Rick Nelson, Founder of Fulfillment Lab | The Fulfillment Lab
Tampa, Florida, June 1, 2020 - Rick Nelson, owner, and founder of The Fulfillment Lab, Inc. is a third-generation Tampa native with roots in the region. His grandmother, one of 22 children, came from Key West to work in the cigar industry in Ybor City. Her focus on hard work and resilience are deeply ingrained in Nelson’s own work philosophy and drive for success.
Nelson said, “My father worked for the Tampa Police Department for 23 years and my mom was a school teacher. They borrowed money so I could attend Jesuit High School. I knew early on that they were making sacrifices for my education.”
His wife, also a third-generation Tampanian, was raised by a large Italian family, located in West Tampa. In fact, Nelson and his wife were born eight days apart and shared the same pediatrician. They didn’t meet one another until their first year of college at the University of South Florida. As she worked toward becoming a school teacher, Nelson focused on business.
During college and upon graduation, Nelson worked for his wife’s father and uncle at Florida Central Binder where he received hands-on experience on how to run a business. “They really entrusted me to improve the company,” said Nelson. He continued, “I worked on marketing initiatives and learned how to run a business. Some people have a natural ability to sing, as my wife does, but I had a head for business. It’s something I don’t take for granted.”
With a natural attention to detail and a sales-focus, Nelson has always been able to grasp both the small and large picture when running a company. He spent years in the sales trenches in several different industries and learned how to market himself. He also noted the abundance of disloyalty within the business, studied various executives’ traits and learned exactly what kind of business owner he wanted to become. “I gained first-hand knowledge about what makes people tick and how to treat employees. Every position is integral to the success of an operation,” he said.
“My wife and I started the Almost Home After School Center in 2007, which was a success. We raised funds and built a 5,000 square foot center for children. Without her, I wouldn’t have been able to start The Fulfillment Lab.”
In 2012, The Fulfillment Lab, Inc. was born. Nelson and a colleague began to research eCommerce and fulfillment solutions as a new business venture. He noticed immediately that there was little to no visibility for clients as to what was driving inventory. “I could see that the clients utilizing fulfillment facilities needed new e-shopping carts and new ways to track inventory, so we started looking at software packages to start the fulfillment company. While doing our research, we saw a huge gap in the software. None of the software packages really got it right. They were glorified Warehouse Management Systems (WMS),” he said. He knew that they needed to give clients insight into their inventory and how to increase their sales.
When he started the business, the fulfillment solutions providers would try to sell them their software packages, but he wasn’t interested in their limited capabilities. “Everyone thought I was crazy for getting into the fulfillment business,” he said. “But I was ready for the challenge—and when the fulfillment solutions providers would try to sell us their software packages, I just wasn’t interested in their limited capabilities. We set out to write our own software. Although the first inception had higher bandwidth, it didn’t meet my expectations,” he said.
After numerous software iterations, he eventually bought his original partners out and is now the sole proprietor with his own proprietary software, Global Fulfillment Software™.
“We have the number-one fulfillment software for eCommerce in the world. There are things we are doing at our fulfillment facility that no one else is doing. We take data from the front end of the sales funnel to gain more data on end-consumer purchases.” The company began to see a space for their clients to enhance sales by using marketing fulfillment advertising. “It’s another arm for us to market for our clients and promote future sales,” said Nelson.
Nelson acknowledges the difficulty in running a fulfillment facility because they are becoming so abundant throughout the United States. He stated, “eCommerce clients need to expect more from their fulfillment providers. If Amazon markets their packaging, why aren’t you?” The Fulfillment Lab is taking things a step further by implementing software and equipment that can create custom printed packaging in real-time. “We will be able to create custom messaging in one day. You can add stickers, inserts, anything they’d like to make end-consumer’s experience with their shipment more personal.”
The Fulfillment Lab, Inc. is a global company with fulfillment facilities strategically placed throughout the United States in Florida, Utah, and Ohio. Nelson is placing importance on the reputation of the companies they serve. “We want to ship products to people from reputable companies. We know the quality they have put in, but you can’t know everything. There is a human element to this business. We will always reach out to people and have a meeting if they want one. We believe that the customer wants it the right way and they are all different. At the end of the day, we want to do this. It’s difficult and it’s fascinating. I have eight years of grind and will continue to challenge myself, my staff, and my system. It’s never good enough. We will always reach out to consumers to help them if there is a problem,” he said, emphasizing his drive for perfection.
For media contact:
Cesar R. Hernandez
Founder + Managing Director
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