Collaboration Drives Business and Talent Growth

Photo By
Hannah Ziegeler

Start with an energetic entrepreneur and three company divisions encompassing trucking, real estate, and storage. Add a skilled team, an out-of-the-box thinker, and seven Broncos. What is the result? Clark Logic and its formula for cultivating business and talent growth.

When it was founded as Central Manufacturing Systems in 1969, the corporation predominantly served one customer. An evolution began when the founder’s grandson, Jamie Clark, became president and set a new path for growth. Clark Logic now boasts a 50-truck delivery fleet, over 2.5 million square feet of leasable building space, 2,500 storage rental trailers, and a team of 72 members fulfilling roles in delivery, dispatch, warehousing, maintenance and more.

In light of the continued influx of business opportunities, Clark enlisted a new vice president of business development, Greg Diloné, to strategize a course of action. Diloné forged a partnership with Western Michigan University (WMU)’s Bronco Force, comprised of faculty and students from the university’s Integrated Supply Management program.

Bronco Force collaborates with companies to address challenges supply chain managers face, identify opportunities, and determine the best workplace solutions. It’s an ideal system for assisting companies, giving students hands-on experience, and developing relationships for future employment. A six-student team managed by senior Justin Mielke began working with Clark Logic in January and completed its project in April.

“We wanted to set up on ongoing partnership with WMU,” Diloné said. “Our team was made up of students from the Six Sigma Problem Solving course. So, we started by looking at our company’s DMAIC process—Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.”

“This first student team focused on the Define/Measure/Analyze part of the process and did a final presentation with recommendations,” Diloné explained. “They teed up the next semester’s team to work on the Improve/Control strategy. Justin defined the role of the team leader and was responsible for the next semester’s scope to begin after he graduated in April.”

It’s a partnership that Clark Logic plans to continue each semester, with new student teams picking up and continuing the progress where the previous team left off. Diloné crafted the program, which pays the student team lead as an intern and includes bi-weekly team meetings and industry insight days where students spend time in warehouse locations and with the company’s dispatch and driver teams.

Students are also conducting research to gauge business opportunities utilizing tools such as SWOT analyses, comparative pricing, industry and competitive analyses, and market trends.

“It’s real world [experience],” Mielke said. “You don’t learn it in a classroom. You can’t read it in a book. They appreciate me. Greg gives me a spec but also gives me the freedom to make suggestions.”

Is Clark Logic hiring? “We are always looking to hire additional talent that can make a positive impact on our company and culture,” Diloné said. Learn more at clarklogic.com/clark-logic-careers.

Economic Development in Action
Partnerships pay off

Regional economic development catalyst Southwest Michigan First and Clark Logic have forged a deep relationship over the past seven years, resulting in multiple expansions of the logistics solutions company throughout Southwest Michigan. The agency has guided Clark Logic through Brownfield program assessment grant funding and tax increment financing to help offset development costs, support leadership development, and increase prospective lessee referrals. The result? Thirty-six new jobs and investment totaling over $7.3 million in locations in Kalamazoo, Schoolcraft, Sturgis, Three Rivers, Vicksburg, and White Pigeon.

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