This is a guest post from Jude Watkins, founder of Ameriloop.
In life, there are few events that will change you like the birth of your first child. Shortly after our sons birth in 2010, my wife Mary and I really started to look at our country and its economic state in a different way. We realized just how bad the economic outlook was getting. We began thinking about our son’s future and how he would manage to support himself and his family, as well as future generations. So, we set out to try and create a way to help insure he would grow up and prosper in the America we know and love today.
Jobs and economic progress were at the top of our list. At first, we thought a brick and mortar all American store would be great. As it turns out, the upfront cost would have been too much, so that idea was off the table. Then one morning, the idea of connecting American businesses together with each other and their customers just kind of hit me! Outsourcing was the culprit behind the loss of millions of American jobs, and insourcing is the way to get them back. What if there was a free online service to connect American manufacturers, farmers, retailers, suppliers and their customers? If these groups of producing businesses were still here in the states, surely they would want to connect and try to help make each other stronger. Jobs would be created if we could facilitate business to business (b2b) and business to consumer (b2c) relationships… Ameriloop was born!
By the spring of 2011, we hired a web development team in the upstate NY area. From there we started the functionality planning and design. We wanted Ameriloop to be as useful and user friendly as possible. Our philosophy is the better the tool the quicker the job gets done! Long story short, after almost 2 years of development, we launched Ameriloop live on the internet April 18th 2013.
The vision for Ameriloop is to make an online community of American businesses and their customers that could positively impact the US supply chain at any point, increasing the amount and availability of American made products. All US products are welcome, from raw materials to finished goods; if it is made or grown in America it has a home on Ameriloop.
Since we are in such an outsourced economy, we also decided to create a badge and score system to show how ‘focused’ or ‘centered’ US companies are on the American economy. Currently to wear a Made in the USA label, companies must source all or virtually all of their parts from the US. Being able to be recognized as an American company has value, in America and around the world. Our badge will allow companies to be recognized as American even if they cannot technically put a Made in the USA label on their product by current FTC standards. Companies can simply fill out our questionnaire and we publish their answers along with an average of their answers, which is their Ameriloop score.
Here are examples of our badges and scores:
As you can see, we bring a great deal of transparency to the table. Our system will help customers (businesses and individuals) quickly recognize and make informed decisions about American companies and their products.
Besides our badge and score system, another unique feature only found on Ameriloop is our insourcing need databases. We have created two databases for businesses and consumers to post what they would like to purchase American made. This allows companies and consumers to search for products as well as be searched for depending on their need, completing the loop!
Once a company has fully filled out all profile information, a great view of the company and their products is available. We set up a completed profile page here with all of Ameriloop’s information. This is what a business or consumer would see when searching for and finding a company of interest. We have included a plethora of information including; company name and photos, contact info, products and descriptions, insourcing needs and descriptions, company capabilities, website link, social media links, connections, badges and scores, events, job postings, reviews and any currently active special offers. Another great way to see the business functionality for Ameriloop is to watch this video; it explains the business dashboard and associated features.
We believe Ameriloop can make a positive impact on the American economy, but we need members to make it all happen. Did you know that there are roughly 4-5 support jobs associated with every manufacturing job in the US? So every time we lose a manufacturing job, we actually lose 5-6 jobs, but every time we gain one… I think you see where this is going. Insourcing is what built the USA into a world super power, and insourcing is the only way for us to stay in that position, we’ve done it before and we can do it again! Both American businesses and American citizens need to make a conscious effort to make, grow, buy and sell as much US made product as possible and Ameriloop will speed up this process.
That being said here is some more information about Ameriloop.