Transportation One: Custom Automation Without the Custom Cost

Transportation One struggled to find an accounts-payable solution designed for 3PLs and customizable to their business. In HubTran, they found exactly what they needed.

Transportation One is a fast-growing, Chicago-based 3PL. The company "invests heavily in cutting-edge, proprietary technology and experienced logistics professionals allowing them to deliver superior service to clients." This is likely how Transportation One found itself on Inc's 5000 Honoree list and Food Logistics Top 100 Service Providers for five consecutive years, and why they've experienced nonstop revenue growth since their first day in business.

With this intense growth, Transportation One struggled to keep up with processing invoices. And because Transportation One's CEO, Jamie Teets, maintains the company-wide goal of creating scalability and productivity across every operation, they diligently explored automation options in search of perfection.

One size does not fit all.

Transportation One struggled mightily to find an accounts-payable solution designed for 3PLs that would also customize to meet their needs. The last thing they wanted was to adapt to a system rather than the other way around. Sacrificing a successful way of doing business to accommodate an off-the-rack solution was not an option.

Joe Miller, Controller at Transportation One explains: "There were plenty of AP automation solutions that seemed like they'd be satisfactory, but nothing quite met our needs. 3PLs are unique in that we cater to two parties---our customers and our carriers. Part of this dynamic is having the ability to pay carriers quickly. That's essential to our relationship with carriers. The best solution the prospective vendors could offer did not meet our needs. They could not provide a solution that allowed us to be as nimble and efficient as we required."

In addition to their lack of flexibility on timing, none of the payment systems appreciated "how nuanced processing invoices is for a 3PL" said Miller. "For example, the pricing offered with off-the-shelf AP automation products showed a lack of understanding of how transportation works. Some had large set up and maintenance fees. Others charged per page for processing. Anyone in the industry knows sometimes there are two pages on a Bill of Lading, and at times, 200 pages. Clearly, their products were not a good fit for the needs of our business."

Transportation One kept looking.

And then the stars aligned.

As luck would have it, Transportation One's TMS company, Keypoint, completed their integration with HubTran in November of 2017. Like magic, the partnership offered Transportation One the opportunity it needed: to try HubTran without the hassle of additional software or installation.

Spoiler alert: There's a happy ending.

It was as if someone had read Miller's mind. "HubTran was precisely what we were looking for. For us, HubTran really and truly is custom automation without the custom cost. It's already designed just for freight brokers and it's highly configurable for our company."

With HubTran, Transportation One is now able to organize payables 4x faster with terms and financing customized to their business. The company pays when they want to pay and carriers get paid when they want to get paid.

According to Miller, "The iterative nature of processing payables allows HubTran to be more efficient the more you process. It's ability to learn your carriers and the details of your shipments makes processing payables even faster. It used to take the company up to three minutes to process, scan, and check one invoice. With HubTran's automation designed for Transportation One, it takes less than 20 seconds. And without mistakes!"

Cash is king.

Miller notes another key benefit: "HubTran allows us to get our paperwork processed rapidly, which lets us invoice customers quickly to get paid faster. HubTran has more than paid for itself by reducing our cycle time from shipment pickup to customer invoicing and payment."

If you're a Keypoint customer, HubTran not only makes sense, it's a breeze.

In order to handle payables efficiently, you need to move a lot of data and documents. That information flow is vital to minimizing work and maximizing cash flow. When your systems are integrated, that flow is easy. HubTran's integration with Keypoint makes implementation fast - everything is in place and ready to go. The advanced functionality is already baked in and available at low cost.

The rest is history. (And also the future.)

CEO Jamie Teets' priority has always been positioning the company for growth. Teets notes, "For us, the emphasis is on staying nimble. We're in a good situation, because our customers are high quality shippers; but we still need to keep an eye on future growth. After our initial look at HubTran, we realized there was little risk for us. The bottom line is that we invoice quicker. The reward has been huge and that's exactly what we were hoping for."

In fact, HubTran has never lost any customer after trial. For large and small freight brokers alike, giving HubTran a try just makes sense.

"HubTran has more than paid for itself by reducing our cycle time from shipment pickup to customer invoicing and payment."