“Boomi enables us to manage the end-to-end process to make sure that cash flow happens, and the integration took only a day; building our own customer interfaces to build in that layer of integration would have taken weeks of development.” — John Manzanares, Vice President of Information Technology and CIO
Daylight Transport uses Dell Boomi AtomSphere to quickly integrate its EDI, TMS and ERP systems, reducing the customer workload and enabling easy integration to help generate additional revenues.
Founded in 1977, Daylight Transport is one of the leading expedited less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers in the United States. The company offers air freight, volume and truckload services nationwide. Named one of the 100 fastest-growing companies four years in a row by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Daylight Transport relies heavily on information technology to deliver fast and flexible services for its customers. A critical component of that success is Dell Boomi AtomSphere.
To deliver better customer service and reduce customer service workload, Daylight Transport needed to better integrate its systems, including freight pick-up, tracking and invoicing.
Fast, flexible service requires integrated systems
Daylight Transport is a non-asset-based company; rather than owning its own trucks, it has a virtual network of independent contractors, agents and carriers that move its freight. Therefore, the company requires tightly integrated systems to manage customer orders, coordinate freight movement, monitor shipments, notify partners, invoice clients and more. One of the core technologies the company uses is IBM Sterling Gentran, which provides electronic data interchange (EDI) and data translation for high-volume transactions. Equally important is TruckMate from TMW Systems, a transportation management system that functions both as an ERP, managing freight movement from pick-up to delivery, and as the financial system for Daylight Transport, providing invoicing and other financial services.
Working to keep customers happy and costs down
However, the system as a whole was not smoothly integrated, leaving the company vulnerable to a variety of issues that affected both internal operations and customer satisfaction. “The end-to-end process was a hodgepodge of various technologies coupled together, including not only Gentran and TruckMate but a patchwork of FTP applications and home-grown scripts,” explains Martin Zsembik, senior application developer at Daylight Transport. “That meant we had multiple points of failure. Moreover, with no oversight over the whole system, we could have a failure in one system and not know about it.” These failures could have a significant impact on the business. “Customers might not be getting invoices or they may not be getting status messages on where their freight was,” recalls John Manzanares, vice president of information technology and CIO of Daylight Transport. “Those issues would cause frustration for them. This would also result in higher costs for us, since payments would be delayed or customer service would receive more calls requiring them to chase down information customers should have been getting electronically.”
Connecting cloud and on-premises applications without software or appliances
With customer satisfaction a top priority, the company knew it needed a way to better integrate its system and
proactively detect and remediate issues before they could affect customers and partners. The company recognized that building an integration platform in-house was not feasible, since it would require extensive development resources and a great deal of time. Moreover, Zsembik already had experience with a solution that could deliver everything Daylight Transport needed right away: Dell Boomi AtomSphere.
Quick and effective integration improves customer retention
A quick evaluation of Boomi, coupled with Zsembik’s previous positive experience, was enough to convince
Daylight Transport to move quickly into full implementation mode. The company found that implementation was much faster with Boomi than it would have been otherwise. “We were able to come up with the proof of concept quite quickly, and then we immediately started cranking out new implementations and migrating implementations from Gentran,” explains Zsembik. “With Boomi, we went from weeks of implementation down to days.”
In particular, the company rellies on Boomi’s reusable components. “Boomi gives us the ability to copy processes
and to copy pieces within a process,” notes Zsembik. “Because of Boomi, our development time is now often
measured in minutes rather than hours or days.” In fact, with Boomi, Daylight Transport has been able to clear out a big backlog of customer EDI requests that the company could not fulfil before. “With our old system, we couldn’t handle those requests in a timely manner, and that left us open to those customers taking their business elsewhere,” says Manzanares. “Getting their requests implemented quickly has really cemented those relationships and help us hold on to those customers.”
Easy integration of one tool generates an additional $800 to $1,000 a day
Daylight Transport has reaped additional revenue as well — $800 to $1,000 a day in one case. The company had
purchased a dimensioner – a tool which measures freight. The company used Boomi to integrate the dimensioner
into its transportation system, tying dimensioning data to each shipment and putting that information at the
fingertips of Daylight Transport’s weights and inspection department. “With Boomi, we were able to implement the
new dimensioner tool quickly — we had a prototype working in less than a day — instead of having to build our
own custom integration,” Manzanares explains. “Having that tool integrated into our systems generates an additional $800 to $1,000 of revenue per day.” Daylight Transport also used Boomi to integrate its accounts receivable process. Information from the check scanning system is integrated with the financial systems, end-to-end so the company can electronically transfer the funds into its account and users of the check scanning system know whether the transactions were successful. “Boomi enables us to manage the end-to-end process to make sure that cash flow happens,” notes Manzanares. “And the integration took only a day; building our own customer interfaces to build in that layer of integration would have taken weeks of development.”
Integrating systems saves the cost of a FTE
Another benefit Daylight Transport has realized is to reduce the customer service workload by one full-time
employee. Customers can now get data about their shipments in near real-time, whether it’s invoicing information or shipment status information, without having to make phone calls or send emails. For example, Daylight Transport used to have two full-time resources manually contacting its long-haul providers for status information to estimate when each truck was going to arrive at a terminal, and these resources weren’t able to get through the entire list during their workday, Manzanares explains. “Now that we’ve integrated those systems through Boomi and we’re getting status updates electronically, we’ve eliminated 40 to 50 percent of those phone calls and emails — effectively a full-time employee that we can redeploy to more strategic projects,” Manzanares says. “And the time savings is going to grow as we add more carriers to Boomi. Plus, the information is more accurate.” The company has seen similar time savings by integrating other systems using Boomi. “On the customer service side, we’ve done nearly the same thing with data entry for pick-up requests for new freight shipments from our customers,” says Zsembik.
A robust architecture minimizes business disruptions
Daylight Transport also no longer has to worry about failures going unnoticed. “In our old system, if some of the data coming across didn’t meet certain criteria, it would just fail without notice,” explains Manzanares. “With Boomi we can put in handlers so that if things don’t work perfectly, it doesn’t shut down. For example, we can skip an erroneous record entirely and go on to the next one. That robustness enables us to better serve our customers.”
New opportunities for integration
Daylight Transport has also been able to add functionality that was difficult or impossible before. “With the old architecture, we were limited in what we could do, but with Boomi, we can tailor the code to generate data as needed,” explains Zsembik. Given its flexibility, the Daylight Transport team can write code any way it needs to through Boomi. As a result, the team added new EDI sets that weren’t attempted previously, or that it had been able to accomplish using its old EDI translator. “And those things don’t take hours or days to set up any more,” Zsembik says. “With Boomi, it can be an hour or even just minutes, depending on the type of set we’re looking to implement. It’s far faster than anything we’ve had in the past.” Daylight Transport plans to continue using Boomi at every opportunity in the future. “Any time we’re looking to do any kind of integration, we look first at leveraging Boomi because it is so quick for us to get solutions in place,” comments Manzanares. “Boomi gives us the flexibility we need to meet our customers’ needs.”
About Daylight Transport
Daylight Transport reduces customer service costs by one FTE and saves up to $1,000 a day in revenue while improving customer satisfaction using Dell Boomi AtomSphere Founded in 1977, Daylight Transport is one of the leading expedited less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers in the United States. The company offers air freight, volume and truckload services nationwide. Named one of the 100 fastest growing companies four years in a row by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Daylight Transport relies heavily on information technology to deliver fast and flexible services for its customers. A critical component of that success is Dell Boomi AtomSphere. Fast, flexible service requires integrated systems Daylight Transport is a non-asset-based company; rather than owning its own trucks, it has a virtual network of independent contractors, agents and carriers that move its freight. Therefore, the company requires tightly integrated systems to manage customer orders, coordinate freight movement, monitor shipments, notify partners, invoice clients and more.