Freight Brokerage Stays Lean with Denim’s Factoring and Automation

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River City Logistics' journey from an agency to a successful independent brokerage showcases the importance of strategic partnerships and smart decision-making.

Founded by Chris Brewer, River City Logistics has found its place in a competitive market and has seen impressive growth. This case study examines how River City Logistics overcame challenges by partnering with Denim.

Key benefits from the partnership include:

  • Streamlining Operations: Avoided adding 1-2 full-time employees through automation and streamlined operations.
  • Strengthening Carrier Relationships: Established internal credit with carrier’s factoring companies with QuickPay.
  • Workflow Optimization: Significant reduction in remittance-related inquiries through tailored workflow improvements.

The Story of River City Logistics

Like many, Chris Brewer got his start in the freight industry by chance. A friend's recommendation to join the transportation space, was the gateway to his passion for the relationship-driven freight industry.

After working for several years as a dispatcher and then broker, Chris envisioned a logistics company where the focus on customer and employee satisfaction wasn't just a policy but the very core of the organization.

With two years of planning, Chris transitioned from an agency model to establishing River City Logistics as an independent brokerage under a new MC number.

Maci Bormann's career followed a similar path to Chris's. She began as an entry-level accountant and, thanks to her dedication and skill, was quickly promoted to billing supervisor. Chris recognized her talent and asked her to take charge of billing at River City Logistics.

Today, River City Logistics’ team has grown to nearly 50 employees across its brokerage and asset-based sister company, River City Transportation. The company carved out its niche in eCommerce and mail fulfillment, quickly establishing a robust reputation based on reliability and exceptional service.

The Problem: Cash Flow and Paperwork of an Independent Brokerage

Transitioning from an agency model to an independent brokerage presented River City Logistics with two challenges: cash flow and labor-intensive accounts receivables and payables (AP/AR).

Chris's vision for River City Logistics was to grow the business profitably and strategically without external funding. Achieving this meant operating with minimal overhead while ensuring enough cash flow to support growth. The labor needs of AP/AR processes threatened to add unnecessary weight to their lean operation. 

The solution was to partner with a factoring company that could provide the operational efficiency and financial flexibility required for this new chapter.

What set Denim apart from the more traditional factoring companies was the partnership offered. Chris strongly aligned with Denim's mission and strategy: "We liked the stage Denim was on and wanted a true partner. We felt that connection and believed they could help us achieve our goals."

The Benefits of Freight Factoring with Denim 

Stay Lean for Sustainable Growth 

Moving 2,000 to 3,000 loads monthly means accounting tasks can quickly become overwhelming. 

Usually, brokerages need a large staff to handle repetitive accounting tasks. But thanks to Denim's automation and technology, River City Logistics became more efficient without additional hiring.

Maci explained, "With Denim's technology and their proactive management of manual processes, we've saved on hiring 1-2 full-time employees—a number that will only increase as we grow. The factoring fees go further than just a 'funding expense.' They're an investment covering auditing our paperwork from the start, handling customer collections, and managing payment processes."

River City Logistics also streamlined its workflow by integrating Denim with its Transportation Management System (TMS), Turvo. The integration allows River City Logistics to import job data from Turvo directly to Denim and vice versa.

For Maci, the integration “means we're not just saving time on data entry; we're also ensuring that all our load records are up to date, and maintaining our credit limits becomes much easier." 

The new efficient processes have resulted in a significant cost savings for River City Logistics, reducing the company's salary expenses substantially.

Improved Carrier Relationships with QuickPay and Carrier Portal  

Transitioning to a new authority meant River City Logistics had to establish credit from scratch. The age of its MC number led to factoring companies limiting credit. 

Denim recognized the potential in River City Logistics and offered its factoring services along with free QuickPay for carriers, which proved pivotal for River City's growth.

River City Logistics had developed strong relationships with its carriers. By providing the option of Denim's QuickPay, carriers were more inclined to work with the company's new authority. Furthermore, many of the carriers' factoring companies were willing to accept QuickPay, which raised RCL’s credit limits thanks to quick days to pay. 

Maci highlighted the added value of Denim's carrier portal, which offers real-time load updates, payment dates, and more. "Our carriers appreciate the transparency and convenience of logging in to see the status of their loads and when they can expect payments. This level of accessibility often eliminates the need for them to contact us directly, significantly reducing our call volume."

This use of Denim's QuickPay services enabled River City Logistics to navigate the initial hurdles of credit establishment, fostering stronger carrier relationships and streamlining communication.

Workflow Improvements with a True Partner

Chris chose Denim because he recognized that a factoring company that partners closely with its clients would best support his ambitious growth plans. "The most important aspect of our partnership with Denim is their willingness to learn and grow with us," said Chris.

Denim was the enthusiastic partner that River City Logistics was looking for, and together, they formed a genuine partnership based on feedback.

Maci had been receiving a high volume of calls from carriers who were not part of Denim's system, asking for payment updates. She gave this feedback to Denim's product team, who quickly came up with a solution to send remittance information to the email on file. This helped to reduce the number of calls Maci received significantly.

"Denim is incredibly responsive to our suggestions on improving workflows and features. Their willingness to incorporate our feedback and show us new developments based on our input makes this partnership feel collaborative," Maci added.

Choose the Best Factoring Company for Your Goals 

According to Chris, River City Logistics' success is due to the collective effort of everyone involved, including Denim. With technology-driven factoring solutions, Denim is fueling the logistics business with cash flow and operations tools.

Choosing the right partners has been essential for River City's success. 

"Bringing a business doing over $50 million in annual revenue and asking for credit overnight wasn't easy. But Denim made it happen, and we're immensely grateful for their trust and support,” said Chris.

Maci reinforces the impact of this partnership on their daily operations, stating, "Denim alleviates the stress of factoring for us. Their support allows us to be more flexible with payments and reduces the burden of managing accounts receivable/accounts payable." Flexibility has been crucial for River City to effectively navigate the complexities of the logistics industry with agility and confidence.

River City's success story shows the importance of selecting partners who understand your business goals and actively help you achieve them. 

If you're looking to streamline your financial processes and transform your operations, consider reaching out to our team for a demo.

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