Earlier this year, CTC launched a new member benefit for shipping audits and refunds with partner 71 Pounds. To explore the company and its roots, CTC spoke to 71 Pounds founder Jose Li.
CTC: Jose, what was the inspiration for setting up 71 Pounds?
71lbs: I spent 20 years in the intersection of shipping, e-commerce, and logistics. I am fortunate to have sat on both sides of the shipping table - managing shipping and logistics for Jamba Juice, a medium size smoothie retailer with hundreds of stores and dozens of distribution centers as well as working for one of the major shipping carriers - running FedEx's Retail & eCommerce practice. During my last couple of years at FedEx, I worked with thousands of small and medium size businesses. I saw how they did not have the time, resources, tools, or knowledge to get their refunds. I thought there had to be a better way. This is why I started 71lbs.
CTC: What are the core services offered by 71 Pounds?
71lbs: We provide a Late Delivery Refund service where we audit FedEx and UPS shipments for late deliveries. If your overnight, ground, or international shipment is late - even by 60 seconds, customers are entitled to 100% of their shipping cost refunded. We have a 'set-and-forget' system where customers sign up for free, we audit their shipments, and file their claims electronically on their behalf. We notify customers of their weekly refunds via emails.
CTC: Do you find that the power of your analytics support small businesses or larger companies with global supply chains?
71lbs: One of my biggest insights while working at FedEx was understanding the pain points businesses have with regard to shipping. The #2 pain point small/medium/large businesses have in regards to shipping is in understanding their shipping costs. When building 71lbs, this insight was instrumental to our product. We display simple, powerful charts, graphs, and dashboards that allow companies to make better decisions regarding their shipping spend, and consequently, their businesses.
CTC: What alternatives do small businesses typically use for capturing shipping refunds?
71lbs: More than 80% of our customers did not know about the shipping refunds policy before they learned about the carrier's policy from 71lbs. For the small percentage that do know, it's a very cumbersome, manual, and inefficient process. They would mostly do it by hand, investigating one at a time.
CTC: Which commodity does 71 Pounds provide more for small business, time or money?
71lbs: Primarily money but time as well. We are very proud to serve thousands of customers. When customers sign up with 71lbs, we give them anywhere from $10 dollars to tens of thousands of dollars in refunds, depending on their shipping profile. Customers are really, really happy to receive unexpected shipping refunds that go back to their bottom line. If they were aware of the process, we are giving them time back to stay focused on their business - not on holding their carriers accountable to their Money Back Guarantee.
CTC: What do you charge companies to sign up?
71lbs: Currently, we do not charge a sign up fee. We only charge a contingency fee, at the end of each month, if we find them any savings. We share in the found money.
CTC: As you look at technology industries, how do you see your partnership with the California Technology Council helping to serve innovative companies?
71lbs: CTC is a great partner to 71lbs, as we look to market to innovative technology companies, who are always looking for cost savings as well as ways to remedy inefficiencies in their businesses.
Jose Li is founder and CEO of 71 Pounds. Prior to founding the company, Jose worked for a number of leading multinational companies from ExxonMobil to Alibaba to FedEx.
For more information on the 71 Pounds member benefit, please click here.
For more information on all CTC member benefits, please click here.