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We are working with Goodwill Southern California in their search for a Director of Online Sales based in Ontario, CA 91758. GSC operates 65 retail stores, 42 attended donation centers, three campuses and 24 services locations in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Donated clothes and household goods provide a vital revenue stream that allows Goodwill to offer critical job-development services to thousands of local residents.

The client seeks an Online Sales Director to identify, develop and execute strategies that enhance the value of the company’s online business. The successful candidate will work with their team in planning, developing and implementing new initiatives and advancing the company’s position in marketplace of reselling goods.

That means you’ll be responsible for managing the life cycle of products, including the product planning and market research, development and rollout, communication and feedback from partners and consumer base, and the on-going lifecycle management of the products. The Director of Online Sales will be responsible for creating and executing the roadmap for the company’s online business.

It’s a VERY big job.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: Anyone who thinks that for-profit companies have a monopoly on good ideas has another thing coming. I’ve done hundreds the project kickoff calls, and in terms of their inventiveness, aggressiveness, and willingness to experiment with their business model, the management team at Goodwill Southern California are in the top 5%. These folks are getting a lot of things right.

Using the tagline “We transform lives through the power of work,” the focus of Goodwill Southern California is on finding people jobs. Since 1916, Goodwill of Southern California (GSC) has enhanced the quality of life of people with disabilities or other disadvantages by providing education, training and job opportunities to assist them in becoming more self-sufficient and productive.

It’s a fantastic cause.

GSC makes money through the sale of donated goods, and they manage their expenses very closely – with the profits going back to GSC. It’s a fairly typical retail environment, with all expenses and revenues being managed the same way as a for-profit retailer. All of the industry-standard retail metrics are monitored, including … Unit analysis; inventory turns; GM ROI; price / cost ratios; and margins / markup analysis. If you know anything at all about retail economics, you will feel right at home here.

A diverse customer base …

People shop at GSC for a variety of reasons. Some businesses buy GSC’s donated product to resell it. Some consumers are environmentally friendly and like to purchase preowned items. Other consumers are sport shoppers and treasure hunters who are looking for a great deal, while other fans of GSC are underprivileged and shop there because it’s so affordable. Rich or poor, business or consumer, it doesn’t matter. Once people shop there, they tend to return over and over. The merchandise is always in fantastic shape in the retail stores are impeccably managed.

Selling books and Media online

Currently, GSC’s online retail business revolves around used books and media, most of which are sold on its popular Amazon store.

This is not a small business: GSC does $250,000-$350,000 per month in book and media sales. That’s 800 to 1000 online orders per day to different addresses. The listing goal is 3000 units per day, and getting products listed on the site is hugely important. There are bottlenecks, and you’ll have to deal with those, so bone up now.

Additionally, management feels it should be running 30-40% to the bottom line because there is no brick-and-mortar infrastructure through this channel, yet the skyhigh Amazon fees take their toll. Management wants an efficiency minded ecommerce executive to better understand how GSC can improve the profitability of this channel.

GSC means business, so you’d better bring your A-game.

GSC’s ecommerce budget for 2012 is $3 million, and management would like to see that grow to $10 million by 2015. But growth isn’t as pressing as efficiency. GSC needs an experienced online retail executive to look at the potential channels and optimize the economics of the business. That means getting postage costs down (FedEx is hounding GSC for business); getting average order values up; getting the number of orders up; getting labor costs down; getting marketing costs down; and more. Your job is to Git-R-Done.

Additionally, GSC has an incredible opportunity to get into the collectibles category. They have the product in inventory throughout 70 facilities. Some very high-margin stuff, too — like a $6,000 painting by Salvador Dali. But there’s a whole logistics and supply chain piece that needs to be assembled for the collectibles business to be profitable. How will that work? Should they ship it out of one location? Multiple locations? Who will handle the product photography? Who will write the descriptions? Who will price it? Who will list the product, and on what marketplace?

You decide.

Think of it this way: If you were a venture capitalist and you were thinking of buying 100% of GSC’s ecommerce business, what would you change about it? You will want to come to the interview with some ideas.

And you’ll need to be creative too, because these are creative people. For example, one GSC executive developed a program that would allow schools to receive $1500 cash for every trailer load of product they donate. So, instead of fund raising with the car wash, the schools can simply parking Goodwill trailer out front and turn it in when it is full. Ka-CHING.

A few other GSC executives developed a program called “Got Your 6,” which means “Got your back” in military speak. This is an initiative oriented towards finding jobs for 500,000 ex-military people over the next 3 years. Tom Hanks is on board. So is Sarah Jessica Parker. So is Michael Douglas. And Alec Baldwin. Great idea, and it’s driving a ton of great mojo to GSC.

ABC’s Ted Koppel used to say “Pessimists calculate the odds. Optimists believe they can overcome them.”

GSC’s fearless management team is mentally hardwired to make the world a better place. Throughout the call, I kept saying to myself “I had no idea …”. For example, last year GSC recycled 8.1 million pounds of paper, which is the equivalent of 70,000 trees. 7.3 million pounds of electronics stayed out of landfills because of their activities. Nearly 60,000 job seekers received skills-assessment, employment training and job placement services. Truly, Goodwill SoCal is a force for good in a world where such things are few and far between.

You should work there.

What We Are Looking For:

  • Strong entrepreneurial spirit with the ability to see beyond the short-term and work toward goals that will set us on the right path for long term success and sustainability.
  • Communication with excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Relationship building with the ability to establish and maintain a professional relationships with internal and external business partners, sales prospects and vendors.
  • Innovation with the ability to identify and implement the addition of new product categories.
  • Training and developing of team on the education of products, including conducting informational sessions and serving as a subject matter expert.
  • Accountability, meeting timelines and deadlines.
  • Leadership; engaged in the day-to-day activities understanding businesses progress, provide guidance where needed, ensure adherence to plans/expectations/methodology, hold teams and individuals accountable for milestones and deliverables.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 5-7 yrs experience in on-line businesses, including new business start-up.
  • Proven strong on-line business expertise, with a keen understanding of business needs and ability to ensure sound solutions, strategies, practices, and governance to deliver the business and a great customer value.
  • Successful track record in delivering agreed upon business objectives and performance on key metrics.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute online marketing programs that drive sales and profit growth.
  • Proven ability to acquire new customers and retain existing ones.
  • Passion for multi-channel retail, technology, e-Commerce, the internet, and marketing.
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage web analytics platforms/tools (Google Analytics, Web Trends, Core Metrics, etc.) to drive results.
  • Established ability to thrive in a fast-paced, multi-tasking, team-oriented environment.
  • Demonstrated initiative, creative problem-solving skills, organized.
  • Proven leadership skills, including the ability to influence peers and external partners.
  • Ability to learn on the fly, react quickly, and prioritize efficiently in response to changing needs and situations.
  • Ability to recognize and anticipate business trends and opportunities and respond quickly.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure in order to meet project deadlines.
  • Extensive experience in online commerce (Amazon, Ebay, etc); including order processing and customer service

UPDATE: This search is now closed.

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