Case Study: Spartan Logistics

Spartan Logistics Capitalizes on BrokerPro’s Exceptional User Experience to Grow Their Business

Case Study: Spartan Logistics

Spartan Logistics’s prior TMS was hampering their growth. After a thorough evaluation, BrokerPro was the obvious choice to facilitate scaling their business.

Introduction

Spartan Logistics was formed in 2013 as an in-house transportation provider for a Chicago-based food distributor. Since that time, Spartan has grown and is currently managing over 2,500 loads per month throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. They focus on dry, refrigerated, and frozen loads, consisting of full truckloads along with challenging partial and multi-pick shipments.

Spartan Logistics prides itself on the quality of relationships it builds with its customers, carriers, and employees. They understand that the success of the company is reliant on each party being served well. For carriers , that means easy payment terms, quick pays, 24/7 support, and simple signup. Shippers receive first-class support, continuous communication, and a logistics partner that understands the nuances of their business. Spartan Logistics employees enjoy a high-growth environment that provides the tools and resources that allow them to serve carriers, shippers, and consignees with excellence.

The TMS Conundrum

In early 2019, Spartan Logistics had a choice to make. The company was growing rapidly. They were adding new customers and employees, but their Transportation Management System (TMS) was holding them back. While the TMS they were using was full featured, it was too complex for their team to use efficiently. From carrier sales representatives to back-office administrators, every new employee had to undergo extensive training in the TMS before they were productive. More problematically, even their experienced team members were not able to serve customers and carriers as well as they could because their TMS required “too many keystrokes” to perform their day-to-day work.

Additionally, Spartan’s leadership team struggled to get meaningful reports out of the system. Sales representatives spent a great amount of time clicking through the system to post to load boards. The back-office team had to manually parse through and validate documents received from carriers.

To continue growing and stay true to Spartan’s goal of being a freight broker of choice for carriers, shippers, and employees, they knew that they had to change this key component of their organization.

The TMS Evaluation

When evaluating new TMS solutions, Spartan Logistics had four criteria:

User Experience and Ease of Use

This was essential. Their current TMS was not user-friendly and did not enable their team to serve their carriers or shippers well. They simply couldn’t afford to implement a system that was hard to learn and didn’t allow them to perform simple tasks quickly.

Scaling Their Business

The complexity of their existing TMS made it very difficult for Spartan Logistics to quickly train and onboard new users. Additionally, getting key business metrics out of the TMS via reports was cumbersome. They needed their new TMS to provide a simple interface that allowed them to make decisions and scale efficiently.

Overall Cost to Use the Software

The cost to use their TMS, itself, was quite high, but what troubled Spartan Logistics most was the wasted hours their team spent in the system performing routine tasks. They knew that if they could make their employees more productive that they would save significant money each year by eliminating activities that were not generating profits.

Integration With the Applications They Already Use

Spartan uses DAT™ and TriumphPay’s HubTran to automate key aspects of their business. Even if a TMS didn’t already integrate with these applications, they wanted to ensure that the TMS had the ability to do so.

The TMS Solution: BrokerPro

“Broker Pro WANTS to know what is important. They understand that if they can’t scale with you, they can’t be your partner. This is invaluable." - Amber Romando, Chief Operating Officer”

Spartan Logistics spoke with many TMS providers and saw numerous demonstrations. After speaking with BrokerPro, though, they knew they found a TMS solution that addressed their key decision criteria – while going above and beyond in areas they hadn’t considered.

User Experience and Ease of Use

  • Spartan Logistics found BrokerPro’s overall ease of to be far superior to their previous TMS. It has saved them “a TON of time” creating and managing loads. BrokerPro’s ability to post thousands of loads to multiple load boards has been a game changer for them that has allowed their team to be more productive while using the TMS. Effectively, their transportation management system has become a productivity tool that allows them to do their jobs better as opposed to a software system they had to use to keep track of everything. From a single screen, they can see every important piece of load data. From carrier rates to documents to check calls, everything a freight broker is able to see everything they need on one screen. Users don’t need to click through multiple screens and run multiple searches to understand what is happening with a load.
  • Spartan has also learned the importance of working with a software company that actively listens to customers and encourages feedback to improve the product to meet users’ needs. According to Amber Romando, Chief Operating Officer, of Spartan Logistics, “Broker Pro WANTS to know what is important. They understand that if they can’t scale with you, they can’t be your partner. This is invaluable.”

Scaling Their Business

  • This improved user experience has enabled them to scale their business even faster. For example, prior to using BrokerPro, team members could post loads to load boards through their TMS, but they chose not to because doing so actually made them less efficient than posting them directly to each individual load board. With BrokerPro, a single team member can post all their loads with a click.

  • Spartan’s leadership team knows the importance of using actionable data to make business decisions, but they struggled to create meaningful reports in their prior TMS. Fortunately, BrokerPro’s dashboards and reporting modules gives them customizable snapshots of their profitability. In real-time, they can see metrics on data points like average gross per load, average profit per load, and average loads per month. All these metrics – simple to see and analyze – let them know if they’re trending in the right direction and what changes need to be made to improve their freight brokerage’s operations and processes.

Overall Cost to Use the Software

  • Spartan Logistics has realized tangible productivity gains by switching to BrokerPro that have a big impact on the company’s bottom line. They understand that the cost of using a TMS isn’t just the subscription costs. On average, each employee is saving about 4.5 hours each week because the system is easy and intuitive to use. At a fully-loaded cost of $40/hour for 20 employees using the system, productivity gains are saving them a whopping $3,600 each week – or $172,800 each year. They can use that money to hire more people who help them grow the business as opposed to performing inefficient administrative tasks in their TMS. When Spartan needs to ask a question or they experience a problem with BrokerPro, they have found BrokerPro’s support team is able to resolve their issues quickly . This is partially due to the inherent stability of the BrokerPro platform, but it is also attributable to the advanced support systems that BrokerPro has put in place to allow them to serve customers faster. Put simply, every support interaction is a breeze with BrokerPro.

Integration With the Applications They Already Use

  • Spartan Logistics knows the importance of using the best applications to get the job done, and they also understand that their TMS needs to provide a seamless experience with those applications. Since BrokerPro integrates with over 20 applications out of the box, Spartan Logistics knows their TMS will be able to support whatever scenario they require.

  • Spartan uses DAT™ Load Board to ensure they are getting access to the right trucks for the 30,000 loads they manage. BrokerPro’s integration with DAT™ allows them to quickly post – and manage – hundreds of loads inside of DAT™ without ever needing to leave the BrokerPro interface. If users do need to leave BrokerPro to handle something natively inside of Dat™, the integration is intelligent enough to update the load data inside of BrokerPro in real-time. This ensures their data is always synchronized and up to date.

  • It is very important for Spartan Logistics to be able to pay their carriers quickly, but the back-office burden of managing paperwork associated with each load was becoming unmanageable. They decided to automate that work by using TriumphPay Audit . TriumphPay Audit allows them to automatically match each invoice – and associated paperwork – received by a carrier and ensure that the invoice amount matches what is in BrokerPro. If everything is correct, their accounts payable team can approve the invoice for payment within the system and BrokerPro handles it from there. If anything is not accurate, they can quickly log an exception and work with the carrier to receive corrected paperwork within the interface. The BrokerPro integration with HubTran has saved Spartan Logistics countless hours of back-office time, increased their accuracy rate, ensured they pay carriers faster, and improved their cashflow by allowing them to bill their customers faster.

In Summary

BrokerPro exists to help freight brokers and 3PLs efficiently manage their day-to-day operations so they can focus on growing their businesses, and Spartan Logistics has found BrokerPro to be an essential partner. Everything they do is reliant on their TMS, and Spartan Logistics considers BrokerPro to be “the heartbeat” of their organization by offering an intuitive, affordable, and comprehensive set of tools and services that checks all of boxes they had when they knew they needed to change their transportation management system.


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