Rafael Zakinov, Founder + CEO
“Part of being a leader in the brave new world is being brave yourself. Rafi has always exhibited the greatest asset of entrepreneurship: courage, that willingness to take risks in the face of uncertainty because you believe in what you’re doing and what you’re building.”
Ruby Has Fulfillment founder and CEO Rafael Zakinov “Rafi” has been in the ecommerce business since he was 14 years old when he started picking, packing, and shipping orders for his brother’s Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) ecommerce business.
In college Rafi went on to start his own omnichannel DTC ecommerce business out of his dorm room, a reseller of luxury eyeglasses and watches. The business rapidly outgrew his dorm and Rafi moved into a Queens, NY office space where he was fulfilling 1,000 orders a day. It was at this time that he first heard the term ‘third-party logistics’ or 3PL. As his entrepreneurial efforts only kept rising and his business kept growing, Rafi discovered there was a void in the 3PL space that needed to be filled.
Rafi realized that fulfillment technology was in the dark ages with no automation whatsoever. He also found there weren’t a lot of 3PL options for DTC fulfillment in the market, so he had to figure out the process for himself. In doing so, he learned he had a knack for logistics and could help other entrepreneurs and brands overcome the same obstacles with his experience, innovation, and vision. And so, although his watch business was the #1 seller in various luxury categories on eBay for several years running, Rafi knew his future was in ecommerce fulfillment. From that moment, the Ruby Has mission was born.
An Entrepreneur with Vision
There were no other options for Direct-to-Consumer small package fulfillment at the time that Rafi got into the 3PL game, and plenty of other problems existed with storage, inventory, and logistics.
“I experienced every ecommerce nightmare imaginable and now I’m helping other ecommerce entrepreneurs do all the stuff I hated to do.” – Rafael Zakinov
In 2011 Rafi began beta testing Ruby Has Fulfillment services to friends and family who were also selling online. In 2013, Ruby Has moved into its own 17,000 sq. ft. warehouse with 16 ft. ceilings. One of the first automations applied at the facility was the immediate installation of overhead conveyors, which was unheard of for a small 3PL at the time. The business exploded.
“We made it really easy for DTC brands to work with us because we knew what they were trying to do. We understood they needed same day shipping, automation, paperless systems for orders, and inventory tracking. We knew how to scale up for peak periods. We knew the integrations. And we knew what other players in the industry like eBay and Amazon needed. Because of that, we started growing like crazy.” – Rafael Zakinov
The 3PL Expansion
In 2014 Ruby Has moved into a 75,000 sq. ft. warehouse on Long Island in Bay Shore, NY and it became the company’s headquarters. Ruby Has began taking on larger, more diverse clients that were not just selling DTC, but to major retailers like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Walmart. These clients had complex B2B requirements so Ruby Has acquired a B2B logistics firm to bolster fulfillment capabilities. The company began to expand across the country, acquiring warehouse space in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Las Vegas, and Toronto, Ontario.
In 2016 Ruby Has ranked #272 overall on Inc. Magazine‘s list of the 5,000 fastest growing privately owned companies in the U.S., with 3-year revenue growth of 1,458%. RH has made the Inc. 5000 list every year since then.
Growing in Today’s Ecommerce Market
In 2020, Ruby Has acquired EasyPost Fulfillment Services and finalized the purchase just as the Covid-19 pandemic shut down warehouses across the nation. Despite the initial difficulties, the purchase expanded the company’s capacity by 25% and added a warehouse in Kentucky, broadening its footprint to the Midwest. That same year, RH moved into a newly-built 374,000 sq. ft. facility in Las Vegas, tripling warehouse space there, and expanded to a facility in the United Kingdom as well.
Year over year growth from 2019 to 2020 was an impressive 30%. As of February 2021, Ruby Has manages over 1,000,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space in seven fulfillment center locations and can reach 94% of the U.S. with 2-day delivery.
Differentiation Driving Innovation
Aside from Jeff Bezos, Rafi is the only founder of an ecommerce fulfillment company that actually started in ecommerce. Every other company either started in transportation/distribution, or started in Silicon Valley as a thought experiment that they built a fulfillment company around. Rafi did the opposite. He built the company first, experienced all the real-world problems that come with physically moving goods around, and then began building the technology to solve those problems. This kind of experience is what has let Ruby Has Fulfillment continue to grow and thrive, even amidst the massive challenges of the Covid pandemic when other companies fell apart. Rafi has always used his experience to find a better way forward and Ruby Has is in a better place now because of it.
And both Rafi and Ruby Has are just getting started!
Under Rafi’s leadership, Ruby Has is bringing in big business solutions with robotics and integrated technologies to small and medium DTC businesses around the world so they can quickly scale to meet fluctuating demand. The plan is to keep moving forward, always.
With clear vision, high moral and business standards, and creative, determined thinking, Ruby Has will continue to increase its presence globally, expand the company’s capabilities for international fulfillment, grow through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and invest in technology that enhances the 3PL’s efficiency and results.
Continue reading HERE to learn more about Rafi, his approach to business, and what makes Ruby Has a standout in the fulfillment industry and ecommerce development.
GET STARTED WITH RUBY HAS FULFILLMENT
Request a quote today, and get started with fulfillment services and solutions customized to meet all of your fulfillment needs. Ruby Has guarantees the highest level of customer service, fully integrated inventory management systems and nationwide fulfillment from our network of shipping centers. Put our experience to work for your business.