Today’s international business culture faces the daunting challenge of addressing the significance of integrating corporate management and sustainable development, amid mounting expectations for environmental and social responsibility. However, there are smaller firms that are working to make the world a better place to live, through offering solutions for systemic issues of unemployment, poverty, and sustainability.
Timroon, a manufacturing, and sourcing start-up based in Boston, Massachusetts is one company flowing with this tidal wave of change while remaining true to conscious social values. But to deliver its promise to clients and stay true to Timroon’s core values, the company gets a little help from some friends — WeWork and OCEANAIR.
Timroon utilizes WeWork South Station as its main office, while also maintaining a warehouse outside the city limits. OCEANAIR, a premier supplier of global logistics solutions and complex freight forwarding, is the global transportation for both WeWork and Timroon (and even sponsored this year’s WeWork Summer Camp). OCEANAIR’s agility and innovations have the ability to provide custom solutions for the needs of a start-up such as Timroon or a larger company like WeWork.
The root of the meaning of Timroon, as related to manufacturing, means “to maneuver to an area of strength,” and, based on the company’s current state of success, it is moving to a stronger position each day. Timroon follows a business model based on being a force for good and an engine for change. Driving this engine are the passion, values, and knowledge of Timroon’s founders, Adam and Marissa Goldstein, who come from the manufacturing industry as well as the start-up space. Each saw firsthand, through different lenses, the struggles that businesses face when dealing with production, both domestically and abroad.
With this husband and wife team at the helm, Timroon provides its clients with a unique combination of manufacturing and innovation, coupled with a broad depth of the start-up culture. Joining WeWork a little over a year ago, the couple utilizes the network of the WeWork community. One significant advantage of Timroon’s partnership with WeWork is the continually supply of high-quality consultants. “We can bring them on a project by project basis,” said Marissa Goldstein. As a result, Timroon can maintain a lower overhead but still find high-quality consultants.
Another advantage for the start-up is there are a fair amount of hardware companies in need of services, and WeWork provides an excellent opportunity to network with these firms. For clients outside the WeWork community, “the facilities are great to bring in prospective clients to meet with,” added Adam Goldstein. Fortunately for them, WeWork’s offices around the globe provide the perfect accommodations for the pair’s business destinations. “We travel a ton, and they have offices everywhere we go. We can network there. It’s been huge to growing our personal network,” Marissa said.
International travel and communication are becoming more common, and as a result, they have led to the quick rise in the production of goods and provision of services in one part of the world to all regions of the globe. Therefore, having an experienced partner in logistics and supply chain management like OCEANAIR offers many advantages to both WeWork and Timroon. Besides having a commitment to social responsibility, Timroon prides itself on mitigating risks and removing any manufacturing unknowns by managing the whole supply chain, and by streamlining the manufacturing operations for its clients.
There are numerous ways to ship things, but when you reach a certain size or quantity, having OCEANAIR take care of the logistics is an invaluable resource. “Logistics takes a lot of time and to have a logistics partner like OCEANAIR, I can remove myself from all aspects of the supply chain,” said Adam. He appreciates the availability of OCEANAIR’s team and customer service. The typical profile of a Timroon client is a young hardware start-up, with some funding and a proven concept. These businesses have a design but cannot manufacture on an industrial scale. And with OCEANAIR, he can handle all the umbrella of services for his customers. “We are a cog in the wheel that helps them grow,” he added.
While Timroon’s founders built the foundation on the experiences of Adam’s manufacturing background and Marissa’s history start-ups, a trip around the world in 2013 served as the catalyst for Timroon. The couple took a risk and sold their home to travel the world. From a business perspective, the trip came at an opportune time because some of Adam’s clients were ready to diversify in India and Vietnam. Through friends, colleagues, and networking, Adam and Marissa sought to find and cultivate relationships around the world with their future manufacturing partners. So, they spent a lot of time in the most cost-effective manufacturing countries of India, Vietnam, and Cambodia, building rapport and trust with right companies.
The pair particularly enjoys helping underdog innovators find ways to bring their ideas to life and products to market. Their expertise is not limited to an industry or a niche. They excel at creating, finding, and managing manufacturing programs. Timroon’s multidisciplinary team spans industrial knowledge in clothing, consumer products, electronics metals, plastics, and textiles. The team also has a knack with the latest trend towards the developing products for the “Internet of Things.” They can also provide a small company or individual with support through supply chain management, business development, marketing, and strategic planning.
Another issue many of these innovators face is developing trust from a foreign manufacturer. For example, entrepreneurs may find a factory on Alibaba to produce products. Because there are too many unknowns in the process, many designers scrap projects. Timroon provides client solutions by becoming, “an extension of client’s team and distribution,” Adam said. Without Timroon’s help, these customers would need to manage several more entities.
“We allow our clients to focus on their core business while we take care of their manufacturing in the role of a liaison,” he added. Through its domestic and global partners, Timroon has more influence and negotiating power than their clients would be standing alone.
However, for Timroon and its clients, finding the lowest price is not their only priority. “We must educate our clients on what the best price is,” said Adam. Timroon’s core values believe sustainable development does not compromise price, quality, and service. They make sure their partners are utilizing sustainable manufacturing and understand value engineering to minimize negative environmental impact. So, the couple spends three-to-four months abroad with their factories to maintain relationships and to ensure Timroon’s high-quality protocols remained in practice.
Timroon’s corporate responsibility has limitless borders, and that is why the company spends so much time educating their foreign partners to administer better business practices. These values also illustrate the company’s commitment to have a social component inclusive with its business relations. For example, Timroon has a partnership with the Fogarty Center in Rhode Island which provides full-time work opportunities for persons with disabilities. The workers assemble products in the U.S. for Timroon clients after they are produced in Asia.
Timroon’s management also wants foreign partners to treat employees with dignity and respect. The goal is for the workers in these factories “to live as good of lives as they can and make the most money possible,” said Marissa. They make certain the employees abroad are working around 60-70 hours, and they are of legal working age. The co-founders also require the manufacturing plant provide a substantial meal in the middle of the day for the workers, and pay a living wage. They encourage the business owners to give back to the communities and villages where these people are from and share the profits with the workers by paying them more.
Even though people around the globe feel more connected with each other than ever before, many are grappling with the circumstances arising from the global transformation happening through the expeditious flow of money and information. Fortunately, Timroon helps individuals, entrepreneurs, and small businesses get their ideas to commercial viability. But it’s also reassuring to know companies with a bold mission and compassion such as WeWork, OCEANAIR, and Timroon can thrive in this ever-changing environment, especially by working together and helping others.
The growing relationship between these three entities should not come as a surprise, even though each of them stems from different economic sectors. They all were once a fledging start-up that grew to promote a culture of transparency, quality, and reliability. As a result, hopefully, all three companies will continue to thrive on the creativity and engagement with each other as well as with their respective customers.
Images: Adam & Marissa Goldstein with Family; Gobi Gear — Day Hike; Gobi Gear — manufactured for camping and hiking; l’oceanpaddle — assembled at the Fogarty Center.