In the crowded world of logistics, Andy Hendricks stands out. He is precise. His dependability is also noteworthy, even in an industry where being reliable is baseline. But Hendricks is so meticulous, so trusted, and so intuitive, that his clients eventually stop thinking about what he does all together––which, according to Hendricks, is exactly the way it should be.
“Logistics is all about getting the right thing to the right place at the right time,” Hendricks says. “This calls for managing all kinds of variables. It’s a behind-the-scenes science. When everything is working the way it should, no one is going to notice.”
If Hendricks is involved, the odds are excellent that his links in the supply chain are going to work not just the way they should, but even better than you thought they could.
Hendricks is President of Distributors Terminal Corporation, a warehousing and distribution solutions company based in Terre Haute, Indiana. He took the reins of the organization in 2005, and under Hendricks’ leadership, Distributors Terminal has thrived. In just a decade, the company has tripled its revenue and size. Three times as many clients now rely on Hendricks, which prompted him to triple his staff’s headcount as well.
“We’re expanding because our service really stands out,” Hendricks says. “We provide a customer experience that is unmatched in our industry. We invest in technology, always prioritize efficiency, and restlessly strive for continuous improvement because we’ve found that focus in these three areas saves our clients the most time, money, and headaches.”
After being neck-deep in the business for more than 20 years, Hendricks has emerged as one of the Midwest’s foremost logistics experts. He combines the warmth of a handshake with the accuracy of technology to create an operations management approach that is distinctly both modern and human.
“When I tell somebody we’re going to do something, I take it very personally,” Hendricks says. “I strive to make people happy. As a business owner, there is real satisfaction in that.”
Distributors Terminal is a family business, and logistics is a Hendricks family tradition. “Diesel fuel runs in my veins,” Hendricks quips. “My grandfather started driving a truck for his uncle’s trucking company in the 1930s,” he says. “Then, my grandfather bought Lovelace Truck Service and built it into a fairly large company of more than 700 employees and 15 terminals spread out across the Midwest.”
Hendricks’ grandfather sold Lovelace in the mid-1970s, just before the trucking industry was deregulated. In 1977, Hendricks’ father, Dale, bought Distributors Terminal, which also has a rich history. The company began in 1868 dealing cured meats and grains. Founder C.W. Bauermeister expanded first into a wholesale grocery and then, in 1923, into a warehousing and goods and merchandise carrier dubbed Bauermeister Terminal Company. It became Distributors Terminal in 1935.
“Just like anything else, practice makes perfect,” Hendricks says. “And we’ve been practicing this trade for a very long time.”
The combination of blood ties and a company history that dates back almost a century and a half creates added significance for Hendricks. “Both the family connection and long history really make me want to ensure this business grows into the future,” he says. “It also makes me feel responsible for giving back to this community, where our roots run so deep.”
Hendricks’ commitment to his community is obvious and inspiring––reminiscent of George Bailey, minus the heart-wrenching downturn and angel-led detour. Hendricks was born and raised in Terre Haute. He played basketball at the Boys and Girls Club for which he now serves on the board. He’s coached his two sons, now 15 and 17, in leagues at the club, and sees the organization as a vital lifeline for the area’s youth, many of whom are ensnared by poverty.
Hendricks is also the Finance Chair for the Wabash Valley Community Foundation and sits on the Executive Committee of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation. He views his service as a way not just to grow his own business by attracting manufacturers and other companies to the city, but as a means to create more opportunities and jobs for the entire community.
One would be hard-pressed to find a better geographic location than Terre Haute for a logistics hub. The entire Midwest and much of the South is less than a day’s drive. Hendricks is adept at maximizing the region’s natural advantages, and serves on the statewide logistics council for Conexus Indiana, a think tank formed to explore new market opportunities and build a network of resources and expertise that bolsters Indiana’s already strong leadership position in advanced manufacturing and logistics. “We ask questions and advise,” he says of the group. “What are Indiana’s transportation needs going to be for the next 20 years? What are the deficiencies? Do we need to make the business climate more friendly?”
Trained as a mechanical engineer, Hendricks graduated from the respected Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he also played college basketball. When asked what position he played, he responds without missing a beat, “The bench mostly,” before laughing and adding, “Oh, forward or center. I’m about 6’6”, which used to make me one of the taller guys––that’s not tall for basketball players these days, though.” The 45-year-old jokes that he never dusts off his engineering textbooks to help solve supply chain quandaries, before adding seriously that the problem-solving skills he honed in school do come in handy. “I value my years of experience, but I hate complacency. I’m always looking for better solutions,” he says. “The challenges are the best part of the job.”
Hendricks also speaks often of purpose that transcends making a buck. The former college athlete is naturally competitive, but also determined to build something more meaningful. “My greatest accomplishment is my two sons,” he says. “Professionally, I’m passionate about surrounding myself with people who are smarter than I am so that we can build one another up. I worked at the operational level for a long time and know it well. Now, I am focused on strategy and leaving a legacy for the next generation.”
Hendricks’ love of a challenge, clear priorities, and finely honed expertise promise a big future not only for Distributors Terminal and Terre Haute, but also for even larger-scale new ventures and opportunities that undoubtedly lay in store.
“I want to grow,” Hendricks says. “The realm of logistics is so exciting right now. As the world gets smaller, the supply chain gets bigger and more complicated. That’s where I come in.”
Business Development Manager
For Andy Dovin, business has always been personal. “So many people lose sight of that,” he says. “They don’t recognize the importance of caring about what you do as much as you care about the people you work with. That personal investment carries right over into how an operation runs. Our clients know they can call one of us at 11 o’clock at night or 2 in the morning and get more than a response: We’ll make something happen.”
As the Business Development Manager for Distributors Terminal, Dovin connects companies in a wide range of industries to customized supply-chain solutions, all with an emphasis on bottom lines and sustainable growth. He shuns one-size-fits-all approaches, choosing instead to learn each client’s business and unique challenges, which he then places in the rich context he’s built over years of logistics experience.
Dovin’s background is a lesson in the power of valuing people. Originally from around Indianapolis, Indiana––the area he still calls home––he first went to work in his family’s blue-ribbon restaurants. “We had three seafood restaurants in the Midwest, which is fairly unique because we had to fly everything in every night,” he explains. “It was a black-tie environment with high-end, homemade food. The way it worked was also a lot like the logistics business.” Dovin held virtually every job in the operation before taking the reins and overseeing a staff of more than 100 employees.
While leading the restaurants, Dovin handled much of the marketing in addition to other duties. His success and ever-growing circle of friends––“Whenever key folks came to Indy to do something, whether it was the Final Four or Indy 500, they called me and got a specific table in the restaurant,” he shares––drew the attention of a local logistics firm eager to grow. The company had carved out a niche overseeing the printing and national distribution of literature for cruise lines, but Dovin saw the potential for more. “My job when I started with the logistics firm was how do we grow from being a local 3pl doing $640,000 a year in print literature distribution throughout the country to something larger?” he explains.
Dovin began attending marketing conferences and continued doing what he does best: connecting with people. He developed relationships with key Indianapolis players, especially in the growing technology manufacturing market. A subsidiary of International Paper, Foxconn, and other heavy hitters who manufactured components of iPhones, HP business computers, and more became his friends and clients as he developed a cottage industry catering to the companies building some of the most in-demand products on the planet. Dovin grew his initial warehouse space of 40,000 square feet to 125,000, and the company went from 50 truckloads a month to 600 and three shifts a day. He also transformed the organization’s original marketing arm, adding a digital printing press and bringing a creative agency in house to establish a $1 million print division.
“You have to constantly be looking toward the future,” Dovin says, reflecting on the experience. “You have to see where people are going with business and what they’re trying to do.”
After turning the local family-owned logistics firm into a national force, Dovin took on a new challenge: business development for Impact Fulfillment Services, where he served as part of a core team that grew the company significantly over about two years. Predictably, Dovin still cherishes the relationships he made at Impact. “I still work with almost all the folks I worked with at Impact today in some way,” he says, underscoring his doggedly people-first mentality.
After Impact, Dovin partnered with a longtime friend to launch a brand new venture: JM Tax Advocates. An expert property tax management firm, JM Tax works with a broad range of organizations––a client base Dovin helped build as the company’s business development specialist. “I’ve known Josh Malancuk, the company’s President, for 20 years, and I’ve never seen anybody with the financial skills he has,” Dovin says. “I wouldn’t have been involved there if I didn’t know how talented he is.” The admission points to a core principle that underpins every move Dovin makes: He deeply believes in the people, services, and causes he helps build.
And really, Dovin has always wanted to build things. “I’m driven by where we live and what we have was once based upon: building and doing things that are right and good,” he explains. “I’m trying to create jobs and do things not because I want to be recognized but because it is what’s right and good.” The devoted husband and father of two girls feels strongly about his community and his ties to it. “I am doing this not just for my wife and family, but because it’s what we’re all supposed to be doing for each other,” he says.
Dovin’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive combined with his extensive logistics experience is an ideal match for Distributors Terminal, which he joined in early 2014. The company with strong roots dating back to 1868 is perfectly positioned to address increasingly complex 21st century supply-chain problems with global implications. “Today, I don’t believe where we are geographically has a thing to do with what we’re capable of doing,” Dovin says. “We’ve opened and rebuilt sites all over the country––some of us have done it all over the world. What it all still comes down to is building relationships and trust.”
That fundamental belief––that as much as technology and systems make the world smaller, it’s the people who do the true connecting––both sets Dovin apart and opens the door to limitless possibilities. “I’m looking forward to the relationships I’ve yet to build,” he says. “I’m always interested in the question, ‘What else is there?’ I know there is a lot more to learn. The thing that excites me most about my job is the future.”
If a third-party logistics company could design its ideal financial guru from scratch, he’d actually be Distributors Terminal Controller Aaron Hankins.
“I don’t know that there are many accountants who have 20 years of logistics experience and also like to go out into the warehouse every once and a while and get their hands dirty,” Hankins admits before adding with his characteristic humility, “It fits our company pretty well.”
To put a finer point on it: Hankins’ willingness to go the extra mile for clients fits Distributors Terminal perfectly. He combines fiscal savvy with two decades of distribution and shipping expertise, primarily in imports and exports, and at Distributors Terminal, he serves as a key member of the leadership team, overseeing aspects of warehouse management, labor allocation, and process improvements in addition to working directly with clients to find cost-effective logistics solutions.
Hankins’ unique ability to offer wise financial counsel and partner with clients to solve supply-chain problems stems from his background. A native of Terre Haute, Hankins attended Indiana State University and majored in Accounting. He graduated debt-free––early evidence of a future budget expert in the making. What happened next is a lesson in destiny. His plans to sit for the CPA exam were derailed the day of the actual test. “I got into a car accident on the way to the test,” he remembers. “If you’re more than an hour late, you can’t sit for the exam. But in order to re-take the training course I’d just completed, you had to sit for the exam. It was a catch-22.” Staring down at least four more months of intense studying and additional hoops to jump through after he’d already put so much on hold to earn that CPA certification, Hankins balked. Instead, he accepted a position with Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc. (AET), where he had worked in a warehouse one summer during college.
The decision would ultimately put Hankins on the path to building his distinct cross-section of skills that is so beneficial today.
“AET wanted to start exporting,” Hankins says before adding with a smile, “I convinced them I could do it. And we did.” Such mellow understatement is typical of Hankins, who prefers rolling up his sleeves and getting the hard work done to talking about it. Hankins joined AET as Transportation Planner and helped launch the brand new exporting division, learning as he went and gaining invaluable experience along the way. He had a knack for the intricacies of shipping, and was soon responsible for all import and export activities in the Terre Haute location, as well as other duties including negotiating freight rates, auditing freight bills, and regional warehouse inventories.
After about a decade with AET, Hankins longed to deepen his skillset. “I liked where I worked––really liked AET and the people,” he says. “I just felt like I needed to do something different.” When Pfizer announced it was launching production of a new inhalable insulin medication in Terre Haute and needed an import-export compliance manager, Hankins was the perfect candidate.
“There are not a lot of people who know much about imports and exports––especially in the landlocked United States,” Hankins admits. “It’s a unique field. So I took the job with Pfizer, where I worked with truly great people.” While Hankins’ original mission for the company to establish a Free Trade Zone was shelved because Pfizer ended up nixing plans to manufacture the new insulin, Hankins stayed with the company as a Financial Analyst. He gained major-league knowledge of U.S. Customs protocol, shipping via ocean, air, and truck, operating budgets, and more.
When Pfizer closed the Terre Haute outpost, Hankins was one of only about 10 employees left out of the original 800. He speaks highly of the experience and remains grateful for all he learned. “They had great training and a lot of professional development for everyone there,” he says. “I had everything from general managerial training to in-depth sessions on specific export and import functions. As far as my own professional development, the four years at Pfizer were crucial.”
Hankins joined the Distributors Terminal team in 2011. “I’d known Andy Hendricks for probably about 15 years when I came to Distributors Terminal,” Hankins says. “I’d see him around town, and both of us have kids who play soccer. I knew him and just liked him.”
Today, the strategic role Hankins plays at Distributors Terminal is vital. He brings a rich context combining fiscal and logistical capabilities to the table, which allows him to understand perspectives and address concerns from both customers and his fellow leadership team members comprehensively. He flags technology––specifically, recent advances in warehouse management inventory systems––as the most exciting opportunity open to companies looking to make their supply chains smarter.
When asked to describe his leadership style, Hankins pauses to consider the question before answering simply, “I listen. When it comes to our guys, I always listen––let them spill their hearts out to me. I haven’t driven a semi before, but I’ve worked in a warehouse. As I consider the company’s overarching mission, I just try to put myself in the other person’s shoes at the same time.”
Hankins is most proud of Distributors Terminal’s high standards and the growing, loyal family of customers that focus on quality has cultivated. “We have never lost a customer based on service,” he says. “We’re completely dedicated to delivering the best.”