Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Winter 2005Kellogg School of Management
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Bill Angrick '95, Jaime Mateus-Tique '95 and Asad Haroon
From left: Bill Angrick '95, Jaime Mateus-Tique '95 and Asad Haroon '88

Alumni Profile: William P. Angrick III '95, Asad Haroon '88 and Jaime Mateus-Tique '95

Supply chain gains
Inventory that's water under the bridge for others brings a torrent of success to Kellogg alumni at Liquidity Services Inc.

By Kari Richardson

Class of 1995 graduates William P. Angrick III and Jaime Mateus-Tique credit the Kellogg School for a solid grounding in entrepreneurship.

While earning their MBA degrees, they worked through hands-on classes in new venture formulation and marketing new products, organized entrepreneurship conferences — a technology entrepreneurship conference Angrick helped found continues to this day — and participated in clubs organized around their shared interest.

Their management education also set the stage for a more elusive, but important, part of their present entrepreneurial success: a strong friendship and partnership.

"Finding the right partner is one of the most important aspects of succeeding in business," Mateus-Tique says. "You simply cannot make it without that."

Today their 6-year-old company, Liquidity Services Inc., is a great success. According to its Web site, the Washington, D.C.-based firm, which specializes in helping businesses and government agencies dispose of obsolete and discontinued inventory, had revenues of $76 million for fiscal year 2004. It now employs some 300 people and encompasses 2 million square feet of warehouse space, becoming the fourth-fastest growing firm in America according to Entrepreneur Magazine.

The firm is getting noticed. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award was recently granted to Liquidity's founders, including Benjamin Brown. Asad Haroon '88, the company's CMO, has also been a key contributor.

Upon graduation from Kellogg, Angrick, who is chairman and CEO, and Mateus-Tique, who is president and COO, followed their professors' advice to gain experience and build skills by joining a company before venturing out on their own. Angrick began his career as an investment banker working with high-growth e-commerce, and Mateus-Tique signed on as an associate with a large consulting firm, tackling supply chain and media issues.

After years working on their own, Angrick and Mateus-Tique found a way to combine their new media savvy and knowledge of business services in an entrepreneurial venture. The idea was to help businesses and government agencies manage the "reverse supply chain" — remarketing of retail customer returns, overstock products and unwanted inventory that can consume warehouse space and drain energy from moving finished goods through the firm's forward supply chain.

With its online marketplaces, which include, and, the firm uses the Internet to match buyers and sellers in business-to-business transactions in much the same way eBay does with smaller-scale sales. But instead of bidding on one rare record or a used children's toy, the company's professional buyers typically compete for bulk quantities of items such as power tools, digital camcorders, printers or "any product sold by a big box retailer," Angrick says. The average sale on the sites totals about $1,000 and the typical quantity ranges from one pallet of goods to a truckload.

Before and after online sale, Liquidity Services helps buyers and sellers manage their transactions by offering assistance with inbound shipping and storage, inventory inspection and organization, development of a sales or marketing plan, payment collection and outbound transportation.

"Before turning to Liquidity Services, many of our customers handled this process with paper and pencil and fax and spreadsheet," Angrick says. "We believe this new model is a best practice for corporations to manage products in the reverse supply chain."

The firm's online marketplaces attract buyers from 116 countries, who typically resell, refurbish or export their purchases — or turn around and sell them on eBay. Angrick estimates that about one-quarter of buyers are themselves the large-volume eBay entrepreneurs known as "Power Sellers."

All merchandise is sold on an as-is basis with Liquidity Services receiving a fee based on the gross merchandise sales value. Sellers remain confidential; Liquidity Services even offers to remove trademarks if a company wishes.

The bottom line, according to Angrick and Mateus-Tique, is that Liquidity Services' approach to selling unwanted inventory creates competition that benefits business and government alike.

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University