From a cold start in 2005, Hybrid Transit has established industry credibility and grown revenues at a pace that has earned the business a spot on the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies for three years running. Company owners credit Keypoint Transportation Management Software (TMS) as essential to the company’s growth.
Keypoint Supports Credibility
Robert Helgens started the company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with industry veterans John Miller, vice president, marketing, and Gerald Moore, vice president, operations. Rounding out the team with 20 years of aviation experience was Brian Helgens, vice president, administration, plus three employees.
Within a month of starting the business, Hybrid began using Keypoint, based on a strong referral from a trusted industry colleague. Since then, Keypoint has served as the firm’s production software and database.
The TMS has helped Hybrid overcome many challenges. “The two main ones play on the word ‘credit’—credit-worthiness and credibility,” said Miller.
Carriers are concerned about credit-worthiness: Are they going to be paid? Hybrid had capital to meet carrier expectations in the critical first year, resulting in solid reviews on key industry websites.
Shippers, on the other hand, are focused on credibility: Would Hybrid be around in another month or year?
“Being organized reflects credibility, and Keypoint has always helped us stay organized,” said Miller. Organization includes the ability to manage a transaction effectively, capture contract and insurance information, ensure rates are structured appropriately, and evaluate historical data.
Keypoint Keeps Employees Close to the Transaction
A mainstay of Hybrid’s business has been their focus on the agricultural market, from feed-grade to food-grade products. Transporting basic commodities, where volumes are relatively stable, provided a key advantage during the economic downturn in 2008-2009. In November 2008, Hybrid also launched its Air Freight division, which provides cost-competitive air and expedited service worldwide.
Today Hybrid boasts 42 employees, including 34 in operations and four in accounting. Keypoint’s efficiency keeps back-office staffing requirements low even during rapid growth. Keypoint’s flexibility let Hybrid scale from a few thousand transactions a year to the 2013 projected volume of 30,000 transactions.
To ensure each employee at Hybrid can view transactions in real time and access customer profiles, each desk has two monitors. One monitor always runs Keypoint.
“This business does not allow for a lot of layers,” said Brian Helgens. “You have to stay very close to the customer, very close to the transaction to keep your margin in line.”
Keypoint Moves Hybrid Forward
With a straightforward system like Keypoint, new employees can learn to use the software effectively during their initial onboarding, Brian Helgens noted. State-of-the-art tools also help Hybrid recruit good employees, essential for a company located out of the mainstream in Iowa.
Although Hybrid started in the spot market, today most of the company’s business is under contract. That confirms Hybrid’s high customer satisfaction.
“Our success goes right back to those two words: creditworthiness and credibility,” said Miller. “We meet that on both sides. We’re going to stay around a long time. “
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Categories: Best Practices and Benchmarks