Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Welcome to the Distribution Center for Abeka Book

A  happy hello to you! 

This summer I was blessed to be a part of the ministry of Abeka book and work in Abeka’s distribution center. My family has used Abeka books for many years in homeschool and maybe some of you have used them as well. I thought you might enjoy a small tour of the front warehouse where I worked. It truly is such an incredible place, and it was an honor to work there. The manager over the whole warehouse is such a godly man with a tender heart and deep love for the Lord. Every Friday we had a meeting, and he would often times share a short devotional of something he had read that day, or share prayer requests. It is such a blessing to work in a Christian environment. 

The pictures aren’t the best, but I hope you enjoy seeing inside the distribution center. 

This is the building where it all happens :) 
I often enjoyed getting to see beautiful and interesting cloud formations God placed in the sky as I walked to work.
There is a back picking isle with with all the materials up to grade 2. Each picking isle is numbered from least to greatest. 
This is the front picking isle filled with all the materials for 3rd grade and up. 
Each particular book or item has a certain number it is assigned to. Each number has a certain spot on the shelf. These numbers are printed on the back of the boxes as well, which makes it easy for the restockers to know where to place each box. 
To fill orders, a dispatcher places a pack of papers on a each cart. For the back (BA) picking isles, the pack may be one to three or four pages long. Usually in the front (FA) isles, the packs are longer, usually four to six or seven pages long. 
A picker takes the next available cart, and parks it at a spot in the isle. Starting at the top of the page and working his/her way down, he/she will move down the isle, following the numbers on the sheets and picking the correct number of books. The carts are sectioned in small spots called cells, and each cell is numbered. The paper not only tells the location, quantity, and name of the book or item, it also tells the picker which cell to place how many of each item in. When the picker has picked all the books on the paper, he/she  parks the cart in a line to be inspected, and can go start on another cart. 

Here’s a couple of picked carts, waiting to be inspected. 
The next step is inspection. An inspector takes a cart, parks it in front of a computer, scans the barcode on the paper, then scans the barcode of each book. Inspectors pull the books partly out of their cell so the barcode can be scanned quickly. Depending on the size of the cart, this process can take about 2-6 minutes to complete. Of course if there are books missing or damaged books, it takes longer. 
After the inspector is finished, she places the cart in a line to be packed. 
A packer will take the cart to his or her station, type in the batch number on the computer, and start packing orders. The order tells how many books the packer needs to pull out from each cell, and how many cells the order covers. For example, earlier in the summer we filled a lot of large school orders. Maybe an order would look like 10 Science teacher books and 15 Science student books in cell 12-14. The packer clicks “pack” on the computer, places the label on a piece of cardboard (and if there was an invoice, puts that on the cardboard), counts the books in cell 12-14, pulls the books out, and places them on the cardboard. Then it is ready to be placed on the line. When the line is not working, packers just pack and stack. 

Here, packages are going down the line. There are 12 packing stations along the line, 6 on each side. 
The packages enter this machine and get covered with shrink wrap to hold all the books in place. 
Then it goes through this heater which melts the shrink wrap together so it’s a secure package.
The packages continue down the line where it gets dropped into the correct box, the box gets closed and taped, the label goes on, and the box travels to the guys loading the trucks. It is such a neat process, and having the machines do this process really cuts down on the time it takes to send packages out. Sometimes the line does break, or packages get stuck going in the wrong box slot, and that causes problems. 
How the whole line works is pretty neat!
Two pictures above, you will see grey rollers on the line, before the green. After a package comes out from the heater, a scale scans the barcode on the bottom of the package. If it is not the correct weight or close to the weight shown on the label, the grey roller part will open up and the package will drop. This is called off-weights, and this is where I worked most of the summer. 
I first weighed the package. Sometimes moisture would get inside the barcode and create a bubble. So often, if the package was correct, I’d just cut a small window around the barcode and put it back on the line. If the weight was off, however, either over or under weight, I would open up the package, place it on the scale, and scan each book. If there was a book missing, I’d go get it, or if there was too many books in a package, I’d take them out. Then back on the line it went to get rewrapped. 
Sometimes, so many off weight packages dropped that they had to be stacked on another cart. The beginning and middle of the summer was like this. Different factors could affect the weight of the books, including humidity. Also, the print shop may have weighed an item and it was a different weight then when it arrived at our warehouse. If a lot of one particular item continued to be off weight, one of my supervisors, Mr. Bright, could go into the system and adjust the weight for that item. He did that several times, and it was extremely helpful. 
There is much more to the warehouse than I’ve shared, but I never really left the main warehouse so I don’t have any pictures. If you are ever in this area, I would highly recommend taking a tour of the distribution center. There were several groups that took tours this summer, and by the look on their faces, they seemed to always be amazed. :)

I would love to hear what you did over the summer.  Let’s chat in the comments! 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Christ Be Beside Me

Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, 
Christ be behind me, King of my heart. 
Christ be within me, Christ be below me, 
Christ be above me, never to part. 
Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, 
Christ all around me, shield in the strife. 
Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting, 
Christ in my rising, light of my heart. 
Christ be in all hearts thinking about me, 
Christ be on all tongues telling of me. 
Christ be the vision, in eyes that see me.
In ears that hear me, Christ ever be.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, 
All His wonderful passion and purity.
O thou Spirit divine, may I truly be thine,
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
Let my wonderful Saviour be seen in me, 
His amazing compassion and constancy.
His great love is my goal, by His Spirit’s control
Till my wonderful Saviour be seen in me. 

Let the fruit of the Spirit be seen in me
Grant me grace all sufficient that I may be.
True and faithful each day, ev’ry step of the way.
Pointing souls to the Saviour on Calvary. 

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.