An entrepreneur is the heart and soul of a company, responsible for all day-to-day management decisions and realizing the company’s short and long-term vision. Jeremy Bodenhamer, Co-founder & CEO of ShipHawk, is the embodiment of that ideal, passionately working to build a value-driven business that democratizes retail shipping, enabling small and medium sized retailers to compete in a world currently dominated by Amazon. By fostering a strong, customer-focused environment and building a platform accessible to merchants of all sizes, Jeremy’s goal with ShipHawk is to take on some of the hardest challenges facing the online retailer and provide them with the tools they need to succeed in the ever-changing market.
A Sneak Peak into Jeremy’s Journey
Jeremy, who is also a frequent panelist and speaker on eCommerce Trends and Supply Chain Innovation, has been building businesses since he was 12 years old. He started his first company to help his family put food on the table and to fund his tuition to a Jesuit high school. During his years at Westmont College, Jeremy was first exposed to the shipping industry while working for a small executive services firm transporting items for business clients. Jeremy later noticed that a pack-and-ship store in the area had come up for sale a few times, and decided to make a play for it. With an all cash offer, borrowed from friends, family and credit cards, he bought himself a failing business. Within 30 months Jeremy turned it into one of the top performing stores of its kind.
It was while running this business that Jeremy realized what a significant barrier shipping was for eCommerce, in that accurate shipping costs were unavailable to the buyer and seller. Intent on solving this problem, Jeremy and his Co-Founder, Aaron Freeman (who subsequently became the owner of the pack-and-ship store), decided to partner in building a platform that would make shipping easy and accessible to eCommerce retailers of all sizes.
A Creative Man Motivated by the Desire to Achieve
The primary attribute that enabled Jeremy to be where he is today is the ability to tolerate risk. To get ShipHawk started, he sold his last company, sold his home, and worked for two and a half years without taking a paycheck. Somebody has to dive in and say, “Hey, this is worth solving,” and Jeremy decided that he would be that person. From a leadership perspective, his desire is for his team to operate with ultimate freedom. Jeremy fosters an environment where team members are rewarded for solving problems and taking ownership, rather than waiting for permission to make a move.
The Values Behind ShipHawk
Core values establish the vision, shape the culture, and determine the voice of a company, serving as the foundation of its identity. Jeremy firmly believes that this is what fosters an ideal working environment and equips the business to run smoothly. The following are the three pillars which he has built ShipHawk around:
Heart – Number one, it’s about the power of the team over the individual. As a team, it’s ShipHawk’s mission to do what is right, empower their customers, make them stronger, and contribute to their success.
Hustle – This is about taking action—seeing a problem and proactively taking on the extra work to fix it; being a catalyst for change.
Humility – ShipHawk believes that no matter how successful they are, serving customers is still their obligation. Customers should be just as victorious at the end as the company is.
Smart Strategies for Customer Empowerment
ShipHawk focuses on solving their customers’ hardest problems by zeroing in on the shipments that nobody wants to deal with. The company’s elegant approach towards business is helping these customers improve their margins and conversion rates, while reducing their customer service calls.
Jeremy proudly asserts, “If in 5 years, or 10 years, you think that independent merchants still exist, then we are the platform that is powering them. We are the platform that is going to work for those merchants every single day, helping to improve the experience that their customer’s get, and give them a greater power over their distribution.”