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Associates Keep Merchandise Flowing After Lights Go Out at the West Coast DC

Associates at the Exchange’s West Coast Distribution Center in California proved their dedication to serving customers after a nearly 24-hour power outage.

Two raccoons caused three blown fuses at an electrical substation on Sharpe Army Depot, including the distribution center. The lights went out about 9:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and were restored about 6 p.m. Sept. 20 after new fuses were flown in from Oregon.

Associates will work extra hours to get caught up on shipments to stores in the Western Region.

Their extra work will avoid a week’s delay to stores in the Pacific Region. The power outage caused the distribution center to miss the delivery ship for Exchanges in Guam, Saipan and Kwajalein in the South Pacific; another ship is sailing Sept. 25.

The only delay in the Western Region is expected to be at Fort Irwin, where branch stores, but not the main store, will likely see deliveries run three days behind.

“Our staff is very motivated and understands the situation,” said Distribution Center Manager Kent Altom. “We need 16 hours of work to catch up, and we’ll be able to cover all of that today (Sept. 21) and Saturday. Fortunately, the outage occurred late in the week when the trucks are loaded on Thursday and Friday and then dispatched on the weekend. Had this occurred early in the week, the entire situation would’ve been much worse.”

The West Coast DC serves all Exchanges in the Western Region and stores and distribution centers in the Pacific Region.

“This is a classic example of how the associates were dedicated to minimizing the impact on our customers,” said Alan French, vice president of logistics. “The work of our associates kept a majority of the deliveries on time. Our distribution centers truly impact the overall operations of the Exchange and the product availability to our valued customers.”

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  1. De Ann on September 22, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Great job everyone. The work you did does show commitment to all. Thank you!!

    • Steve Smith on September 24, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      De Ann:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post. I will forward your comments along to the folks at our West Coast DC.

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

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