September 2012 | Case Studies | Reader Profile

Amy Polt: Safety First

Tags: Education & Careers

Amy Polt is operations supervisor, Houston warehouse, for The Mosaic Company, a global provider of crop nutrients. She has served in this position since June 2012.

Responsibilities: Supervises daily operations for the Houston warehouse, including all environmental, health, safety, security, shipment, housekeeping, quality, and customer service activities. Manages scheduling for personnel and all inbound and outbound transportation modes.

Experience: Nuclear machinist mate, U.S. Navy; logistics coordinator, import/export, C.H. Powell Company & Damco Sea and Air; import specialist, World Express; export specialist, field support, Atlantic Container Line; marine superintendent, terminal yard superintendent, maintenance and repair manager, Ports America, Port of Baltimore.

Education: Studied mechanical engineering and biochemical engineering, University of Connecticut, 2002-2003; University of Phoenix, AA in business, 2008, and BA in business management with a minor in supply chain logistics, expected completion 2012.


 

 

 

 

After working in nuclear engineering in the Navy, I moved into logistics when a family friend—Andy Powell of the logistics firm C.H. Powell Company—offered me a position after I left the military. He took me under his wing and became my mentor.

I found that I liked logistics because it allowed me to see how shipments move, both domestically and internationally. I was the person in the middle who could see, every step of the way, how many parties had to be involved to transport goods to their destination. That intrigued me.

One of the scariest career moves I made was moving from the Baltimore area to Houston after my fiancé took a position there. I didn't have work lined up, but a job at The Mosaic Company soon found me.

Mosaic's mission is to feed the world. I grew up on a farm, and I'm involved in a homeless ministry, so that goal hit home. When I saw everything The Mosaic Company and its Houston warehouse had to offer, it was like watching bits and pieces of my life coming together, completing a puzzle.

Since I started my job at the Houston warehouse, one of my goals has been to further improve our core safety program. Maintaining a clean and safe workplace is a top priority, and we're creating a mentoring program for new hires to achieve that objective. When someone joins our team, an experienced employee teaches them the tricks of the trade and provides on-the-job training.

I'm also working to ensure that everyone knows our "5S" housekeeping procedures—Sorting, Simplifying, Systematic Cleaning, Standardizing, and Sustaining. It's a way to ensure everything is in its proper place. Starting with a backbone of cleanliness and safety in the facility ensures production will improve.

Mosaic is very proud of its Houston warehouse's safety record. As of July 25, 2012, it had been 241 days since the last time an injury occurred that required first aid; 1,273 days since the last recordable injury; and 547 days since the last release of any industrial material into the environment.

Before I came to Mosaic, I achieved one of my proudest accomplishments while working for terminal operator Ports America at the Port of Baltimore. A co-worker and I streamlined the process of receiving vehicles for roll-on/roll-off shipping. We implemented various new systems that made the entire operation run more smoothly.

In the future, I'd love to become an operations manager. One of my role models at Mosaic is Pam Baylor, director of warehousing distribution. Her career path illustrates the way the company develops its workers and promotes from within to build a strong bench.

Another person whose example helped shape my career path is Drake Ferguson, marine superintendent at Ports America when I worked there, and now marine superintendent at Texas Terminals. He once called me a "work warrior" and "a diamond in the rough in a predominantly male industry." I'm proud to have inspired his confidence.

 

The Big Questions

How do you recharge your batteries?

I spend time with my family. I have a five-month-old and a 16-month-old, plus two stepsons.

Guilty pleasures?

Energy drinks and coffee.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I love to sing; I sang in choirs all through school. And for a while I was flipping houses. I love to undertake home renovations—installing header beams, knocking out walls, you name it. I'm also a pretty good shot with a handgun or shotgun.

What would be your dream trip?

Backpacking through Europe, especially Italy, with my family. And one of my goals in the next five years is to take a trip across the United States in an RV with my family.