About Aries Worldwide
Aries Worldwide is an end-to-end, global freight forwarder and 3PL based at its Global Service Center in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1984, they have a diverse customer base and offer a wide range of logistics services, from customs brokerage and international freight forwarding to warehousing.
Aries Worldwide CEO, Jeff McIntyre, and CIO, Bryan Bartels, have led the company through a bold and impressive digitization journey over the past five years. In this short time, the Aries team has achieved far more than just the minimum necessity of having a customer portal; they have used technology to completely transform the way they sell and provide their services to customers and prospects. They market “Giving People What They Want, When They Want It,” and they truly believe that information is ultimately what modern shippers want and need most.
The Vision: Become an Information Company by Providing Amazon-Caliber Visibility
Bartels remembers McIntyre walking into the IT room in 2017 saying, “Be like Amazon.” At first, this sounded a bit outlandish to the team. What did he mean by that, and how could they possibly do that with the budget of a mid-sized freight forwarder and 3PL? McIntyre was referring to the high level of visibility Amazon customers get after they’ve placed an order. As the team continued to discuss McIntyre’s vision, they came to the realization that information is the key thing consignees and shippers really want in today’s world of logistics and supply chain.
Thirty years ago, it was common for Aries customers to physically stand at truck docks with their clipboards, witnessing their cargo as it got picked up or dropped off. But now most of their customers sit in offices behind computer screens, and they’ve never even seen or touched their own cargo. “The thing they’re really trading all day is information,” Bartels explained.
Aries created an innovation roadmap to detail out this vision. It included elements like transparency, empowering their customers to self serve, and providing analytics to help shippers better understand trends in their business.
The Challenge: Providing Best-in-Class Tech as a Mid-Sized Freight Forwarder
When Aries first started their journey of becoming an information company, they initially planned to build a technology solution that would solve the visibility and tracking challenges they were seeing in the logistics industry. Bartels recalls, “But we realized that building software is incredibly difficult. Not only is it expensive, but you’re getting into a core competency that you’re really not an expert in.”
Bartels remembers the feeling of relief they had when they realized being an information company didn’t mean they had to build a technology solution in-house. “The burden totally shifted off of us onto a vendor, and that unlocked something really important for us. We could focus on servicing our customers and being a great logistics company.”
Accelerating Sales with Logixboard’s Customer Experience Platform
Technology used to be an afterthought during the Aries Worldwide sales process. The prospect conversations were focused on the high quality of Aries’s service and people, because the tracking and visibility tool they had to offer wasn’t something they were excited to showcase. The information wasn’t very helpful, and the user experience was outdated and clunky–as many traditional customer portals are.
Once Aries was equipped with Logixboard, a true customer experience platform that focuses on usability, they started to see the true power of incorporating technology more deeply into their brand and their service offerings. “Now that we have Logixboard, it is completely ingrained into our sales process. It is an integral component of the service that we offer. It’s that central place for our customers to log in and see everything that’s happening with their cargo,” says Bartels.
Bartels spoke about the challenge of standing out from other logistics service providers, during a time when competition is tighter than ever: “All freight forwarders are service companies selling a commodity. We’re putting the freight on the same trucks. The best way to distinguish yourself is how you offer the service, and that’s what Logixboard allows you to do.” The Aries team has seen a big impact on their ability to close new business since partnering with Logixboard. He continued, “Now that we have Logixboard, the customer pretty much closes the deal for us, rather than us trying to do this hard, hard close.”
Logixboard has also helped Aries Worldwide build a solid land-and-expand sales motion. Bartels elaborates, “Logixboard has allowed us to sell the entire supply chain to a single customer. After we sell the customer on one service, we can go back to them and say, ‘Hey, we can also do your brokerage, and look at this amazing visibility. We can also move your ocean containers.’”
A Long-Term Partnership
When Aries Worldwide signed up to work with Logixboard in 2022, it quickly became evident that they had gained more than just another software vendor; they had gained a true partner. A prime example is the way their Customer Success Manager became integrated with the internal Aries IT team, even attending regular team meetings. “I don’t think we can point to another vendor that we have this type of relationship with. Logixboard has shown that they are deeply invested in us being successful with these products,” Bartels commented.
As the Aries team reflects on the past year and a half of partnership with Logixboard, they are proud to say they have realized their vision of becoming an information company. Implementing a modern customer experience platform has reshaped the way they present their services to customers and prospects. Bartels and his team are continuing to explore ways to tie additional service offerings into their digital customer experience, and their business certainly has a bright future ahead.
Hear more from Aries Worldwide here, in this webinar discussing today’s logistics technology landscape.
Explore more Logixboard customer stories here.