Pace News

Solving Logistics Together

Jamie Baxley speaks on life in operations, leadership, and getting it done.

We caught up with Jamie to see how was life on the road and get her opinion about her professional growth.

Coleysia: Jamie! It’s nice to see you in Birmingham! I have been particularly impressed by the manner you have moved into this new role of Operations Manager. You’re knowledgeable of your role because you’ve spent a vast amount of time in operations, yet teachable because you’ve never been in management before. What do you think prepared you for this position? A better question is, do you think you were prepared for this position?

Jamie: Great to be in BHM!! Do I think I was ready for the position? Yes. The amount of time many different people have investing in me and helped me grow has really helped me be prepared for this role. I know that any time I don’t know what I’m doing or I get stuck. . . And by any time, I mean I can call someone pretty much 24/7 and I know I’ll get ahold to someone that can help me out. This company has so many great people that work for Pace, and it has been neat to see the many people step up to help and teach me.

I think all my time in the field has prepared me for the operations side of being the Site Lead. I spent all Summer Sale and Peak in DTW…. So, you can pretty much call me a local now.

Coleysia: It seems like from the moment you were hired at Pace, you have been on the go. What are the perks of life on the road?

Jamie: Perks on the roads…. Hmm that’s tough. I mean who wouldn’t want to live out of a mini fridge and microwave for weeks on end 😊 but in all seriousness the relationships you get to build on the road is my favorite part. I have gotten to travel to most of our locations and gotten to work with many different folks and to be able to build the relations with the guys outside of our BHM location is pretty cool. One of my favorite memories on the road was launching the RDU5 sort center. We had an issue where we got 12 Line hauls in nightly and we had to unload those, and to be able to see the leaders in our company, Tom, Matt, Casey and John, pull pallet jacks was really humbling. To be able to see the leaders of our company getting in the weeds with the operators really showed me how awesome the people we have at pace are. Being on the road often lets you experience things like this.

Coleysia: You were the first member of the training team that eventually became the OSS team. You were very instrumental with the development of the training procedures and documents for Operations. You’ve played a big role in redefining the way we work! How do you identify the pain points of an operation to determine a plan to fix it?

Jamie: As I’m sure you remember our first trip to ATL6 (which I might add was my first time to an Amazon Sort Center), we were handed the Amazon Metro SOP and were told to go figure out where the process was broken. We didn’t know much about the how the operations process worked, but John Jaggard and Clayton made sure we knew that SOP like the back of our hand. Our first night in there we were able to find what steps weren’t following SOP. Though we knew very little about operations- we were still able to find the areas that were breaking the SOP. I always hold that trip in the back of my mind. I am more familiar with operations now and know we just want to get the freight off the dock- and a lot of times operations just wants to be successful on getting the floor clear that we sometimes forget there is an SOP that must be followed. In my experience the only way you can get the guys in the field to change their practice is to show them that you know what you’re doing and that this new practice will make the way we operate more successful and in most times easier.

Coleysia: You’re a female working in a male dominated field (trucking and logistics). It’s not uncommon for you to be seen pushing a pallet jack or running a sort center in the middle of the night. What would you say to other women looking to move up in a field that doesn’t have a lot of female representation?

Jamie: Ha! The first time I handled a pallet jacket I’m pretty sure I broke my toe! I would say you have to be flexible and laid back. I always joke around saying “gosh I need more girls in this job” because spending seven nights on the dock with all guys gets interesting. But I have learned to get in there a joke around with the boys. But I also try not to let being one on the only females on the mound get to me. I don’t let it get to my head. I would say you just have to show the guys you know what you’re doing, and still be able to cut up and have fun.

Coleysia: To that same end, you moved into a management position quickly as well! How would you advise other people to vocalize their professional desires?

Jamie: You said the key word: vocalize. I have been very vocal in what I want and need at Pace. And I usually let it be known what I think and want several times. I am quick to raise my hand for more and let my managers and supervisors know that I can and will handle more. Not only being vocal, but you must show you can handle more. In other words, if you want more- tell someone and be actionable. Don’t just sit back and hope something will fall in your lap!

 

Thanks Jamie for your candor and dedication to Pace! We look forward to see where you go from here!

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