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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year saw more outstanding entries than ever before. So we thought we would highlight some of the bright and innovative nominees who just missed Top 30 by a wink. Behold, our 2011 30under30 Honourable Mentions! More.
Leigh Williams, VIC (b. 1982)
Name: Leigh Williams
Age: 29 (Born: June 1982)
The burgeoning world of online retail is steadily finding support among companies that speak the same language. One of the most hard-charging examples is Leigh Williams’ warehousing and shipping firm, eStore Logistics.
Williams is the founder and CEO of eStore. When it comes to describing what his company offers in comparison to competitors in the third-party logistics (3PL) game, he doesn’t mince his words.
“Traditional 3PLs are running archaic warehouse management systems that are not geared to provide low-cost, efficient logistics services to online retailers. Instead, their systems are a “one size fits all” generic solution,” he says. “They pick orders inefficiently, lack the IT architecture to ensure dispatch accuracy and are charging too much for a sluggish service.”
Williams has pushed eStore Logistics to develop IT processes that fine-tune the details of warehousing and shipping, allowing his company to highly customise services for each client. Since its birth in 2009, eStore has “fueled tremendous growth in online retail,” he says.
How much so? The company boasted 288% annual growth in 2010 and today has 18 employees. In fiscal 2010-11, eStore Logistics dispatched more than 200,000 orders and more than 800,000 individual items, logged 99.9% order accuracy and dispatched all orders within 24 hours.
Williams — a finalist for the 2011 Young Professional award from Logistics magazine — says his greatest achievement thus far was straightening out the logistics for a unidentified, $20 million-a-year online company, rapidly plugging in a cost-effective service and creating “very happy consumers.”
That said, selling his aggressive vision to larger retailers (his company is happy to take on bricks-and-mortar clients, too) has been his biggest challenge. “I quickly learnt that instead of bidding for 100% of the business, I should bid for smaller parts in order to prove the eStore Logistics model and build trust in our innovations,” he says. “Once proven, we had businesses begging for that 100%.”
He also enjoys that the growth of his company offers a counter-argument to people who lament that online retail is costing jobs. “I identified that this was a discussion we could enter that would create publicity,” he says, “and it certainly did!”
Anthill asks: Leigh Williams, what’s your superpower?
“My ability to be highly analytical and persevere when designing systems and processes to ensure the outcome is the most cost-effective solution. I can switch from making big, new business deals with a prospective client to diving head-first into 30,000 lines of code in a matter of seconds.”
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.