You Said It
Beatrice Vasquez, Corporate Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of Oxnard Pallet Company, shares her insights on working in the pallet industry.
Date Posted: 6/3/2018
Beatrice Vasquez is corporate secretary and chief financial officer of Oxnard Pallet Company, a family-owned pallet and trucking company located in Oxnard, California celebrating over 25 years in business. Oxnard is a company dedicated to all its customers and especially its pallet team, according to Beatrice, who is also the secretary/treasurer of the Western Pallet Association.
Pallet Enterprise: How do you think the pallet industry will change in the next 5-10 years?
Vasquez: I believe we will see much more automation that will help reduce safety and ergonomic concerns. As we all have witnessed, the great impact in our lives because of the iPhone, Amazon and Uber, (as examples), I believe companies will be choosing easier, more cost-effective methods to meet their pallet demands. As a result, I believe we will notice many new programs and changes coming into our industry that will greatly improve how pallets are produced and distributed more rapidly. I also believe different lumber products/material will be on the rise.
Pallet Enterprise: Have you (or your company) recently started pursuing any new markets or product lines?
Vasquez: While our ongoing focus has been on recycled and new pallets (food-grade pallets), we do see a growing demand for custom crates and specialty wooden pallets.
Pallet Enterprise: How do you go about your work day and stay productive and on target?
Vasquez: I believe that it helps to dedicate at least seven minutes of time at the end of each day to prioritize and pre-plan the next day’s tasks while it’s fresh on your mind. Then upon arriving the next day, commit and dedicate diligent efforts to accomplishing five of the most important tasks. I also am a firm believer in trying to do as much as you can by 11:00 a.m. the following day. Avoid allowing interruptions and set appointments after 11:30 a.m. I find I’m most alert and seem to accomplish much more in the earliest part of my day.
Pallet Enterprise: How do you encourage or inspire your workers?
Vasquez: Build a respectable and more personal relationship with each worker. Know them and call them by their name. Each and every member of the Oxnard Pallet team is equally important to me. I make time in my busy schedule to have one-on-one employee meetings which has proven to be very effective over the years. Strong and clear communications are essential. We just celebrated a BIG company picnic with some team building type games played. It was a huge success. It was a unique opportunity to have fun outside of the normal workplace and meet their families.
Pallet Enterprise: What is your favorite part of your work day?
Vasquez: It is at the end of the day when I reflect on all that was accomplished in that day. Saying goodbye and “thank you” to our team as they depart.
Pallet Enterprise: What is the one thing you wish you knew a long time ago that could have helped you or your company?
Vasquez: Be sure to stockpile lumber when prices are more reasonable and increase/prepare more pallet inventories before the rush. Keep connected with people in our industry and work together more often.
Pallet Enterprise: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges in the industry right now?
Vasquez: I believe the biggest issues are workforce/labor issues, lumber pricing, unreasonable workers’ compensation insurance costs, and bi-product issues (especially in California).
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Discussing Challenges and Changes of the Industry