Founder of Growing Platform, Toolots.com, Aims to Revolutionize Industrial Equipment Market
Toolots Founder Jason Fu addresses his employees in the 2017 State of the Company Address.
CERRITOS, Calif. - May 22, 2017 - Toolots Founder Jason Fu is building much more than his business, a full-service online marketplace based in Southern California that fuels the global manufacturing industry. The early veteran of industrial eCommerce and chief executive officer said he is building an “ecosystem” with Toolots – a platform to revolutionize the eCommerce marketplace for industrial machinery, equipment, and technology.
In remarks to all Toolots employees as part of his State of Company Address Friday, Fu outlined this message, envisioning the future of the company he formally launched in May 2016. The chief executive for Cerritos-based Toolots described his own personal journey as a business owner – the lessons learned, the ground gained, and effective strategies to push the enterprise far beyond a simple distributor of the tools of the manufacturing trade.
Fu, also Chief Executive Officer for Toolots, outlines the fiscal growth of the company he launched in May 2016.
With plans to streamline the current business model and develop nationwide brand recognition as the company’s international footprint expands, Fu pointed to recent growth in Asia, citing the establishment of Toolots Taiwan last month. The company has two additional facilities in China, located in Hangzhou and Ningbo, as well as a distribution center in Houston, Texas. But the growth isn’t limited to the physical realm. As part of the flourishing Toolots supplier network, Fu reported that more than 120 businesses from the United States and China have partnered with the California company to sell their industrial products – both domestically and internationally – on Toolots.com.
“We are adding a lot of new products on a daily basis,” Fu said. “We are moving along very fast.”
Providing genuine customer service is one of the most important components in any successful business, Fu said. As an immigrant from China who followed his dream of building businesses in the United States and becoming a U.S. citizen, the Toolots chief executive learned English, striving to be able to more effectively communicate.
In his first State of the Company Address, the Toolots founder spoke directly to all his employees and outlined the company's expansion plans.
When Fu arrived to the U.S. in 1996, he was motivated by his dream to open an online marketplace for industrial equipment. More broadly, he yearned to bridge the gap between U.S. and Chinese equipment manufacturers, fostering improved relations between both countries, he said. The language barrier leads to lots of dollars lost for companies, he said, and it demonstrates the need for clear communication – not only with customers and potential customers, but also employees and colleagues within the industry from around the world.
“For us new immigrants, we hit the same roadblocks, but we all succeed when we try,” Fu said.
The industrial space has additional roadblocks, the chief executive pointed out. Some customers are uncomfortable purchasing heavy machinery online, without the ability to see it in person, and are more accustomed to the traditional distributor model complete with segmented territories. Toolots changes that; the Cerritos showroom includes some of the most popular online items, and new machinery or stock is proudly displayed for walk-in customers, in addition to high-quality photos and videos of many products posted on Toolots.com.
Toolots engineers install a robotic device on a plastic injection molding machine to greatly speed up production.
Another roadblock for the industrial equipment industry, particularly eCommerce businesses, is providing effective warranty protection, service and maintenance to online customers in a simple way.
“After-sales service is the biggest barrier for industrial supply” Fu said. With the release of its companion smartphone application YuuTool, Toolots is redesigning how online marketplaces provide after-sales services to customers. By connecting users of industrial machinery with qualified service technicians, in a similar manner to the way Uber connects those in need of a driver with a quick, affordable ride, YuuTool brings people together. This focus on service distinguishes Toolots from its competitors and other providers of industrial equipment, Fu said.
“We’re providing big services through YuuTool. It’s all within the Toolots ecosystem, where everything has value,” he said.
Toolots Chief Strategy Officer ZeMing Gao speaks to the company's employees May 19 during a companywide address.
“The Toolots business model is revolutionary,” added Toolots Chief Strategy Officer ZeMing Gao, stressing how Fu intelligently constructed a vertical business that can be easily scaled to other horizontal markets.
A business only succeeds with its employees, Fu pointed out. Addressing all Toolots employees in a video broadcast in Mandarin and English, the chief executive said, “You are all part of the foundation, what we build upon. It is on this foundation that we are constructing a building, one that went from zero to something that will bloom.”
It is vital that each department within Toolots has a “good foundation,” he added, and strives to continually inject fresh vision through the hiring of powerful leaders.
“New blood is bringing big experience, and this will help us in ongoing efforts to continue building a great team,” Fu said. In the coming weeks, Toolots will have significant announcements about new executives joining the enterprise. Those announcements will be released soon.
Fu pivoted from discussion of Toolots, its business model and its growth to Alibaba, an eCommerce firm that has grown exponentially in recent years. Alibaba started as a simple directory of information, similar to Yellow Pages, to help manufacturers find and locate new suppliers. What began as a simple online platform created by Chinese national Jack Ma to provide an online marketplace of suppliers has evolved to become a behemoth as the world’s largest retailer, even surpassing Walmart in domination of the marketplace, according U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings in 2016. As of 2014, Alibaba had a market value of more than $231 billion.
Explaining that the key to Alibaba’s success was creating a platform to connect businesses worldwide and fulfill their needs, Gao suggested that Toolots is on track to one day become an influencer in the global trade environment.
“You want your platform to be so essential that you can’t imagine what life or business would be like without it,” Gao said, stressing the need to offer something completely original from your competitors. He is confident Toolots is that platform.