Associate Spotlight: Andree Dacuba
Learn more about Andree Dacuba, Transportation Director, and his experience as part of the Operations team.
Q. Can you tell us a little about your role at PDI?
Dacuba: I am the Transportation Director here at PDI. I am responsible for the strategic, tactical, and operational management of all domestic transportation activities, including negotiating rates, transportation capacity, route guide administration, cost control, savings projects, and adherence to service levels.
Q. Are there any unique / exciting projects you have been able to work on while at PDI?
Dacuba: The largest and most exciting project I got to work on was selecting a third party provider to manage our LTL (less than truckload) mode of transportation. LTL management can be complex and cumbersome, which is why it is important to bring on a 3PL provider to manage this business. This allows you to leverage additional resources, increase your buying power, and increase utilization of advanced technology with data.
We completed a one year cycle with our new provider. We have seen cost reduction, extensive data with KPI’s, and continuous improvement since bringing them on to manage this mode.
Q. What has been your favorite project / program that you have been able to work on while at PDI?
Dacuba: My favorite project I have been able to work on at PDI has been adding new carriers and capacity to PDI truckload and intermodal (rail) shipping lanes. Due to COVID, our route guides had deteriorated, especially on the intermodal mode.
I have added back in four intermodal providers and eight new truckload carriers. Both of these additions have added capacity and introduced competition, which have reduced cost for PDI.
Q. What impact do you feel your function has had on the industry, particularly during COVID?
Dacuba: Transportation is the last segment of the supply chain. During some of the peaks of COVID, the transportation segment was stressed; terminal operations, drivers, and dispatchers were short staffed due to people being out. This part of the business has always been “hands-on,” and thus more exposed to COVID. Managing through COVID, or any major event like the recent Hurricane Ian, is a persistent challenge to the transportation segment. It requires constant communication between multiple transportation professionals throughout the country to ensure product is always moving.
Q. Can you provide some insights on your team dynamics / working relationships with colleagues?
Dacuba: My office is located at our Distribution Center in West Nyack, NY. It is the heart of our logistics operations and shipping. Working at this location, you get to interact with all the logistics team members on a constant basis. Getting this product out daily requires skills in both communication and problem solving.
The team here works very well together, which is evident during high-pressure moments like end-of-month/quarter shipping. I enjoy being part of the team at West Nyack and am proud of its success.
Q. What made you decide to join PDI?
Dacuba: When researching the company, the statement, “PDI is dedicated to leading the fight against preventable infections in healthcare, foodservice, and our communities,” stood out to me, especially during COVID. Being part of a company that makes a difference in our society was appealing.
Q. How has your perspective of PDI changed since you joined the company?
Dacuba: My perspective of PDI has remained constant since I joined the company. I have found from the outset that there are a lot of passionate associates at PDI working towards our mission. I enjoy being part of a team that wants to make a difference.