Hard work and an emphasis on putting clients first led Jim Johnson from working as a warehouse clerk to a warehouse supervisor at Quarles & Brady in just five years.
Johnson joined the firm in 2012 as a clerk at its off-site warehouse, where he quickly distinguished himself storing and retrieving files. James Livingston, Quarles & Brady’s current facilities manager who was then warehouse supervisor, said Johnson gained a reputation among the firm’s secretaries of going out of his way to meet their requests, even under tight deadlines.
After two years in the warehouse, Johnson was promoted to facilities coordinator. In that role, he provided conference and facility services to clients and also served as the firm’s resident handyman. In January 2017, when Livingston took over for the retiring facilities manager Ed Thompson, Johnson was promoted to warehouse supervisor.
“I really enjoy the daily variety of my work. Everyday, there is something new,” Johnson said. “I want to provide the best service to the warehouse’s clients, whether that is an attorney, paralegal or secretary. I want to make sure when they ask for a file, they get it as quickly as possible.”
As warehouse supervisor, Johnson oversees a system that accurately tracks the location of case files. Each file is barcoded and placed in a box that is also barcoded. The box is then placed on a shelving unit.
“All of that information needs to be recorded so when someone asks for a particular file, we can go to the right shelving unit, find the necessary box and pull out the file,” Johnson said. “Depending on a file’s age, there may be a different barcode system involved so we are constantly updating files with the correct information.”
He is also overseeing a file-destruction project that has already seen 12,000 boxes of un-needed files shredded.
While working with Thompson in facilities, Johnson played a vital role in the renovation of the firm’s Milwaukee office, which lasted three years. He helped plan office moves, give furniture to charities and handle the destruction of files and trash. Johnson also worked with the team to make sure the files were delivered to the warehouse and the new furniture arrived on time.
“Working with Ed was totally different from what I did in the warehouse, but I enjoyed it,” he said. “Working on the move was very hard, but rewarding.”
Livingston and Johnson often back each other up in their different positions. Livingston said he has seen firsthand the dedication Johnson brings to his work.
“It has been great to see Jim develop from an inexperienced clerk to a highly respected supervisor,” Livingston said. “He makes things happen and does so with pride and a genuine interest in making people happy.”