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Insider Insights Series: A Conversation About Operations

Industry Expert John Shalaby Recaps 2023 and Anticipates an Amazing 2024 

Efficient operations are the backbone of successful wholesale merchandising, ensuring a seamless flow from product arrival to distribution. To meet the demands of a dynamic market, Operations utilizes logistics and precise coordination with strategic inventory management and technology integration. 
From supply chain optimization to navigating market trends, DM is fortunate to have John Shalaby in our operations corner. Get a firsthand glimpse into the strategic mind of a leader in wholesale operations. 
NAME: John Shalaby 
DEPARTMENT: Operations 
ROLE: Chief Operations Officer 
How long have you been with DM? 
JS: I've been part of the DM family since April 2020. It's been an exhilarating journey! 
Your team spearheaded a huge software transition in 2023. How will these new systems benefit our customers in 2024? 
JS: Oh, where to begin? I can talk to you about it for hours, but I’ll keep it short and sweet. Our digital transformation was a big deal for DM and its customers. Coming off a 20+ year-old legacy system, we were hamstrung from a technological perspective. We’d often develop ideas but limit ourselves from an implementation perspective because the technology simply couldn’t handle it. Our leap and investment weren’t just an upgrade; it's a game-changer. 
Imagine a world where your favorite brand knows exactly what you need before you even do. That's the kind of experience we're aiming for at DM. It's not just about selling amazing products anymore; it's about creating moments of awe.  
What’s your biggest takeaway from last year? 
JS: This past year has been a masterclass in resilience and teamwork for me. Witnessing our team's commitment, especially during our digital makeover, was nothing short of inspiring. We didn't just switch systems; we redefined our work culture. It was challenging, but it proved one thing – when you're passionate and focused, the sky's the limit. 
Specifically in respect to our digital transformation, the entire team had to relearn how to do their jobs. Every single team member, every single process, had to be redeveloped. That can be both overwhelming and stress-inducing for the team. Everyone handles stress differently, and it’s important to understand both the triggers and releases that help team members stay focused. Not everyone learns the same way. As leaders it’s important to create an environment, especially when introducing a lot of change, that fosters a culture where diverse personalities and learnings styles achieve success.  
What industry trends have you noticed emerging for 2024? 
JS: 2024 will continue the shift in customer expectations built around technology. Customers are increasingly looking for brands that not only simplify their interactions but also anticipate their needs. It’s about creating an ecosystem where technology seamlessly integrates into their lives, enhancing rather than complicating. Personalization is not just preferred but expected.  
Customers crave experiences that are tailored to their unique preferences and lifestyles. This calls for a deep dive into data analytics and AI to understand and predict customer behavior like never before. We envision a future where our brands and products not only remain trendy and exciting but where we partner with our retailers in their journey towards a smarter and more personalized experience.  
What DM product or brand are you most excited about for spring and summer? 
JS: I'm all in on HydroSport FITKICKS. It's the perfect water-friendly shoe for anyone who loves the outdoors as much as I do. Rugged, reliable, and ready for adventure! 
Any other insider secrets you’d like to share?  
JS: I'm a big believer in a healthy lifestyle – it's the secret sauce to achieving your best. If you're looking to boost your performance and fulfillment, start with your health. I'm always here for a chat if you need tips or just some motivation! 
Choosing DM as a vendor means choosing a retail partner that’s with you every step of the way. Our signature brands are carefully developed and retail-proven to boost your business. From conception to final sale, we develop our products to be emotionally appealing, affordable and shelf-ready with built-in merchandising. That’s the DM Difference. So, what are you waiting for? Contact your DM Sales Representative at 1-800-548-6784 or create an online account at www.247DM.com to start shopping The Goods!