Careers at Amber Road
Amber Road’s mission is to improve the way companies manage their international supply chains and conduct global trade.
In 1990 twin brothers James and John Preuninger founded Management Dynamics, a computer systems integration firm. In 1999 they created the first fully automated contract management system for shippers, carriers, and logistics service providers. Their goal was to automate the entire suppy chain to improve operating efficiences and financial performance for their clients.
In 2002, sensing an opportunity, they became primarily a software provider. Their focus was on global trade management (GTM) solutions, and they utilized a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, with most revenues being generated through customer subscriptions. At the end of that year they were able to raise $6.7 million in venture capital funding based on the company’s promise.
In 2011 the firm received another investment when Goldman Sachs provided $65 million to facilitate an acquisition. At the end of that year the men changed its name to Amber Road, a reference to the ancient trade route, believing it better reflected its business. By 2013 it had processed 600 million transactions and made 13 million updates to its online repository of trade regulations.
That same year Amber Road generated $52.5 million in revenues, up from $37.6 million in 2011. At this point its prominent clients included Tyco, Wal-Mart, and General Electric. In 2014 it completed an initial public offering, raising $96 million and becoming listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Amber Road’s software products now implement and track shipments around the world.
Business model of Amber Road
Amber Road has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at organizations of all industries and sizes.
Amber Road offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, performance, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It has acquired many firms since its founding, including BridgePoint (a provider of event management and supply chain visibility solutions), NextLinx (a provider of international trade compliance content and technology), and EasyCargo (a provider of trade management solutions). This strategy has enabled it to greatly expand its capabilities and diversify its portfolio.
The company demonstrates strong performance through tangible results. It claims its solutions can achieve the following:
- Reduce logistics costs by 5%-20%
- Shrink cycle and lead times by 20%-40%
- Lower transportation spend by 3%-18%
- Slash broker fees by 30%
- Streamline quality inspections by 50%
- Cut duties and taxes by 8%-100%
- Mitigate customs audits by 10%-50%
- Increase material/part utilization by 5%-24%
- Improve fill rates by 25%
Specific positive outcomes for clients include the following:
- A top auto parts manufacturer used Amber Road’s solutions to increase productivity by 40% and realize duty savings of as much as $27 million under processing trade
- A leading athletic footwear producer used Amber Road’s solutions to reduce shipment expediting costs, improve purchase order cycle times, and increase fill rates by 10-15%
- A global consumer products company used Amber Road’s solutions to improve business efficiencies, yielding more than $1 million in annual duty savings from qualifying for NAFTA
- A leading food manufacturer used Amber Road’s solutions to increase customs labor productivity and realize $40 million in annual duty savings by expanding its FTA programs from one to six
- A top beverage producer used Amber Road’s solutions to enhance order and shipment information availability and increase customer satisfaction with greater cycle time accuracy
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It bills itself as a leading provider of cloud-based global trade management (GTM) solutions, with content sourced from transportation providers and government agencies in 147 countries. Its prominent customers include Agilent Technologies, BMW, Cisco, Fujifilm, General Electric, Honeywell, Kraft, Levi’s, Siemens, and UPS. Lastly, it has won a number of honors, including the following:
- Recognition as one of SupplyChainBrain's Great Supply Chain Partners 12 years in a row
- Recognition as one of Inbound Logistics‘ 2016 Top Logistics IT Providers
- Recognition as one of one of Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine's 100 Great Supply Chain Projects
- The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 Award in the Technology category
- Recognition as one of the Top Private Companies of 2012 in the Mid-Atlantic region by AlwaysOn
Amber Road’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, search engine optimization and marketing, email campaigns, webinars, and participation in seminars, expos, forums, symposiums, and conferences.
Amber Road’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists customers in the following ways:
Support Services – The company provides customer service on a 24x7 basis. It goes beyond basic problem resolution and troubleshooting, with specific areas of support including the following:
- Data Quality Management – Monitors the flow of information for on-demand customers, sends alerts, and responds to content and message concerns
- System Monitoring - Proactively monitors business and information flow for anomalies related to external data sources
- Upgrades – Upgrades clients to the latest version of the software and offers data migration
- Global Trade Information Updates - Provides access to current industry data, ranging from duty and taxes to carrier accessorial charges to denied party lists
- Customizations – Provides customization services for interfaces/applications after initial implementation
Training Services – The company operates the Global Trade Academy, which provides instruction on a wide variety of supply chain topics, such as imports, exports, legal, purchasing, accounting, and warehouse. It offers the following format options:
- Public seminars/workshops (one-day seminars and two-day sessions)
- On-site training
- Live webinars
- eLearning courses
Amber Road also offers custom house broker (CHB) prep courses, specialty workshops on advanced classification, and certifications that can enable clients to demonstrate proficiency in a given area.
Professional Services – The company maintanis a team of business experts who share best practices and offer clients services in the areas of enterprise system implementation, trade compliance, international trade logistics management, and project management.
Despite this orientation, there is a self-service component. The company’s website features a “Resources“ section that includes useful tools such as white papers, analyst reports, case studies, eBooks, newsletters, brochures, webinars, infographics, podcasts, product tours, and videos.
Amber Road’s business model entails designing and developing its products for customers.
Amber Road’s key partners are its trading partners that integrate their solutions with its Enterprise Technology Framework in order to provide important trade content for its customers. Specific partners include IBM, Macrolynk, Oracle, and Process Weaver.
Amber Road’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineers that design and develop its solutions, the sales employees that promote them, the training/consulting employees that provide instruction/advisory services, and the customer service personnel that provide support. It has relied on outside funding, raising $6.7 million from three investors as of November 2002.
Amber Road has a value-driven cost structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent service enhancements. Its biggest cost driver is cost of revenues, a variable expense.
Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing, research/development, and administration, all fixed costs.
Amber Road has two revenue streams:
- Subscription revenues
- Professional services revenues (e.g., support, training, consulting)
info: James earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Drexel University. He previously worked at IBM, where he held several leadership positions in sales and marketing. He has more than 25 years of software industry experience.
info: Thomas is a graduate of the College of New Jersey. He previously served as an Assistant Corporate Controller and as Director of North American Accounting Operations at Cognizant Technology Solutions.
info: Nathan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA at Dartmouth College. He previously served as Senior Vice President Product Management at Triple Point Technology.
info: Glenn earned a degree at the DeVry College of Technology. He previously served as Systems Engineer Operational Specialist at IBM, where he worked for nine years. He has over 32 years of information technology experience.
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