A herd of stuffed plush giraffes arriving in the holiday rush? A 20-foot custom painted ocean container to use as a coat check for a Manhattan store's gala opening? No problem. For Distribution Solutions, Inc. (DSI) the only questions are: "What color, what time and where?"
The 3PL company operates facilities in three New Jersey locations: Clifton, Secaucus and Newark. Jeffrey Wolpov, Chief Executive Officer, started the company with his father, in 1990, with $50,000, three employees, two trucks and $300,000 in business.
Today, DSI is a $60 million business with 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space, 180 trucks and 600 employees.
DSI's expertise is department store merchandise, especially apparel. The company provides a host of services such as ticketing, cleaning, repairing, refurbishing, labeling, repackaging, and inspecting cargo for their customers. For one company, they press leather coats because that retailer believes it gives them an edge over their competitors. "We make a big difference to the retailer who is trying to maximize full-price selling in a highly competitive market that often features markdowns after a week," said Wolpov.
In 2007, DSI's business grew 35 percent and Wolpov attributes this to international companies expanding into the United States. He called the Port of New York and New Jersey a "natural feed" because of the large consumer market in this region. He projects a 20-25 percent growth in 2008, and so is pleased to see the investments being made by the Port Authority in channel deepening, rail enhancements and other infrastructure improvements. "Anything that can speed up the process and make it easier for us to get containers in and out of the port is a huge advantage to us," he says.
He sees the port as very well positioned for the high-speed transloading and pick & pack business he handles. And that counts for big points in supply chain management, where it's all about getting the right product to the right place at the right time, he explained.
Wolpov believes there's a growing awareness in New Jersey state and local government of the logistics business and the number of jobs it creates. To maintain that employment, DSI encourages hiring local talent at all its facilities. With a $500,000 grant from the state, Wolpov has embarked on ambitious staff training programs covering English as a second language classes, basic computer skills and on-the-job-training in the automation and mechanization technology used daily. It's an effort that cuts costs and increases productivity because it reduces turnover, he explained, which in turn helps him to maintain the customer service he provides to his clients.