You probably have a regular routine for stocking ingredients in your pantry. You know what, when, and how much food you’ll need to feed that hungry teenager, picky toddler, and/or high-metabolism housemate.
But imagine if you were stocking a “pantry” for tens of thousands of people–it’d be a little more difficult! Gabe Pilo stumbled into this responsibility and put his math skills at work as Oats Overnight’s demand planner and forecaster. Katherine, our head of content, sat down with him to learn more about how he stocks our warehouse with the ingredients you need to start each day right.
Katherine: Did you ever think you’d work in food production? What’s your backstory?
Gabe: Well, I was excellent at math so I went to college and got a degree in secondary education with a math focus because I wanted to teach high school students to enjoy math like me. But then I got in the classroom.
Gabe: Well, let’s just say it was not a fit for me (chuckling). I taught for six months and I hated it. So I thought maybe I’d enjoy teaching at the college level because the students are adults and take math seriously. But when I completed my master’s degree they told me that to teach at the collegiate level I had to have more high school teaching experience or field experience. And then COVID hit and I didn’t know what to do.
Katherine: Eww, bet that was hard.
Gabe: Yeah. I needed a job so I came to Oats Overnight as a temp. I knew of the company because my mom works here in packaging and my brother works with the product development team. After about three months I reached out to Vinny (the COO) and asked what I could do to get a job in the office–it seemed like such a healthy place to work. And I mentioned I had a master’s degree in math and offered to help however I could.
Katherine: Bet his eyes popped out of his head when you mentioned the math part.
Gabe: (chuckled) I guess. So I started with the supply chain team and began to do their demand planning.
Katherine: What’s that?
Gabe: It’s looking at the ingredient inventory we have on-site and making sure we have enough to meet all our sales today and in the future. If we in Supply Chain do our jobs right, there’s never a flavor that’s temporarily out of stock.
Katherine: How does your math wizardry help you?
Gabe: In my master’s degree, we didn’t have any more math problems to solve. Instead, we had to write proofs. So they’d say, ‘Tell me that adding two even numbers together will always result in an even number.’ We couldn’t just answer, “2 + 2 = 4. There you go!” No, we had to show theoretically how every even number in the universe plus every other even number in the universe equaled an even number.” Believe it or not, that training helped me develop models that help me forecast what we need to order for our customers’ favorite flavors six months from now!”
Katherine: OMG, it’s like you're the Algorithm in the movie, Ralph Breaks The Internet.
Gabe: (blushes) No. So anyway, I love this unexpected career and I want to develop this skillset further. It feels pretty great to take the theories and apply them in real life.
Katherine: Bet the high schoolers would like math a little better if they knew it could help you do that.
Our People Make Your Breakfast Top Shelf
At Oats Overnight we let our team’s passion, gifts, and off-the-job expertise positively impact our brand. We come from many walks of life and that diversity is something we celebrate and integrate into a world-class product and customer experience. Let us feed your skills and fuel your goals, too!
If you need to restock your supply, check out some of our new flavors.
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