Director of Operations • Argus Logistics, Troy • Employees: 100 • Assets Under Management: $1.2B • Michigan State University
Drew Janney was only 26 when he joined Argus Logistics, a transportation firm in Troy. What he saw was a company the offered a lot of value and was clearly succeeding on many levels, but he also noticed that it didn’t have a clear way to measure success or identify where it needed to improve.
He wasn’t shy about saying so, and he found a willing ear in Jeff Lau, COO of Argus Logistics. “I found a need to put in a little more structure without really affecting our corporate culture,” Janney recalls. “Some performance and compensation tied to those metrics really drove overall client retention within our management team.”
Janney led the creation of a system that emphasizes accountability, both positive and negative. Those employees shown to be performing above the level of their peers now get rewarded; those who are falling short have to accept accountability and take measures to work toward improvement.
The result has been an increase in assets under management from $100 million in 2011 to $1.2 billion last year. Janney’s system was implemented in 2014, although he points out it has been a work in progress ever since. “It’s like building an airplane while it’s still flying,” he says.
A resident of Bloomfield Township, Janney says much of the company’s recent success has come from turning short-term engagement into long-term ones. The company also utilizes technology to improve efficiency, streamline travel schedules, and coordinate drivers and loads. In addition, Argus Logistics places a premium on customer retention – the average client engagement length is now more than eight years.
“Clients are extending those engagements for multiple years, and that’s where we’re seeing the most bang for the buck,” Janney says. “We’ve really tried to create that special sauce and (find) new markets within the logistics management space, particularly from an IT perspective.”
– Dan Calabrese