When we walk into the shop in the morning, our production leads have two goals: accuracy (ensuring all orders have the right tea bags and are being shipped to the right place) and speed (getting all the orders completed before the shipping cutoff for the day). Remember, we are human and have lapses in judgment and make mistakes on occasion, but our system produces an unexaggerated accuracy rate of 99.9% with 100% consistent cutoff deadlines. Our team gets things done, and we thought we’d let you in on a little bit of how we get it all done with “A Day in the Life at Hackberry.”
Every morning we compile the entirety of the orders into a picklist, which automatically sorts all the bags of tea that we need to fill for the day into alphabetical order. This alphabetical order is crucial, as it helps us remain organized throughout the entire day of production. A specific tea becomes far easier to pinpoint in the mix of everything when it’s all automatically sorted beforehand. We then print out that picklist, print the order receipts (the little slips of paper you guys receive in your shipments), and then print shipping labels.
For the most part, filling a bag, no matter the size, takes around the same amount of time, whether you’re filling a sample or a 12oz. So, we’ve implemented an efficiency strategy by pre-filling a designated amount of sample bags for each tea and sorting them into bins (in alphabetical order). Since samples are our most commonly ordered tea size, hold so much less tea than any other tea bag, and take up a lot less space, prefilling gives us a significant edge in getting orders fulfilled in time for the daily shipping cutoff. Our tea labels are also preprinted and sorted into the same bins as the samples, which helps clear up a few quick steps. Our run-through in the picklist is a combination of pulling samples, sealing those samples, and then using what we’ve picked with labels to put together a pile of 2, 6, and 12-ounce bags (in alphabetical order).
Now we move on to the filling stage. We have all of our loose-leaf teas sorted into bins and stored on a shelving unit in our workstation (in alphabetical order!). We then take the stack of 2, 6, and 12-ounce bags and begin working our way down the pile, filling each tea accordingly. As we fill, we are sorting onto a different worktable (you guessed it, in alphabetical order) without sealing so we can double-check all our fillings before we finalize everything.
The next step on the list is to begin sorting by order. We take our stack of order receipts and start working down the pile as well, grabbing, sealing, and sorting packaged tea bags. This is the final step of the process, and at this point, we’re triple checking what teas are going into what packaging and finalizing orders by sealing the packaging. Every package’s final touch is a “honey, the tea’s here!” sticker ready to greet you as it reaches your doorstep.
Production is done, but we are not! Now, we spend the rest of the day preparing for the next. We tidy up the workstation, sanitizing every surface and sweeping the floor to ensure the next day is as pristine and ready for another busy day of production as it was this morning. We also prefill sample bags in bulk quantities (usually 8-12) and sort them into our bins to make sure we’re fully stocked for tomorrow.
And there you have it, a day in the life of a Hackberry production worker. We hope this helps you better understand the process we take to get your tea into your hands. It’s an intricately developed process, tweaked and refined throughout the seven years of Hackberry’s existence to ensure we always meet our two goals: accuracy and efficiency.
If you ever have any problems with an order you’ve placed, whether your order has the wrong tea or is missing a bag altogether, please reach out to us. We can surely sort out any mistake on our end. Thanks for sticking with Hackberry, check out some of our newly added teas, and start stocking up for the cold season!