Brokerage uses Technology to Grow Business Without Growing Staff

Jason Fullen, president of Fullen Transportation Company

Jason Fullen is the first to tell you that the staff at Fullen Transportation hasn’t grown much since he joined the company in 1996—and that’s just the way he likes it.

But in terms of capacity, this non-asset-based third-party brokerage has made great strides. The Memphis firm moves more loads than ever and offers specialized services that set Fullen apart. That’s possible thanks to the efficiencies that DAT Keypoint Transportation Management Software provides and the additional integrated functionality Fullen has implemented since.

“As far as growth, we prefer to add technology rather than add staff,” Jason said. “Keypoint is the lifeblood of our company and has played a big role in our success.”

Using Technology as a Springboard

Jason’s dad Spencer headed the Traffic Department for a cotton merchant, then left to start Fullen Transportation with one employee in 1986. Today the company claims 34 employees, with only 2 accounting staff members to provide back office support for the entire operation.

The brokerage is particularly strong across the southern half of the United States and also sends export loads to the ports of Savannah, Charleston, Mobile, New Orleans, and the Texas border towns.

Almost since the firm launched, Fullen has relied on a transportation management system. A local programmer wrote their initial program, supplied the computers, and maintained the software and hardware. But when he passed away, management recognized the danger of relying on a single person for this critical function and saw the need for a stable, long-term solution.

They found it in DAT Keypoint software. Fullen uses Keypoint to handle Operations and Accounting, of course, but also to provide extras to their customers. For example, most of the business Fullen hauls requires long, involved scheduling of loads for customers, months in advance with frequent changes. Fullen takes on that burden so customers aren’t caught in the middle when problems arise.

Tailoring the Software to Fit

Thirty users at Fullen tap into the power of DAT Keypoint. But Jason is always looking for ways to process loads even more efficiently. To do that, he customizes DAT Keypoint to meet his exact needs.

“I look at how I can push more loads without increasing my overhead with additional staff,” he explained. “I put myself in the dispatchers’ shoes. What can I do to simplify the workflow and get all the information I need in front of me without being overwhelmed? It’s a simple process to write web pages that access the DAT Keypoint data and then format it just the way I want to see it.”

Jason also developed a Carrier Portal that lets his carriers easily see loads, submit bids, track invoices, and check payment status. The company doesn’t charge for quick pay, because carriers will move the same load for less money if they get paid faster. Jason said carriers know that Fullen always pays, without a discount, even if the customer goes bankrupt.

“Our excellent credit takes the place of a firm handshake,” Jason said.

In addition, Jason writes web pages to help him serve key customers better. One shipper operates out of 15 different locations, so Jason has developed a page to look at all the locations and loads at once. When the customer calls, Jason is ready to talk about all the business, not just one or two loads. That gives him a major competitive advantage.

“DAT Keypoint not only helped me grow Fullen Transportation without adding staff, but it’s also made it easy to create custom tools that let me give everyone more personal service,” Jason added.

“We’re a good, honest, simple brokerage. Personal relationships are still the bread and butter of our business.”