When DLN began in 2002, we didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about what life would be like in July 2022. We didn’t imagine, for example, that the three people working on folding chairs and using boxes as desks would one day be in a large, newly built office space with room for dozens of engineers to work, meet and relax.
Fast forward to 2022. We have exponentially grown our staff and our office space since 2002 and we are eternally grateful to our team, our clients and our manufacturing partners that have directly contributed to our growth.
There are a few staff who have been with DLN for 20 years, including Cindy Traylor, as our office administrator, and Matt Wieneke, as Senior Project Manager.
In fact, people are the reason we’ve continued to sustainably grow. Our co-founder and President Phil Schaafsma is very proud of DLN’s employee retention rate of an almost unheard of rate of 99%.
“DLN hires great people with high integrity, who are smart, motivated self-starters with an entrepreneurial bent. We’ve found that if we hire this caliber of employee, and take care of them well, we serve our clients in a way that generates long term partnerships,” says Phil Schaafsma, co-founder and President.
DLN hired it’s 10th employee in 2006, moved offices in 2015 to fit 30 people, and outgrew that space by 2020. We’re now in a much larger facility with ample space for robotics engineering, development, spare parts and tools.
Our space has the added advantage of being able to significantly support Kent County Toys for Tots, by storing over 33,000 gifts that are delivered each year to less fortunate children by the charity.
We’ve been delighted by the sheer number of clients in interesting industries we’ve served over the years in the U.S, Mexico and Canada.
Moments Phil remembers fondly include landing an unexpected grocery project in the early days that rejuvenated the business, developing new technology and software and landing our first patents, and seeing a successful project on the cover of a major industry magazine.
The last few years have seen compounded growth, with the expansion of our service department, creating a robotics automation group, adding customized software to our offerings, and earning a spot on the Top 50 Companies to Watch in Michigan.
We expect another 20 years of steady growth by continuing the practices that have served us so well thus far. Our focus on sourcing excellent, innovative vendor partners will continue. And we’re excited to continue adding more technologies and capabilities to our offerings, with the internal expertise to support them.