In recent years, the ecommerce industry has transformed into a key business vertical. With many brands relying on it to ensure smooth and flawless growth, it is becoming increasingly important to the business world. Led by Founder & CEO Rafael Zakinov, Ruby Has Fulfillment is one brand that has established itself as the face of change and with its unique operational styles and innovation, is leading the ecommerce industry. Headquartered in Bay Shore, New York, Ruby Has Fulfillment has highly trained, caring team members that utilize powerful technology to deliver the highest accuracy rates in the industry. Ruby Has Fulfillment received the prestigious Bronze Stevie Award by the American Business Awards for its’ Covid-19 response and the Excellence in Customer Service Award for 2021. Ruby Has Fulfillment was listed as one of Multichannel Merchant’s Top Third Party Logistics Services for the fourth consecutive year and ranked by Inc.5000 for six consecutive years: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 and 2021. It was also ranked by Crain’s Fast 50, a list of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the New York area for four consecutive years, and was listed in the Inc. 5000 Regionals NY Metro: 2021.
We, at Aspioneer, interviewed Rafael Zakinov to understand more about the company and how it is driving the ecommerce industry.
Aspioneer (A): What is Ruby Has Fulfillment about? Can you tell us a bit about how it works, its mission, and what led you into forming it?
Rafael Zakinov (R): “Ruby Has Fulfillment offers a full suite of ecommerce fulfilments services to help clients get their products to their customers on time and as promised. We fulfill our clients’ brand promises with the highest speed and accuracy rates in the industry, leveraging our expanding national and international footprints, using cutting-edge technology and an uncompromising commitment to quality. Having started out with my own ecommerce brand, I know the ins and outs of this business and what it feels like to be in the client’s shoes. I started Ruby Has Fulfillment to manage this part of the order process that many companies and brands don’t want to or don’t have the bandwidth, budget, or capability to do themselves. Ruby Has Fulfillment started in 2011 and has since expanded to include distribution centers in the following locations: New York, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Kentucky, Canada and the United Kingdom.”
(A): What makes Ruby Has Fulfillment stand out from its competitors? Can you mention some major factors that act as the key differentiators?
(R): “Our commitment to delivering value to our clients separates us from our competitors. Also, partnering with brands who we believe have a strong likelihood to grow. We believe that as they grow, we grow. For example, the well-known DTC brand, Brooklinen, has been a client of ours from the very beginning when they were a small start-up. We’ve grown together tremendously over the past few years and maintain a strong partnership in supporting mutual growth and success. Our president, Esther Kestenbaum Prozan has a lifelong career in ecommerce. Every decision or investment made is done with our clients in mind. Just like Shopify, we are here to fully empower and enable the merchants.
Compared to the direct competition at the larger end of the market, we accommodate nuanced needs like custom packaging and kitting whereas others are less flexible. Additionally, Ruby Has Fulfillment values building and maintaining personal relationships in an effort to cultivate a true partnership with our clients. This is often missing with other large fulfillment providers. Even well-known brands can feel like they get lost in the shuffle when partnering with some enterprise-level fulfillment companies. We frequently acquire new clients as a result of the rigidity or callousness of enterprise solutions.
Compared to the /smaller end of the market, Ruby Has Fulfillment offers clients a reliable, efficient fulfillment solution that does not break at scale. This differentiator is one of our highest sources of lead generation. Many of our competitors began as software companies that sought to back a real-world fulfillment entity into the constraints of their software. We are the reverse. We built the fulfillment business first and we’re now building the technology to back into the real-world parameters that have been tested and proven to work.. We believe that the software-first approach fails.”
“Our commitment to delivering value to our clients separates us from our competitors. Also, partnering with brands who we believe have a strong likelihood to grow. We believe that as they grow, we grow.”
(A): What are some of the major changes the business has undergone? What strategies have you deployed to meet the increasing demands of this fast-paced world?
(R): “Ecommerce has changed the retail supply chain significantly. Today, customers expect their orders to be delivered quickly, on time and exactly as promised. This makes the need to move goods quickly and accurately one of the most important parts of the customer experience.
Multi-warehouse strategy: Splitting inventory into more than one fulfillment center. We encourage our clients to move their products closer to their end customers, which lowers shipping costs while also protecting brands from the unexpected. If one distribution center closes due to a Covid outbreak or there’s a blizzard on the east coast, orders can be fulfilled from another location. We have a national and international footprint and see the difference it makes to our brands that we have a variety of locations that enables us to be responsive to their evolving needs.
Leveraging automation and robotics: We all see in the media that hiring becomes a challenge periodically. At the same time, speed and efficiency requirements continue to rise. That’s where automation and robotics come in. These impressive high-tech solutions provide redundancies and efficiencies that are unprecedented and dramatically reduce naturally occurring human error. We are proud of the way we have judiciously applied automation and robotics in our fulfillment centers and we kind of geek out over them.
Having the ability to partner with more than one shipping carrier. Having the flexibility to choose from multiple carriers based upon what matters most to our clients is key.
What does that look like in a truly resilient environment? See this fun video here:
(A): Could you please share what your clients are saying about your services?
(R): Chris Wichert, Co-Founder/ Co-CEO, Koio- “Ruby Has Fulfillment has proven an invaluable partner for Koio, helping us to best manage our inventory, maintain seamless order flow, and timely, consistent delivery during periods of rapid brand growth.”
Sean Frank COO, The Ridge- “Ruby Has Fulfillment proved themselves this year. When most companies were struggling, the Ruby Has Fulfillment leadership team buckled down and focused on what mattered most- safety, operational excellence, and client support. This year tested supply chains and logistics globally, and very few have been able to thrive during these tests. I am proud to say Ruby Has Fulfillment is one of the few.”
(A): Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, how has Ruby Has Fulfillment contributed?
(R): “Ruby Has Fulfillment has given back in many ways during the pandemic. One example is when Covid-19 first hit and PPE was in short supply, we teamed up with one of our customers, Nanoleaf, to produce and transport 50,000 masks to hospitals and front-line workers most in need.
We’ve now increased our focus on automation and robotics, grown our footprint of distribution centers, and expanded our carrier network so we can build redundancy across our business to better protect our clients.”