In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Taylor Smits - Co-Founder & Chief Supply Chain Officer at My FBA Prep - talks about how to never go out of stock when selling on Amazon, and also more information about his life's journey. #taylorsmits #ecommerce
About Taylor Smits of FBA Prep -
Taylor got his start in eCommerce over a decade ago by selling sporting events and concert tickets online. He has since added dropshipping, private label, and wholesaling to his repertoire. Today, Taylor has built a 7-figure Amazon business and guides MyFBAPrep as a co-founder and Amazon seller. Taylor is responsible for onboarding new warehouses and managing the relationship between MyFBAPrep's existing customers and warehouses. When he’s not staring at a screen, Taylor is most likely seeking adventure. He holds a Private Pilot’s license and SCUBA certification, and he is an ordained minister.
Yoni Mazor 0:05
Everybody welcome to another episode of Prime talk. Today I'm having a special guest I'm having Taylor Smits. Taylor is one of the co-founders and also the chief supply chain officer at my FBA prep. My FBA prep is a leading network of Amazon prep and E comma fulfillment centers. So, Taylor, welcome to the show.
Taylor Smits 0:23
You only thank me so much for having me excited to be here.
Yoni Mazor 0:26
My pleasure. My pleasure having you today. So today's episode is going to be all about you the story of Taylor Smith, you're going to show us everything right? Where are you? Where are you from? Where were you born? Where'd you grow up? How'd you begin your professional career station to station until we reach where you are today in the world of E-commerce? So without further ado, let's jump right into it.
Taylor Smits 0:46
Yoni Mazor 0:47
Alright, so let's start from the beginning. So what were you born?
Taylor Smits 0:51
I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Yoni Mazor 0:54
That's special. Okay. I'm a little why. And you're a native to the island? Or what's the background story there? Your parents?
Taylor Smits 1:01
Yeah. Both my parents and their parents grew up there. And Hawaii is lovely. I've been there many, many, many times. But we moved away when I was a baby. And my family ended up in the Midwest, first Iowa and then Indiana, which was really for my dad's career. So he went to residency in the Midwest and then became a doctor and had his practice in Indiana. So
Yoni Mazor 1:31
What did he specialize in? What
Taylor Smits 1:32
Kind of practice? Yeah, he's, he's a lung specialist. And it's interesting how his career in medicine has both affected me positively and wanted inspired me to become an entrepreneur, but also took a different path than him. You know, a lot of children of doctors become doctors, that that was the plan for some time. And then I made kind of a stark turn and decided that I was more interested in business. And yeah, it's funny talking about it now, because you can trace the line. Whereas at the moment, it was just me trying to figure out what was best for myself.
Yoni Mazor 2:11
So it sounds like the elements of being an entrepreneur appealed to you because you saw your father had to create his practices, his own, you know, its own business in his field. And those elements you do appreciate, but the fuel itself of medicine and stuff like that, let's appeal to you. You had a kind of other things in mind. This is the early stages and your mother was she was just helpful, what your father's career ambitions are sure she's doing other things.
Taylor Smits 2:32
Yeah, that's exactly correct. She, she's the healthcare administrator of his practice, because she deals with the insurance companies, which is, which is, you know, she's kind of like an unsung hero, in the sense that you would, you would never see her as the face of the practice or there, but she kind of makes sure all the money comes in. So it's quite important, but not rewarded.
Yoni Mazor 2:59
Financially, if you get paid, I think it's a family business. I think they all had the pocket the same pockets or household pockets. Yeah. But yeah, definitely, I recognize that is crazy hard. What to do to synchronize everything together, especially in the field in the United States, is a huge headache. It's like, it's like, I can't even I don't even go there. But I know what it's all about. So kudos, your mother, it's really good to hear that she was very helpful with that. Okay, so you grew up mainly in Indiana or your formative years in Indiana.
Taylor Smits 3:28
I was in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which is northeast Indiana. And you know, typical small or medium town, kind of uneventful middle of America, but a great place to grow up and be from. But overall, you know, kind of not super important to me as a person but I'm thankful for getting sort of that experience in that part of the country
Yoni Mazor 3:55
And growing up your energy would you spend on learning sports, and entrepreneurship.
Taylor Smits 4:02
I was mainly defined as being a soccer player. That's where all my time went. And it was a very big thing. My school was quite small in high school. So we were excellent at soccer, you know, state championship, all that sort of thing. But physician, by the way, I was an outside midfielder. So offense, offense, and defines by clutching in
Yoni Mazor 4:23
The middle, that's great. Yeah.
Taylor Smits 4:25
But it's interesting. I think that's what I was known for. That's of course, where I spent my time what I was passionate about, but I was also a good student, and, and I cared a lot. I cared a lot about school and education. And then when it came time to go to college, I thought about applying to Indiana University. And my mom said, No, I'm not going to let you apply there. Go elsewhere.
Taylor Smits 4:49
Go check something else out and it came down to Miami, Florida, and Syracuse, New York. And kind of a funny story. We are my family. We've visited Miami. And it just so happened, it was spring break. And when my parents were rather conservative, and my little sister was like, she was like two or three years old at the time, she was a baby. And I just have these bad flashbacks of being on South Beach. You know, I'm looking at my parents and looking at them looking at everyone on South Beach.
Taylor Smits 5:24
And it shouldn't surprise you, I ended up at Syracuse went to Syracuse, and started pre-med and the influence there is obvious. And I had, I made it all the way through, you know, honors organic chemistry and lab and everything. I was doing well, but I was taking some electives in the business school as part of my pre-med undergrad. And I noticed myself going home and reading the business books and doing my homework in business first, even though it was less important to me than my pre-med.
Taylor Smits 6:02
And after about two semesters of that I finally got up the courage to call my parents and say, you know, I'm not going to become a doctor, I'm not going to fit fall in the family's footsteps. And at the time, it was maybe the most difficult call I'd ever had to make.
Taylor Smits 6:20
And I could feel it building up in me for a long time. And I still remember it quite well today, even though it was nearly 20 years ago, and I sort of gave them the news. And both my parents were on the phone and they said, that's okay, that's great. We think you'd be a much better businessman than a doctor anyway. And I was so surprised and relieved by their response.
Taylor Smits 6:45
But when I think about my parent's support and influence, in many ways, they're their biggest support was saying, go do whatever you want. And so I've always felt like anything that interests me, I can just dive in. And I don't I don't have to clear with anyone and for people who grow up and like tight families or conservative families like mine, that influence was a lot enough to make that a very tough conversation. But I was thrilled with the result. And so from then on, you know, I switched my degrees just my majors and graduated from the business school. And it sounds like happily ever after except I graduated the during the downturn. Right.
Yoni Mazor 7:36
Let's hold off for a moment. So first of all, Syracuse is a really good school. So that's the good thing to graduate there. I guess the business school? Yeah, yep. I'm going to start by saying what year did you graduate
Taylor Smits 7:46
Yoni Mazor 7:48
You graduate into the recession of 2008. The world global financial crisis happened in 2008. And markets kind of fell real estate, you know, the subprime mortgages, kind of melted away the marketplace and the stock market. And in general, the economy was sluggish, and you graduated right into that. So you started from the bottom. But now you're here. So tell us about what's Alaska for you.
Taylor Smits 8:10
I'm sorry, what's the what?
Yoni Mazor 8:11
So 2009? What's Alaska for you? What's your next station after university? Graduating? Sure.
Taylor Smits 8:15
So I remember the night before graduation, we were having a party, you know, all our families were there. And we were just kind of celebrating the five guys that I lived with. Only one person had a job. He had an offer. And he was a finance major. And he was going to Citi Group, and at the time, Warren Buffett had just kind of bailed Citigroup out, and the share price was trading very low.
Taylor Smits 8:42
And my other roommate's dad who worked for UBS. In New York City, he reached into his wall and opened it up and he pulled out $1. And he gave it to my friend and he said here go buy yourself a share of your stock because Citi Bank was trading at $1. And that was kind of a joke. So I ended up, you know, no one had jobs, we were all scrambling. I ended up getting a call from a recruitment firm, and I thought they were going to help me get a job. And they did what many recruitment firms did, they called me in to interview. And then they said, well, we don't have a job for you. But we think you should work for us.
Taylor Smits 9:17
You should be a recruiter. And I didn't I didn't know much better. And I said, Yeah, let's do it. So that began my sort of corporate career, I was a head-hunter and an agency and then I went on to do two stints that are as an internal recruiter in the corporate world. And that led me to what is now one of my partners and co-founders. And so, you know, the first decade was in the corporate world in recruiting, but it was a mixed bag of growth and successes, but also sort of lack of fulfillment and never feeling like the ideas I had or the or the things I wanted to try were approved or validated. And
Yoni Mazor 10:03
I get the stress of 2009 until 2019. Your 10 years in that industry in recruiting for the most part.
Taylor Smits 10:08
Yeah, it was until 2018. Yep. January,
Yoni Mazor 10:16
As almost a decade in that in that world, what two-three companies?
Taylor Smits 10:20
Or three companies in total? Yeah, three, like three years at each,
Yoni Mazor 10:24
And that we're going to touch. We're going to dive into that the main elements of those that decade from the moment, but that's where, where you also found your co-founder today of MBFS. My FBA prep. That's correct. Yep. And his name dropped the name.
Taylor Smits 10:36
His name is Bart baton, and he's the CFO and CEO. And, he connected the three co-founders, because he had a consulting business on the side, so you can see his entrepreneurial roots. And in that consulting business, he was doing ad operations. And he had met another consultant who was whose sales and marketing guy, they shared a client.
Taylor Smits 11:04
And I had left New York City and I got a call from BART saying, I have this guy whose name is Tom wacky. He's our CEO, and our third co-founder is I have this guy, and we want to start a company together in E-commerce. He said you know, do you do want to hear about it? Can you help us because I was, and I had been doing Amazon for a while on the site at that time? And we were all very excited to meet each other. And, and, you know, we turned over a lot of stones, which is an analogy for business ideas that weren't great. And, we found this one sort of scratching our itch, because we had started an E-commerce business and needed a Prep Canter. And we found it
Yoni Mazor 11:47
Was that way, what was your you guys kind of started shifting those stones together? And we
Taylor Smits 11:51
Came together in 2017. But we made everything official in 2018.
Yoni Mazor 12:00
Together, kind of working together, you know, spending the
Taylor Smits 12:03
The last six months yeah, yeah, throwing ideas around their ideas that each one of us liked individually, but the other two didn't. And, you know, ultimately, I'll tell you what, the idea we were doing at the time, and then and then it leads into how we came across this like light bulb moment. So we said, let’s do an Amazon wholesale business. And to get the best inventory,
Taylor Smits 12:32
What we had done is we built a website for a very high selling high revenue brick and mortar pet store in the Florida area. Tom, my co-founder lives in Florida. And so we built an e-commerce website for this pet store. And in exchange for building the website and helping facilitate orders online, which would come from the southeast, mainly Florida, but other states in the southeast. We asked if she would rather than paying us if she would allow us access to our inventory. And then by buying more inventory, we were going to sell ours on Amazon, she was going to sell hers, you know, on her website or in her store. And then her prices would go down by purchasing more than normal. And so that was our first real, like, let's do this. We're spending money. We were building it we were selling.
Yoni Mazor 13:27
So let me try to get this straight. So there's an A retailer based in Florida, who buys brand name products on their website and their storefront. And so we'll facilitate all the online stuff for you on your storefront and your online store. But we also want to be able to buy with your many purchase orders. And we're going to start also selling on Amazon wherever you want to do it. That was the model.
Taylor Smits 13:47
Exactly. So she was our she was large enough to be our distributor. And so that was ours into getting good inventory that sold well on Amazon. And in doing that business, of course, we needed to be able to store her inventory in a warehouse and then ship it out effectively. And we also needed to be able to pass the cost back and forth between each other. So she knew, hey, if this is a 50-pound dog of a 50-pound bag of dog food, how much does it cost to send it versus, you know, a cat toy or something? Right.
Taylor Smits 14:26
And so my partner Tom was doing a lot of the groundwork in investigating the warehouses. And, and at the time, I had brought in, you know, my wholesale experience. And so he looked at one phenomenal warehouse, which is around to this day. And it was all very robotics driven. So you know, they charged you based on the number of seconds it took the robot to pick your item, and then it would bring it in a bin to another robot that would seal it and put it in an envelope and send it out.
Taylor Smits 14:56
And it was super impressive, but it was not cost to say active. And so we had a bit of a disagreement as to like, was this a good vendor or not. And he kept looking for other options to compare that to. And he came across what became our first warehouse in our network warehouse. 201 is, as we call it, and that that was in at the time sunrise, Florida. They've since moved locations, but they're still in our network. And, and he calls me says, Now, they're nothing like the last guys I told you about.
Taylor Smits 15:30
He's like, they're doing prep on, you know, cardboard doors turned over onto cement blocks, which, ironically, is really what Jeff Bezos used as his first desks, right, these Home Depot doors, which that that story is part of the Amazon folklore. But the idea was, that it was extremely manual, but it was cost-effective. And it got the job done. And I was listening to him. Tell me about this warehouse and how different it was from this high-tech one. But he thought it was good for the cost, and you can work with these humans like and he said, you know, that sounds like they're going to
Yoni Mazor 16:09
Reduce the cost for you. A lot of that was the main drive or also to your distributor slash partner was oh, yeah, it was it
Taylor Smits 16:17
Was for the partner because we didn't, we didn't want to price her out of the market of being competitive, right? Because the difference is that she wanted to have similar prices online as in-store, which makes a ton of sense. But once your account for shipping, now your margin has been severely reduced sometimes
Yoni Mazor 16:36
For shipping, because she should she was later, right? Yes. So because she's offering free shipping to consumers. So right, I assume most of the
Taylor Smits 16:46
And, so the price was super important, right? For that reason, she needed the purchase price of any item to be similar to in-store, but then she was going to have to eat the shipping out of her margin. And so the low-cost option was much better for us. And
Taylor Smits 17:05
When he was telling me about this warehouse, he was the first one to comment that this is this warehouse this service is so good. I think we could help other people in the prep business. And, and we thought about that we're like, wow, that's good. And two things that we discovered early on that became fundamental to who we are, and how we have grown the company or this. So one of the things we believed in is this Airbnb model.
Taylor Smits 17:40
So we're like an Airbnb for e-commerce companies. If Airbnb for travelers matches a traveler with a homeowner, and you know, you could that could be in a city that could be in a jungle in a tree house, that could be large, that could be small groups, whatever you want. What we want it to be is that type of network for E-commerce companies. So for example, most of our reputation is built around serving large Amazon sellers. So FBA prep is the most common request we get.
Taylor Smits 18:12
But we also do direct-to-consumer fulfillment. We also do subscription boxes. We also work with clients that operate out of multiple warehouses in our network. So we have 59 warehouses in our network, about 40 of them in the US. And then Canada, Germany, the UK, Italy, Poland, our network grows as our customers say, I need a warehouse in X country, can you go vet them?
Taylor Smits 18:37
And then, of course, we'll bring them in. We'll bring them in under our technology so that the customer can have a control tower view of their inventory, based on the POS and skews in every warehouse that they're active in basically wherever they want to send the inventory.
Taylor Smits 18:53
So early on, we came across this Airbnb analogy and said, we kept asking ourselves the question like, well, what does it look like at Airbnb? And so Client Services was it was a big thing you know, if you have a problem with an Airbnb, you go say, you can pick up the phone and you can get a human. And so we said, we want a white glove, world-class customer service, it has to be the best and so our account management team today is the largest team that we have and that's on purpose, we serve large clients, we give them a dedicated account manager who right now they are account managers manage like one or two accounts but not more, right. So we are not in existence to serve 1000s of customers. We want a very small number of customers very large customers. The other idea we came up with very early on, is that we were you know selling a wholesale model. And in an in Amazon wholesale or three P you find that there are some names so for example, everyone knows for product research Jungle Scout and helium 10.
Taylor Smits 20:02
And now is on Google has done a great job of putting its name on that list. And I know you know, John Tilly, you had him on your podcast, he's, and he’s become a friend or an Amazon acquaintance. And then and then if you take other things like, you know, legal, you might say, riverbank consulting or you know, reimbursements and, and a deep dive into your inventory, got to you know, you can find, you can find those enterprise level companies at every Amazon trade show, and you can almost segment them out and say, okay, you know, get theta will be a great company that will help you with your reimbursements and your auditing and, and you know, it's just the name brand in the space. Right.
Taylor Smits 20:43
So we said, we wanted to be the enterprise service provider of FBA prep in the market. And we looked around and we said, we felt like the landscape was, at the time around 200, what I would call Mom and Pop prep centers. And most of them had one of two stories, it was somebody who started it, and they wanted to fill up their warehouse, but that's all they wanted to do.
Taylor Smits 21:10
And then the other one was like a seller, or someone who knew Amazon, who was kind of the only good name in town, because they knew what they were doing and knew Amazon, you know, how to prep things appropriately for Amazon.
Taylor Smits 21:22
And then they took on a bigger space, a bigger space, a bigger space. And, and, you know, those were like the two profiles of warehouses that we would encounter as far as people who knew what they were doing in prep. But what was interesting to us is nobody was trying to do it at a massive scale. And so in the three PL world, so for example, you know, Nike or when, when Google sends out their phones and devices, they're using major international three PL partners, who have multiple locations, etc, etc. But those big fish don't know Amazon. So there was a gap between the 200 small moms and pops. And then these massive warehouses and facilities that had everything they needed to do Amazon prep, but they never addressed it didn't know how to do it couldn't sell wasn't familiar with the pricing.
Taylor Smits 22:14
And it was a major opportunity for us to become the enterprise provider of FBA prep, and that principle has driven our vision to where we are today. And as I mentioned, we've scaled to over 59 warehouses, you know, all over the country, at least in I think four continents and, and that still is, is what we're trying to become, you know, and if, if 2020 and 2021, you would hear Omni channel that was, to me, the most important word, people would come to us and say, I got this Omni channel strategy, we say, Great, here's what we'll do.
Taylor Smits 22:51
We'll take your inventory, we'll send 75% of it to FBA, we'll hold 20% of it for your online sales, let's say through Shopify, and then you know, 5% of it will hold back for Influencer, bundles, and kits and we'll send it to them. So that was Omni channel. And what we're seeing from 2021 to 2022 is the big word, right aggregators. So we're servicing aggregators, by giving them access to our network, which is nearly 10 million square feet today in the US, that doesn't include any other countries, about 10 million square feet. And we will approach the aggregators and say, we can offer you 5000 pallet positions per month at this price. And then we'll give you a pic fee of this price and container unload fee of this. And so we try and simplify the invoices to them, which is not the status quo in the
Yoni Mazor 23:51
You want it to be a unified uniform cost structure so they can know what they're there to expect. Because if there's they're fragmented, one provider is charging. The other one is why, and it's hard to blend it all in and figure it out. It's ups and downs and scattered. You come in to facilitate all that it's turnkey, it's uniform at the unison, it's cohesive, and they know what to expect and how to expect it. And it can focus on other things, you know, bigger fish to fry instead of kind of constantly struggling with that. So you come in and bridge that. But what's interesting, is you mentioned that the technology, the tower overview, can you spend a little bit about that? What was the experience like there?
Taylor Smits 24:25
Sure. So first of all, it sounds like you're getting it exactly right. And prep topia is the technology that we've developed to bring it all together. So prep. topia is not a WMS warehouse management system. It is a technology built exclusively for PrEP. So an analogy to use for cryptopia is like a Domino's Pizza tracker, right? We'll give our clients a view so let's say they click into their California warehouse and they say I have four POS in Calif Courneya, they can click on that PIO and see 100 Purchase Orders.
Taylor Smits 25:04
Yeah, yep, that's the 100 skews per purchase order. And let's just say for to make it easy, each SKU has, you know, 10 units being ordered. So the warehouse will check in those skews unit by unit until they get to 10. And they'll mark it as received, and so forth until the whole purchase order is received. Let's say that 10 pallets, okay, so they've received 10 pallets, and they then it goes from inbound to the warehouse as far as the stage, and then it gets advanced to received checked in, and then it's being prepped. And then when it's finished, it's sent to FBA, right, it's waiting to be picked up and then sent to FBA.
Taylor Smits 25:47
So like the Domino's Pizza tracker, you can see which stage of prep your inventory is in within our warehouse. And you can do that for the POS in California, you can also do that for the POS you have in Toronto, Vancouver, Georgia, in Tennessee. So throughout our network, and that helps our clients who are oftentimes either sea level, or supply if it's a bigger company, supply chain people, and that helps them understand, well, what's my turnaround time, we have a timer on it. So when it lands and gets checked in, it starts the timer. And as you can see how many days is it taking? I mean, you can see in hours and minutes and seconds, but you can see basically what your turnaround time is from the warehouse. And that helps us a supply chain person get better with your ordering and your timelines there, which is, you know,
Yoni Mazor 26:37
I think that's huge, especially today nowadays with the global supply chain payments and sourcing pens, having KPIs to the minute as huge, it's a game changer for a lot of them. So they know how to model everything together and operate in the best way. I wanted to segue into this, but based on this mindset, what's the situation right now what's the trend is because we know global supply chain was, you know, up to the pandemic was, you know, on-time delivery from the factory straining to FBA. But it sounds like the dynamics have shifted. Now there's an interest to I guess buy bigger, send it off as much as possible to the US if you're selling Amazon US, then dripping into FBA because FBA itself also became its bottleneck and issues its restrictions on the asin levels. And how much you how many units you can store per Brayden, or stuff like that, or category. So can you talk a little bit more about those items?
Taylor Smits 27:29
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So what we're seeing right now, is exactly what you're saying people are sending more quantities into our warehouses. And then they're doing two things. One is what you said about this drip feeding, so they'll say, Okay, it's going to take a long time for that inventory to get from Asia to the safe side, let's send more than we typically would, just in case we encountered delays on, you know, well, at any part in the supply chain. Okay, the last
Yoni Mazor 27:58
the thing you want to be is out of stock, the name of the game when you sell on Amazon is if you are a stock, it's a suicide, bungee jump with no rope, or you will lose all the ranking and your listing, no traffic, no sales and you lose your ranking is very hard to reignite. So the first rule is never to go out of stock. So that's why they're saying, you know, the old model was from the factory in Amazon. And it's always on time, and I'm always in stock, that model has erupted or evaporated because of the unpredictability. But
Taylor Smits 28:26
That’s exactly what I mean, just-in-time inventory planning makes a lot of sense for financial reasons. But what's more important than that, is not running out of stock. Because all of your, you know, all of your calculations and timelines mean nothing if you're not selling because you're not making money, right? So now, what's, let me put it this way, common sense has sort of superseded that with the pandemic with these delays. And people are saying, I'd rather have more than not enough.
Taylor Smits 28:58
So what do they do? Well, they spent, they store them more in our warehouses, because Amazon's prohibitively expensive to store so to your point, they're ordering more in our warehouses, and then we're drip feeding it in for them as they sell through that existing inventory.
Taylor Smits 29:14
Another control that many of our clients have done, which we're seeing, just across the board, small, medium, large sellers, is they're doing what we call mirror listings, they're turning on these listings, FBM as well. And so what that means is, if it looks like they're about to go to stock on Amazon, keep in mind, that Amazon is unpredictable. If I turn around inventory in 24 to 48 hours, that's great. And my clients can rely on that. What will you can't rely on is how quickly Amazon will check it in and it will become saleable for let's say prime users in the US who are looking to buy that product. So what the seller can do that is in their control is they can turn on the listing FBM which means if they're
Yoni Mazor 29:58
FBA by the merchant by the way to everybody does something from the game yeah, sorry
Taylor Smits 30:02
fulfilled by the merchant or other otherwise referred to as MFN merchant fulfilled network and those listings will take over when you go to zero on your Fulfilled by Amazon inventory. And now that inventory is being fulfilled from my FBA preps warehouses from our network. And what that does to fully flesh this idea that Yoni was talking about is it prevents your listing from losing its ranking.
Taylor Smits 30:32
So you want to keep your low BSR, the lowest good one is the best BSR, you can have, you want to, you want to keep your low BSR so that you're at the top of page one, ideally. And of course, the other added benefit here is you can keep your revenue coming in. So you know, if your inventory is zero, you make zero in revenue. But if you have inventory, that's FBM, you can still be selling, and we can fulfill it until your FBA inventory gets checked in and you're good to go, which is, you know, the preferred way to fulfilled so that's, that's a trend that we're seeing, and it doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon.
Taylor Smits 31:11
It's a, it's a backup, it's a control. And it's there, you know, to prevent some of these stock-outs, major stock-outs that many sellers were encountering, let's just say in large part because of the pandemic or because of Amazon sort of trying to be more careful about what and how much inventory they're letting into their warehouses. So, you know, F turning on your listings, FBM. We're seeing that many of our clients, that's a great idea.
Yoni Mazor 31:39
Yeah, I love that. So I just want to remind everybody, so we're recording this, you know, early q2 of 220 22, the US has opened up in terms of the pandemic, but China, if you're sourcing from China, it's crazy what's going on whether there's a new wave of the pandemic, and a lot of infections going on, it's disrupting once more the whole sourcing game in China and the Shanghai regions and the Shenzhen region, which are major sourcing regions for many Amazon FBA sellers. So what I want to package you from this thought that I tell her, we're saying it's crucial because you got you guys got to keep in mind, if you're a retailer, right?
Yoni Mazor 32:14
Your ultimate mission is to make sure that any product that you own at any given moment is available for sale, that is the business, that's the business you're in, and you have inventory that has to be available for sale at any given moment, the moments are available for stuff on the shelf digital shelf.
Yoni Mazor 32:28
And the reason you have sin, this is the cardinal sin, that cardinal sin, Amazon themselves, as a marketplace, they punish you they, they give you less and less visibility. So when you try to come back, it's very hard to get back into getting good visibility in search results on Amazon's engine. So you're going to have to invest again, and then PPC and advertising all these elements just to get back to where you were.
Yoni Mazor 32:50
So you lost sales and it costs you will cost you much more just to go back to where you were, if even if you're even going to be able to go back to where you were, sometimes you're not even able to recover, so you lose it all a lot of the business. So what tailoring is saying here is that there's a bulletproof load-up random that you can set up for yourself for your business to never go out of stock, which I think is crucial, because it connects to the main elements of doing retail, never, you know, offering all your inventory to consumers in any given moment.
Yoni Mazor 33:15
So once again, the model is based on what's going on today with the global supply chain being so volatile source more than you can, now that they usually do, sorry, bring it to your core market. If it's us, it's us, if it's Germany is Germany, if it's the UK, it's the UK, and it’s all good. And then from there, whatever you need to send to FDA, you do it even there, there are eruptions, meaning that it's not so bulletproof over there.
Yoni Mazor 33:37
So sometimes you think Amazon usually will get to them within a week, maybe we'll take it to three weeks next time, you don't know. So, therefore, you keep some inventory in the local warehouse of my FBA prep centers, and then they'll be able to back it up. So it's always available to ship to the consumers from the warehouse. So basically, I'm going to get very technical, you have an Asian and Amazon sillier serial identification number that's kind of what used to do that every listing, and Amazon has that number, right? It's called the nation, you generation one of them as an FBA mode, that's your SKU, it's a VMO.
Yoni Mazor 34:09
Then on the same mission, you listen again, you could have a different SKU name, SKU is serial, okay, unit number, and within that SKU will be designed for FBM fulfilled by the merchant. So we have for the same essence two skews one geared toward FBM and one geared to FBA. So they all kind of back up each other. And this way, you always have a reality, we never got a stack.
Yoni Mazor 34:28
So this is kind of what Taylor is suggesting here. And I think that's a brilliant, crucial ability for sellers to have more than ever before. And especially if we have the word you an aggregator you have invested millions or 10s of millions of some of them, even the billions in terms of building a portfolio of brands, they can never fail the chips on the table and they're too high to fail. So this is kind of the main idea here. We get it correctly. Taylor
Taylor Smits 34:50
I think you got it correctly. Thanks.
Yoni Mazor 34:53
God, I got it. So I think that's where we got something very, very effectively I wasn't aware of this is the possibility this is the ability you guys carry something This feeling that you're bridging that and bringing it over to the market and doing it in such a large scale on a global scale.
Yoni Mazor 35:05
So I want to kind of embody the episode, see what we got so far. And then we'll take us to the last stretch unless you want to add any other elements. But, you know, born in Hawaii, right, and then shifted towards the Midwest, and settled in Indiana, and then went to school. Yeah, two options, either Florida or Syracuse, upstate New York, being from a conservative family in Miami was, I guess, too wild on a cultural level for your parents. So you went to Syracuse, your father was in your parents, what's your parents were in the medical field? So you started pre-med. Nevertheless, you are geared towards the business which was a pivotal moment for you to realize that you are interested in business is kind of your realm.
Yoni Mazor 35:41
And you had this, this loaded discussion with your parents, but you're very relieved. And that was a pivotal, pivotal moment for you to pivot towards, you know, studying Business Learning business, and then you graduate in 2009, right into the market slump. So the more you try to use a recruiting company to find a job easier, find a job in the recruiting company, or at least the recruiting world, which is great.
Yoni Mazor 36:02
You're doing that until about 2018. But along the way you found two of your co-founders might be a prep, each one brings its strengths with its background. And then you guys start selling online is on Amazon through this, you know, pet supply distributor combination deal where, you know, she sells brick and mortar stores and also online. But you guys also can put purchase orders together and source together and you have economies of scale. We bought sources together from the same suppliers.
Yoni Mazor 36:32
And it's put up the supplier between us. So you do retail, but you also serve as their retail. And nevertheless, over time you saw the gaps in terms of the film and the cost structure for your client. And you took action there it worked for you guys. But then you said there's more need in the general marketplace to do it. So you opened up my FBA prep as its own designated business with its mission and purpose. We elaborate more about that. We also discovered how powerful it is to be able to do a global supply chain, but align it with FBA centers. And prep centers that can do FBA but also FBM on a global scale, and always fulfilled the mission of never running out of stock. So you get everything correctly so far.
Taylor Smits 37:10
I am amazed at how you just summarized that. Yes. So far, so good.
Yoni Mazor 37:14
Have a beautiful so thank you so much for sharing well, that I enjoyed it. And I learned a few new things, which I do appreciate. Okay, so unless you want to add anything more, we can now go to the final round, I want to touch two more things. The first thing is if somebody wants to reach out, reach out and connect, where can they find you? And the last thing would be is what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there?
Taylor Smits 37:33
Sure. So you can find my FBA prep at my M y FBA prep.com. And you can go to my FBA prep.com/blog. If you'd like to read any of our insights on E-commerce, I think you'll get a pretty good understanding of what we do. As far as inspiration for others. I was I love this question.
Taylor Smits 37:58
By the way, I was thinking about it over the weekend. And there's a Chinese proverb that I think about at least once a month and it goes like this. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today. When I was getting my start in E-commerce, many people I was listening to. I remember a Greg Mercer. He's the CEO of Jungle Scout, he was doing a podcast and I was listening to it. And it was getting to this point and someone said, what's your advice to new sellers?
Taylor Smits 38:29
And I was ready to write down whatever he was going to say. And I was going to live by and he said, Just get started. And I felt so let down I couldn't appreciate how important that is or how powerful that is. And now I do I can someone on your podcast. I think it was nice him from one of the I don't want to say the wrong one. But I think its elevates brands. He was talking about how Brian Neeson?
Taylor Smits 38:58
Yeah. Ryan Ryan was nice. Um, yeah, how he was saying, just going out there and trying it online is better than reading 100 books. And I was meaning as I was listening to that episode. So what we say internally, is my FBA prep is brick by brick, we build it one small brick at a time, keep your head down. And then you know, every quarter every year, if you pick your head up, you realize, well look at how much we built. But we just are trying to build our company one brick at a time. I think that Proverbs speaks to it, but you know, just start doing get in there. Beautiful. I
Yoni Mazor 39:33
Love that Chinese phrase, and I'm going to use it in the future. So keep a heads up on that. Yeah, the best time was 20 years ago, the second best time is right now. So I think that's a great word. And the second element to that is like you're saying that Rome wasn't built in a day it was built brick by brick. So let the first break and then then the next and the next. And you'll find after a while, that you're going to build your room with you and then with your design. So beautiful stuff. So Taylor, thank you so much again for joining us today. I hope everybody has enjoyed it, stay safe out Okay the next time
Taylor Smits 40:02
Yoni I've enjoyed this thank you