"Doug Hicks is the best cost modeling expert in North America. His practical application of the ABC concepts is revolutionary and his common sense approach to the process is refreshing. I feel strongly that one day we'll be talking about Doug Hicks as a cost management pioneer. I thank him for writing his book, which completely changed the way I look at cost. I encourage all managers to do the same and reap the profits."
- Chris Domanski, Cost Engineering Manager at TRW
"Doug and I have worked together on over six different occasions. His approach to designing and developing economic cost models of a business is exceptional. Doug has the ability to use simple analogies to explain complex costing theories. I have become a stronger financial executive because he has shared his knowledge of activity-based costing with me. Doug's practical approach coupled with his ability to educate his clients make him a true leader and visionary in his field. All the companies that I have been associated with had a model that was used by the senior management team after the project was completed. I would highly recommend Doug to any Company that wants to grow and obtain a better understanding of their costs. If there was a cost accounting Hall of Fame Doug should be one of the first inducted."
- Jon Anderson, Chief Financial Officer, H. P. Pelzer Automotive Systems
"I strongly recommend Doug Hicks as a trusted business advisor to help your business - large or small, profit or not-for-profit, in Chicago or in China - improve operational performance. Doug has been a speaker at many levels for IMA (chapter, global conferences, etc.). He is innovative, a straight shooter, challenges the status quo on behalf of his clients, and gives personalized value-added service. I consider him to be on my short list of true experts in the areas of strategic costing and performance management. Doug does not sell a product, he sells a service with sustainability and passion to enable clients to embed operational improvements into their business processes. I have known Doug for many years, plain and simple, he is a good guy and a great relationship manager you can trust. His CMC (Certified Management Consultant) credential means that he has gone the extra mile to differentiate himself and build his services on a foundation of ethics and credibility, as only a small percentage of business consultant hold the CMC designation."
- Jeff Thomson, IMA president and CEO
"Doug has been exceptionally great to work with. He is of course very knowledgeable in his field, but what has impressed me most is his ability to relay that knowledge to everyone in the organization. No matter how big of a road block we thought we had, he seemed to always have a way to get us around it. He used a very innovative methodology and understands the practicality of tracking the data. He has been very patient, flexible, and understanding of other job responsibilities. I have completely enjoyed working with Doug and would not hesitate at all to recommend him!"
- Louanne Kiko, Chief Financial Officer, Tank Services, Inc.
"Doug provided us with an ABC costing model that accomplished a number of benefits for us. First and foremost it changed the way we viewed our business. His insight into the costing function helped us to truly analyze our profitability by customer. The model that Doug designed for us was reasonably priced and a truly useful tool. Doug was able to grasp our business fairly easily and adapt his model to what we did. He didn't try and change what we did to fit his model but rather he helped us understand our business so that we could see if it needed to be changed or where imrpovement opportunities were."
- Rob Paglieri, Vice President Operations and Finance, Bardwil Industries
"I have known Doug for just over three years and in that time I have had a number of different interactions with him including serving with Doug on the IMA board for the Metro Detroit Chapter. Doug has assisted the IMA and other well known associations many times by relaying his knowledge & unique approaches to explaining cost-relating measures with a focus on activity based concepts to appropriate parties. I have personally witnessed Doug organize, plan & present two (2) all day seminars in which the audience reaction was very positive. I can tell you first hand that Doug is man of great knowledge and integrity. If you're looking for consultation related to ABC costing or are in need of a Dynamic speaker ... Doug is backed by twenty-five years of experience and does an excellent job!"
- Jeff Harrison, President, Institute of Management Accountants - Detroit Chapter
"It's always a great presentation by Doug. He has that uncommon skill of explaining somewhat complex things in ways that people can understand. The real bonus is he does this with a homespun delivery that is both humorous and provocative. He is the Garrison Keillor of management accounting! No doubt his speaking skills come from having actually been in industry positions and walked in the shoes of his audience."
- Gary Cokins, Manager of Performance Management Solutions, SAS Institute
"As VP-Finance for a firm that manufactures ice machines, I was asked to contact an ABC consultant to review our cost methodology. Doug was recommended by the design for manufacturability consultant we had just hired. Doug did a fine job of helping us understand our critical cost drivers and developed a useful model that could be applied to our business to look at the true drivers of cost rather than the classic cost accounting basis used for financial accounting. Doug's is a hands on professional. I would characterize him as an expert temporary addition to my staff more than a consultant. Doug is truly expert at his specialty and does a good job of communicating and transferring his knowledge to business applications. Doug is more concerned about his customers' problem resolution than billable hours. Doug is a leader in his chosen area of expertise and remains on the cutting edge through participation in professional societies, training and publication. If I were in a position to hire an expert in activity based costing again, I would not hesitate to contact Doug."
- David Weller, Vice-President Finance, ICE-O-Matic, Inc.
"Doug is very knowledgeable when it comes to Activity Based Costing. He helped me develop several cost models for our manufacturing plants in Kentucky while I was still working for Akebono. The models helped us bid on future programs with our Automotive Customers. Without the models, we would be blindly bidding new programs without understanding the true cost impact to our business."
- Tuan Nguyen, Manager of Cost Estimating, Akebono Corporation
"As the past National Industry Partner for the manufacturing practice of BKD, LLP, I would highly recommend Doug Hicks as a speaker or instructor for any high profile conference or seminar. He has spoken many times at our national manufacturing industry conferences and other CPE programs and always receives very high ratings in our speaker evaluation process. Doug is very interesting in his delivery approach and also provides a valuable learning experience about how costing and estimating decisions should be approached by manufacturing companies of all types."
- David Schmitt, CPA, Former National Industry Partner for Manufacturing, BKD, LLP
"I've known Doug for 22 years and believe that he is the best cost accountant in the United States."
- John Daly, President, Executive Education, Inc.
"Doug applied the principles of Activity-Based Costing to the distribution functions at a common client of ours. His approach was extremely professional. Most importantly, he didn't just provide the template and the answers. Rather he provided the education and understanding so that our client could use these tools to evaluate the cost drivers of their business and explore "what-if" options in the future."
- Howard Klein, Principal, H. Klein & Associates, LLC
"Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. According to this view, when we think about emergence we are, in our mind's eye, moving between different vantage points. We see the trees and the forest at the same time. We see the way the trees and the forest are related to each other. To see in both these views we have to be able to see details, but also ignore details. The trick is to know which of the many details we see in the trees are important to know when we see the forest. In conventional views the observer considers either the trees or the forest. Those who consider the trees consider the details to be essential and do not see the patterns that arise when considering trees in the context of the forest. Those who consider the forest do not see the details. When we shift back and forth between seeing the trees and the forest we also see which aspects of the trees are relevant to the description of the forest.
The models Doug provides, give the client an insight into costs they most often, never possessed and the ability to make sound decisions that are beneficial to the company's health approaching 100%. I've worked with Doug and have had the opportunity to use his product for nearly a decade. His modeling capability, his perspective on the functional relationships that exist and his ability to provide a coherent, easy to use product are in my opinion unsurpassed. He has quite literally devoted his life to creating cost models that are so elegant they become more than the sum of their parts. I have provided some text relative to the philosophical concept of "emergence" because my belief is that companies see cost from a particular perspective like the trees and forest example and most believe they can create cost models on their own. In my experience however with several different companies, it's far more valuable to use someone who can see the cost forest and understand the cost trees at the same time and know the difference than to attempt to build models from within. As Albert Einstein said, 'We can't solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.' Doug's value has no upper bound and I highly recommend him for any endeavor where decisions are to be made that relate to costs. And I can't think of a decision within any organization that wouldn't relate to cost."
- Victor Delibera, Director of Cost Estimating, HP Pelzer & BBi Enterprises