Startup of the month: bex

Every month we interview a European Supply Chain Management startup to shed some light on its business, provide a platform for visibility and overall support the European Supply Chain Management startup ecosystem. This time we interviewed Lennart A. Paul, CEO & Co-Founder at bex, a last mile delivery solution specifically designed for the construction industry and headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

Company Base Data

Company Name: bex technologies GmbH

No. of Employees: 20

Headquarter: Stuttgart, Germany

Funding: >2m USD

Operating Markets: Germany

Founders: Lennart A. Paul, Johannes Keller

Website: www.bexapp.de

Reference Customers: More than 400 with an average NPS of > 80

E-Mail Contact: lennart.paul@bexapp.de

Company Name

SYNAOS GmbH

No. of Employees

93

Headquarter

Hannover, Germany

Funding

>10M EUR

Operating Markets

Coming from the high performing German automotive market, we are constantly expanding our markets also internationally

Founders

Dr. Wolfgang Hackenberg (CEO)

Dr. Lennart Bochmann (CPO)

Tobias Gagern (CTO)

Website

www.synaos.com

Reference Customers

VW, Connox

E-Mail Contact

info@synaos.com

Hi Lennart, great to have the opportunity today to talk to you about bex. To start slowly, could you give us a brief description of what you are doing?

 

bex is a logistics platform for the construction industry. We’re the single source for all last mile delivery needs, combining unlimited logistics capacity with a fully digital settlement process from start to finish. On our platform, we’re managing hundreds of vehicles across all vehicle categories, from cargo bike to three-axle truck with crane. Our core business is deliveries on short notice, from 2h express to same-day or next-day. Also, we’re offering SaaS-components so our customers can improve their logistics capabilites, transparency and service level.

 

How did that journey begin?

 

We found that time is the scarcest resource in construction, and a lot of time is left dead in last mile logistics. The current way is not just analogous, it’s also poorly organized. So in 2019 we started bex to move the goods for the people that build the world, saving time, money and nerves while increasing productivity in the industry.

 

We like this combination of construction and logistics a lot. What are the backgrounds you as founders have to come up with an idea in that space?

 

My co-founder Johannes and I come from the construction material supply industry. We both worked for distributors and manufacturers in various roles and started our career in the Würth Group, the largest distributor of fastening material. For the first 10+ years, we both worked on the intersection of digitization and the customers – mainly from the construction industry.

 

Cool! Now as we now you and your approach a little better. Can you tell us more about the customer site and the specific problem your solving for your customer?

 

In Europe, there are around 35.000 local warehouses of all sorts of suppliers of construction equipment or material. They supply around 3.000.000 construction companies of all trades on constuction sites on a daily basis. Even though, this last mile delivery process is a critical part in the material supply chain, it is error-prune and full of friction. Deliveries arrive late, wrong or not at all, construction sites come to a standstill at the worst case. Organizing ad-hoc logistics capacity is a lot of calling and emailing for prices and availabilities. It’s a lot of back and forth, pen and paper work. It is a lot of hustling, not enjoyable at all, neither for the supplier, nor for the guys and gals on site.

 

And who specifically are your target customers? Can you describe your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) or give us some reference customers?

 

We’re catering to construction material distributors of all sorts (plumbing, electrical wholesale, general material, fastening material, etc.), equipment rental companies, construction companies (of all sizes and trades) and digital platforms, software providers etc. Providing reference customers always feels like bragging, and of course we love all our customers, so it’s hard for me to point out single ones.

 

Now knowing about your product on the one hand and your customers on the other, let’s put that in the context of the market: how defendable is your solution there? What is your USP or secret sauce?

 

The secret sauce is the execution, the way we do things. That’s why we’re loved by our customers and hard to copy in the first place. But seriously, we’re getting our hands dirty, we don’t build a fancy digital company from the ivory tower. We combine that industry knowledge, practicality with digital skills and software knowledge. I think that’s a lot of our DNA. We’re able to execute. But a bit more practical: We’re not looking at logistics from a logistics perspective, but from a user experience perspective. I think that’s what puts us apart from everybody else.

 

Last question of our’s: How are the current shortage of raw building materials on the one hand and also the shortage of skilled workers in construction on the other affect bex?

 

To be honest, it both plays into our hands. We enable our customers to reach for building materials, that are stored further away than usual, and our average distance has increased over the year. So whatever fomo was created in the materials market this year, we were able to bring the “treasures” safely to where they were needed. The shortage in skilled labor is dramatic and is going to be even worse over the next years. Therefor, it will be even more important for our customers, not to lose time on the road hauling concrete bags or vibratory plates. We’ll take over these “side hustles” and help them to focus on building as their core value creation.

 

Thank you very much for this insightful interview, Lennart! Any last words towards our readers?

 

We’re at the intersection of logistics and construction, so basically we’re working in a tidal wave of positive megatrends. We’ll continue to grow and follow our vision that every single last mile construction delivery will go through our platform – no matter who delivers it at the end. So we need cool people to join our Growth, Operations or Tech team, no matter where you live – we are a home office first company. Add me on LinkedIn if you’re interested, also if you want to know more about bex and how to use us for your business.

 

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