Dave Tu’s first introduction to his father’s business, DisCopyLabs (now DCL Logistics), was as a youngster, when he would spend his summers gaining firsthand knowledge of the blood, sweat and tears it took to build a business from scratch.
“I remember as a high schooler, and even younger, working at DisCopyLabs putting labels on 5 ¼ floppy diskettes,” said Dave, President at DCL Logistics. “I hand applied thousands a day. It was monotonous, mind-numbing work but it taught me the importance of an honest day’s work. My parents were literally working around the clock to get those duplication orders out the door.”
Early Years and a Turning Point
While the company continued to grow under Norman Tu’s leadership, Dave graduated from university, received his MBA, and gained invaluable experience in finance at Boeing Capital and JPMorgan, finally returning to the family business in 2006. Meanwhile, DisCopyLabs evolved from its duplication roots and, over the course of a decade, positioned itself as a 3PL.
After years of working at his corporate jobs, Dave said he began to feel like “just a number.” So, when the opportunity came to return to DCL, he jumped at the chance. As Dave worked his way through the ranks, in 2014 it came time for Norman to transition from the day to day management at DCL Logistics leaving Dave the opportunity to lead the family business and taking on the reigns as President of DCL.
“I have not looked back,” he said. “Now I get to put my own stamp on the business, which has been both fun and fulfilling. I had the opportunity to learn from two great leaders who are the majority owners of DCL: David Tu and Norman Tu. One was a great operational leader and the other a savvy businessman. It is a benefit to learn from their 30+ years of building and running a service business.”
Two years ago, Dave created a strategic plan to both expand the company’s geographic footprint (opening facilities in both Louisville the Netherlands) and utilizing technology to increase both scale of the business and customer service levels. This means doing what’s right for the customer, be it perfect order fulfillment or customizing each of DCL’s customer’s complex projects.
“We truly believe that our customers are our partners,” he said. “We are and will always be a service company first and foremost.”
However, while Dave doesn’t consider DCL Logistics to be a technology company, he has invested in technology that empowers customers with knowledge and the ability to accomplish tasks faster.
“We recently launched the eFactory 10 platform and we have a product roadmap to introduce new ground-breaking features that will put more control into our customer’s hands and the right data at their fingertips,” Dave said. “Our goal is to continue give our clients better transparency so they can make better decisions on their business operations. At the end of the day, technology will enable our customers to do things faster and more efficiently, but our business still requires us to maintain strong personal communication with every individual customer. Our goal is to be a global partner for our Clients without losing that personal touch needed to truly be successful in the ever-changing global marketplace.”