If there ever was a prize for a super-organised superhero, it would be awarded to Ellen Mokola, senior manager for the inbound Dis-Chem distribution centre, and the second in command for the Dis-Chem pharmaceuticals distribution centre.
Ellen has worked for Dis-Chem for the past ten years, having built herself from inventory clerk to the two senior positions she holds today. Ellen is responsible for all incoming products into these facilities, which holds approximately 6 000 line items at any given time. What this means is that she needs to capture the weight, dimensions for volume, and storage location of each product within the distribution centres, and for storage to take place seamlessly, she also needs to know the units of measure (UOM) for all products, i.e., how many units of stock fit onto each pallet, and how many units will fit into a storage casing. Last year alone Dis-Chem averaged 5.78 million individual incoming units per month – that’s a huge number of products for which to be accountable, and Ellen does it without breaking a sweat. She is also responsible for all returns, and quarantine of stock, which includes batch control, damaged goods, short-dated stock etc. All this while having approximately 45 employees who report to her.
When asked if she enjoys her job and working at Dis-Chem, Mokola says, “Over my time at Dis-Chem the business has grown immensely and being part of that growth inspires me to be motivated and to engage myself to the best of my ability to grow my team together with the business to achieve common goals, which is aligned to our values”. She goes on to add that “being a part of a male dominated industry as a young black female, Dis-Chem have not only contributed to my career, but to my self-esteem, teaching me how to empower myself.”
“I was one of the first selected in the distribution centre to be a trainee manager, and with great leadership from management, Craig Manley, who believed in me and guided me through training and development: it was a blast of a journey to end up being where I am today”, says Mokola.
Ellen Mokola, aged 32, resides in Midrand, and is a single mother to her son Oratiloe. Mokola matriculated in 2007 from Norkem Park High School in Kempton Park, and through Dis-Chems’ staff empowerment programme, obtained her NQF4 in generic management. She then went on to further her studies and obtained her NQF7 in advanced sourcing and supply chain management.