SCORE

Four Questions with Becky Riess, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Thumbprint Fulfillment

Becky Riess joined a CEO Roundtable at SCORE of Southeastern Michigan, and is already seeing tangible benefit as she continues to grow her business. Specifically, the work she's done and the input she's received during her SCORE CEO Roundtable has already proven beneficial in her presentations to investors!

We asked Becky to share her experience with the local startup community.

Q: Tell us about your business!

A: Thumbprint Fulfillment is a warehouse, distribution and fulfillment center that is focused on the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. We are located in Detroit and our goal is handle all of the non-revenue generating tasks that consume the time of business owners, such as inventory management, filling and packing wholesale and/or e-commerce orders, warehousing product, tracking orders, kitting and assembly of products, etc. Through the management of these tasks for companies, business owners can focus their efforts on sales growth. We train and employ women from Detroit to assist us with our fulfillment services. 

Q: How has SCORE helped you move closer toward achieving your dream of successful entrepreneurship?

A: I am a member of a SCORE CEO Roundtable group. The group consists of about 12 of us and our businesses are all unique, however we share similar challenges as we are striving for profitable growth. We have open discussion by each of us to provide an update on our challenges and successes since our last meeting.

One of our earlier discussions was focused on implementing EOS. Our warehouse and fulfillment company, Thumbprint Fulfillment, has experienced fast growth and we are exploring financing options to move to a larger warehouse. Two weeks ago, my business partner and I had a meeting with a financial investment company and a commercial banker. In planning for the meeting, I was thinking of all the things that I wanted the audience to not only know, but to remember about us. And it occurred to me that everything is captured on the EOS Vision/Traction Organizer. So, in preparation for the meeting, it was as easy as making copies of that document. The reaction at the meeting was surprising. One person, who was not familiar with EOS, was very impressed with the presentation. It addresses everything from who we are to where we are going and how we plan to get there. The two others at the table are very familiar with EOS, however they appeared to be surprised to see the document used in this manner. We loved the reaction. It felt great to have our information organized in one single document that can be used for future reference and updated as needed.

Q: What should other entrepreneurs know about SCORE that they might not be aware of?

A: SCORE has a vast array of resources. I think I’ve only tapped into a small share of what SCORE offers. However, what I do know is that every person that I have met from SCORE has connected me with additional resources and contacts. If they don’t have the answer, they will find it. I’ve been introduced to someone that can help provide us with a workforce that aligns with our mission of employing disadvantaged women from Detroit that we can train and provide a flexible work schedule. But for me, I am finding the CEO Roundtable group to be a fabulous support group that keeps me focused on “working on the business”! Being held accountable to the larger group is motivating!

Q: What will your business look like in 10 years, when your dream comes to fruition?

A: In 10 years my dream is to be on a beach enjoying umbrella drinks, playing golf and spending time with family and friends. To reach that 10-year dream, we have an aggressive growth plan to move our warehouse and fulfillment center to a larger facility in Detroit. Our original goal was to fill the unmet need in Detroit for a warehouse, distribution and fulfillment center that focused on the needs of small and medium-sized businesses in Detroit. What we have found is that, because of the attention that we provide to each customer and the customized services that we offer to our customers, we are an attractive solution to businesses that are located across the country.

It all goes back to the famous mantra that we learned in Goldman Sachs: we all need to “work on our business, and not in our business.” Well that is exactly what we offer to business owners. We can take care of the non-revenue generating tasks of warehousing product, filling orders, inventory management, sales reporting, and so much more. Our goal is to continually expand our warehousing to meet the demand for our services. In 10 years, we will be THE fulfillment center for small and medium sized businesses, not only in Detroit, but across the country!

Interested in joining a CEO Roundtable? Join us for an explanatory and exploratory session on October 10th: "Are You Ready for a CEO Roundtable?"