Students Take an Insider’s Look at Warehouse Life

Thanks to Prologis, students from the Normandy Business School (EMN) in Le Havre were able to visit the Orientis Gourmet warehouse at the nearby Prologis Park Hode in Saint-Vigor-d’Ymonville.

Around ten students in their second year of a master’s degree in International Logistics & Port Management from the Normandy Business School visited the Orientis Gourmet warehouse at Prologis Park Hode near Le Havre in January. The visit was organized by Alexandre Lavissière, the students’ warehouse management and design teacher. It was made possible by Prologis, who built the facility and have managed it since 2015, and the Le Havre Logistics Club, which has served as the intermediary. Orientis Gourmet, which owns the Kusmi Tea and Lov Organic brands, occupies a 6,000 square-meter unit that is one of four in the 25,700 square-meter building.

“We organized the visit to give students some practical context to support the theory we’re learning in class”, explained Alexandre Lavissière. What facilities can be used in 6,000 square meters? How are the different flows of people, of trolleys and of goods organized?

“Let’s say, for example, that in class, the students had concluded that a warehouse with a conveyor belt like the one we observed at Orientis would need a team of 100 employees. Seeing how the team is organized with their own eyes gives them a better idea of whether that figure is realistic.”

With the Orientis Gourmet factory located less than a kilometer from the warehouse, the students were also able to observe three types of flow: orders from consumers (BtoC); orders from distributors (BtoB) and factory-to-warehouse orders. That gave them an idea of the interactions between the different flows and how they were organized, both from the software and warehouse-floor perspectives.

“It’s the first time I’ve been into a warehouse,” said Emmanuelle Okoï, a 24-year old Congolese student who had also studied in South Africa. “We were able to talk to the site director and discover a warehouse organization that we’d only ever seen in the classroom.”

Taking teaching out of the classroom like this can have a huge impact, even influencing some students in their career choices. “Each year, at least one student decides to look for work in a warehouse environment after a visit like the one we organized to Orientis Gourmet this year,” said Alexandre Lavissière.

Prologis, in its role as facilitator, was both enabling the transmission of knowledge and enhancing the appeal of the logistics industry and warehousing careers.

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