Faces of Magnum:
A true history buff, Inventory Control and Receiving Supervisor Jason Nelson keeps the ball rolling at Magnum North Warehouse.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I am married to my wonderful bride of 13 years. We have two dogs – a yellow lab and a black lab named Bella and Bear, respectively. Bella is my girl, and Bear is his mom’s little boy. He follows her around like glue. So, we each have our own pup.
I went to school at NDSU for history and natural resources management because I love the outdoors and I love history. When I’m not at work, those are my two big pursuits – going out to enjoy the outdoors and doing deep dives with various histories.
What is your current job title?
Inventory Control and Receiving Supervisor at Magnum North Warehouse.
How long have you worked at Magnum?
I came to Magnum when I was just coming out of school, and I didn’t think it would be a long-term gig for me. But nine years later here I am!
I started on the floor in our receiving area – and through the years and the trials of here, there and everywhere – I’m in the supervisor role now.
Why did you choose to work at Magnum?
Before Magnum, I was in the retail world. I worked at Walmart for 17-18 years – I started there in high school. After a while, I got tired of working retail holidays and weekends, so I went looking for a change. I actually went into a call center for a bank before Magnum, but sitting all day wasn’t my thing either. That’s where Magnum came up. Floating around and riding the forklifts, being a little more physical in my work, sounded pretty good. Now, here we are.
Can you tell us a bit about the day-to-day of your job?
My job is essentially to handle the inventory control aspects – making sure everything is here, or if it’s missing, figuring out where it’s at. I’m playing detective a lot.
I also help out on the receiving end of our business – making sure that everything is being received, tagged and warehoused properly. Basically, I’m ensuring that things are ready for whatever our customer needs, whenever that should arise.
My counterpart DJ and I have been here together for roughly the same time period. We’ve done pretty much everything over here from the receiving jobs to shipping. DJ actually set up our kitting operations where we assemble different parts. Together, we’ve really brought the kitting area of our business to another level. As a tandem team, we’ve pretty much done everything over here.
We continue to have a great crew, and that goes a long way. You just can’t do it without having good people supporting you.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part for me is learning new stuff. We are constantly in flux – there’s always something new around the corner. I’m always learning something new that our customers are inventing for us to do.
There’s that aspect, and another aspect would be that there is never a dull moment. We are constantly on our toes for something to come around a corner that is new or unforeseen that we have to react to. I like the challenge of that.
What is the hardest part about your job?
I would say the hardest part of my job would be time management. I have to try not to get caught too far down the rabbit hole of whatever I’m trying to do. It’s a dangerous and very slippery slope for me. I can get too hyper-focused on a certain aspect of a project.
The other one is trying to be as effective as I can in everything I do. Whether I’m helping folks on the floor, training, doing inventory control – trying to spin all those plates and keep a level of sanity in the process.
What’s your favorite part about working at Magnum?
Overall, I would say that it’s the culture. There is a family feel here. As a smaller crew here at MagNorth, we are a tight-knit group. We lean on each other. That goes a long way toward having a team feeling.
Our warehouse supervisor has been good to us. He’s a good guy. If you do your job and own up to your mistakes, he’ll never hold it over your head.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your role?
I would certainly say to a new person that the job might be daunting and very challenging initially, but the nice part about Magnum is that you are never set into a specific job. For example, in my case, I wasn’t so hot in the repack area – that was an area I struggled in, but I was able to move to another area that I exceled in. Don’t get disheartened. Time and routines help a lot, and that just takes a while to develop.
The other thing is, when or if you think a new area might be better for you, talk to your supervisor. Let it be known so that they can make that happen. It worked for me!
What is something you’re proud of about your career?
I guess just my progression from starting out at the bottom of the ladder and working my way up. That would probably be my proudest moment – knowing that I am contributing.
What is something people might not know about you?
I have a good working knowledge of useless information that has no application in real life. For instance, with my background and interests in the outdoors, I can identify all kinds of trees and animals.
I’m on the topic of the Civil War currently, and I love learning the dynamics behind it – how it came about, the players involved. I could spill the beans all day long about useless knowledge that probably has no practical impact in real life.
I’m good at trivia nights at the local sports bar because typically there will be some random question that I’ll know the answer to.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I try – keyword, try – to garden. I’m not very successful at it at times. If I have a day off and can get away, I love to go camping or hiking. Places like Maplewood State Park in Minnesota, Glendalough, Fort Ransom in North Dakota – areas like that.
During the wintertime, it’s harder to get outside, so I have to tinker with things inside. My wife and I own a home, so there are constantly projects. That’s usually wintertime projects – refurbishing, redoing.
If you could have anyone in the world over for dinner — living or dead, real or fictional — who would you choose and why?
You know, there are a lot of answers that people would probably give of famous people, but for myself, either of my grandfathers. I love my grandfather on my mom’s side – very caring guy, very patient. I’d love for him to meet my wife. I never got to know my dad’s father. Either one of them, I’d love to have them over for a meet-and-greet and to say, “Let’s go fishing.” Sure, I could say Abe Lincoln or some other famous president, but I’d love to go out fishing with grandpa one more time while listening to a Twins game.
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