Herb Shear Featured

6:20am EDT December 22, 2004
Despite its 5,000 employees and $409 million in revenue in its last fiscal year, Genco Inc. might be one of Pittsburgh's best-kept secrets.

Likewise, Herb Shear, the company's soft-spoken but confident CEO, isn't a household name, yet he may have one of the sharpest business minds in the region.

Genco is a leader in transportation logistics, offering an array of services to businesses that need to store product or materials or move them from one location to another efficiently and cost-effectively.

The trucking company that was founded by Shear's grandfather has been transformed into one that not only helps clients in conveyance and storage, but provides software and IT support to help them manage the transportation portion of their supply chains.

Shear has been a pioneer in the field of reverse logistics. Genco got into the reverse logistics field in the late 1980s when it was approached by retailer PharMor to come up with a more cost-efficient way to handle merchandise bound for return to manufacturers.

Shear found that there was a huge demand for such services and set out to create customized software solutions for each client's needs. That realization and a determination to respond quickly to customer needs led to explosive growth for Genco during the 1990s.

Says Shear: "By having that orientation over time, it led to a lot of new opportunities."

How to reach: Genco Inc., www.genco.com.