There’s a saying in military circles that amateurs talk about tactics, while professionals talk about logistics. Nate Faust isn’t a military man, but he is one of the most prominent minds in logistics today. As head of U.S. eCommerce supply chain and logistics for Walmart, he is in charge of one of the country’s largest shipping operations.
Faust is the lead speaker at the Princeton Entrepreneurs’ Network Startup Conference/Competition held Friday, May 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Friend Center at Princeton University. In addition to Faust, the event will feature panel discussions, a startup showcase, and a pitch competition. For more information, visit www.princetonen.org.
Before joining Walmart, Faust was cofounder and COO of Jet.com, acquired by Walmart in 2016. Jet.com is an inventive e-commerce website that upends the model of shipping pioneered by Amazon. At traditional e-commerce sites, customers may place an order that contains items from warehouses scattered all over the country. From the consumer’s perspective, this is just a bunch of stuff in a shopping cart, but to the seller it’s a logistical headache to move all the inventory around. At Jet.com, when customers place something in their shopping cart, they get discounts on items that are nearby that item in the warehouse, since it is cheaper for the seller to ship them this way. Essentially, Jet recruits the customer into making the entire supply chain more efficient.
At Walmart, Faust manages teams across inventory management, fulfillment, network strategy and optimization, operations engineering, and inbound and outbound transportation for Walmart US eCommerce to ensure products are always in stock and delivered on time and efficiently to customers.
Among Faust’s projects at Walmart was the 2017 acquisition of Parcel, a New York delivery company that specializes in same-day service for items such as frozen food. The city is a challenging environment for parcel delivery, since many residents don’t have front porches or doormen to leave packages. Parcel uses text messages to coordinate delivery with customers, who can select one of four one-hour windows to get their package delivered between 7 and 11 p.m. every day. The company’s vans proclaim the slogan “No doorman, no problem.” Walmart is also rolling out “click and collect” and grocery delivery service, which is now available in more than 50 cities.
Before Jet, Faust was a member of the senior leadership team and vice president of special operations at Quidsi, the parent company of Diapers.com, Soap.com, and other specialty sites, that was acquired by Amazon in 2011. At Quidsi, Faust led development of all of its operational systems and created one of the fastest delivery networks in ecommerce. Before Quidsi, Nate was a consultant at Oliver Wyman and worked in investment banking at Deutsche Bank. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned his undergraduate degree in operations research and financial engineering at Princeton in 2002.