The Kirby Risk Distribution Trainee program is a 12-to 18-month development program that includes a combination of coaching, exposure to key operations, sales support roles and location/customer visits. Once trainees have completed the program, they have the opportunity to fill a management, account management, inside sales or project manager role.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A
Hengly: As a Distribution Trainee out of the Indianapolis branch at 16th Street, I have worked at the Frankfort, Kokomo, Columbus, Bloomington and Peoria branches and the Service Center. Throughout the trainee program, I have worked in branch operations, distribution operations and sales. My goal wherever I go is to make everyone’s life a little bit easier as well as learn as much information as I can from the different teams I get to meet.
Quintin: The Distribution Trainee program has offered me an in-depth look into all aspects of Kirby Risk and the electrical distribution industry. It has allowed me to explore all the departments within Kirby Risk so I can find one that feels like a good fit. I am currently located in Terre Haute, but my training has allowed me to travel throughout Indiana. An average day for me is always a new experience since the program is divided into segments where I can constantly learn and experience new things.
Q: WHAT ROLE DO DISTRIBUTION TRAINEES PLAY WITHIN
Hengly: Distribution Trainees have experience in every aspect of Kirby Risk’s business. They provide value with their knowledge about the operations of the business from the ground up. I like to think that I might not know the answer to every question, but I will know how to get it. Along with that, since Trainees have a chance to experience all areas of the organization, we can choose the one that best fits our strengths at the end of the program.
Quintin: A Distribution Trainee is a jack-of-all-trades, and this is unique because they can find a way to be successful anywhere based on the training they have received. The flexibility of the program allows someone to fill a role and be confident about it.
Q: WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING DISTRIBUTION
Hengly: The program allows you to become competent in many different fields. An example that comes to mind is when I was building wire harnesses in the Service Center. I was plugging wires into a connector head that had 20 or more inputs. It was hard to see the labels inside the connector head. So, I brought in my hard hat with a headlamp that I got from the electrical supply side of the business and used it to see better. My coworkers thought it was a useful tool and it helped reduce the number of instances wires were plugged incorrectly, saving a lot of time.
Quintin: Because of Kirby Risk’s culture, employees tend to stay for most, if not all, of their working career. Distribution Trainees can learn from the KR veterans and use this knowledge to preserve the culture and grow Kirby Risk as a whole.
Q: IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, HOW DO YOU THINK THIS ROLE WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE COMPANY’S SUCCESS? HOW DO YOU SEE IT GROWING OR CHANGING?
Hengly: I think that Distribution Trainees are prepared to hit the ground running at the end of the program in whatever role they decide to pursue. With upcoming retirements in the next five years, I think Trainees will be able to make a smooth transition with the loss of experience. In the future, I think that the program might become more specialized with even more training on different topics. I see a possibility that in five years, each branch has a Distribution Trainee helping out.
Quintin: The Distribution Trainee program is great because it allows new talent to thrive within Kirby Risk. This program gives you all the resources and support you need to be successful. In the next five years, there will be various Distribution Trainee graduates in roles throughout Kirby Risk, as well as Trainees still going through the program. I look forward to what the future holds and am very thankful for this opportunity.