2017 was a banner year for Evans Transportation Services. The Wisconsin 3PL won several big accounts and faced the challenge of adjusting to explosive growth. New clients bring a bigger workload, and they feared that their current staff couldn’t keep up. They needed to prepare for an increased workload, provide a seamless transition for new accounts, and maintain the same level of service to longstanding, loyal customers. And they wanted to knock it out of the park.
Evans had a choice. They could work harder and hire more staff – as they had done for the last 30 years — or they could take a closer look at their operations.
Evans chose the latter.
Evans took a hard look at all their operations—including the back office—and analyzed every nut and bolt. A major consideration before bringing on any new employees is finding processes that can be scaled with technology,” said David Cochrane, Evans’ VP of Information Technology. “This exercise also highlighted interfaces we needed to consider when adopting a new system. Every new piece of back-office tech we chose had to mesh with other existing pieces.” HubTran had what they needed and wanted: A fast way to automate payments, manage documents, and reduce errors without adding employees. And HubTran’s turnkey integration with MercuryGate put the choice over the top. Cochrane says, “I thought HubTran might be the answer for us, and trying it wasn’t disruptive. MercuryGate is our trusted partner and theirs as well. Seemed high-value low-risk.”
Zero start-up time may have been the initial attraction, but from the first day, HubTran made a huge difference in the amount of business Evans could handle. “Our old process was slow and tedious, and our team was stretched to the limit. They wanted a better way of processing freight invoices. The accounting department had to receive invoices manually in both paper and PDF formats, match them to a load, build the load if it didn’t exist, and key in all the invoice information. That’s all before they could begin processing. They also had to manually compare invoices in MercuryGate to make sure information matched.”
With HubTran automation, back-office turnaround time shrank significantly.
“Now, all our team has to do is review,” notes David Cochrane, Evans’ VP of Information Technology. “HubTran auto-matches invoices in MercuryGate, providing a way to easily communicate disputes, which reduces manual time by over two minutes per invoice. And that’s a big deal.”
HubTran improved accuracy by flagging discrepancies between an invoice and the data Evans has in MercuryGate. By using optical character recognition and artificial intelligence, mistakes are virtually eliminated. “It’s great to see machine learning applied to supply chain function,” says Cochrane. “The ability of the software to identify various documents, where items are within those documents, and generally improve itself every day is excellent.” Evans knew that looking at technology solely for operational efficiency was shortsighted. There’s an entire ecosystem — including shipper customers and carriers — affected by technology choices. So Evans wanted tech that would work for everyone.
Evan’s carriers never had to change how they operated. Notes Cochrane, “For (our carriers), using HubTran doesn’t require installing an app, taking pictures with their phones, or scanning and sending documents. It’s simple to use. Evans carriers have embraced it.”
Cochrane adds, “Now that we’re turning everything around faster, everyone is happier.” Evan has decreased their overhead, enabling them to pass those savings on to their customers. And that makes them even more competitive.
Cochrane notes that HubTran delivered on every promise from the beginning. “True to their demo, HubTran’s implementation was swift and painless, enabling us to access its benefits quickly. HubTran’s customer support is fantastic; everyone in sales and support has been extremely responsive. Their ability to educate and assist us continuously makes it obvious that HubTran really stands behind their product.”
The best part? “With HubTran, we don’t require an endlessly expanding staff to keep up with our growing customer list, and we’re secure in handling anything from here on out,” says Cochrane. “We’re set.”