Amazon hosts more than 1,500 entrepreneurs at the Ignite Digital Festival
This week, more than 1,500 owners from Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program gathered virtually at the Ignite Digital Festival to share knowledge and experiences and connect with Amazon leadership to help shape the future of customer delivery. In 2018, we launched our DSP program to empower aspiring entrepreneurs to build their own delivery companies from the ground up. With access to customized technology, a suite of exclusive services, and dedicated business coaches for ongoing support, entrepreneurs have created thriving small businesses. Since the program launched just over two years ago this summer, there are now more than 1,700 DSPs across the U.S., Canada, UK, Spain, and Germany who have created over 100,000 jobs in their communities. They’ve delivered more than 2.2 billion packages worldwide, using more than 50,000 Prime branded last mile vehicles—from electric vehicles to step vans to delivery vans—and generated over $5 billion in revenue for their small businesses. But owning a small business isn’t easy and so the Ignite Digital Festival provides a chance for owners to connect with other DSPs, get tips and share experiences.
The event was also an opportunity for Amazon to showcase the product and technology innovation developed over the past year to help DSP owners and their delivery associates. This year alone, Amazon launched over 250 program and product changes from routing updates and navigation improvements on the drivers’ delivery app to state-of-the-art, in-vehicle safety technology adjustments, and more than half of these changes came from ideas and feedback directly from owners and drivers.
“Amazon would not be where it is today without the DSP owners,” said John Felton, Vice President, Global Delivery Services. During a fireside chat at the Ignite Digital Festival, he shared what stood out most to him over this past year was how the DSP community goes the extra mile for the customer. “We’re proud of our partnership with the DSP community, they routinely go above and beyond to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for our customers, especially during the pandemic,” he said.
“I’m proud to be a DSP, and even prouder of the bond that I’ve developed with my fellow owners and with Amazon,” said Leah Ranalli, owner of HieQ Logistics based in Tucson, Arizona. “It’s amazing to see the level of investment that Amazon has made in the Ignite Digital Festival. It’s truly a special opportunity to celebrate as a community and learn from each other and the teams at Amazon, who are there to listen to us as much as to share all the cool new things they’ve been building for us.”
Read on to learn more about three unique and talented individuals who enhance our customer experience every day as a part of the Delivery Service Partner program:
Crystal Robinson, owner of Dominate Logistics
Raised in a small Mississippi town, Crystal Robinson knows the meaning of hard work. Her dad was the perfect example of hustling, working as a deputy sheriff during the week while creating and selling his artwork at art fairs across the state on weekends. The mentality of dedication, pride, and commitment to your craft was instilled in her at a very early age, and it’s one she takes with her to work each day.
Robinson, who has been running her delivery business for almost five years, said she has never felt more professionally or personally fulfilled as she does now. She credits her ability to keep her business running like a well-oiled machine to her background as a scientist. Robinson attended college in New Orleans where she majored in chemistry. Post-graduation, she was recruited by the Department of Defense as a physical scientist. For seven years, Crystal traveled the globe on Navy ships testing software for the DOD. While she enjoyed her job at the DOD, Crystal took the risk of stepping away from her secure job to follow her lifelong entrepreneur dreams when her husband received an offer to run his own business. The rest is history.
Today, she manages over 65 employees and a fleet of 37 vehicles. While she has always understood the importance of her work, things took on a different meaning in the face of COVID-19. Practically overnight, package volume doubled. Robinson’s motto has always been “people over packages.” And right now, those things are inextricably intertwined. As a leader, she has her finger on the pulse of her team at all times and routinely checks in with her crew to understand how they are holding up during these challenging times, always going the extra mile to help in any way that she can. Additionally, Robinson knows that with each package her team delivers, they are keeping one more person in their home and countless others safe.
Robinson strongly believes that it’s not just about business, it’s more so about growing people. She’s created an organization to help pay it forward by mentoring and coaching other women like herself. Her commitment to helping others goes beyond that, understanding deeply the impact of giving back to the community, she is also very involved with her local church’s efforts for their back-to-school assistance program.
Antonio Greene, Precise Logistics Delivery Associate
Life hasn’t always been easy for Antonio Greene. However, despite the financial hardships he and his family experienced while growing up in South Carolina, Greene’s mother always stressed how important acts of kindness could truly be. His mother’s lessons were instrumental in helping him to develop a positive attitude in all facets of life.
Recently, Greene has experienced a tremendous amount of loss, including the passing of his grandmother, his father, and his mother. Due to the pandemic, he lost his job as a maintenance person for a large hospitality group, where he worked for 15 years. Greene and his fiancée were scheduled to get married on a cruise in the Bahamas but were forced to change their plans. (Good news! As you can see in the photo, Greene and his bride recently shared their vows in a small church wedding via a virtual ceremony for family and friends).
It was during the hard times that he leaned on his faith to keep him strong and motivated. With his four children on his mind, Greene’s priority was to find a job that would help him provide for his family. It was then that he turned to Amazon. Antonio began working as a delivery driver for Precise Logistics in May, delivering packages along the same route twice a week where he is known for his positive attitude and friendly spirit.
He takes great pride in his new job and has built strong relationships with many of the people in the community he serves. Recently, he noticed a sign on the door while delivering a package to the home of a customer who has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. Antonio left the package at the front door and returned after his lunch break with flowers and a heartfelt card. A week later, he stopped by again just to check in on the customer. This act of kindness resulted in an unexpected bond when the two met through the window.
Today, Greene said he loves his job, and in fact, he turned down an offer to return to his previous maintenance position just weeks after he began his job with Precise Logistics.
William Boyd, owner of Alpha Zulu Logistics
Growing up in a military family, Will Boyd was raised in Hawaii before moving to Alabama at the age of 13. He later enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003. After the war, Boyd attended Army Engineering School where he focused on aerospace. To this day, he’s still an active service member in the Army Reserve and splits his time between fulfilling his military duties and working with Amazon.
It was Boyd’s wife, Sarah, who encouraged him to apply for Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner program. Working with Amazon and being a DSP owner has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life so far, he said.
When the pandemic began, Boyd made sure all of his employees had proper PPE. He even enlisted the help of his 99-year-old grandmother to help make masks for workers and drivers. Being deeply engrained in the community is important to Boyd and with his Alpha Zulu Logistics team, they are dedicated to serving their community and fellow veterans by regularly supporting local charitable organizations.