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The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) is the largest public education system in Michigan. The district is made up of 110 schools with roughly 50,000 students and 4,000 employees. The DPSCD mission: “To provide every student with a beneficial and rightful educational experience, preparing students to be career and college ready, and qualified to compete in the global market.”

DPSCD imageIssue/Need

The DPSCD warehouse is designed to recycle inventory and repurpose it in new educational facilities within the district. These materials are slightly used and have a long-term lifecycle when they are successfully redirected. Extending the use of these materials allows DPSCD to reduce waste and save costs in their yearly budget.

Prior to working with Evans Distribution Systems, DPSCD struggled to maintain two chaotic and reactionary warehouses. “Our warehouse system didn’t exist. We had books, furniture and electronics scattered throughout our two facilities and we didn’t have anyone with a logistics background managing it,” says Felicia Venable, Executive Director, Operations Special Projects at DPSCD.

3PL Solution from Evans

The Evans team was able to find a solution that would work with the DPSCD’s unique circumstances. Warehouse management experts created an inventory management process aimed at organizing books and furniture as it entered the warehouse. “We came up with a system to sort active books from inactive books that allowed us to efficiently pick orders,” says John Evans, president & CEO of Evans Distribution Systems. “The new system ensured that children received their books on time.”

Evans also provides functional labor to carry out daily warehouse operations and delivery optimization. The team works on warehouse efficiency, picking orders, inventory processing, and tracking orders through the warehouse to each institution.

“When Evans came on board, we established a new system and assigned roles; all of us adopted a new mindset of keeping our customer first, and in our case, that’s the schools,” Venable says.


A decade later, DPSCD has made great strides. “We use a reliable ticket system that allows educators to request materials to enhance their lesson plans,” Venable says. Faculty members have reacted positively with the new system and are able to focus more on the classroom. Finally, Evans provides a dedicated warehouse and transportation workforce that has grown into the fabric of the DPSCD. “Ultimately, you want to meet our customer needs and have people who feel vested in the work that they are doing—Evans has provided a team that is part of the DPSCD family.”

Download the case study here.