NFI: Finding Bandwidth After Doing Without
HubTran delivered when David Broering, Senior VP at NFI, faced the kind of problem every growing business wants: How to keep up with growth. "We found a way to expand volume without adding back-office headcount.”
In 2012 David joined NFI, a $1.3B transportation company, and took the reins of their five-person brokerage. That brokerage has grown to 135 employees in nine locations, moving over 190,000 shipments and generating $200 million in revenues. David is now also responsible for NFI’s Transportation Management and Drayage divisions as well as FBA, which audits and pays freight bills for five divisions.
Business was booming.
To handle that growth, NFI had to increase its back-office capacity, and Dave needed to find the right way to do it. "We land deals that can drop an additional 25,000 annual shipments into FBA overnight. I didn't want an army of hourly employees toiling away, manually scanning documents. We were looking to automate freight bill audit and payment without paying more than we were already. It was also a matter of seeing what was possible and how a system's connections worked."
Worth a shot.
David also wanted to ensure HubTran’s integration with their TMS, Aljex Software, worked correctly. Since HubTran is a cloud-based platform, there aren’t upfront costs for installation or licensing. So it was easy for Dave to give it a try. "If it didn't work, we’d move on," David explained. "But if it did, it would let us expand our operation."
David breaks it down.
David cited a hypothetical example. “Let’s say carriers send NFI 10 invoices with eight pieces of paperwork per invoice—80 pages in all. We used to batch it into 10 piles of eight, one for each PRO number. We would open each load in our TMS, match information, and confirm it was right. Does the rate match? Is there a signature?” After that, FBA would scan eight pages for each transaction, then identify the shipper document that goes with the customer bill plus an internal document. “We don't want to send our carrier invoice to our shipper partner—that discloses our margin."
"With HubTran, those 80 pages are automatically indexed and grouped when they drop into our dashboard. Worst case, the carriers mail hard copies and we do a single batch scan. It takes three minutes to do the whole thing instead of three minutes per invoice. One-tenth of the time. This gives FBA the bandwidth to grow without adding bodies," David said.
It’s nice to be the favorite.
HubTran also makes it possible for NFI to pay carriers more quickly, make payment information available, and become a broker of choice. “In the old days, if we were backed up, it might take eight days to get to an invoice. That means an eight-day gap in which the carrier has no idea what's going on. If a carrier calls, it’s difficult to access information fast, creating angst. Not what we want. Relationships are created with transparency of pay terms, payment information, and pay date. With HubTran, we can provide that and accelerate payment if necessary."
Happily ever after.
"We doubled volume at half our old costs," David said, noting that he intends to expand HubTran across NFI businesses. "We're now transitioning accounts payables for Canadian carriers to HubTran. We're automating the entire brokerage process."
"We doubled volume at half our old costs," David said, noting that he intends to expand HubTran across NFI businesses.