Daniel Fields – Enviro Safety Products
- Written by: Mary Raitt Jordan
- Produced by: Anjali LaPierre
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When he was 11, Daniel Fields welded a brush shredder to an old three-wheeler to clear brush on his family’s farm. It made the chore much easier, he remembers, but not all his time-saving endeavors worked so well—he almost lost some fingers.
Today, that knack for experimentation and creative problem-solving is strong as ever for Fields, director of technology at California-based Enviro Safety Products, a company specializing in industrial safety equipment.
With the company having recently invested $200,000 in its Enviro Safety Products division, Fields is using his department’s share on a number of technological initiatives designed to help the company expand its sales operations.
“My favorite thing about my work is being able to create solutions to problems by working through my ideas,” Fields says. “Having the freedom to experiment means that you can assess cause and effect more quickly in different iterations that help design solutions that really work.”
Going like gangbusters
Founded in 1997, Enviro Safety Products (ESP) has spent over two decades providing industrial safety equipment like respirators, cut-resistant work gloves, safety glasses and hearing protection, amongst a plethora of other protection gear.
“Business is blowing up right now,” Fields says of ESP. “Advancements mean we can expand our workforce rapidly with offices and warehouses where and when we need them to keep pace with our growth.”
To that end, Fields is working closely with four development teams to develop their infrastructure to support the growth. Specifically, the team is focused on improving ESP’s latest customer relationship management (CRM) model; supporting its e-commerce platform (in operation for 15 years); and firing up search engine optimization.
Thanks in part to these advancements, Fields expects the company to double its workforce within a year.
“We’re getting good at figuring out what our customers need and are dedicating a salesforce to support that,” Fields says.
Indeed, it’s no small task to track and support more than 70,000 items and know what to stock.
With more than 100 suppliers to account for, Fields says ESP spends considerable time researching safety regulations and equipment requirements for certain types of work—often subject to regulatory changes from federal labor organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“We need to be in tune to support those initiatives,” he says. “That way, we will be prepared to provide the right information and the right products as regulations become introduced by the government.”
Still, Fields and his team are focused not only on what ESP sells, but also how seamlessly it can facilitate sales.
Take the company’s customer database. Using troves of data—order history, product inventory and so on—the system predicts when a customer might need a specific product. At that point, account managers receive a message telling them to put in a call.
Does technical innovation ever stop? Not really. Fields’ next project is creating a product information management system that allows suppliers to upload product listings, manage stock and discontinue items and price products. “It will make it easier for us to understand what is available, when we can get it and for what price,” he says.
ESP’s objective is to develop a platform where they can provide the best customer experience possible.
Life off the farm
Part of Fields’ personal and professional evolution, he says, was to learn what he could from every experience. That led him to seek out new creative problem-solving outlets that started all those years ago growing up on the family farm in California.
Fields started his career as a telecommunications specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard. He was a member of a 24-hour search and rescue communications center for three-and-a-half years starting in 1999.
In 2002, he became the owner of The Computer Guy in Terra Bella for almost two years, leaving in 2004. A new opportunity presented itself and Fields became a technical specialist at the Terra Bella Union School District, where he provided technical support for more than 80 educators over three years.
Heading to the East Coast, Fields took advantage of several business opportunities in Maryland and Pennsylvania between 2007 and 2013, first as a systems administrator at Vocus and a systems engineer at Vision Technologies, both in Maryland. Later, in Pennsylvania, he took a job as information technology manager at Select Security and as a vice president of information technology at Cooper-Booth Wholesale Company.
“I’ve always been a person passionate about technology, and require that of my employers,” Fields says. “All my past jobs helped me realize what my skills are and what I am good at. It was more on me to see what the next thing I would do would be.”
A position as a consultant at Information Technology and Business Systems Consulting from 2010 to 2013 found Fields working on both coasts before he finally moved back to the Golden State. After working as an information technology manager for four years in Lindsay, in 2017 he moved to Guardian, where his key focus was writing code for database development, helping to synthesize three company divisions into one.
“It is so important to have the freedom to be creative; when you are creative you are creating your own pathway in learning,” Fields says.
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