs if there are transit delays.
5. Can you tell us about Ocean Mist Farms' Appointment Loading System?
A few years before I joined Ocean Mist Farms, the Appointment Loading System was launched to increase order fulfillment efficiency and decrease truck-loading times. Instead of having trucks line up and load on a first-in-first-out basis, our carriers select a loading appointment time. Each carrier calls our appointment loading line to set up these appointments and review the shipping order.6. What are some challenges for the Logistics team?
Freight rates have been a challenge for our team this past year due to the pandemic and increasing gas prices. At times, it has been difficult finding trucks and/or truck drivers to cover some of our loads. Fortunately, we make our calls well in advance to ensure our loads are 100% covered.7. Three words to describe your role?
Challenging, never a dull moment, fast paced.
8. What do you like to do in your free time?
I love listening to music, going to concerts (pre-COVID), and karaoke with my friends. I also love spending time with my daughters and 6 beautiful grandchildren- 4 boys and 2 girls.9. Last favorite show or movie you streamed?
Games of Thrones, Manifest and Luca. There's nothing like watching a good show with popcorn and a Coke Zero!10. Any hobbies you picked up during COVID?
This past year, I learned how to do my own set of gel nails since I couldn't go to the nail salon. I also started doing 5D Painting, which is essentially "color by numbers" using small, colored crystals instead of paint. I've done a lot of 5D projects with horses as the subject- they're beautiful!