“A good reputation influences whether people trust you and will buy your products. The most important thing is not to focus on the bottom line today but, instead, focus on the customer–this will increase your bottom line tomorrow.”
Kirilov had been working in freight logistics for several years before joining Montway in 2010.
“When I first started in the auto transport industry, I was working for a trucking company while simultaneously getting my license to become a real estate agent and broker, which I maintained until 2014. The relationships I’ve established with business partners within the freight industry, as well the professional growth I’ve experienced with Montway, made choosing logistics over real estate an easy decision.”
Kirilov has had a tireless work ethic, joining the company right when they were getting their footing in the industry. He has quickly demonstrated innovation in growing the retail market and business-to-business portfolio.
“When the company was small, everyone wore many hats – from sales, customer service and dispatch all the way to claims – so it was a great way to learn the business inside and out,” he explained. “I also saw an opportunity to contribute to Montway’s overall growth, so I kept working my way up.”
Born and raised in Bulgaria, behind the Iron Curtain when business and capitalism were “dirty words,” Kirilov said it was ironic that he became the CEO of a U.S.-based company.
“As a kid I couldn’t believe I would ever have the opportunity to visit the U.S., so to live here is really special!’ he enthused.
When the pandemic hit, like many executives, Kirilov found himself dealing with numerous challenges, but he has been ongoingly determined for his company to find ways to adapt.
The main issue has been driver shortages. “While the pandemic has created a myriad of problems, the core issue is how the industry is recruiting new drivers,” he acknowledged.
Driver pay is always a significant part of the issue.
“Many young people today simply do not want to drive across country,” Kirilov noted. “They would rather work for last-mile delivery services. Long nights on the road is a hard life, whereas regular local routes and hours are much more compelling for them.”
Nevertheless, Kirilov has a savvy strategy in place to attract new drivers.
“I believe transportation companies must be proactive–most young people never consider a career in this industry because they simply don’t know any drivers. We must present to potential employees why being a driver can be a lucrative and stable career.”
The veteran transportation executive is equally adamant about pleasing his clients.
“Montway prides itself on an excellent customer service experience. It is crucial that every customer feels heard and appreciated. We have truly valued the customers’ experience since the start of the company. No matter the situation, customers deserve to have a good experience with your business.”
The pandemic has also helped the company significantly increase its business.
“Montway has actually broken company records each month,” Kirilov said. “While we can’t be sure exactly why each person is moving their car across country, flexible work from home policies and the great resignation seems to have spurred tremendous movement.”
Another key driver of Montway’s growth has been the lack of automotive inventory, with dealerships purchasing and shipping cars from auctions located further outside their local markets and an overall increase in online car retailing.