Back in 2010, James Hyde and James Strachan couldn’t find a modern fulfilment service for the eCommerce business they worked for, so they decided to build their own. Combining logistics best practice with agile tech development, they created the first digital-native fulfilment house.
Fast forward a decade and James and James has helped hundreds of online brands scale-up, becoming one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK and Europe. Today, their mission is to challenge the industry, create change for the better and deliver 100 million orders to happy customers.
We asked James Hyde to share his story.
How did you get to where you are today?
“I have a naturally enquiring mind – I like to understand how things work but also challenge the status quo. I studied Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Cambridge and then, after a failed venture, I got a temporary job with an eCommerce business along with James Strachan. We quickly discovered how outdated the fulfilment market was and that no one was actually using web technology. So, James and I decided to build our own platform! Today our award-winning, cloud-based order fulfilment software is serving satisfied clients worldwide and we have truly pulled the industry into the 21st century.”
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
“The biggest challenge by far has been change. Change in the sense of how my own job role has developed over the years and also in letting go of control and empowering others to make decisions to drive the business forward. In the very early days James and I did everything ourselves; from the invoicing to marketing, packing the orders and driving them to the post office. We even built our own temporary offices in the corner of a warehouse. Today my role mostly involves meeting with all departments to discuss strategy and help others make their own decisions.”
What’s your “why?”
“To improve how things are done. Our values are to challenge how things are currently done, create new solutions, and then to deliver what we’ve promised. That fits very strongly with how the company was created.”
You’ve grown exponentially, so where next?
“We’re planning to move to bigger and better premises in the near future while also continuing to expand operations in the US.”
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
“Set yourself a clear direction and plan of where you want to be. James and James have been hugely successful, but for the first five years we never really had a plan. While this had benefits in that we could quickly change direction, without a clear plan and vision it made it harder to get others aligned with the business. We’ve changed that now and have very clear plans for the future, but, in hindsight, I wished I’d spent more time on it before.”
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