Kevin Hicks Leads Aries Business Development Department To Success
Meet Kevin Hicks
Kevin Hicks recently joined Aries as the Director of Pricing & Transportation Procurement in 2023. When asked what drew him to Aries, he said “The chance to join a smaller organization and make an impact in several areas. I was working with a very large forwarder as the Sr. Director of Pricing which meant I was in charge of the Global Tender Management group worldwide. While it was a very challenging job, it was very singular in nature and with truly immense pressure all the time. That was getting somewhat monotonous, so I decided to change to a job with more variety in areas I truly enjoy – relationship building with carriers and partners and quoting business.”
The logistics industry is nothing new to Kevin - in fact, he began his journey with logistics during the Summer of 1980. He landed a Summer job at an air freight company where his father worked and the fast-paced environment had him hooked from then on! “After my Summer job ended, I went back to college and got a part-time night ops job with another freight company where I met our COO, Russ Schamun. We worked together there and in several other places during our careers and I stayed with it, having several jobs with various forwarders. This is what has given me a broad perspective on this industry.”
While Kevin began his career in night ops, he transitioned into sales so that he had a broader understanding of the industry. Ultimately, he found that operations was where he could make the biggest impact. In addition to operations, Kevin worked with vendors and found it tremendously satisfying because of the partnerships and relationships he was able to build between organizations. He also ran the Tender Management Team for two large freight forwarders which is where his pricing background comes from. Each job in the industry has given Kevin a tool that that he has used to help him become successful.
Outside of his life at Aries, Kevin likes to spend time with his two dogs and lift weights to stay in shape. One of the things he enjoys doing the most in life is leading mission trips to Guatemala. When asked who his biggest inspiration is and why he said “Hands down, my mom is my biggest inspiration. She raised me and my sister as a single mom and worked all the while. She has been working as a caretaker for borderline mentally handicapped men for over 40 years and is still going strong. She is an amazing woman.”
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Kevin in the transportation industry for over 40 years and feel confident that Kevin’s experience in the fields of transportation procurement and pricing will be invaluable to our organization.” Russ Schamun - Chief Operating Officer Aries Worldwide Logistics
Aries to the Top
Although Kevin is new to the Aries team, his goals for his department are clear – to successfully build relationships! Specifically, to gain more quotes through a combination of smart routing decisions, good carrier relations as well as good agent relations. Each of those factors work together to move the revenue and margin needle. The Business Development department has a lot of exciting updates in the pipeline for the rest of the year and when asked about them, Kevin said “One of the key things we are working toward will be much more automation with the quote process. By getting as many carrier tariffs or connections to CargoWise, we should be able to auto-rate more quotes with these kinds of tools. Additionally, we are working on a revamp of client tariffs as well so we can simply auto-rate the quotes for most shipments through that process. This makes us more efficient and able to generate more quotes.”
Business Development in 2023 and Beyond
Kevin believes that the first to the market is frequently the winner so he has big plans for his team in the rest of the year and beyond. He goes on to say that, “A great team is hungry to win and willing to learn from mistakes and make the corrections to insure a win the next time. Hopefully, I can also inspire that from the team. Our goal is simply to win as much as possible from a revenue and profit standpoint. Win ratios are nice, but they don’t pay bills.” Aries is thrilled to welcome Kevin Hicks to the team and we can’t wait to see all that he does for the company!