DVL Group – Bristol, Pennsylvania

May 26, 2023
DVL Group - Bristol, Pennsylvania

DVL Group

making sense of data to provide the best solutions


Providing leading critical data expertise across key sectors, DVL has the cutting-edge answers

Data remains the driving force behind just about everything that we do. Whether it be on a personal level or relaying to leading companies, data means everything. For many companies, key data points have also become the cornerstone behind continued and future success and growth.

Pennsylvania-based DVL Group, Inc. has taken advantage of these trends by building a company focused on mission-critical data center infrastructure and thermal cooling for nearly four decades. As the demand for data centers, telecommunications centers, and related laboratories has grown, DVL has built a best-in-class reputation within the sector.

Today, the need to store and protect data through cloud computing and enterprise technology is as critical as ever with customers constantly looking for ways to save money. DVL’s professionals are finding more cost-efficient ways to provide power while buying affordable land for new data center construction.

Finding affordable land has become more difficult in the northeast and eastern states, so DVL has grown to include offices in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Albuquerque where land is more readily available. That move to the western part of the U.S. has helped to fuel growth, reduce costs, and find new clients, says DVL President and CEO Gary Hill.

“Our target is any critical environment that requires critical power and cooling,” Hill says. “We were becoming opportunity-limited in the east, so our move to new (regions) is at the heart of our current strategic growth plan.”

That expansion has helped DVL build a national platform backed by its people, solutions, and service. It provides best-in-class products and services such as cooling and power for companies requiring data solutions and infrastructure. Success is determined by eliminating customer power failures, improving ambient conditions, and removing any connectivity issues.

According to Hill, it’s about “continuing to operate our customers’ data all day, every day.” These customers have come to depend on DVL and the expertise its professionals provide. That’s why most DVL customers have been with the company for one or more decades. As Hill puts it,

“They depend on us every day, and it is up to our team to deliver. Our customers are as respectful of our skills as we are appreciative of their business.”

DVL Group - Bristol, Pennsylvania

Gary Hill, CEO



Customer expectations continue to evolve

There are several common denominators to the product innovations that DVL and its professionals are involved with. Most of these innovations solve a problem that customers are having for the investment to be worthwhile.

A decade ago, many customer challenges were related to reliability and redundancy. But those are basic expectations today. Now customers are looking for solutions with energy conservation and improved efficiencies, Hill says. That’s why DVL distributes and sells equipment proven to meet these challenges while operating data systems at a much wider range.

“Green” energy solutions that can drive a company closer toward zero carbon emissions are a frequent request of DVL, which is why the company is thinking about how to offer more efficient services every day. Hill adds.

The driving force behind these efficiency needs often rests with mandates customers must meet from industry governing bodies or actual public entities like states or municipalities, Hill says.

“Many of our customers are beholden to specifications within a standard that is set for them,” he adds. Some of these public entity standards are becoming more regulated, which can complicate the process. DVL also serves as a trusted advisor and partner as a result.


Managing the labor shortage and investing in new technologies

The recruiting process at DVL has experienced  its ebbs and flows when it comes to filling open positions at the company, says Senior Director of Human Resources Christy Magee. She refers to the last three years as a period of a “human being shortage,” and admits that it has been difficult at times to fill certain roles at the company.

Finding qualified applicants itself can be a challenge, especially for what Magee calls a “unicorn” position. That refers to a position that requires a specific skill set that is difficult to find but offers rewarding career opportunities.

However, DVL has many advantages to offer prospective employees. First, it is an ESOP, or employee-owned business, which offers many financial advantages other businesses can’t match. Second, the company actively invests in its people and technologies to make their jobs easier, in turn providing better customer service. Recent investments in ERPs and CRMs have helped DVL streamline its operations and improve internal efficiencies.

With that in mind, DVL is not afraid to invest in the acquisitions of other companies if there is a sector and cultural fit. While most of the company’s growth has been organic, DVL is in an acquisition mode. Long-term partnerships with such companies as top accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), and benefits broker NFP further help DVL reach its goals.

Top initiatives in the coming years include maintaining a strong internal culture and ensuring that all employees understand the goals so they can remain on the same page. Another is continuing to educate employees on the benefits and value of DVL’s status as an ESOP.

DVL Group - Bristol, Pennsylvania 



The ESOP difference

That is one way to attract qualified candidates – by giving them a stake in the company where they work. Setting the company up with an employee stock ownership plan or ESOP accomplishes this. However, that also means that any new employee must fit the core values of DVL because that individual may eventually become an owner.

“We’re not just trying to fill a job when we hire someone but we want to find colleagues who are interested in building a career,” Magee says.

DVL became an ESOP more than 17 years ago when ownership didn’t want to change the sale of a company to outside owners that might break it up. DVL’s role as an ESOP allows employee-owners to feel empowered and enriched in their daily decision-making. Employees have an active role in helping to grow the company and are easily able to see the value that it offers.

At DVL employees are shareholders within the trust that owns the company after three years of joining the company. From there, teams are empowered to solve issues. They experience a flat management structure that gives all employee owners the ability to make decisions that are best for the company’s current and long-term goals.

According to Magee, “that entrepreneurship feeling is amazing to see and work in every day. There is no red tape, and our team members experience instant gratification.”

DVL employees are keenly aware of what they are spending as owners and thus are more attuned to the financials, and the role their position plays in that. Additionally, employee-owners are rewarded for their positive actions. They can receive quarterly bonuses based on actions that positively impact company earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) figures, so they don’t have to wait until retirement to enjoy the financial benefits of the ESOP.

On top of that, all employees are eligible for not just a fully funded retirement plan as employee-owners, but for a 401K plan with a 50 percent match up to a certain percentage, Magee says. Most associates have more funds in their ESOP retirement account than their 401K, but both options give employee-owners a sense of financial independence.

These reasons and more are why DVL has been certified as a great workplace by independent analysts at the Great Place to Work® Institute for six consecutive years, and why the company was named ESOP Company of the Year in 2018,2021, and 23 by the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter of the ESOP Association.

The prestigious Great Place to Work® award is based entirely on what current associates say about their experience working at DVL. This year, 92 percent of associates reported that DVL is a great place to work – 35 points higher than the average U.S. company.

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DVL Group

What: leading company focusing on mission-critical data center infrastructure and thermal cooling

Where: Bristol, Pennsylvania, US

Website: https://www.dvlnet.com/


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