Ivan Lopez is Inventory Control in Tampa. Fifteen years and still going strong.
Ivan, young and working in Puerto Rico as a cabinet installer, was looking for a better opportunity for him and his girlfriend and to start a life in the states. He was referred by a friend when he began working at his first job stateside in Tampa as a 3rd shift crane operator in 2007. Shortly after he began working he got married and set his sights on a career in steel with us. Typically third shift loads material that was picked by previous shifts. However there are always situations when an operator must pick and load their own material, especially when there are 25+ trucks to load for the day; and if that material wasn’t under a crane way Ivan would hop in a forklift and go get it.
Moving on within Infra-Metals is very common with our employees and Ivan is no exception. In 2011 he moved onto first shift as a crane operator. Although the qualifications and skillset are essentially the same, first shift deals mostly with inbound material and inventory organization, which is a change of mindset and focus. Safety is always on our minds and being in the warehouse requires you to be on your toes. Sorting material with the proper equipment and safety protocols are all part of the job.
“I learned the proper way to stack and organize material, benefiting the next person who interacts with it, making everyone’s job safer and easier.”
Ivan also had to identify the different grades of inventory products and color code it by painting the ends, making it easier to identify when picking. Eventually, in 2012, opportunities opened up in the processing department and Ivan began working as a burn operator working on the plasma and oxy fuel machines. He quickly learned how to program CNC using Pronest and Autocad by working closely with the processing lead man at the time. Ivan would ensure he optimized the material usage by nesting it using these software tools and passing on those savings to the customers.
In 2021, Ivan became head of Inventory Control, a natural fit for someone that possess intimate knowledge of the inventory and warehouse operations. Inventory accuracy is of utmost importance because Infra-Metals uses a tag based tracking system. Almost every piece of material, with the exception of bundled stock, gets an individual tag and Ivan is the person responsible for all of it. When inventory can’t be found, he will conduct a small cycle count of a particular size in an effort to reconcile any variances.
“We operate in a harsh environment and often times tags go missing due to the extreme variations in temperature and humidity.”
His efforts are a critical part of our quality control procedures.
“My personal goal is to have the inventory as accurate as possible and make things run smoother for the shop to ensure quality for our customers.”
Fun Fact: Ivan learned what he calls “Infra English” because he didn’t know the English language when he first arrived. He took a class for 3 months and learned the rest on the job! Because of this it’s no surprise that Ivan enjoys a good challenge. That is his passion in his current role.
“Everyday is different and brings new challenges.”
“Work safe, think safe and be the best you can be every single day.”
Ivan’ s kids are his hobbies. His 11 year old son plays little league and travel ball. Additionally his 7 year old daughter is in gymnastics with a 4 year old waiting for her turn. Additionally, Ivan likes to play basketball with all of his children.
Congratulations Ivan on a successful career! We look forward to the next 15 years and beyond!