Logistics Hub

Setting up radio repeaters
Setting up radio repeaters

Logistics Hub

The Logistics Hub is responsible for on-site infrastructure.  Our main job is providing other departments with food, shelter, equipment, and supplies they need to do their job.  We also support some theme camps and artists directly by supplying power and occasionally labor.  All participants can directly access benefits including on-site sales and leave no trace outreach.

This year’s Logistics Hub Leads were Colin Jemmott and Richie Belperio. The overall goal of the logistics hub lead is to empower their department leads.  Generally this means making sure that each lead has the information, resources and team that they need and then sitting back and watching them kick ass.  The hub lead is also the primary point of contact for some outside vendors (generators, carts, toilets, radios, etc.).

There are 5 departments with the Logistics Hub:

1 – Commissary (Led by Danksa and Joe Pea): Our commissary feeds hundreds of volunteers throughout the event.  Responsibilities include coordinating with caterers, assuring food safety standards, keeping the commissary clean, and managing access.

2 – Dispensary (Led by Kerrin and Little Bear): Before the event each department lists all of the physical assets that they need – everything from shade structures to radios to office supplies.  Dispensary is responsible for approving, sourcing, transporting, dispensing, collecting, maintaining and storing all of it.

3 – Wolfpack (Led by Sam and Nice Catch): Wolfpack is responsible for Youtopia’s infrastructure.  This includes designing and implementing the power grid, running heavy equipment, deploying light towers, setting up and taking down shade, fueling, trash hauling, and similar tasks.  When possible they also assist other departments and theme camps with build and strike.

4 – On-site Sales (Led by Stephanie): Coffee and ice are the only things sold inside the event.  On-site Sales manages this, including interfacing with outside vendors, managing the cafe, record keeping, cash handling, and making seriously tasty coffee.

5 – Leave No Trace (Led by Nikki): LNT oversees a diverse set of techniques to make sure we leave the site cleaner than we found it.  This includes promoting public awareness, managing public recycling, major cleaning pre-event, moop sweeping post event, and assisting with the moop map.

img_0680What did we do incredibly well this year?

Each department in the logistics hub absolutely killed it in some aspects.  But taken as a whole there are a few trends that stand out:
1. Rockstars.  A few dedicated leads or volunteers worked their asses off.  Whenever there was a problem, there were a few people from each department that would consistently step up and handle it.
2. Practice.  Changes in the logistics hub in 2016 were not revolutionary but incremental.  Building on previous success allowed us to do a better job with less wasted effort.
3. Getting started earlier.  This gave us time to recover from mistakes, save money by reducing rush fees and getting multiple bids, and reduced the stress of the final push between the big burn and Youtopia.  This generally made everything easier.

What could we do better next year?

While there are many small changes that will improve the logistics hub, there were three larger challenges that affected multiple departments:
1. Volunteers.  We had problems getting sufficient volunteers pre-event, and then a significant number did not show up for their scheduled shifts.  Among those that showed, some were much more able and willing to make significant effort than others.  This has been a perennial problem, and we don’t have a clear solution.
2. Unclear Goals.  Especially among new leads there was significant confusion about what parts of the production were the responsibility of which department.  The solution is to have clear success criteria for each department defined, which allows each lead to concentrate on the right things.
3. Insufficient Interdepartmental Communication.  Communication within the logistics hub seemed ok, but communication with departments from other hubs was uneven.  This is especially problematic because the logistics hub primarily supports other departments.  One solution would be to have an all-leads meeting devoted to logistics related issues early in the planning process.
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