Welcome to our latest chat with the folks behind the scenes that help make the magic happen here at Loot Crate!
Loot Crate is a company coming up on its 6th Anniversary at the end of this summer, and along the way, we’ve seen incredible change and sent awesome stuff to people all over the world. It’s rare to be able to really sit down with folks that had the pleasure of being a part of a company like this from nearly the beginning, but I had the privilege of chatting with someone that had done just that – an integral member of our team that’s been around for nearly five years, someone who has been a part of serious impactful change from a variety of different roles and departments: and that someone is Procurement Operations Manager, Bob Koenig! I got to sit down and let five years of Loot Crate wash over me as I interviewed Bob and learned about some of the coolest experiences he’s had since he came on board…
JB: Thanks for taking time to chat with me, Bob! Before we get started, why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do here at Loot Crate?
Bob: Hi Josh! I’m Bob Koenig, currently the Procurement Operations Manager at Loot Crate. My quick bio would say that I’m a 45-year old always-learning and a curiously adventurous human who loves music, wrestling, pop art, sushi and bad movies… but there are so many more layers to that cake, I don’t know where to begin!
What were you doing before you joined Loot Crate?
Before I discovered Loot Crate, I was struggling and coming out of the wreckage from trying to start a food truck and a cookie business. I was working hard for a couple of years to get things moving, but it all slowly fell through my hands. The dream is still alive, but the dollars weren’t there to support it.
What made you want to bring your talents to Loot Crate, and what sets it apart from other companies you’ve worked for?
Strangely enough, I kind of stumbled and fell into Loot Crate. I was looking for work and answered an ad for temporary crate packers. It was on a “when needed” basis, so at the time when I got the work, it was only viewed as a temp gig to get by. Once I got into the office and started to grasp the concept of what Loot Crate was setting out to accomplish, I hunkered down and brought my skills and talents to the table. I had worked for a string of big retail and restaurant corporations prior to Loot Crate, and they all seemed to have to this recurring theme of trying to convince you or sell you on the concept that they were an awesome company to work for. Loot Crate didn’t try to fool me into believing they were awesome to work for, it was just a fun and ever-changing environment for me to grow into from the beginning.
You’re coming up on your fifth year with the company this October, and along the way you’ve been a part of a lot of change and growth here – what’s been the most exciting part of working at Loot Crate during that time? The most challenging?
Five years! Seems like forever ago! I feel like the most exciting part is seeing how our products affect and excite our Looters. When I see collectibles and cool products that end up in our crates that I’m excited about, it’s fun to see the feedback from Looters who are just as thrilled about what we sent to them. The continual growth and learning I’ve experienced is also an exciting part, as I enjoy riding the waves of change.
The most challenging part I’ve encountered is keeping up with how quickly trends in technology and fandoms change once you start really paying close attention to them. I think one of the most challenging days early on in my Loot Crate career was the day we got a delivery of somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40 pallets of product and we hadn’t owned a forklift yet. Myself along with the entire staff that day (Including our CEO Chris Davis!) had to lift and carry all of them off the truck by hand. Good times!
You’ve worn a lot of different hats at Loot Crate over the last 5 years, it seems like no task is too daunting and no new role too complex for you to handle – how exciting has it been for you to continue to grow and tackle new things in this kind of startup environment?
If you asked me the age-old question of “Where do you see yourself in five years?” when I first started here, I would have been quite wrong. Loot Crate has been the most challenging yet also the most rewarding place I’ve worked at in a very long time. Loot Crate has allowed me to have a voice as to how to make things better and work more efficiently, and in many of my past experiences with new companies and startups that hasn’t been the case. As there are always new frontiers to explore and new problems to fix as Loot Crate continues to grow, there isn’t a day that goes by where I am faced with a new challenge to tackle… And I thrive off of that.
As Procurement Operations Manager, you’re actively on the frontline when it comes to locking in some of the coolest items and apparel you can fit in a crate, but is there any IP or franchise you’d love to get your hands on for a crate that we haven’t seen yet?
Great question! I’m a huge fan of the board game and movie Clue, so I’d love to see more cool Clue exclusives in the future. It would hit a specific niche market, but as a lifelong member of the KISS Army, it would be fun to see an exclusive KISS Crate… or would it be KISS Krate?
I would ABSOLUTELY subscribe to a Kiss Krate! So, to be an employee a company like this, and to thrive the way you have, I feel like there has to be a lot you geek out on – I feel like I know exactly what you’re going to say, but what fandom that we work with at Loot Crate most resonates with you?
I’m a huge and long-time wrestling geek, so the WWE Slam Crate hits it out of the arena for me. I recall I was quite excited when I first heard the news that we were first going to work with the WWE to create a wrestling fan-focused crate.
During your impressive tenure with the company, you must have put together quite the collection of awesome Loot – what’s your favorite Crate you’ve ever received since you’ve been with Loot Crate?
On that note, I think the first WWE Slam Crate was the crate that most resonated with me. I was part of the planning and product discussions, so seeing the end result of what the team had created was really exciting and fun. Every crate keeps getting better with cooler ideas, so it’s been great watching that brainchild grow into what it is right now.
And now, for my go-to final question for each of my Behind the Crate interviews: If you could create your very own product line for Loot Crate, what would it be?
Wow, such an open field to work with! I would love to design and create either a new line of wrestling action figures or statuettes or re-swizzle the classic 80s Masters of the Universe action figures with an updated modern take.
I can honestly say I would be totally down with all of your new crate ideas – Thanks for taking time to chat with me, Bob!