Meeting Customer Demands Has Never Been So Easy
"Solar Transport chose EBE Technologies as a document imaging and workflow partner to continue to push towards being a technology leader in the industry. The partnership and teamwork has provided us with a substantial ROI, and the value we have received with the mobile capture app has been outstanding. EBE has been an excellent choice and we value our partnership with them," said Jason Jones, IT Manager, Solar Transport.
Founded in 1963, Solar Transport has grown from one truck to its current fleet size of 225 with over 400 employees. Based in West Des Moines, IA, with offices in Springfield, MO, Denver, CO, and Bell Gardens, CA, Solar Transport services 19 states with a variety of refined petroleum products including gasoline, diesel, ethanol, and jet fuel. Solar Transport continually strives to set the standard in how these petroleum products are managed, transported, and delivered by adhering to what they see as the "basic tenets of good business:" customer service, safety, professionalism, technology, and customized solutions.
Solar Transport used a manual indexing method to handle the transactions for over 25,000 loads -- an inefficient accounts receivable and billing process that wasted hours of staff time. As such, they were unable to meet the increased client demand for the receipt of immediate PODs because it was taking about 36-72 hours to get paperwork to their customers. Additionally, their office staff was plagued with the necessity of initiating out-bound calls to drivers for missing or late documents and paperwork. The company's drivers also used valuable time at the end of their work days to manually scan paperwork at truck stops, leading to driver frustration because they weren't able to go directly home after their shift was over. These inefficiencies were restricting Solar Transport from achieving its growth goals as well as jeopardizing its level of customer satisfaction.
Solar Transport selected SHIPS Mobile (a mobile alternative to in-cab scanning) because of EBE's ability to improve the inefficiencies in their document indexing processes, and for the potential to grow in the future. The addition of SHIPS Mobile as an integral component of the solution suite was seen as a vital part of the company's objective to stay ahead of their competition while driving down costs and meeting shippers' demands.
Reduced Expenditures and Improved Productivity While Meeting Client Demand
Since implementing SHIPS Mobile in January of 2017, Solar Transport has seen a dramatic change in the efficiency of their staff and operation as a whole. EBE's system allows the company to automatically validate driver information and order number within dispatch, assigning additional index values from their dispatch system to initiate the billing and settlement process. This automated indexing has eliminated 150 manual indexing hours per week, saving over $100,000 per year.
Improved Billing Cycle Time by 800%; Increased Customer Satisfaction
This has also reduced the company's time that paperwork is outstanding from 17 hours to just minutes from the time of delivery, and has improved month-end closing by a full day. The combined solution of the automated indexing and mobile capture has improved customer satisfaction as well. Receiving quality images from the drivers in near real-time, combined with the auto indexing process, has positioned Solar to deliver more timely and accurate invoices to its customers.
Additionally, the SHIPS Mobile application automatically alerts drivers to missing or late paperwork. This has saved Solar Transport staff about 30 hours per week that they normally would have spent calling drivers to ask for the necessary documents, and translates to over $20,000 per year in cost savings.
KPIs Provide For More Informed Management Decisions
The growing need for data to report on KPIs has been another benefit of the mobile capture application, which offers unparalleled visibility to driver activities and helps identify any bottlenecks in the process and outlines a path for addressing those pain points. The SHIPS Mobile solution allows Solar Transport to make better business decisions overall.
Improved Driver Satisfaction and Driver Retention
EBE's SHIPS Mobile application has saved Solar Transport drivers over 45 minutes each day that they used to spend waiting to scan their documents at a truck stop. With the ability to go directly home at the end of their shift, the mobille capture application has improved the drivers' quality of life and their employment satisfaction. What's more, in addition to notifying drivers of missing or late paperwork, the application's Settlement Assistant also alerts them to payroll cut-off periods so drivers can take immediate action. In fact, Solar Transport was able to improve payroll deadlines by a full day using the SHIPS Mobile application, and even managed to reduce their driver turnover rate from 60% to 30%. By offering visibility to trip and payroll documents through their mobile device and the web-based driver portal, the solution provides a variety of ways to empower drivers to manage their settlements. In an industry where companies are trying everything to cater to drivers and improve driver retention, the SHIPS Mobile application is a significant step in the right direction.
Solar Transport remains focused on growing their business while staying competitive in the industry, and EBE's SHIPS Mobile solution has allowed them to do just that. The company plans to implement EBE's Accounts Payable and Transportation Compliance workflows to further integrate their mobile solutions and automate their back-office systems. EBE's support staff is also working to customize their applications to support Solar Transport's changing business needs and ensure that the company meets their goal of doubling its business by 2021 without hiring additional staff. "We look for a business partner that we can communicate with and that understands our business. We've developed a relationship with EBE, and it's comforting to know that they are looking out for our interests and want to see us grow. That has been one of the best parts of our decision," says Jason.