In 2017, AMS Fulfillment became a B Corporation by making a commitment to be “good for the world.” B Corporations (aka benefit corporations) make a legal agreement to consider the company’s employees, the community and the environment as stakeholders along with clients and investors. As a B Corporation AMS is unique among fulfillment companies.
For many years AMS has worked with community organizations, hiring individuals with disabilities, justice-involved individuals, the homeless, single mothers and fathers, at-risk youth, and others who face challenges in finding employment. Betty-Lou Wiseman, President of AMS Fulfillment West had this to say about her commitment to employees and the community.
“I have been very much involved with the community. In the past two years, we have ramped up our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts in hiring, promoting, and training. We are invested in our employees and our community as well.”
AMS Fulfillment has been recognized as one of 20 Admired Companies Which Everyone Should Know in 2022 by Global Business Leaders Magazine. Below is an interview with Betty-Lou Wiseman, about the past, present, and future of AMS.
AMS was formed in 2002 by David and Jay Catlin. They took it from a packaged media (DVD/CD) company to a new fulfillment entity called Advantage Media Services, Inc. (AMS). AMS was organized with the capacity to assemble products and displays, warehouse and manage finished goods inventory, fulfill orders, and process returns.
My husband, Ken Wiseman, and I joined AMS in 2004, with Ken serving as CEO while I held progressive positions within the company, learning all aspects of the fulfillment business. Over the years AMS continued to grow into an impact player in the world of 3rd Party Fulfillment. I stepped into the position of President in 2019 when AMS sold the majority stake of the business to a private equity firm with a strong presence in the logistics industry, Fort Point Capital. Ken has since retired, after many years of service.
AMS is a full-service fulfillment company, meaning that we offer services that other companies may not offer. One such service is an administrative back office for clients that wish to focus on marketing and growth. We understand that our clients may not have the time or resources to handle the complete range of operational tasks required to grow their business, so we handle it all other than manufacturing and marketing. In essence, we become our clients’ Operational Partner. Our staff is experienced, and our technology is state-of-the-art.
As you can imagine in the world of fulfillment there are many challenges and out of those challenges you have moments that are inspiring. Becoming a true Operational Partner with our clients was an approach that I took to heart. As Executive VP of Client Services, I worked on a client for a year where we managed their entire US business. I felt I could not expect my team to know this if I didn’t, so I managed this account with some important team players in Client Services. Managing an account where you become a full extension of the client’s business is what truly incorporated our Partnership Approach at AMS. It was a challenging time and inspiring as well.
When the pandemic struck in early 2020 it was an incredible challenge for all of us, but one that we have navigated successfully on behalf of our clients and employees. AMS focused on maintaining a safe workplace and making sure employee health and well-being was our number one priority. At the same time, we did all that was necessary to deliver on behalf of our clients, supporting a rise in e-commerce order activity. Our leadership team really came together when the pandemic hit.
Today there are new challenges related to global and national supply chain constraints. Surging costs and delays in supply chain logistics have had a dramatic impact on our clients. Competition for labor has been a challenge as well. I’m thankful that we’ve managed to bring in new team members despite the competitive landscape, and I believe the reason for that is our B Corporation culture.
I believe what is most unique and most admirable about AMS is our B Corporation commitment and our culture. Our work culture at AMS is an example to others of what can be achieved. For several years AMS has offered our employees free training and educational classes during work hours. A significant number of employees have taken advantage of these classes.
AMS’ work culture is one where employees know their importance to the company and the success of our clients, and they know that we are committed to their safety. Because of the training we do, AMS has a safety record that is outstanding in the industry, with loss-time injury being a very rare occurrence. During the COVID pandemic, AMS undertook full responsibility for employee protection, going well beyond CDC recommendations in our warehouses and office environment.
Key Milestones for the next 6-12 months will be to reach full success in managing clients within AMS along with a strong partnership with our clients. After the East Coast Acquisition, this includes feeling confident that we are fully integrated as one company.
Joining AMS in June 2004 as Executive Vice President of Client Services, Betty-Lou draws from significant experience involving progressive positions including 12 years of Operations, Production Management, and Interim Director’s position with ARAMARK; 4 years of Senior E-commerce Project Management; 3 years of Accounting, overseeing client invoicing, payroll, and operational reporting; due diligence team member overseeing corporate acquisitions; several years concurrently overseeing HR Management and Customer Service teams; and over 15 years directing Client Services within the fulfillment industry.
In May of 2019 Betty-Lou was promoted to President of AMS Fulfillment after participating in the acquisition of AMS by Fort Point Capital. Regarding her increasing responsibilities, Betty-Lou said, “I’m very excited to be a part of AMS’ growth and national expansion, and proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team.”
Betty-Lou has served on the Board for the SCV Domestic Violence Center and is an avid supporter of fundraiser events supporting the local SCV Sheriff Station, SCV Search & Rescue, Senior Concerns, multiple youth organizations, and Single Mothers Outreach. Upholding AMS’ commitment as a B Corporation, with a strong focus on service to the community, Betty-Lou works on the Volunteer Champion Committee. This Committee volunteers for an event every month and collaborates in organizing volunteer events supporting organizations in the SCV Community.