29 Years of ICL Systems

29 Years of ICL Systems – The Beginning and Plan


ICL Systems is a leading provider of solutions for transportation and logistics. Founded by our CEO, Patrick Donahoe, in 1992, his goal was to build a solution that he wanted as a client within the Finished Vehicle Logistics industry. Since then, ICL has invested over 1,050,000 hours of research and development into our finished vehicle logistics software. While we started with a few, our award-winning teams have grown to more than 100 workers across the globe, from North America, Mexico, Europe and Asia.

ICL Systems is born

Like every great company, ICL started with the vision; to be recognized as the industry leader in product visibility and invoice-auditing solutions throughout the logistics supply chain. While many people have great business ideas, it takes a true entrepreneur and some hard work to nurture and grow that idea into something with lasting value. Being able to communicate that vision to others is one of many challenges that an entrepreneur must overcome. I have known Patrick before founding ICL and becoming an early client while at KIA motors; I certainly understood the business need Patrick was looking to fill and the product’s value proposition. I didn’t know the larger vision behind ICL; the power of technology to drive efficiency in transportation and supply chain management.

One Summer night in 2000, the idea for ICL expanded into new horizons.

VLMS or Vehicle Logistics Management System offers seamless integration and total visibility in all segments of the finished vehicle pre-delivery and transportation process, centralizing and digitizing data from supply chain partners. When Patrick approached Brian Hook and me about joining ICL, he already supported KIA motors and several other OEMs, providing solid proof that there was a need for a logistics management system tailored to finished vehicles. He presented us with a detailed ten-year plan, walk us through every aspect of the dream: mission statement, marketing plan, product development roadmap, customer support, market share projections and forecasted revenue. The only question we had to ask ourselves is will it work? Leaving our corporate jobs was a huge risk to take for a chance to work at ICL. Later that night, the bound plan in my hand, I repeatedly read through the business plan, and I was sold. Fast forward 29 years, now an industry leader within Vehicle Logistics Management, all thanks to Patrick’s attention to detail.

Our Mission

While the original plan has been sadly lost, ICL’s success resulted from the hard work of many people over the years, and it would not have been possible without Patrick’s entrepreneurial drive and his vision. At ICL, we are rebellious optimists driven by entrepreneurial culture, clear vision and ideas, with a desire to shape a better future for digital logistics together. While we started with a few, now we are many.

Deep dive into the world of our core products here.

This article was written by Tom Swennes, VP at ICL, Inc. Connect with Tom Swennes on LinkedIn.