DCL News. events, & press releases

Introducing eFactory Mobile

Earlier this year, we polled our customers to find out what tools help them manage their work with the goal of using the feedback to improve our own processes and products. We learned that nearly half spend 40% of the work week in meetings, in the warehouse and on the go. That got us thinking, how can we ensure that our customers always have a pulse on their supply chain?

Introducing the eFactory mobile app! With logistics intelligence at your fingertips, eFactory users will get real-time information on daily order and shipping summaries, detailed inventory data, returns and much more. This will help customers make critical business decisions anywhere and anytime.

If you want to learn more about eFactory, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your DCL Logistics representative or send an email to inquiries@dclcorp.com.

To get eFactory mobile click here.

Customer Spotlight: Bellabeat Empowers Women With Wellness Tools

Many of us have used health and activity monitors. Traditionally, these devices track daily calories burned, heart rate and sleep rhythms. But there is more to overall well being than simply staying active or eating healthy. With an array of same-same products, the old model was in need of a fresh point of view. Enter wellness-tech company Bellabeat, a lifestyle brand that has created an entirely new category within the market: tech powered wellness tools for women.

Founded in 2014, Bellabeat creates beautifully designed wellness tools that integrates both mind and body metrics.

“We wanted to create a brand that inspires women to become the best version of themselves and empower them with knowledge about their bodies and health,” said Bellabeat founder Urska Srsen. “Before Bellabeat, women were overlooked as both creators and users of tech. Health monitors were all cold, clunky and plastic — not designed for women.”

A Fresh Perspective

Bellabeat founder Urska Srsen

By contrast, the Bellabeat health monitor, Leaf, can be clipped onto your shirt during sleep or workouts, as well as worn as a necklace pendant or wrap bracelet. Along with traditional tracking metrics, Leaf gives stress predictions, monitors meditation, menstrual cycles and more.

“We wanted to change the perspective on tracking: not just track health but improve women’s lifestyles … inspire them to focus on themselves and improve their health without the guilt tripping and pressure.” Urska said. “Women are not just interested in fitness, performance and losing weight. They see their health as a complete package and want to approach it that way. We wanted to design a system that caters to that. When we developed Leaf we integrated a menstrual cycle tracker. We were the first to do this, along with including other traditional features.”

As a lifestyle brand, Bellabeat creates experiences around health that get women excited about their wellbeing, providing accessories to fit their lives. A couple of these accessories include Spring — a smart water bottle — and Mist, an aromatherapy diffuser and Body, Mind and Soul Essential oils for meditation.

Lessons in Logistics

As an early-stage tech company that has experienced rapid growth, logistics and manufacturing were sticking points for Urska and her team.

“You have to learn from scratch,” she said. “There’s very little guidance out there. You have to find the right partners, but before you find them you have to find the wrong ones.”

After doing business with an unsatisfactory 3PL, Bellabeat’s logistics team began searching for a new partner. This time they focused more on understanding the user experience provided by potential partners, as well as more thoroughly checking references.

“It took many months to study the providers,” Urska said. “Luckily we decided on the right one: DCL Logistics. The difference was immediate.”

Urska says DCL Logistics has been invaluable in advising the Bellabeat team on volume forecasting and has adeptly delivered product with each new wave of spiked demand.

“When you grow your problems become bigger, and your forecasting isn’t precise, because you don’t know how fast you’re going to grow,” she said. “The biggest indicator of a good logistics provider is when they don’t mess up your orders — even if volume is getting really high, drops for a bit and gets really high again. When there’s stable growth it’s easy for everyone. In between it’s a rodeo show.”

Bellabeat’s logistics team has also enjoyed the benefit of DCL’s personalized service.

“We have a project account manager who takes care of our issues individually,” Urska said. “Before, we had a huge problem with not knowing what was going on in the warehouses. Now we can have someone give us that information in real time.”

These days, with their logistics needs attended to, Bellabeat has plans to launch subscription-based health coaching software that ties in with the brand’s growing range of tracking products.

To learn more about Bellabeat, visit www.bellabeat.com

Meet DCL Logistics President, Dave Tu

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.

Dave Tu President of DCL Logistics

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.”

Strategic Growth

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.”

Customer Spotlight: Dame Fulfills the Pleasure Gap

According to Alexandra Fine, men are twice as likely to orgasm than women and, in heterosexual couples, women are more than four times likelier to describe recent sex as unpleasurable. To close what she calls the “Pleasure Gap,” Fine and Mechanical Engineer Janet Lieberman designed Eva, a hands-

Dame Eva Product

free sex toy that stays in place using two flexible wings, which tuck under the labia. Eva has been designed to provide women the clitoral stimulation required to bridge the Pleasure Gap in a convenient way that is neither awkward or disruptive.

A New Era for Pleasure

Scientific research and focus group data were used to prototype Eva. Lieberman, an MIT graduate, had previously worked for MakerBot a manufacturer of desktop 3D printers. Using her knowledge of 3D printing, Lieberman was able to quickly and inexpensively figure out the optimal shape and design to make Eva a game changing product.

Pictured are Dame founders Alexandra Fine (at left) and Janet Lieberman.

In 2014, the Dame co-founders launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. According to Dirk Doebler, CFO/COO at Dame, Eva is still the biggest grossing Indiegogo campaign in its category. Fine and Lieberman went on to launch a second product, which they successfully crowdfunded for on Kickstarter. Needless to say, these grassroots awareness campaigns and revolutionary designs have boosted the company’s sales.

“We have grown substantially and are continuing to grow in volume,” Doebler said. “At first we were fulfilling things in house but it wasn’t efficient. Partnering with DCL Logistics has enabled us to grow. Our volume has grown several orders of magnitude, and it was too much for us to deal with.”

Rapid Growth and Fulfillment

As you might imagine, skyrocketing growth can put a strain on production, which can in turn cause fulfillment challenges that aren’t easily handled in-house.  

“We’ve been backordered at times because we’ve grown so rapidly,” Doebler said. “When we have a significant amount of backorders, and the shipment comes in, I know DCL will get through the backlog within a business day. We wouldn’t be able to do that on our own.”

Not only has the Dame team had peace of mind as order volume has increased, but the faithfully accurate fulfillment has also been a boon to the business.

“In the pick, pack and ship process, we don’t have to risk making errors,” he said. “If we did it all in-house we would have more errors. DCL has been very accurate in getting the right things out and on time.”

Doebler anticipates that with their current forecast, and new products in the works, Dame sales will continue to grow in volume. DCL Logistics will be key to meeting those demands.

Learn more about Eva, and other Dame products, at https://www.dameproducts.com.

Customer Spotlight: iCracked, On-Demand Phone Repair

From beekeeping to running a winery, AJ Forsythe had dabbled in business. But it wasn’t until, as a broke college student, he fixed a friend’s cracked smartphone screen and stumbled onto a winning idea. Soon thereafter, classmates began asking for his services. That’s when Forsythe roped his friend, Anthony Martin, into providing services with him. The next year, when they graduated from college, the two went to Silicon Valley and iCracked was born.

But the business is more than a screen fixing service. It’s a time saver and a convenience. Most people know the time cost associated with having a broken phone screen repaired. You have to drop off your phone with a repair tech, leave it there and then head back to pick it up.

On-Demand Phone Repair

“It’s an ordeal,” says John Lowe, Vice President of Logistics at iCracked. “The founders realized it only takes 20 minutes to an hour to fix a phone. So people were spending way more time going and dropping off/picking up.”

Mitigating the hassle, iCracked uses software that routes a certified cell phone repair tech to the customer. It’s on-demand phone repair.

“We have a network of certified trained techs that will come to you, as needed, to fix your devices,” Lowe said. “The techs choose the days, times and areas where they want to work, and they work from an app.”

To deliver on-demand service, iCracked maintains a stock of the replacement parts that are most likely to break on a variety of smartphones. These parts are shipped to DCL Logistics where they are stored.

iCracked Outsources Order Fulfillment to DCL Logistics

Before working with DCL Logistics, iCracked insourced their parts stock. Lowe said their in-house processes weren’t effective, leaving room for errors that affected customer service.

iCracked founders, AJ Forsythe and Anthony Martin

“Last year, we transitioned from insourcing to an outsourcing model using DCL,” he said. “We had less structure than DCL. DCL is good at ensuring things are done right. Shipments to techs never suffer due to things being done wrong behind the scenes. They understand how to reliably get shipments out the door on a day-to-day basis and are good at discipline and processes.”  

Working with DCL has also helped to manage costs. Lowe says it was a challenge to anticipate fluctuations in service volume, as well as labor needs versus costs.

“Now that we are at  DCL, we have moved from a fixed cost model to variable, and this has helped us better manage our costs.”

Adapting to a Shifting Market and Business Model Changes

While DCL came highly recommended, Lowe and the team at iCracked found their offerings were a natural fit for the company and its needs.

Lowe says DCL’s flexible approach to customer service has been a huge benefit to the team at iCracked. And, with business model changes on the horizon, this will only become more important.

“We’ll always have a B2C model but we’re clearly moving to the B2B2C, working with businesses such as insurance providers to provide installation and repair services for their customers,” Lowe said. “We’re also expanding from phones to other IoT devices. With the proliferation of these types of devices, our mobile workforce can come to you to install a smart thermometer or smart lock.”

DCL’s ability to adapt to their customers’ changing needs is a primary benefit, in Lowe’s opinion.

“They understand our business needs change from time to time,” he said. “They jump in to help us figure out the best way to resolve, rework, repackage or re-label. DCL’s flexibility will be a key for us moving forward. We’re going to change distribution patterns, shipment and packaging size. We know our business will evolve as tech changes, and having a partner like DCL that we know is going to be flexible and support us, and get involved with the solution, allows us to be more aggressive in our changes.”

iCracked has locations across the United States and Canada. Learn more at https://www.icracked.com.

Customer Spotlight: Shout! Factory Revives the Shows We Love

What are your favorite TV shows and films? We all have favorites that, to us, are legendary. You might say we even “geek out” about them. The entertainment company, Shout! Factory, has built a name for itself by revitalizing this kind of pop culture entertainment: “the stuff you grew up on but never outgrew.”

The brand has released and revived many beloved cult films and classic TV series including the highly acclaimed TV show Freaks And Geeks, as well as the cult classic TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, to name just a couple. The company sells Blu-ray and DVDs on its website, but what sets the products apart are the value-adds: fan flair.

High Volume, High Margin, High Touch

“With the Shout! Factory website we offer something people can’t get anywhere else,” said Kathy Callahan, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Shout! Factory. “We make exclusive add-ons to go with many of our products, such as a great DVD cover turned into a poster. These add-ons with purchase can also include collectible figures and bonus discs.”

While fan flair is no doubt a draw for Shout! Factory customers, DCL Logistics helps to further boost customer satisfaction with quick shipping.

“We ship what they can’t get anywhere else, and we ship it a little sooner than anyone else,” Callahan said.

Callahan describes DCL’s handling of Shout! products as high volume, high margin, and high touch.

“Our orders require an attention to detail that we’re not going to get from our other distribution centers,” she said.

Professionalism and Polish

Callahan says DCL keeps an open line of communication, with frequent phone calls, emails and a monthly conference call an open, supportive partnership. But perhaps her favorite aspects of working with DCL Logistics are the peace of mind and technology at her disposal.

“We visited several distribution centers and DCL’s process was leaps and bounds ahead of the previous solution we had for the Shout! website,” Callahan said. “The physical tech, cleanliness, and security at DCL were impressive. We also like having a dashboard that tells us what we have and when it shipped. Other companies didn’t have the sophisticated tech to let us know what was going on without us being in the physical space.”

So what does the future hold for Shout! Factory? Callahan says the company continues to acquire libraries and new films. Since Shout! is shifting towards becoming an independent film and TV studio, there’s a high probability of having more exclusive merchandise in the future. As she looks ahead, Callahan says she envisions that DCL Logistics will grow alongside of Shout! and continue to adapt to and meet Shout! Factory’s fulfillment needs.

Learn more about Shout! Factory, and find their products, at http://www.shoutfactory.com.

Customer Spotlight: iOgrapher Puts Filmmaking in Everyone’s Hands

Due to high resolution smartphone cameras and DSLR cameras with HD filming capabilities, filmmaking is now more accessible than ever. When high school film and media teacher David Basulto didn’t have enough cameras for students, he improvised and let them use their iPhones and iPads to film their projects. The work had great potential, but the images were shaky and the audio and lighting were horrible.

Basulto, a former Hollywood actor, filmmaker and producer, began to craft the idea of a stabilizing case that would hold an iPad or iPhone. With a 3D print design and the help of an engineer, iOgrapher was born.

The Product

The iOgrapher Filmmaking Case has handles on both sides for smooth handheld filming. It mounts to any standard tripod and allows room for a microphone, external lights and lenses.

Amelia Neverman, Director of Sales at iOgrapher, says film crews at news stations among other professionals use the case on the job.

“Our filmmaking case is innovative, new and affordable,” she said. “You can get a bundle for your school and start a TV station for $200 or less. You can get a good quality mic for $50 and do on-the-go shooting and live streaming. You can get people learning how to do filming on the go and edit now on your phone, starting from the beginning and putting it out into the world all in one day.”

iOgrapher began with one product for the iPad Mini and now has 20 products, including filmmaking cases for a range of iPhones and iPads, travel cases, mounts and other accessories. And, rounding out their offerings, they also re-sell 100 related products from other vendors.

Having grown to this degree in just three years, there were bound to be some hiccups along the way.

Growing Pains

“We’re a very small team,” Neverman said. “There has been a lot of trial and error and we have had a lot of growing pains for sure. Learning about logistics, shipping, timelines and all of that was critical. (Before finding DCL Logistics) we were working with an online fulfillment center and had a lot of problems. As we were growing and things were getting a lot busier, the fulfillment center was sending other vendors’ products to our clients. One time they shipped adult items to a school and another time they sent medical devices.”

The team at iOgrapher knew it was time to switch to a company that could keep up with the demand and so they started working with DCL Logistics around the holiday season.

“The previous company wasn’t up to our standards, “ Neverman said. “DCL did a great job of getting all of our products into the right hands. It was stressful to make the switch during the holidays but it was a successful holiday season. We really appreciated being able to contact someone directly instead of getting the runaround like we had with the other fulfillment company.”

Future Plans

iOgrapher currently has plans to create a universal filmmaking case for all versions of iPhone, as well as one that accommodates Android phones. Meanwhile Basulto continues to teach. However, these days he teaches customers smartphone filmmaking tricks, and various ways to use iOgrapher products, via social media and the company blog.

Learn more about iOgrapher, and find their products, at http://www.iographer.com.

Customer Spotlight: Occipital Brings Mixed Reality to the Masses

With emerging technologies, the fantasy worlds we experience two-dimensionally, through movies and video games, can now come to life mingling with reality before our very eyes. Occipital, based in San Francisco and Boulder, Co., is one of only a handful of companies that have innovated in mixed reality the merging of real and virtual worlds where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

To date, most people know about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). VR replaces the real world with a simulated one, while AR enhances the perception of reality by superimposing a computer-generated image that is viewed with the real world as its backdrop.

Adam Rodnitzky, VP of Marketing at Occipital, says because it’s a tough technology to pull off not many people have yet had the chance to experience mixed reality.

On the Cutting Edge

“Our products are often cutting edge and, as a result, many of our customers are seeing this type of tech for the first time,” he said. “We started in 2008, with a goal to achieve compelling augmented reality on iPhones and Android phones. At the time, the performance of mobile devices wasn’t yet up to the task of making that happen. We realized that creating a mobile 3D sensor would give us the inputs we needed to achieve it.”

Occipital’s Structure Sensor is the first 3D sensor for mobile devices. When clipped to a compatible mobile device, it captures detailed, full-color 3D scans of objects or people. You can get the measurements in a room in just seconds or play mixed reality games where virtual elements are locked precisely to the real world around you.

Real World Applications

“Three-dimensional sensors aren’t anything new,” Rodnitzky said. “But what we had previously seen was big and not suited to mobile. Structure Sensor works on a smartphone or iPad. Medical professionals use this to measure body parts for orthotics, for example, and it’s useful for plastic surgery … helps people visualize what they’ll look like after a procedure.”

As well as having real-world applications, Structure Sensor also creates immersive experiences   when paired with Bridge Occipital’s mixed reality headset for the iPhone. With Bridge, virtual characters can enter our world and interact with our environment as if they were really there. Or we can enter and immerse ourselves in a virtual world, while still staying comfortably aware of ours.

Logistics a Key Consideration

No doubt Occipital has made a mark in the world of mixed reality. Its products are now distributed by a network of global resellers. As such, selecting the right shipping partner was a key decision.

“We ship globally and it creates logistical challenges, many of which we don’t want to manage ourselves,” Rodnitzky said. “We had gotten referrals from other companies who had a good experience with DCL. They’ve been good at working with us to make changes on the fly so we’re shipping properly configured products to our customers.”

After the Bridge Headset product launch, Occipital updated part of the design, which required changing a part on the device.

“There are some fulfillment partners that can’t do the short notice special projects that are required when you’re launching a new product,” Rodnitzky said. “DCL worked with us to be sure we changed the part, in every device we had in their inventory, while still meeting our shipping deadline.”

What’s to Come

With a team as creative and motivated as Occipital’s you can count on more cutting edge products to come.

“One of our biggest challenges is finding the time to do all the things we want to do,” Rodnitzky said. “We’re a very ambitious, highly motivated team … always having new ideas for more cutting edge products and pushing the envelope. But we’re meticulous and diligent about building great products. There’s no compromising on the approach.”

Which new technologies Occipital creates next is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, their flagship products are available at structure.io and bridge.occipital.com, as well as retail partners such as Amazon.com and B&H Photo Video.

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