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At Work: Systems Design Specialist

Systems Design Specialist
Name: Jerry Fredrickson
Company: AK Material Handling Systems
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Years On Job: 15

I began working in the material handling industry 28 years ago. In 1983, I began installing material handling products with a high school friend, eventually working my way into a business manager position where I was in charge of bidding installs, coordinating work crews, doing sales calls, and working with our banking partners to develop a long-term business strategy. From there I went to work for one of our best customers selling material handling products for 5 years before joining AK Material Handling Systems. Those experiences prepared me for my role as System Design Specialist at AK Material Handling Systems, where I have worked for the last 15 years. While there is no “typical day,” in my job, I do begin every day by following up on my call log, returning calls, following-up on leads, reviewing past quotes and current projects to stay in touch with my customers.I am always working on CAD Layout designs for current and future projects.

1.    Organization
At any given time, I am usually working with 10 to 20 customers. That requires organization and also a willingness to be accessible at all times. I typically work 40 hours per week making my self available to take my customers  phone calls. I also work on project drawings at night and on the weekend, so that during the week I can focus on keeping in contact with my customers.

2.    Technology
Here at AK Material Handling, we place a special emphasis on technology. We are one of the few companies that have used Apple products in everything that we do for our entire history. We even have iPads on our forklifts! Every day, I rely on my iMac, iPad and iPhone to be plugged in. I also use CAD Layout Design when laying out drawings. As a company, we focus on blogs, project highlights and improving our website on a daily basis.

3.    Training
With such an emphasis on technology, I have to make sure that I am up-to-date with the latest training. Staying on top of the technological changes in the industry, making sure I have the training and necessary skills in CAD Design, marketing, sales strategies and the ever-changing social media landscape. In today’s world, you have to be computer savvy to be successful and at AK we strive to stay on the cutting edge. You can’t be successful without staying on top of the changing environment and constantly expanding your product knowledge.

4.    Communication
At AK, we are truly a team. Without a commitment and focus on communication with my team, customers and suppliers, we wouldn’t have the success we have today. Every day we work on improving and getting better. Strong communication breeds strong relationships. Our relationships with our suppliers are key to offering our customers an engineered, successful solution for their material handling requirements. Our success comes from listening to and understanding what our customers want and need and then delivering it to them.