CASE STUDY / EXO FREIGHT
Soon after landing Walmart as a client, EXO Freight needed to build an EDI connection in just 10 days–over Christmas time. Although EXO Freight’s in-house staff have lots of experience with API’s, they lacked the specific EDI skills they needed to meet the deadline. They needed a solution that could quickly get them up and running, and provide scale for the future.
EXO Freight’s leadership looked around at the market and found Orderful’s API for EDI to fit their existing team’s capabilities. Their team didn’t want to learn EDI, but they could easily understand how to complete the job with Orderful’s API.
EXO Freight is the first managed transportation marketplace built for open deck shippers and carriers. The company applies technology to the open deck transportation industry. EXO Freight seeks to bring the open deck shipper into the digital age.
When EXO Freight landed Walmart as a client, the young company had to move quickly to configure an EDI connection. Despite having technical expertise in-house, the company struggled to meet a tight deadline.
“I know nothing about EDI,” admits Kris Tryber, Co-Founder and CTO, EXO Freight. “But I can write code, so I used a Python library that handles EDI translations. I worked with it for about a week. It didn’t go well—in fact, I wasn’t able to translate a single file.”
EXO Freight learned on a conference call that Walmart expected them to build the connection by December 26—just 10 days away. Knowing that it can take months to build an EDI connection, Tryber began looking for a solution. A former co-worker told him about Orderful.
Tryber tested the communication with Walmart to verify that it worked with JSON payloads. Next, he coded a translation layer between Orderful and EXO Freight’s back-end system. Even though EXO Freight soon began receiving a large flow of transactions from Walmart, the company has kept up with the load.
“Every other transportation broker has people sitting at computers clicking Accept or Reject for thousands of transactions each year,” explains Tryber. “Thanks to Orderful and the mapping in the translation layer we built, most of this process is automated.”
When EXO Freight evaluates its history with Orderful, the numbers speak for themselves. “Our revenue increased significantly because we added new customers like Walmart” says Tryber. “Orderful enabled us to handle that new business.
There are a lot of large companies out there that still do EDI the way they’ve always done it. It works well enough, but it’s inefficient. Their top executives may not even know they have a team of 30 people accepting and rejecting EDI transactions manually. We have a small, agile team, and we don’t expect that to increase as we continue to grow. Choosing Orderful provided a foundation for future growth of our company. We’re excited to see how much business we can process on this platform.”
Despite this early success, EXO Freight soon faced a potential crisis. On day one of its connection with Walmart, its back-end system had an issue. But thanks to Orderful, what could have been a major disruption was nothing more than a momentary setback. “Orderful acts as a bucket that collects all of our transactions from Walmart,” says Tryber. “So it generated errors as it tried to send files to our system, but Walmart never experienced an issue. Instead of having to ask them to re-send transactions, I simply fixed our system and then re-sent the files from Orderful to our system. There was no problem at all.”
EXO Freight now uses Orderful to process about 3,000 EDI transactions per month for its customers. Tryber and his team are impressed by how seamlessly everything works on the platform. “With Orderful, anyone who can read and use Excel can build rules in the system that fix the mapping somewhere else,” explains Tryber. “Our business users build rules for each trading partner that don’t affect anyone else. So once a transaction hits Orderful, it just works with no need for us to touch our back-end system which saves us time and money.”
As EXO Freight continues to grow, the company is finding that onboarding trading partners is quick and easy with Orderful. “With a conventional EDI solution, onboarding a large enterprise client can take more than a year.
With Orderful, EXO Freight onboards them in about a day.”
With Orderful, EXO Freight has access to EDI capabilities that are just as powerful as those used by its much larger competitors–even though the growing company lacks their budget. “Orderful is a game-changer in the way it makes EDI accessible to early stage companies like ours,” Tryber concludes. “Instead of purchasing a million-dollar system and then hiring pricey consultants to run it, we can pay a very reasonable fee to use an Orderful system that our business users can easily configure. It’s a no-brainer.”
Orderful is a complete cloud EDI platform for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and technology companies. Forward-thinking companies are using Orderful to replace their existing EDI infrastructure. Our product is an API that enables companies to connect once and trade EDI data with their supply chain. Our customers get to consolidate their EDI integration complexity, quickly enable trading partners as self-service and reduce costs.
EXO Freight is applying technology to the often-overlooked open deck transportation industry. The company’s goal is to bring the open deck shipper into the digital age by providing the first open deck managed marketplace. EXO Freight was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Las Vegas with an additional office in Royal Oak, Michigan.