Originally published in the Spring 2012 edition of Your Det’on Cho Connection
Chris O’Neill, Chef Manager, has been with Bouwa Whee Catering for six years now and he has seen a lot of changes at site. But none were as important to him as the changes he saw when Det’on Cho Logistics (DCL) took over the freight handling contract for the Snap Lake Diamond Mine. Matt Mossman, DCL President, came to site to see Bouwa Whee’s catering operations at Snap Lake. “We stood back and let them do their job.
They made some suggestions about how we could find efficiencies at this end, and they made changes to accommodate our needs,” says O’Neill. “We worked together to make sure our common client – De Beers – got the best, most efficient and effective service.” “It’s our job to fit inside the box,” says Mossman. “We figure out thedimensions of our customer’s box,and we fit our operations into it. We adapt our services to fit the clients’ needs — whether those needs change daily, weekly or yearly.”
Each week, DCL unloads 18,000 pounds of foodstuffs from a truck from Edmonton and catalogues it so that any item can be found with a keystroke. Since taking over the freight consolidation contract for Snap Lake Mine in December 2010, food shipment flights have been changed from Herc to Buffalo aircraft so that it goes from DCL’s cooler/freezers right into the airplane and up to site. “So that’s why food always arrives in pristine condition,” chuckles O’Neill. “We’ve gotten so used to the level of service we get from DCL, we take it for granted now.”
While Bouwa Whee and DCL pride themselves in going the extra mile, no matter which client they are working for, there are definitely synergies in being part of the DCC family. Each company can compete for much larger contracts because they focus on what they do best, and let parent Det’on Cho take on more of the administrative burden. Bouwa Whee and DCL both look to DCC for financial and human resource services. They don’t need to duplicate administrative functions like payroll, allowing them to be more efficient and focus on the work they do best.
Dale Smith, General Manager at Bouwa Whee says, “DCC’s HR department is the central gathering point for employee applications for all DCC companies. Not only does DCC work with each of its member companies, but with the potential employee as well. Everyone wins because the approach allows us to find the best fit. This means our employees are happier, and each company can reduce staff turnover.”
With Det’on Cho Corporation providing support, each company can focus on what it does best. That’s synergy: working together, each company is stronger and can better serve clients than any could do on its own.
DCL shipped over 7 million pounds of freight to Snap Lake in 2011
• Each year DCL commutes as many as 5,000 passengers to and from their jobs at Snap Lake
• In 2011, DCL loaded approximately 500 flights to Snap Lake
• Every Friday 18,000 lbs of fresh food is trucked from Edmonton to Yellowknife for loading and shipping to Snap Lake
• DCL sends 2-3 flights per week to Snap Lake, each carrying 37,500 lbs of freight
• DCL flies goods to Snap Lake 44 weeks of the year. For the other 8, it trucks goods up on the ice road