D&H Distributing

D&H Distributing

Harrisburg, PA

www.dandh.com

Grade: A

SummaryA well-respected employee-owned tech company, great training, incredible employee longevity, solid medical a focus on work/life balance, charitable causes and advancement from within.

Intro: D&H is one of the largest employers in its region, as well as one of the few ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program) organizations in Central Pennsylvania, wherein employees own 36% of the company. The ESOP has become the foundational culture at D&H, encouraging co-owners to embrace not just THE company, but THEIR company.

Additional perks include Healthcare and Daycare Flexible Spending Accounts, an employee loan program, tuition reimbursement, 401K percentage matching, reimbursement program for co-owner expenditures such as weight loss programs and gym memberships, a wellness program which provides healthcare cost savings based on participation level, a D&H Cares employee-run charity organization, and seasonal discounts throughout the year.

Impact statements:

  • D&H relies heavily on advancement from within.
  • Constant renovations are also being made inside the corporate headquarters to ensure employee comfort and satisfaction, including bathroom remodels, implementation of a new cafeteria service, upgrades to carpeting, paint, canvas photos (many of them taken by one of our co-owners), and meeting spaces.
  • D&H considers their co-owners the backbone of the company’s success. The OWNER Card Program was implemented to recognize those individuals for going above and beyond in their contributions to the company.
  • The average D&H co-owner tenure is 10 years; combined tenure of our seven top executives exceeds 217 years. D&H itself is approaching its centennial anniversary in 2018—100 years!
  • D&H’s most important investment remains its people. True investment can’t be found within a stock portfolio or an online trading index. Ensuring the overall wellness and health of those employees has become the primary motivation of the creation of the D&H Wellness Program.
  • In our sales organization, we bring in vendors on a daily/weekly basis to continue to provide in depth training on the wide range of products we offer to our customers.
  • D&H offers reimbursement for health club memberships and smoking cessation programs.
  • The company recently upgraded offerings to options for adult orthodontia, plus healthcare and daycare Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • Accommodations are made at all levels. Employees are offered special compensation for implementing more ergonomic work environments, such as standing desks.
  • A recently launched program provides employees/co-owners the opportunity to donate their paid time off days to colleagues who need more than the standard amount, due to personal or family health issues or life crisis.
  • D&H Distributing announced the formation of “D&H Cares” in July of 2008, an organization that continues to provide co-owners with an outlet to not only contribute and volunteer, but to choose the company’s charitable endeavors themselves.
  • Initially scheduled in 2010 as an exploratory replacement to the company’s annual “First Quarter Company Overview,” D&H established its Town Hall format, which quickly became embraced by co-owners as a permanent part of the company’s annual meetings. Divided into 10 different departmental groups, each meeting consists of a brief PowerPoint presentation by D&H co-presidents and officers. This is an opportunity for co-owners to voice their concerns, suggestions, and questions in an informal, interactive and respectful environment.
  • The average D&H co-owner tenure is 10 years; combined tenure of our seven top executives exceeds 217 years.

Advancement Opportunities:

D&H relies heavily on advancement from within. Current job openings are posted in the Corporate Office common area for Co-owners to review.

Medical benefits:

In addition to a standard medical plan, D&H offers reimbursement for health club memberships and smoking cessation programs. The company recently upgraded offerings to options for adult orthodontia, plus healthcare and daycare Flexible Spending Accounts.

In collaboration with the company’s benefits administrator, D&H introduced its Wellness Program in March 2012. The program lets co-owners take control of their health benefits, both personally and financially, through setting and achieving individual health goals. From March 1 through February 28, co-owners accumulate “wellness points” that count towards placement in one of four different point levels of membership.  At the conclusion of the 12-month program, each individual co-owner receives a weekly discount on their health insurance premium cost according to their level in the program, which takes effect starting the next plan year.

The program allows co-owners to earn points in five different categories:

  • Preventative (dental, annual physicals, flu shot)
  • Non-tobacco user
  • Screenings (blood pressure, glucose, BMI)
  • Points for healthy ranges in the screenings listed above
  • Exercise

The company has also formed a wellness committee comprised of co-owner volunteers that work to create programs and events for all co-owners, for example, D&H’s annual Health Fair.

Community service/charitable causes:

D&H Distributing announced the formation of “D&H Cares” in July of 2008, an organization that continues to provide co-owners with an outlet to not only contribute and volunteer, but to choose the company’s charitable endeavors themselves. D&H Cares also supports the co-owners who form the coalition, providing monetary and material donations in times of need (e.g., in the case of a house fire or emergency).

D&H believes its co-owners are a powerful source for positive change in communities, and provides a means by which to foster this effort through work with local and national charitable organizations. Whether it's a financial donation or time investment, D&H co-owners illustrate what the collective power of generosity and desire can generate.

Charities Supported by D&H Cares:

American Cancer Society

Ronald McDonald House Charities

Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute

Catilin’s Smiles

Rejoice! Inc.

Bethesda Mission

Toys for Tots

St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital

Habitat for Humanity

Autism Society of America

American Red Cross

Special Olympics

Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

March of Dimes March for Babies

Arthritis Foundation

Big Brothers Big Sisters

PinnacleHealth Foundation

Measuring satisfaction:

D&H conducts annual performance reviews for each co-owner within the organization. Standard review components include employee productivity and ongoing goal-setting, however, it also provides the co-owner with an opportunity to let their supervisor know their current state of contentment, which includes discussion of their satisfaction with the company itself. An additional component of D&H’s review and feedback processes is its annual “Town Hall” meeting in February, where co-owners can discuss their concerns directly with a high-level executive. The company also encourages its co-owners to submit ideas via an email alias at suggestions@dandh.com. Suggestion boxes are also located in the corporate office main cafeteria and in break rooms at each of the company’s distribution centers.

D&H has built walking tracks and light exercise equipment onto its grounds in the Harrisburg headquarters so employees can stay active, reduce stress and take fulfilling breaks. In addition, the company has converted a section of parking lot into a 62,729 square-foot, USA-made PV solar field, which supplies a percentage of energy for the building and reduces its overall consumption footprint.

Constant renovations are also being made inside the corporate headquarters to ensure employee comfort and satisfaction, including bathroom remodels, implementation of a new cafeteria service, upgrades to carpeting, paint, canvas photos (many of them taken by one of our co-owners), and meeting spaces. The D&H distribution centers also feature state-of-the art, fully automated technology such as automated lighting and conveyor equipment.

Creative meeting places:

  • D&H holds its annual trade shows, including development sessions and training with customers, at The Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, part of The Hershey Park Resort, plus events in California and Boston.
  • Departmental, off-site meetings are not atypical for fiscal planning purposes.
  • The covered picnic bench area in D&H’s wellness park is often utilized for work purposes on weather appropriate days.
  • D&H has an inspirational conference room in its corporate office called “The Think Tank,” where the company holds “greenlight” sessions on immediate topics.

During Vendor Summit meetings (mostly in California and Nevada), D&H’s teams have been known to do some of their best strategy planning around the pool!

Perks:

The company offers Summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery of fresh vegetables and fruit.

Dry cleaning pickup and delivery to the corporate office

Health club membership reimbursements

An Employee Referral Program that provides co-owners up to $500 in incentive money when they offer a quality, new-hire recommendation

Co-Owners can purchase products at D&H’s cost

D&H’s company Payroll Portal through ADP, which provides swift and convenient asses to co-owners’ personal and pay information, including PTO

Fun:

Birthday cakes for major co-owner anniversaries for all 600+ personnel at the Harrisburg headquarters

Surprise casual days for holidays, sporting events, disease awareness

An extra surprise day off during the Christmas season

Free coffee and tea on random days throughout the year

A variety of spontaneous contests and prizes during ESOP month each year (October)

Surprise giveaways, e.g., holiday gifts, flowers for valentines, etc.

“D&H Cares” surprise campaigns to raise money for charity, which includes offering prizes to reward co-owners (basket raffles, casual day coupon books, etc.)

Food Truck Frenzy Days where D&H buys co-owners lunch of their choosing from a variety of vendors onsite.

An annual team-building budget that allows different departments to join together for fun events like bowling, escape rooms, casino night, scavenger hunts, etc.

How corporate vision is communicated:

D&H maintains an open line of communication with its co-owners, providing company-wide presentations three times a year, in addition to offering a new hire meeting and a 90-day co-owner meeting.

  • Initially scheduled in 2010 as an exploratory replacement to the company’s annual “First Quarter Company Overview,” D&H established its Town Hall format, which quickly became embraced by co-owners as a permanent part of the company’s annual meetings. Divided into 10 different departmental groups, each meeting consists of a brief PowerPoint presentation by D&H co-presidents and officers. This is an opportunity for co-owners to voice their concerns, suggestions, and questions in an informal, interactive and respectful environment.
  • Held annually, the Fiscal Year-End meeting is a more high-level, less interactive meeting, focusing more on goals and strategy.
  • D&H co-owners attend a three-day annual ESOP assembly, presented by the company’s top five officers. Over a two-day period and close to half a dozen meetings, co-owners are educated on the state of the company, state of the industry, the current and future economic outlook, and of course in-depth education on how an ESOP works and how the account is fairing. And although co-owners are routinely kept abreast on company events and strategies throughout the year, the ESOP meeting really allows them a bird’s eye view of where the company is at present, as well as where our leaders plan to take us in the future.
  • Within the first few days of employment HR presents a short presentation to new employees outlining the details of D&H Distributing – who we are, what our function is as a distributor, what makes us different, overview of org charts and delivering explanations on departmental functions. Although the concept of ESOP isn’t mentioned in these meetings (employees aren’t eligible for ESOP participation until their 90th day of employment), it’s important that they feel a sense of worth and belonging right from the start.
  • After 90-days of employment at D&H, an employee is upgraded to ‘co-owner’ status and employees officially become part of the D&H Employee Stock Ownership Program. Co-presidents, Dan Schwab and Michael Schwab address all 90-day employees and introduce them to the program elements including eligibility, vesting, and a multi-year savings scenario.  D&H believes its most important asset in business is people. Every possible opportunity to engage co-owners is an opportunity to make the business more successful. Nurturing the development and skill set of co-owners is D&H’s top priority.

2013 marked the year-long celebration of D&H’s 95th Anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, D&H published the following:

Looking Around the Corner: A Century of Innovation, Evolution & Transformation, and to commemorate the hardest working co-owners ever, we dedicate this book to them:

Book Dedication: Dedicated to all D&H Co-owners who have contributed to the company’s growth and success. It is the combination of commitment, passion and talent of each and every individual that has shaped the culture and enabled the longevity of D&H today and well into the future.

Empowering employees:

D&H has always encouraged an “open door” policy at every stage of employment—even if that includes informing the CEO that the current product shipping process is losing the company money! Several years ago, D&H implemented its “Cost Savings Program,” reminding co-owners that saving thousands begins by saving pennies. The program received an amazing response. Suggestions ranged from installing light timers/sensors for rooms with limited use; turning off all monitors and PCs when not in use; and installing paper towel dispensers with auto sensors in the restrooms; to name just a few. The fact that co-owners accepted the challenge so enthusiastically and submitted innovative and realistic options is a testament to the dedication and commitment the staff has for the well-being of the company.

Originating as early as 1968, the company’s newsletter, Doings & Happenings, continues to provide co-owners a monthly dose of pertinent news and events. From departmental updates to a personalized message from the co-presidents, Michael Schwab and Dan Schwab, the newsletter represents everything that brings D&H together as a proudly-owned ESOP company.

Although not entirely specific to ESOP communications, the newsletter stands as a symbol of the D&H culture, and a simple reminder of why more than 30% of its co-owners carry ten-plus year tenures.

The D&H press room constantly generates PR for distribution to the IT and CE industries, with topics including vendor-partnerships, technology forecasting, program announcements and overall industry guidance. Although not always industry-specific, over years of submitting inspiring co-owner culture anecdotes, the press has come to admire the people-centric passion that D&H is so uniquely known for.

May 2009 marked the inception of D&H’s internal P.E.O.P.L.E. initiative. A widespread launch within the company, P.E.O.P.L.E. highlights the core competencies that link the functions, processes, and operations of the company and its co-owners. The acronym is representative of the co-owners that make such goals achievable.

P.E.O.P.L.E. presents co-owners with defined focus areas and expectations, creating a blueprint for less down time and greater output. It is a catalyst for communication across all departments, and an aspiration to perform smarter and better.

Ensuring well-being:

D&H’s warehouse distribution centers (DCs) have schedules for three shifts that are specific to the customer and logistic required timelines. We offer part-time roles for those that need greater flexibility. In our corporate office, these positions are department specific. Customer-facing roles are defined by staggered shifts that meet the needs of our customers, yet accommodate the of needs co-owners who require mornings off but can work into the evening to service our West Coast customers. However, a majority of other company roles allow flexibility around the core hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), wherein some co-owners come in early or later depending upon their personal needs. In some roles, we have also allowed personnel to work from home during times of need (pregnancy leave, FMLA, short-term disability, etc.).

At the Corporate Office, we introduced a Flextime Policy this year that allows greater flexibility for co-owners to create alternate schedules, while ensuring our excellent level of customer service. Our PTO policy allows for 18 days to be accrued in year one, and increases between years five and 10 to a maximum of 24 days per year. We also announced a PTO donation policy where co-owners can donate to others who have a critical need which would otherwise go unpaid.

D&H’s most important investment remains its people. True investment can’t be found within a stock portfolio or an online trading index. Ensuring the overall wellness and health of those employees has become the primary motivation of the creation of the D&H Wellness Program.

During the inception of the D&H Cares foundation in 2008, D&H considered creating an extension to the charitable component and apply the D&H Cares concept as an umbrella brand to both the D&H Wellness Program and its Go Green initiative.

To contribute to the preservation of the planet, D&H implemented its “Go Green” initiative, promoting sustainable materials and strategies to conserve energy and reduce waste. This includes a comprehensive on-site and off-site recycling plan encompassing cardboard, plastic, paper and aluminum materials; widespread replacement of standard lighting products with energy-efficient versions across all U.S. warehouses; reduced distribution of internal paper reports, and more.

A wellness fair is offered annually in addition to many wellness-related seminars offered during lunch-and-learn sessions on a variety of health and financial wellness topics.

We have a “Lap Crew” program where co-owners can walk laps around our outdoor track and receive prizes for various milestones they achieve including the purchase of a new pair of sneakers.

We offer an Employee Assistance Program to co-owners and family members that provide free consulting visits for mental health, substance abuse, financial stress and elder care related issues.

Longevity:

The average D&H co-owner tenure is 10 years; combined tenure of our seven top executives exceeds 217 years. D&H itself is approaching its centennial anniversary in 2018—100 years!

Commitment and dedication mark the two most prominent attributes of D&H co-owners. Therefore, when a tenured milestone is celebrated, the company is thrilled to announce it to everyone.

  • After one-year of employment, co-owners are invited to “Pizza with President,” is lunch that allows them to give Co-Presidents Dan Schwab and Michael Schwab feedback on their first year at D&H. They also receive a gift and a framed photo of themselves being congratulated by Dan and Michael Schwab. These photos are then put into a collage and hung around the corporate office for everyone to enjoy.
  • After two years of employment, co-owners receive a personalized handwritten note from Dan or Michael Schwab.
  • After three years of employment, they receive a gift of their choosing from a product brochure.
  • At the five-year achievement mark, co-owners are invited to a formal luncheon where Dan and Michael read a personalized message from their supervisor about their accomplishments at D&H. They also receive a gift that is chosen by the co-owner.

The annual posting of co-owner milestones in the corporate lobby starts at the 10-year mark and is recognized every five years thereafter. D&H’s motto is “It Pays to Stay.” At the 25, 30, 35, 40, etc. year mark, each milestone is recognized with a company-wide casual day and cake celebration (flavor selected by the co-owner). The email announcement also includes a brief Q&A with the co-owner. Such questions include:

  • What has been your greatest accomplishment at D&H?
  • What is your fondest D&H memory?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Co-owner tenures are also posted on digital signage displays in the main cafeteria and lobby. It’s important to the company that these individuals are publicly acknowledged not only among other co-owners but also the vendor partners that visit its facilities. This documents what most tenured employees already know, hard work and a sense of pride are valued and rewarded and contribute to our level of service.

Closing company statements: We have a simple philosophy at D&H: Work hard, but have fun doing it. All employees at D&H are co-owners of the company — employees co-own more than one-third of the company — which is why everyone treats that business like it is their own, because it truly is. And we all work hard, so we try to have fun. We feel that as team members, you spend more time at work than you do with your family, so you better like what you are doing and who you are working with.

D&H has encouraged a culture where input in valued, and everyone is vested in the success of the company, so we are all working toward the same outcome. Employees at D&H are often considered “Lifers,” since many join the company and stay for their entire careers. They invite family members, siblings and spouses to apply. D&H is one company that still believes that its most vital asset is relationships, with co-owner/employees, with business partners, and with its customers.

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