in their own careers. DXP makes it possible
for their employees to bring the most value
that they can to the customer.
Driving Operational Excellence
Oftentimes, a downside to being an entre-preneurial-minded company is like having
too many chefs in the kitchen: everyone
has ideas and gumption, but not always the
resources or strategic direction needed to
be a fully functional company. Luckily, DXP
learned this early on and has taken steps to
implement strong back-office processes to
keep those spirits in check when needed.
“We value having an entrepreneurial
front end of the company — sales people
who go out and drive innovation well, but
we have a disciplined, results-oriented back
office to keep the business balanced,” says
Todd Hamlin, Senior Vice President of the
Service Centers Segment and President of
the Bearings & Power Transmission Division.
Hamlin notes that operations has to be able
to support sales when they make commitments to the customer, ensuring that those
commitments can be met.
“Distribution is a family business. Trust and relationships are
built with the customer by execution of value-added services that
the customer needs,” Hamlin adds.
Part of DXP’s growth strategy is simply to work better and more
efficiently. Two years ago the company took their 5S program
to a 6S one: adding safety. According to Hamlin, much of the
company’s operational efficiencies have come from the 6S program, where different segments are encouraged to identify and
share best practices with the other divisions. The company shares
recognized best practices on their internal website to ensure that
everyone has access to the latest procedures.
A strong culture of operational excellence also ensures that
new acquisitions build on to the company with as little struggle
as possible. The company recently added a Mergers & Acquisitions
segment in-house that oversees the process of adding new companies into the corporate structure.
“With 18 acquisitions since 2010,
the entire process was becoming
taxing to the senior management
team,” says Jeffery. “This was a
necessary step for us to continue to
push ten percent of our growth out
For DXP, the process of folding a
new company into the existing one
is a practice in branding strategy.
DXP keeps the existing manage-
ment team in place, and allows
that team to dictate the speed at
which their brand is replaced by
DXP Enterprises. The faster the
company integrates, the faster the
DXP resources become available to
them, which is a huge incentive for
Those resources include a strong
onboarding program that teaches
new employees who DXP is as a
company, what the corporate val-
ues are, and how to succeed in the
company’s framework. Taking the
time to reinforce the culture of DXP underscores the value of the
company these employees are becoming a part of — and reinforc-
es that the decision to sell was the right one.
“When the DXP brand becomes more important to them and
their customers than their own brand – when their own brand
starts to get in the way – that is when they want to very quickly
adopt the DXP brand and all that entails,” says Hamlin.
It is important to DXP that its brand means more than a financial transaction to the owners. “We want to be the acquirer of
choice,” adds Little. “This keeps our acquisition possibility pipeline
Part of the distribution business is listening to customer needs.
As Jeffery puts it, “DXP allows the employees at the company to
bring the solution and be the solution to meet the needs of our
customers.” This results in engaged employees, who are customer-driven.
“The distribution business is challenging and rewarding,” says
As someone who has brought a 20 million dollar revenue company through a reverse merger, going public, and more than two
dozen acquisitions to become the billion dollar plus business that
it is today, David Little – along with his DXPeople – is the right
kind of person for the challenge. ID
www.inddist.com July/August 2014 / INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTION 21
“Distribution is a family business. Trust and rela-
tionships are built with the customer by execu-
tion of value-added services that the customer