I’m Julian Rubio, founder, and CEO of Ameriworld Fulfillment. Ameriworld is what in the logistics world we call a fulfillment center. We basically store products for a variety of brands and fulfill their online and store orders when they receive them. We are a boutique firm that only works with a limited amount of clients so we can serve them properly and grow with them. Thanks to the growth that e-commerce has been experiencing in the past 5 years, we have grown tremendously and are on track to double our revenue by 2021. We serve two very specific niches: 1) companies that have a growing number of multi-channel orders that they (or their 3PL) cannot effectively serve (fulfillment service package) 2) International companies opening subsidiaries in the US and wanting to find a logistics + back-office service provider under one roof (full service package).
At Ameriworld, we have been running the whole operation for almost 20 current companies, so we count on the experience that many logistics providers don’t. At the same time, the fact that our IT systems are developed in-house gives us the flexibility and fast turn-around time that many lack.
With a steady and reliable person and an A-team of seasoned executives, Ameriworld is well-positioned for the digital age.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Almost 19 years ago I realized that in Miami we had a lot of cargo and freight forwarding businesses but not many to fulfill orders from brands to retailers, so I decided to start a business and that’s how Ameriworld Enterprises was born. Thanks to this initiative, many European companies found Ameriworld’s services perfect to support their US subsidiaries’ launch, as we also offer logistics with back-office administration.
We have learned to know our strengths and weaknesses and to identify which clients are the best fit for us (and us for them).
Back in 2003 when we launched, we were at a small warehouse in Opa-locka and since then we have moved twice, always doubling our square footage to keep up with our growth. Even though I did have a background in logistics, what I envision with Ameriworld was much more revolutionary and when e-commerce picked up speed, so did my business.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
The fact that Ameriworld is centrally located in the heart of Miami, right next to Miami international airport and a few minutes from two major ports, positions us in a key location to receive products from Europe, Asia (through the Panama Canal), and Latin America. Once the products are safely stock in our warehouse, we could ship them nationwide to satisfy all types of orders.
In terms of investments and working capital, because we grew organically and only moved on to bigger facilities once our clients demanded it, we never needed to take in private investors so our books are squared.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Every time we upgraded to a bigger location, we planned the move strategically to never stop serving our client’s orders, which besides the stress it brought upon me, always turned out to be very efficient.
One of the challenges we encounter in this industry is staff retention. That’s why we work extra hard to have a positive corporate culture, and our staff average 4 years with us.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
A couple of years ago we decided it was time to upgrade our brand and we rebranded with a new logo, DBA, and website. These changes allowed us to raise our awareness among the types of clients we were going after, e-commerce top sellers, and better describe our capabilities.
The process of rebranding was very interesting. Our Sales and Marketing Director, Cloudya Esther worked closely with 3 designers and each submitted their new version of the logo according to Cloudya’s requirements. Once she had the final versions, she created an online survey and every member of the executive team texted it to people their trust so they could vote. After 1 week, we met, and she presented the result which reflected what the logo preferred by the majority of the people surveyed. This process showed to be not only extremely democratic but also the best way to make sure that our brand reflects the message you want to convey.
We also redid our website, with a parallax structure which is very trendy right now, as it simulates the experience that users have when they scroll down their social media feeds. Since with our old webpage we were getting the feedback that it wasn’t clear what Ameriworld was, we now focused on presenting the company in the most direct way possible.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
In our current strategy, we are focusing on acquiring operating brands as clients, that are growing fast and need effective order fulfillment services. With e-commerce on the rise, my brands that were typically mostly selling to retailers (B2B) are in big need of a B2C specialized partner so we are in high demand.
We have currently partnered with a Latinamerica parcel shipping service so we will soon be able to offer our clients to expand their e-commerce sales to South American markets with the seamless shipping experience as if they were shipping orders to another state in the US.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
During these close to 20 years in business, we have learned to know our strengths and weaknesses and to identify which clients are the best fit for us (and us for them). Over the years, we have become more selective, turning our style of services more boutique in a way, where we work with a selective number of clients and can provide them more personalized service.
In an industry where fulfillment companies take on hundreds of clients just to grow fast, looking to be the next unicorn, and sell quickly, we are taking a different approach that in our perspective, is more sustainable and reliable.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Because we have our IT team in-house, we can adapt to most technologies that our clients demand, being ERP systems, online shopping platforms, APIs, EDIs, and else. For our business administration, we use SAP and for our warehouse management, we have developed a proprietary system.
Our sales and marketing team uses many platforms to perform their duties, such as ACT! As their CRM, Canva for designs, all social media platforms, Constant Contact for newsletters, and campaigns together with Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
In regards to published material that have influenced me and my team, I’m very big in getting as many of us as possible certified by Lean Six Sigma, and I have a few business books in my office that are often passed around such as The 3rd Ingredient by Jim Blasingame, Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss or the classic Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, among others.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
As I always tell my clients and colleagues, look around, study the market, and learn from others’ mistakes before investing all your capital and what’s worth even more, your energy.
It’s ok doing what others are already doing but try to always offer an edge, a differentiator that will position you at an advantage.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
To be honest, we are constantly looking to add talent to our team, from the technology to the operations side of the business.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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