Bay & Bay Transportation
Dry bulk truckload carrier (regional, dedicated and long-haul) along with less than truckload and over-dimensional services. Its sister company, D&T Trucking, specializes in refrigerated truckload services
Like most trucking companies in the past year, family-owned Bay & Bay, a 60-year-old Minneapolis-based midsized carrier hauling freight of all kinds throughout North America, was faced with a drastic dropoff in freight volumes and revenue. The company knew the way to make the best of this bad situation would be to closely sift through its existing customer base for potential hauling opportunities, yet found itself stymied by a lack of cohesive information.
“Our salespeople were working off Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Outlook, and scraps of paper,” explains Rob Adams, Bay & Bay's chief information officer. “We had information scattered everywhere. It was very much a seat-of-the-pants sales process.”
Though that worked successfully in the past, with the freight market now so tight, better sales data organization became critical for survival. Bay & Bay also wanted its sales data to perform “double duty” as well, allowing the carrier to use it to create more accurate revenue forecasts.
About six months ago, Bay & Bay turned to Informatica Corp., which provides enterprise data integration software, and adopted its cloud-based data integration system. This customer relationship management (CRM) system allowed Bay & Bay to synchronize its back-office systems to give its sales team a shared 360-deg. view of up-to-date consolidated lists of loads by customer, revenue and margin for each deal.
The cloud setup refers to Internet-based computing whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to the carrier's computers and other devices on demand, and on a pay-as-needed approach versus investing in servers and software directly.
“It's a small investment that delivers big results,” says Adams, who adds that if the carrier gets just a 1% increase in sales revenues from this implementation, it will translate into a 900% return on investment and a six-month break-even point on the company's CRM investment. “We get more data in real time that can be shared not only within the sales team but with operations as well, so we can better manage the ‘pipeline’ of loads coming into our system,” he says.
Better management of that freight pipeline is super-critical now, Adams stresses, as Bay & Bay develops ways to mutually support its different divisions. “In the past, our sales data on the asset side of our business and on the brokerage side existed separately from one another,” he explains. “They were two very different systems operating from two different databases. Now we can bring that data together to get a far more complete picture of what's going on in our total operation. That allows us to share customer information back and forth among the divisions, allowing Bay & Bay to look for additional opportunities.”
Eventually, Adams expects the operations side of Bay & Bay to incorporate that sales data from the CRM system. “It's about maximizing the benefit we get from compiling all this data in one place.”