In spite of Internet driven commerce evolution (virtualization, connectivity, ecommerce, omnichannel, etc), inventory distortion is a $1.75T problem for retailers and suppliers—and it’s growing. In 1998, and not knowing any better, I dove headlong into this problem with a simple idea for an online ski swap that turned into my first startup GearTrade, an online marketplace for outdoor retailers to more successfully liquidate their overstocked inventory. As ecommerce began pushing changes into the supply chain, GearTrade’s customers asked for help with drop shipping.
As a result, in 2002 startup #2 Doba, a product sourcing and drop shipping virtual distributor solution for retailers, was born. Doba grew quickly and reached #23 (Jordan!) on the Inc 500 fastest growing companies list and consolidated over 2,000,000 SKUs from over 1,000 suppliers into its solution. In 2012, we spun Dropship Commerce out of Doba, as startup #3 with a team and the technology to be a drop shipping software and supply integration platform solution for retailers.
• We needed to change our product and our business model
• We needed to help move the ‘grow, evolve, and remain competitive needle’ up to 11 for retailers AND suppliers/brands
• We needed something different and crazy enough that could right the un-kept promises of ours to that point and of the current solution providers
• We needed something to attack inventory distortion head on.
Because a different world needs different solution providers. Because a unique platform that enables partnerships, combined with a fair business model, can fix the ineffective, inventory distorted retail supply chain. Because we have been working on solutions for inventory distortion (marketplaces, drop shipping, integration platforms) across 3 ½ companies over the last 18 years, and we guess somebody’s got to do it.