The newest DCL Logistics facility in Louisville Kentucky, is rapidly growing in size since its launch this summer. Paul Shoup is the newly hired Director of Operations there and he has been implementing incredible systems for DCL to scale easily and help grow our customers sales. Paul is establishing a culture of safety and lean processes, as well as implementing a 5S (visual warehouse) system, in order to drive new opportunities for DCL. He stresses that culture and a “people-first” attitude are most important to create a scalable business—he ensures his team is equipped with all the tools they need so that they can do their job in the best way possible.
Visualizing the Future—Using Data and 5S to Scale
Paul is implementing new efficiencies at DCL by creating visual systems for his team to make sound business decisions confidently and quickly.
First he leverages specific data sets to create visual cues for his associates who work the warehouse floor. Soon these real-time data visualizations will live as large TV screens at various work stations. Paul says, “Operations needs to invest in people who can make significant data driven decisions. The proper visualization of data can provide anyone with powerful knowledge to support the consistent execution of our quality and customer experience standards.”
Paul’s philosophy is that data should only be used as an indicator, not the driver of any operation. He says, “I want to shift people away from saying—‘Oh I’m having a good day because the data says so’. Instead to actually look and ask ‘What’s the driving force of the data?.’ It’s your job to go look at it to see why.”
Simultaneously, Paul has begun implementing a 5S system, which means a completely visual warehouse. “With 5S all operational issues can be solved through a simple foundation,” Paul explains, “5S states that everything has a place, and everything in its place. But also you have to make sure it’s in the right place, so that safety issues can be avoided. Quality failures can be completely avoided and productivity improves greatly, to where there are no reasons not to succeed except a choice that is made by the person.”
Both data visualizations and the 5S system are two significant pillars in Paul’s scope of structural growth for DCL. Both allow employees to learn systems quickly, efficiently, and with fewer errors. That speed and accuracy in turn enables the warehouse to scale and grow rapidly, which is valuable in an industry that can fluctuate quite drastically.
We’re People First—We’re in the Culture Business
Paul says, “Culture is created when behavior becomes predictable.”
It may seem that a director of operations only oversees the tasks that people do, but if you ask Paul what his work entails, the first thing he says is culture—operations oversees the people, and the way those people do the tasks they do.
“If the company cannot perform, then there is no taking care of the customer. By establishing a good culture we create an operation that becomes agile to any circumstances, and can still deliver high customer experience, and scale to satisfy the needs of the many customer challenges we have or will have.”
One of DCL’s core values is “People First” and Paul is quick to mention that his favorite part of his job is teaching. More specifically he enjoys leading his managers to be better managers, ones who shift the culture toward more scalable productivity. He says, “My philosophy is that managers and leaders are actually coaches—they should be people centric and focused on technique. I want them to have that human connection, so that when things get tough and we have to pull all the triggers, all associates believe in their leader.”
He explains that he focuses on technique and process, in the same way a coach does—plus praise for high performing behaviors and immediate corrective action poor performing behaviors. Paul says, “What this gives us is a full staff who feel respected, they know that their manager wants to help them succeed. We have reduced turnover, and stability for all employees, plus we can complete what the customer needs. Everything I do here all gets poured into the foundation of how we are able to scale.”
DCL is a Growth Company
Paul describes the scope of his work succinctly: “It’s how we talk to people, how we treat people, the implementation of 5S system, and data driven visualizations—it all creates an environment to scale.”
DCL is known for our work with high-growth brands—offering customized fulfillment and industry expertise to help companies get to the next level of their business. This big-growth mentality lives in all departments at DCL, and especially in Operations.
Upon being asked why he chooses to work at DCL, Paul says, “DCL is a growth company. I don’t want to be part of something that doesn’t grow as much as I feel like it can. In business or even in life there are different modes: survival, stability, success, and significance. Many people stay in either a stability mode, or a survival mode, but they don’t make any progress towards success or significance. The leadership team here at DCL was enticing to come work for, because they are actually making strides to become significant and continue succeeding. They are strategically making right decisions to grow the company, and that I’m in a role to support the growth that we are planning, and that we have had.”
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