The logistics and supply chain industry has been rapidly growing and evolving, with technology playing a pivotal role in shaping its landscape. The logistics and supply chain industry has undergone a massive transformation in recent years, thanks to the advancement of technology. From Artificial Intelligence to Blockchain, from Automation to the Internet of Things (IoT), technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate in the industry. The integration of technology has enabled companies to optimize their operations, reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Benjamin Gordon has been at the forefront of this industry for over two decades, presently working as the Managing Partner of Cambridge Capital LLC, a private equity firm specializing in logistics and supply chain technology.
With a background in founding and running successful startups in the logistics software space, he gained valuable experience and learned from the mistakes he made along the way. Benjamin’s extensive experience and logistics and supply chain expertise make him an invaluable asset to any company looking to grow and innovate in this space.
We at Insights Success interviewed Benjamin on his approach to operations in equity and finance.
Let’s dive into the insights of the interview!
Kindly provide the answers to the below questions.
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at Cambridge Capital. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
Back in 1999, I launched my first startup, 3Plex, which aimed to automate freight and capacity matching using the internet. However, after realizing that the spot market accounted for only 20% of the freight industry, we shifted our focus to developing a transportation management system (TMS). This journey was not without its challenges. We made several mistakes, including underestimating the difficulty of getting transportation companies to change their business processes, taking on too many new product launches at once, and recruiting based on resumes rather than scrappiness. Despite these setbacks, the business eventually caught the eye of Maersk and was later sold to IBM.
I learned valuable lessons from my early mistakes, which served me well in my second startup, Ecosquid. This self-funded business aimed to create an e-commerce marketplace for reselling or recycling used electronics and was sold to a public company in just two years.
From there, I went on to create a successful investment bank called BG Strategic Advisors (BGSA), which has worked on over 50 M&A deals in the logistics and supply chain industry. We were instrumental in bringing together CEOs from all sectors of the supply chain through the BGSA Supply Chain Conference, which has become a central hub for industry leaders to form new relationships and close major deals.
After experiencing success across multiple businesses in the supply chain arena, I founded Cambridge Capital as a private equity firm, investing in companies such as GreenScreens.ai, Bringg, ReverseLogix, and Everest. My journey has taught me valuable lessons about entrepreneurship, and I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.
Today, I’m proud of our team, excited about our companies and energized about our future as a top investor for leading supply chain companies.
Tell us something more about your company and its mission and vision.
Cambridge Capital’s mission is to deploy unique supply chain expertise to partner with outstanding supply chain leaders and generate exceptional returns. We seek to differentiate by investing in the best supply chain companies and to add value through our unique access to customers, talent and M&A partners.
Our investment in XPO reflects this philosophy. We co-invested with Brad Jacobs, a serial founder of four companies that had built over $1 billion. We knew Brad was a winner, and we had an opportunity to help with his strategy to consolidate logistics.
Enlighten us on the impact of your work through your expertise in the market.
We are all about impact. Our investment in GreenScreens.ai highlights our ability to back an all-star team with powerful technology to build a market leader in a new field of predictive pricing. We helped GreenScreens.ai recruit their key leaders, focus the strategy on the key value proposition (AI-powered predictive pricing that is faster and more accurate than any other system), win their first customers (e.g., NFI, the $4 billion logistics powerhouse) and scale up. Now the GreenScreens.ai team is poised for continued, long-term success.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
Our core values include intellectual rigor, candor, speed, persistence, creativity, winning, and senior-level engagement. We believe these values drive what we do and how we help supply chain companies accelerate their growth.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
Technology is a core part of everything we do. We either invest in technology leaders (like GreenScreens.ai) or fast followers that deploy technology to differentiate (like XPO, Everest, and Boa). When we invest in services companies like Everest, we get involved in helping them evaluate and upgrade their systems ensuring technology leads to major productivity gains.
What change would you like to bring to the Supply Chain Industry if given a chance?
I believe the supply chain sector is central to the global economy. It powers everything-semiconductors, cars, food, military supplies, and more. I would like to help people use supply chains as a force for good.
One way I’m pursuing this change is through the Ukraine Logistics Coalition. We formed a non-profit to help people donate medical supplies to Ukraine to provide them with vital humanitarian support. We’ve raised and donated over $20 million in medical supplies. The transportation companies have donated air, ground and last-mile capabilities. This is an illustration of what we can do to leverage our supply chain capabilities to make the world better.
What, according to you, could be the next significant change in the Supply Chain Industry? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?
I believe technology is changing logistics. But it’s not about Man vs Machine. The winners are “Man plus Machine.” For instance, GreenScreens.ai is helping truck brokers use technology to compete more effectively. At Cambridge Capital, we look to help our portfolio companies get in front of these trends.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for Cambridge Capital?
Our vision is to be the first call for every supply chain owner and business builder across all areas of the supply chain and to provide those leaders with capital and resources for long-term growth.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the Supply Chain Industry?
There has never been a better time to build a supply chain company!
The needs are tremendous and so are the opportunities!