Alliance Logistix was searching for an efficient AP/AR solution for their brokerage and faced a constant influx of paperwork from their substantial load volume. Co-Founders Alex and Natalie Schick started their brokerage to save customers time while also providing an exceptional work culture for their employees - not shuffling paperwork.
Denim's freight payment system presented the ideal solution. Implementing Denim into their EKA TMS streamlined their AR/AP processes and brought about several benefits:
- Thanks to the time saved and the ability to reassign staff from accounting to dispatch, they experienced a 35% increase in volume month over month.
- Decreased the time spent processing an invoice from 8 minutes to 3 minutes, a 62% reduction.
- With Denim's factoring services, Alliance Logistix could retain a major client who had to extend their payment terms to 90 days.
- They drastically reduced carrier calls concerning payment details, from an average of 5 per day in their previous roles to a mere 2 per quarter.
The Story of Alliance Logistix
With a vision to foster a healthier work environment without compromising quality service, Alex and Natalie launched Alliance Logistix in 2023 with their long-time friend and colleague, Kevin Mendez. Their collective experience of over three decades, alongside their commitment to superior customer service, accelerated the growth of their brokerage to 9 employees handling more than 2,000 loads per month in under three months.
The shift from agents to brokerage owners introduced challenges for Alex and Natalie, with the most difficult being accounts payable and receivable (AP/AR). Accustomed to an invoice-free workflow of an agent-model brokerage, their business launched them in a whirlwind of paperwork. In Natalie's words, the magnitude of documents generated by their high-volume operations was "overwhelming, to say the least."
The challenges faced by Alliance Logistix in accounts payable were wider than handling paperwork but also included timely carrier payments. Throughout their careers, Natalie and Alex have established a solid reputation among carriers, known for respect and prompt payments. Natalie emphasized this significance, stating, "Ensuring my team gets their paycheck is crucial, but it is equally, if not more, vital for the drivers to receive their payment swiftly." A lack of efficient payment procedures threatened this hard-earned standing among their carriers.
To uphold their mission amidst growing business needs, Alex and Natalie knew they needed a solution to streamline their financial operations. They sought a freight payment system that could:
- Integrate with their transportation management systems (TMS)
- Financing to maintain healthy cash flow
- Reduce paperwork and streamline AP/AR workflows
- Quickpay carriers to maintain strong carrier relationships and referrals
Choosing a Streamlined AP/ AR Solution with Denim
Alliance Logistix required a financial solution adaptable to their unique requirements as a freight brokerage. When one of their main clients switched from payment terms of 20-25 days to 90 days, it created a cash flow predicament for their newly established brokerage.
"We looked into different financial alternatives like credit lines and loans, but we required a significant amount and needed workflows to support our AP / AR. Additionally, we wanted a system that benefited our business, carriers, and customers. Denim solution fitted our requirements to a tee,” Alex recounted.
Denim emerged as the perfect fit for Alliance due to its seamless integration with Alliance's existing EKA TMS, flexible financing to handle their high volume, and below market cost carrier QuickPay.
Onboarding to Denim Via EKA
Natalie initially had concerns about managing AP/AR. However, after training provided by EKA and Denim, she had the confidence of a seasoned CFO. She shared, "I was anxious about handling AP/AR by myself, but EKA's training helped me realize it wasn't as intimidating as I thought. I had access to Denim right inside my EKA dashboard."
Integrating Denim into their existing EKA system was a breeze. After a one-time customer mapping, the real-time integration enabled Natalie to send jobs to Denim from within her EKA dashboard with a few extra keystrokes. Her new workflow eliminated duplicative data entry saving her time and reducing the chances of human error.
Natalie highlighted the ease of this system: "We manage everything via the EKA dashboard, using the Denim portal only to monitor finances and payment schedules. The integration between Denim and EKA has truly simplified our processes."
Moreover, Denim's notification system further improved Alliance Logistix's operations by alerting Natalie about potential errors via email, minimizing the need to monitor the Denim dashboard constantly.
The Benefits of Denim
Time-Savings Boost Company Productivity
Time is money, and Alliance Logistix substantially benefited from saving time on payments and collections. Natalie points out, "Denim is saving us a lot of time. They double-check everything we send, so the amount of paperwork from our customers is minimal."
At inception, processing a load invoice from cradle-to-grave at Alliance Logistix took approximately 8 minutes. At a high-volume office with over 2,000 loads, their team spent 266 hours a month on AP. With Denim available directly from EKA’s TMS, processing an invoice now only takes 3 minutes on average - an impressive 62% reduction in processing time.
Denim's solution has alleviated the need for Natalie and her team to manage collections, ACHs, and sending out remittances. This significant workflow reduction has allowed Alliance to focus more on enhancing customer experience and securing new business. The results are remarkable, with a 35% month-over-month volume increase - all without the need for additional staff.
As a testament to the streamlining effect of Denim's platform, Alex noted, "We have reduced staffing on the AP side and transitioned it into the dispatch side." This move underscores the efficiencies achieved and the shift in focus toward more value-creating tasks.
Supporting Carriers Through Timely Payments and Transparency
At previous jobs, Natalie and Alex fielded upwards of 5 calls daily from carriers inquiring about their payments. This problem was largely due to long carrier payment terms, uncertain processing times, and poor communication, leading to much guesswork for the carriers.
With Denim, carriers know exactly when and how they receive their payment. Once a carrier creates an account with Denim, they can easily access the information about their load details, payment amount, and timing.
This speed and transparency coupled with proactive communication via automated emails, has reduced the number of payment inquiries to just two in the last quarter. Denim's carrier dashboard has supported Alliance Logistix's strong reputation and enabled them to strengthen their carrier network further. Natalie summed up the sentiment, "Denim's proactive communication reduces almost all carrier payment calls and questions. Our carriers are very happy with Denim right now."
Business Growth with Confidence and Precision
The ability to accurately forecast business expenses and effectively manage resources has become a turning point for Alliance Logistix. Denim's Business Analytics Dashboard provides detailed projections of revenue, payables, and receivables it offers have become an essential tool.
"Armed with this data, we can easily estimate the cost of bringing on a new customer by volume. We have a clear picture of what our AP and staffing needs will be to manage all the backend tasks," Alex explained.
The process provided by Denim has been easy and supportive, giving Alliance a reassuring sense of ease. Alex shared, "We no longer need to worry about issues like 'Will we be able to secure credit for this customer?' or 'Should we start the credit application before even beginning the onboarding process?' when considering new customers."
The speed and ease of the credit check process further empower Alliance Logistix to take on new business confidently. Denim's swift and fair approvals process stands out remarkably in contrast to other factoring companies and financial options they've explored. "Denim gives fair and fast approvals for factoring. Denim is truly a partner when dealing with money," noted Alex.
Streamline Your AR / AP Workflows with Denim
Alliance Logistix's quick success during a tough market is a testament to Alex and Natalie's expertise and savviness. The close collaboration between Denim and EKA continues to streamline workflow, so they can count on even more convenience and productivity improvements. We are honored to be able to equip them with the tools and financing to continue their rapid growth.
Don't hesitate to schedule a demo if you want to discover how Denim can help you scale your brokerage. Our tailored demonstrations can show you exactly how Denim can supercharge your brokerage's growth and efficiency.