With promising glimmers of light visible in the distance after what’s been an anything-but-normal 12-month ride for the supply chain, there has been and continues to be shining examples of innovative, thoughtful, and human leadership here at Kenco. The diverse leadership across Kenco extends beyond race, sex, or creed, but in recognition of International Women’s Day on Monday, March 8th, and Kenco’s rich history of female leadership, we wanted to hear from one of the many outstanding examples of women’s leadership who upholds the values of what it means to be part of the Kenco family.
We “sat down” with Erica Dunn, General Manager at Kenco to discuss what it means to be a woman leader at Kenco, her role managing the company’s dedicated eCommerce facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and why she refers to Kenco as her “forever home.”
Thank you so much for joining us for this interview! Before we dive in, could you tell our audience a bit more about your role as General Manager at Kenco?
As a General Manager at Kenco, I currently oversee and manage our recently opened eCommerce fulfillment and distribution center in Jeffersonville, IN. I’ve been working in distribution for over a decade and have been with Kenco for eight years, with the past three years focused on project management. Given my prior eCommerce experience, I was brought in to help get the Jeffersonville facility off the ground to continue to strategically serve our customers’ changing eCommerce needs.
What need/demand is the Jeffersonville facility supporting at this moment? What are the short- and long-term goals?
The ultimate goal for this new eCommerce site is to be the showcase facility – fully leveraging Kenco’s eCommerce technology platform, innovations in robotics and automation, etc. – for existing and prospective Kenco customers. Right now, we’re laser-focused on successfully launching customers within the multi-client space so they can better serve their own customers and meet growing business demands. I’m extremely close with the customers in our facility. We text, call, and message on Slack, sometimes at all hours of the night, which leads to many normal, human conversations that bring us closer together as business associates. I want to give clients their “forever home” with Kenco.
What are some of your unique approaches to management at Kenco and within the new facility? Do you have a management philosophy?
Yes. You have to have fun! Many people these days spend more time at work than they do with their own families, so enjoying yourself while keeping things moving is so important to me. The fast-paced nature of the eCommerce world can be overwhelming at times, so I aim to manage my team with a balance of empathy and accountability. I try to make our business goals and values relatable by giving associates more understanding of what they’re doing and how it’s impacting customers.
For example, in trying to communicate the importance of Kenco’s customer-centric approach, I ask associates what their expectations are for packages that arrive on their porch – what would you want it to look like? What if this package is something for a wedding? A kid’s birthday? I think relatable anecdotes help build purpose and pride in all lines of work.
What inspires you most about the culture of women’s leadership at Kenco?
When I was approached to be interviewed for International Women’s Day, I struggled with figuring out how to best sum up women's specific leadership qualities or most notable achievements within Kenco and the Jeffersonville facility, because it's so deeply engrained into the company culture here. My team (including many strong women leaders) always shows up with the right attitude – one of integrity and based in trust – and works so hard to make this facility, and Kenco at large, the success that it is. I go home proud of my team each day.
Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share?
It’s so cliché, but Kenco really is like a family – everyone cares about each other at this company. And the leaders here care about more than just business, they care about growing peoples’ careers as well as enriching their home lives. They understand the big picture.
Kenco is my “forever home.” I’m thankful to it for treating everyone the way they should be treated and for letting all employees – regardless of sex, race, religion, etc. – know that their opinions matter.