How a leading logistics provider uses Front to scale their operations

About Logistic Dynamics, Inc.

Logistic Dynamics, Inc. (LDI) is a non-asset based third party logistics company that provides transportation management and freight brokerage services. Leveraging a massive network of agents and carrier partners, they offer tailored air, ocean, trucking, rail, and intermodal services to customers across the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Challenges

Keeping pace with growing demand

LDI is one of the fastest-growing logistics providers in the US — but their email client struggled to keep pace with their business.

"We had so much data coming in from so many different sources: carriers, customers, agents. We were just buried,” said Carrier and Agent Support Manager Andrew Whipple III.  

The LDI team communicates with several hundred carrier partners and agents a day, and they’re spread across more than 130 US offices. Messages and invoices were silo-ed in individual teammate’s inboxes, and approvals took longer than they should. Supervisors had no idea who was following up — and when. “Different lines of email were getting lost,” Andrew added, “One chain would turn into six.” It was, according to Andrew, “a digital morass.”

A single mistake in an email response represents lost revenue for LDI, so agents worked overtime to ensure they didn’t miss anything. The IT department tried shared mailboxes in Outlook, but didn’t see success. “We were dealing with an email epidemic,” said Andrew. Outlook’s shared mailboxes felt like a bandaid on a larger issue. As they grew, they recognized the need for a more robust solution.

“Once we reached a certain level of business, it was clear we needed something like Front.” – Andrew Whipple III, Carrier and Agent Support Manager

Solution

LDI started using Front as their centralized communication platform in June of 2018, and they haven’t looked back. With Front, they’re responding to critical emails faster and have minimized errors that can drain revenue.

“Front is the organizational backbone of our company,” Andrew said. “And when a company becomes organized, when you use a tool like Front, you’ll see all of your metrics increase across the board. Better communication means better turnaround, which ultimately makes for happier customers.”

"Front is the organizational backbone of our company." – Andrew Whipple III, Carrier and Agent Support Manager

More efficient internal communication

Front cuts out internal back-and-forth emails, so LDI employees can work together on email conversations without confusion. Previously, any internal discussions would require sending another email:

I’m going to send this reply to the customer — can you look it over?”
Is this invoice accurate?”
Can you take over this job while I’m out of the office?”

All that internal chatter added up. “That’s like 80 emails. I’m exhausted just thinking about it,” Andrew said. With Front, the LDI team can collaborate on email with internal comments — which let them share and discuss emails internally without needing to CC their teammates. They can @mention people to get fast feedback or to request quick turnaround on approvals. Assignments make it easy to designate a clear owner and next step.

“No more emails about emails. We know what’s going on at all times. We know exactly what’s a priority, right away.” – Andrew Whipple III, Carrier and Agent Support Manager

Front also eliminates the need for BCCs and CCs. Before, LDI supervisors would have to be CC'd to stay in the loop, which added even more email and confusion to every teammate’s inbox.

Shared drafts keep mistakes to a minimum

Front has helped the LDI team to cut down on errors that can be costly to their business. They use Front’s draft sharing feature to share and work together on an email before it’s sent to the customer. This way, they always get a second pair of eyes on critical messages and can get quick approval without hassle.

“What if somebody accidentally sent the wrong invoice or information to one of your biggest customers? Before, if you were using any other service, it would be impossible to do anything but send an apology after the fact,” said Andrew. “With Front, we see everything happening in real-time — and stop that kind of thing before it happens.” Managers are happier because they’re always in the loop, employees can move faster, and customers are getting accurate, timely responses.

Clear owners enable faster follow-ups

Shared mailboxes in Outlook made it difficult to know who was following up on shared emails. With Front, when an email comes into their shared inbox — like a request for new business, an invoice follow up, or rate verification — anyone can access the email, assign someone to follow up, and easily monitor the status of the conversation.

“We can move faster. There’s better communication across the board,” said Andrew. And with built-in analytics, supervisors have a clear view of their team’s productivity at a glance, finding it “robust and quantitative.”

Automating the activities that slow down business

Automation in Front has been critical to LDI’s growth. For example, if an email has been sitting without a reply for 10 minutes, LDI uses automated rules in Front to automatically escalate that message into a High Priority inbox, with an “urgent” tag, so someone can jump on it immediately.

“Front has been key as we’ve scaled. We’ve set up rules in Front to automate things that were just slowing us down before.” – Andrew Whipple III, Carrier and Agent Support Manager

Rather than asking employees to waste valuable hours per day on manually triaging high volume inboxes, LDI has set rules to automate the routing of specific emails so they land directly in the inbox of the exact person who needs to work on them. That means agents are no longer spending time on high-frequency, low-effort tasks like sorting through emails. And it means that everyone is far less likely to miss something critical.

Flexible enough for every department

Every department at LDI can customize Front to match their exact needs. “Each team uses it a little differently. And that’s great, because part of the genius of Front is in its flexibility,” Andrew said. In some cases, like for the Accounts Payable team, that’s as simple as setting a rule to auto-archive emails after a set period of three weeks to make the burden of closing out new invoices easier on the finance team.

A clear audit trail means information is never lost

Front acts as LDI’s long-term memory. “We never have to delete anything. We can just archive it to get it out of the way,” Andrew noted. “Any time I need to go back and reference something, it’s always there, without the mental clutter of having to keep it in our inbox. It’s the perfect audit trail.”

Front’s embedded contact details and search functionality have become a key part of their team's workflows — teammates can reference the context of a past shipment, look up previous communications with a customer, or see internal discussions about a carrier, right from within their inbox. Front has unlimited storage, and everything is archived, indexed, and searchable, making it easy for them to find the answers they need.

Using Front and never turning back

Andrew’s advice to other logistics companies? “Every growing company will come to a crossroads of sorts. You’re bringing in more business. You’re hiring more people. But you’ll reach a point where your inbox just can’t keep up with that demand. You owe it to yourself and to your customers to find a better solution. Front is your answer.”

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