At DCL Logistics, we recognize our employees as our most important asset. In our new blog series, Spotlight, we’ll feature…
DCL Employee Spotlight: Brian Tu, Chief Revenue Officer
Founded in 1982, DCL Logistics supports high growth brands by providing fulfillment services. We focus on quality, customer service, and technology to provide our customers with a hassle-free logistics solutions.
Brian joined the DCL team Jan 1 of this year. He is the son of DCL founders Norman and Antonia Tu, and brother to current President Dave Tu. Brian has been a board member of DCL for 6 years, and even worked on the DCL assembly line when the company was DisCopyLabs (did you know that’s what DCL stood for?!). In a personal LinkedIn blog post Brian shares: “I’m proud and honored to follow in my father’s and brother’s footsteps (figuratively and literally) and join DCL Logistics.”
What exactly does a CRO do?
I oversee sales, marketing, and client services. My primary job is to ensure that customer satisfaction remains high and that our customers are well supported. To do so, my mission is to make sure these teams are properly aligned and resourced to service our customers’ needs. I’ll be working closely with the management team for long-term planning to ensure we can stay ahead of our clients’ growth. The sales and account management teams are my eyes and ears, they partner with our customers and listen to their needs. And It’s my job to distill this information, to adapt our services and ensure DCL has the necessary resources to provide the best support possible.
Tell us about your work background?
I bring nearly 20 years of sales and operational experience working for small and large organizations. I previously worked as Head of Revenue Operations at Medium.com, an online writing platform, with over 70 million monthly visitors. I executed the first subscription business for the company by licensing content from large publishers (NY Times, Economist, and Washington Post) and established writers to surface premium content to paying members.
Prior to that, I was one of the first employees at Break Media, a digital media company that created content for millennials. I led sales and client services and helped scale the business over 10 years from $0 revenue to $100 million in revenue and over 400 employees . We produced 70 weekly digital shows that generated 700 million monthly streams.
Most of my career I have worked in tech and digital media, using technology to create growth and opportunity. Where the logistics industry lacks that tech-forward edge, I plan to bring my experience and fill a gap for DCL. This means I will be helping make sure DCL’s innovations (use of new technologies, mostly) match the needs of our clients and customers.
What are you primary goals for the team, customers, and DCL?
I feel like the thing that separates DCL from other companies in our industry is how we’ve built our business. We make relationships the priority, rather than the dollar signs. This is something that my father really emphasized as he built the business. We have existing clients who have been with us 30+ years and it’s normal to see them at our family dinners and functions. Those relationships are paramount to any amount of revenue.
Case in point, each of our clients is assigned a dedicated on-site account manager. That account manager acts as an integral partner to their client at the fulfillment centers, ensuring any issues get resolved quickly and communication flows easily. We have and will always maintain at most a 4-to-1 client-to-account manager ratio to make sure that our customers get the appropriate time and attention they need.
Our logistics and fulfillment services can only be as great as the clients we serve. My view is: when our clients grow, we grow also, so my job is to boost and support our clients.
You’re now full time for a company you’ve known since you were a kid. What’s it like working for the family business? And, what’s it like working with your brother?
The strength of our business comes from our employees, some of whom have been here since the beginning. During my childhood, when all my friends were going to summer camps, my father would have me work on the assembly line. I worked alongside some of the most dedicated and hard working individuals.
When I joined the DCL Board in 2015, I became even more vested in the business. My brother (President Dave Tu) and I began talking daily about DCL. We discussed ways to enhance our existing services, new services we could offer, possible locations for new facilities, and basically anything to strengthen the business. The thing that really stood out is his passion about this company and business—he cares about building a positive employee culture, and is always thinking about ways to better serve our clients.
As far back as I can remember, the founders of the business – my father, uncle, and mom were putting in 12-14 hour days, 7 days a week. That type of work ethic was instilled in the culture of the company and has stuck with me for my entire career. As I see it now, they held a startup mentality, before it was popular to do so. That work culture has lived on within the company, it’s workers and DCL’s approach to business. This is one of the things that drew me in and culture that I thrive in—I can’t wait to dig in!
It’s only been a month though so ask me after 90 days if I’m still as positive as I am today. Just kidding! It’s going to be great. I’m having fun with Dave and the rest of the DCL family and can’t wait to continue to build a strong business.
What industry expertise do you bring to the DCL team?
Up until now, I’ve spent my career in digital media, and surprisingly, I’ve found there are a lot of similarities between digital media and logistics industry.
First and foremost, they are both service oriented industries. I worked closely with customers trying to solve their business challenges. In both industries, you really have to understand your clients’ business and in some ways you must act as an extension of their team—this couldn’t be more important and true in the logistics space.
In digital media, you need to be highly analytical as you have to comb through large amounts of data (customer preference, user activity, trends and more) to manage your business successfully and solve large problems. Logistics is no different. We’re shipping thousands of products a day. Every order is unique and in many cases, we’re shipping directly to the end consumer so the order has to be perfect: on time and accurate. In both logistics and digital media you have to possess the ability to analyze data quickly and grow based on what you learn.
We have our our proprietary order and inventory management platform, eFactory, which gives our customers real-time insights of the entire fulfillment process. These types of tools are standard in the digital media space, but not as common in logistics. We’ll continue to invest heavily in eFactory so our clients have actionable data at their fingertips.
Lastly, both industries are changing constantly and, the way I see it, great companies have the necessary mindset and infrastructure to adapt. I wrote an article on Linkedin when I joined called the Oldest Startup in Silicon Valley highlighting the fact that DCL has been able to grow steadily because we have the startup DNA like most of our customers.
What do you do when you’re not working? What’s something you want DCL clients to know about you?
I’m a full-time dad with two beautiful girls, Maddison (8) and Emma (4), so when I’m not working, you’ll likely find me building cardboard forts or giving my girls manicures – hot pink is their favorite color! There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day of work and spending time with family.
Like the rest of my family, I’m a sports enthusiast whether it’s watching it or participating. I love my Warriors and 49ers I’m always looking for a new challenge and recently ran my first half marathon and have a Spartan Race in March.