In September 2006, current Crop Production Services (CPS), Uvalde, TX, Branch Manager Patrick Dodson took the reins of the facility, which had formerly been a United Agri Products operation. “At the time, the facility was in need of improvements on many levels,” says Dodson of his early days at CPS. “The managing of inventory and overall organization needed improvement and the facility was not up to all of the industry standards.”
One of the first steps Dodson took to bring the facility up to industry standards was hiring an operations manager, Bonnie Turner, who he says “has been vital to the improvement of the location both in physical and organizational terms.
With Turner now onboard, the duo set about tackling their task. “The first step we took was to get rid of the excess clutter throughout the warehouse and fertilizer plant, thus creating a safer and more efficient area for our employees,” says Dodson. “We added more shelves, pallet racks and storage boxes so everything can be put away and out of high traffic areas.”
Next, Dodson and Turner went about creating an aesthetic appeal by planting flowers and shrubs around the outside of the facility and polishing all hard surfaces and replacing the carpet. They also installed a permanent CPS sign and painted the perimeter fence. “This gave our employees a more enjoyable place to come to work every day, along with making it more appealing to our customers,” says Dodson.
Finally, over the last four and a half years of Dodson’s tenure the facility itself has taken center stage. In 2007, an overhead load out system was installed to reduce the amount of product staying in the lines after a load was put through. During the same time, a water and air flush system were added to ensure lines stay clean between loads, preventing cross contamination. “These improvements helped us make sure that the right product was going on the right crop in the right place at the right time,” says Dodson.
Two years ago the company added a new load out pad that contains any fertilizer or chemical that may spill during loading and unloading. Additionally, a new fertilizer plant and warehouse are currently under construction, set to be completed in August. “After completion, we will have our entire fertilizer facility within concrete containment, which will hold over 110% of capacity of the plant, “says Dodson.
Improvements didn’t cease with the facility, however, as there has been a dedicated effort to ensure paperwork and all shipping documentation is maintained in proper order. Dodson also implemented new monthly physical inventory procedures, ensuring an accurate inventory. All containers are always properly labeled with the manufacturer’s label and MSDS sheets are made available to growers.
“Environmental respect to me means that we must fully understand how our lives affect the bigger picture and that we realize that our environment is a limited and valuable resource,” says Dodson. “When we as a company invest in these causes, we are helping to preserve and improve our environment and keep agriculture viable for generations to come.”
Note: Crop Production Services (CPS), Uvalde, TX, is a 2012 state Environmental Respect Award winner. For more information on this program, which is sponsored by DuPont, click here.