If you're going to start a brokerage, timing is everything—a fact Atomic Transport learned the hard way shortly after the business launched on August 26, 2008. The first week in September, partners Scott Sang and Aaron Wasserman moved their first load. The second week, the economy crashed.
What pulled them through was a solid background in the freight industry and the belief that they'd be that much stronger if they could get through the tough times.
"We paid for trucks in advance or half upon pick up, half upon delivery," said Sang. "If a carrier was willing to do business with us and wanted payment within three days, we'd do it."
At the same time, the partners were soliciting customers for a brokerage with no credit history or references. "The last thing they wanted to see was another broker who could service the freight they didn't ship anymore," Sang explained. The partners survived by being persistent until customers gave them a chance.
Today, Atomic boasts 25 employees working as carrier reps, sales reps, customer account managers, and back office staff. The brok
erage runs mainly dry vans and reefers for grocery, industrial, and consumer goods customers.
At the start, the team used a one-off software program combined with Excel spreadsheets and Peachtree accounting software. But by fall 2010, "We needed a lot more capabilities out of our software for efficiency," said Sang.
After comparing several systems, the partners chose Keypoint based on its comprehensive capabilities and price point. The access to DAT Load Boards helps Atomic move loads more efficiently. The integration of the document imaging system lets the brokerage process inbound paperwork from carriers directly into the system. This, along with the ability to fax and email to communicate to carriers and customers directly from the system, greatly improves office workflow.
Another selling point was the easy integration of Atomic's existing carrier list into CarrierWatch. "We have a much larger base of carriers and are able to store more information about them," Sang said. "That gives us a greater pool for putting together business. (Without Keypoint), we would have half as much business as we do."
Sang also likes the flexibility to perform the same task from different areas of the software, reducing the need to switch between screens. Another big plus is the Keypoint support team, which can always advise on how to best use the software to address Atomic's unique needs.
Sang said Keypoint provides greater resources to the Atomic team and helps them find information much more efficiently. As an avid Chicago Bulls fan, Sang gave Keypoint his highest praise: "This is the software Michael Jordan would use to win."