By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
DBL Distributing, a national wholesale distributor of CE products and accessories, has made a series of infrastructure changes over the past few months including personnel revisions and the implementation of new technology to improve operations.
Starting with the promotion of Henry Chiarelli at the beginning of the year to chief merchandising officer from merchandising VP, the company has recently hired and promoted a spate of personnel within in its executive ranks. Chiarelli joined DBL last August from his previous post as president at Gibson Audio.
Also plucked from Gibson Audio comes the latest DBL new hire, Raymond T. Di Filippo. Appointed at the end of February, Filippo, formerly Gibson's VP/ sales, will now act as DBL's key accounts VP. In his latest post, Filippo will be responsible for leading the development of new and existing key accounts in the company's fulfillment services and e-commerce segment.
In the first weeks of the year, DBL also made key executive appointments to its product purchasing group. The following three people have been named as senior buyers in their respective areas:
Richard Kaye, most recently a senior buyer at CompUSA, has been appointed to deal with key manufacturers in the photo/video, personal portable and telecom segments;
Rich Lee, recently senior buyer at Electronics Expo, will handle the home theater category;
Al Brandow, formerly the consumer electronics buyer for Boscov's Department Stores, will deal with categories including TV mounts, A/V care, computer accessories, memory and blank media.
Soon after hiring the buyers, DBL continued revamp its personnel ranks and moved to promote four senior executives from within. "These promotions acknowledge the high level of responsibility and contribution in this dynamic group of individuals," said Tim Butler, DBL's executive VP and COO. "They are well positioned to help drive our company to the next level."
The promoted executives included:
Michael Balaskovits, who recently moved from his position as chief financial officer to become operations senior VP;
Kurt Kilgast, previously director of business analysis, will now act as DBL's finance VP;
Jason Gail, formerly the director of publishing, will now be merchandising and production VP; and
Daniel Greenlee, previously director of sales, is now retail sales VP.
On top of its numerous personnel changes, DBL is implementing "capital and operational improvements," which it says are intended to increase its efficiency so it can keep up with its expected growth in areas including its customer base, product inventory levels and gross sales.
Chief among these improvements is an integrated order fulfillment system called Turbo Line that automates a variety of order management tasks into an end-to-end process. The technology, first introduced in the fourth quarter of 2006 and recently put into production, is expected to have "an immediate impact" on DBL's receiving, stocking and distribution infrastructure, the company said.
"We can better serve our customers with this newly deployed infrastructure, technology and processes by decreasing the error rate and overall time taken to ship a package while increasing our total packages shipped per day," explained Balaskovits.
In other news, DBL recently entered a partnership with Wi-Ex, manufacturer of products designed to increase wireless signal coverage.
"Our commitment to meet the retail demand for quality wireless and custom installation products and accessories is what brought DBL and Wi-Ex together," said Chiarelli.
As part of the deal, the distributor will carry Wi-Ex's zBoost line of signal extenders as well as a variety of other signal-enhancing products for varying targeted audiences including consumers, professional installers, network carriers and others.
DBL said it has more than 32,000 retail customers nationwide and that it carries more than 17,000 products from more than 380 manufacturers.
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