An Interview with our COO
Updated: Sep 30
Last week, we were able to sit down with the CEO of Black Mountain to learn the fundamentals of fulfillment and what inspirations led Brian into the business. However, Black Mountain has another man also at the helm of this eCommerce-based train engine. Let's meet our COO James Petronella.
To understand the different methods applied both on the ground floor and for the company's betterment; we will be asking James the same questions we asked our CEO.
What's your story in summary that led you to Black Mountain?
Black Mountain was born out of a want to treat every customer like they were the only customer in the world. After working in other jobs where customers were considered expendable, both Brian and I saw a void that could be filled. I've always looked at life and business as working in harmony, sure different decisions can drastically change the face of either one, but for the most part, those decisions always come from a good place.
Where do you see Black Mountain in the next 5 years?
Honestly, the sky is the limit for us. We exceeded our 5-year plan by year 2 and haven't looked back. I believe there is a need for what we do and with growth exceeding 800% to date at this point, I don't see any reason why we can't exceed the 10-year plan by the end of this year.
Comparing yourself with other competitors, what do you plan on improving that you think BMF needs in order to succeed over the competition?
Overall I try not to compare our operation to anyone else. My logic is that we all do the exact same thing, take an item put it in a box, and then ship it. Sure there are different aspects such as automation, software, or carrier services. For the most part though, it's the team we have that continually impresses me. I guess the one thing that we don't have but need is more space. It seems that each time we secure a larger facility we acquire 2 or 3 larger clients and need to expand yet again. Hopefully, with BIG plans on our horizon, we will be able to quadruple our size and sit tight for a year or 2 before having to expand again. By then we will begin focusing on continental and then global expansion.
What does BMF already do differently from competitors that you think makes us better?
I've always said that business is never personal, but that business needs to be personal. By providing our customers with direct access to a dedicated account manager and having a dedicated team set up specifically for their product fulfillment. This way we eliminate the randomness of the overall process.
If you had a message to relay to your past self that would better yourself as a businessman what would it be?
If I had the keys to Brian's time machine, I'd probably tell my past self a lot of things about what life is like today. Most likely I'd tell myself to invest in Vitamin water, buy bitcoin and never give up on a dream. In business, however, I wouldn't change a thing. The struggles that brought Brian and I to this point have shaped who we are in business. We've learned from our mistakes and we've learned from our successes. It's those things that define who you are in all aspects of life. If you train your mind to be calm in business it will carry over into your day to day, also having Andrea by our side has certainly helped a lot too. She is part of the foundation for BMF and helps balance Brian and myself when it comes to certain internal decisions; By bringing us a clear and unbiased perspective.
What's your favorite aspect of working in the fulfillment business?
There are so many things I love about this industry. I love the fast-paced environments and love the culture we've built here at BMF, it truly is a team striving towards one goal. If our customers are happy and their customers are happy then at the end of the day we did our job.
Any remaining comments
I'd say my absolute favorite part of being a part of BMF and looking at this thing we've built is knowing that we are providing jobs to people with the ability for them to start on the ground floor and make a career working for this company. Giving men/women a second chance is more precious than all the money in the world.
Well, there you have it, back-to-back interviews from the top executives at Black Mountain. A company that is surpassing all expectations and taking the eCommerce market by storm. We hope these posts shed some light on the BTS of fulfillment and influence others in the market.
We will be back next week to talk more about eCommerce and what key differences to look for between