Joseph Bento, Manager of Business Development, Aries Worldwide Logistics, is a member of the Energy Workforce Emerging Executives Committee. He recently shared his insights on the energy services and technology sector.
ENERGY WORKFORCE: What is your role with the company? What does a typical day look like?
Joseph Bento: I run our local sales team here in the Houston area, as well as doing my own business development. My core responsibilities include growing our current business, mentoring/leading our sales team and finding new business. There is no such thing as a typical day for me. Usually on Mondays I am in the office, but the rest of the week I am out and about meeting with current clients, traveling, or prospecting and having meetings with new clients.
EW: What individual has been most instrumental in helping with your career? What did their mentorship look like, and how did it guide your path?
JB: I have had a few great mentors in my career. One was my mentor right out of college, Brian Bourke, who ran our LDP program up in Chicago. The second would be our COO, Russ Schamun. Their mentorship has been different but challenging. They have both challenged how I look at the industry as well as how I approach working with different types of people. It has guided me to grow and understand what real leadership looks like in the industry.
EW: What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
JB: Specifically for my industry, it has been interesting to say the least. When I first got into it, I thought it was just a typical transportation moves – “you call, we haul” type mentality. But one thing I have noticed is that technology and information have become key in the industry. Being able to streamline information to the customer has become more and more important.
EW: What has surprised you most about the industry?
JB: How much supply chain affects the business. I think I always knew it had a direct impact, but seeing how COVID shined a light on how the procurement/supply chain makes decisions now is important. I also think about how much information has come into play. People want to be communicated with, but don’t want a person to do it – they want that automated. It is the Amazon effect.
EW: Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?
JB: I would like to see the customer make decisions on service as opposed to price. I understand price will ALWAYS be a factor, but going above and beyond from a service standpoint should be more important.
EW: What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
JB: I think being able to adapt to change will be key in our industry’s future. Our industry is always changing and evolving, so getting out ahead of that is key. I think you do that by understanding your customers’ true needs. Also, building a rapport with the customer to where they will always trust you.
EW: What’s a technology or innovation you’ve seen in the sector that impressed you?
JB: Logixboard – a supply chain management platform for transportation companies that have built their own platforms.
EW: What advice would you give someone just getting started in the energy industry?
JB: Embrace it and embrace the relationship side of the business. Don’t be afraid of people saying no, and always listen first and ask questions. It is really easy for salespeople to speak – hold your tongue and understand the customer’s needs.
EW: What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
JB: That oil and gas impacts all different types of industries.
EW: What do you do for fun?
JB: I love to play golf, like love it. Been to some amazing golf courses here in the U.S. My wife and I have a 14-month-old son, and we are very involved in our church – our church loves to play pickleball, so we have gotten really into it.
EW: What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
JB: Golf in the morning (preferably Bandon Dunes or anywhere on the Monterey Peninsula), and laying by the beach in the afternoon with my wife!
EW: What’s a fun fact that people would never guess about you?
JB: I played Division 1 quarterback in college!
Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.