IBJNews

Minority-owned logistics firm lands high-profile investors

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Wireless phone distributor Brightpoint Inc. is among the high-profile local investors in a new logistics company that says it plans to employ 100 by year-end and perhaps 250 in 2012.

Brightpoint also is licensing its supply chain and logistics technology to s2f Worldwide—an advantage for the company, along with its status as a Minority Business Enterprise, that could make it a formidable player in the market.

Johnson

Investors include Lacy Johnson, a prominent attorney at Ice Miller, who is chairman of s2f, and Earl Scott, co-founder of Maryland-based telecom infrastructure firm DYNIS Llc., itself an MBE firm.

Also investing is the Binion Family Trust, which includes Jack Binion, chairman and founder of Blizzard Management LLC, a Las Vegas casino industry consulting firm. The Binion family had owned the Horseshoe Casino, a Las Vegas landmark.

More recognizable are local investors Stephen Hilbert, founder of Conseco Inc.; Robert Wagner, co-founder of Indianapolis law firm Lewis Wagner; and Michael “Mickey” Maurer, founder of National Bank of Indianapolis and co-owner of IBJ.

At the helm as president and CEO is Randall Lewis, who last August left WellPoint Inc., where he was executive vice president and chief compliance officer.

The new firm will focus on selling its broad-based supply chain and logistics offerings to the automotive, chemical, government, life sciences, mass retail, technology and telecommunications sectors, said Lewis, and it will play up its use of Brightpoint’s technology.

Brightpoint is among the world’s largest distributors and logistics services providers for wireless phones. In 2008, it handled 85 million phones, doing everything from procurement to software loading to packaging to arranging shipment to retailers, including Wal-Mart.

The new firm “gives us an opportunity to leverage our expertise and investment in new areas,” J. Mark Howell, president of Brightpoint, said of s2f’s industry sectors.

He declined to disclose the amount of Brightpoint’s investment but said it amounts to less than 50 percent of ownership.

Neither Lewis nor Johnson would disclose how much the founders have put into the company. Last September, $500,000 was raised from a group of investors, according to Securities and Exchange Commission records, but the records don’t identify whom that money came from.

The next big step, by the end of March, is to move into a large facility equipped for warehousing and light assembly. Negotiations are under way for 200,000 square feet of space, Lewis said. He declined to say where s2f is looking, but the company’s global aspirations suggest a facility near Indianapolis International Airport to take advantage of air cargo connections.

Johnson, a member and former chairman of the Indianapolis Airport Authority board, has a keen appreciation for the potential the airport provides, citing infrastructure such as FedEx’s No. 2 U.S. package hub.

“Logistics is such a part of the economic engine in this community,” Johnson said.

As for customers, Lewis would say only that s2f has a number of prospective clients.

He anticipates s2f will hire a broad range of employees to fill jobs ranging from general warehouse to information technology positions.

Lewis sees a global market in logistics and supply chain management that could swell to $600 billion by 2014. He said by some estimates about one-third of companies that don’t outsource such work today could do so in the next 12 months.

If anything, the sluggish economy is more of an incentive for companies to outsource that kind of work rather than make additional capital expenditures in supply chain functions, Lewis said. The ability to deliver efficiencies during the downturn is part of the pitch to prospective s2f customers.

It’s unclear just how many minority-owned and -operated logistics firms there are in the region.

Under the logistics category, 28 firms pop up in the database of the Indiana Minority Supplier Development Council, though many are based out of state.

One of the best-known MBE firms in the sector here is Freight Master Logistics, founded more than 30 years ago by Gene McFadden. The Indianapolis company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, stung by a heavy concentration of customers in the troubled automotive industry.

The universe of firms competing in 2sf’s realm is harder to define.

“I’m going to say there are just a handful of companies doing full supply chain integration and solutions,” said Michele Howell, president and CEO of the IMSDC.

Conexus Indiana, the logistics and advanced manufacturing initiative under the umbrella of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, is in the midst of building a supplier database to provide a better picture, said Conexus Vice President David Holt.

Often, the operations here tend to be specialized, such as those targeting the pharmaceutical products sector, he noted.

An estimated 41,000 people in the region are employed in logistics, with the potential of 9,000 new jobs by 2012, according to Conexus.

One area of promise is expanding the multimodal operations involving the airport, the railroad yards in Avon and the myriad of logistics operations surrounding them. Officials have been trying to lure more direct-freight shipments to the area from ports on the West Coast.

They’re also looking at the potential to wrest more air cargo business from bottlenecked Chicago.•

ADVERTISEMENT

  • www.leeandlow.com
    Lee and Low Books is an independent childrenâ??s book publisher specializing in diversity. They take pride in nurturing many minority authors and illustrators who are new to the world of childrenâ??s book publishing.

    For more about their history and their books, visit:
    Minority Book Publisher
  • tranportation
    with mr maurer rich experience in logistic the company should be a go
  • No brainer
    I'd invest in them too. They are going to get jobs whether they deserve them or not. The MBE designation is a golden ticket.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

ADVERTISEMENT