You’d think Bob Moore would have been content to remain CEO of a wood pallet company that held nearly 90 percent of the market share in an unchanging industry. He could have kept leading a steady, successful company until retirement.
But he’s an entrepreneur. And he saw a need for change. Wood pallets would break, upsetting automated production lines. Maintenance was expensive. And then there were the environmental issues and hints of food safety concerns.
His company was unreceptive to his suggestions, so he set out on his own.
After researching the best way to develop an improved pallet, Moore landed on plastic which was lighter, stronger and cleaner. But the next challenge was funding.
Every week for about 18 months, he traveled to New York to propose his business plan to private equity firms. Though there was strong interest, the firms wouldn’t invest in start-ups.
But then a private equity firm that knew about Moore’s experience asked for his help. It was considering acquiring a small public pallet manufacturing company that was losing money. Ultimately, he purchased a share and played a crucial role in making the company profitable.
When he went back to the firm as a part owner, he was no longer considered a start-up. And iGPS was born, with Moore as CEO.
After three years, the plastic pallet embedded with radio frequency identification chips for tracking loads through the supply chain was ready for market.
In one year of operations, iGPS took 1/13 of the market share in the pallet industry. It continues growing with new customers, plans to expand into Europe and a goal to build GPS into its fleet for further tracking capabilities.