AM Transport Delivers Differentiated Services, Cuts EDI Costs in Half With Boomi

April 23, 2020 Lisa Martin

In the logistics industry, information is king of the road. Third-party logistics provider (3PL) AM Transport has built an information superhighway that puts its customers in the driver’s seat by leveraging technology to deliver differentiated digital services.

For example, when the US Department of Transportation in 2015 began requiring all motor carriers hauling loads in the 48 contiguous United States to record a driver’s duty status on electronic logging devices (ELDs), AM Transport overhauled its technology foundation. With the changes in place, the company was able to ingest and utilize that valuable ELD data (an ELD monitors a vehicle’s engine to capture data on things like whether the engine is running, miles driven, and duration of operation).

In a first step, AM Transport replaced a legacy transportation management system (TMS), the technology platform that runs its business, with a modern, cloud-based TMS powered by Salesforce.

Then, the Illinois-based company rolled out the unified Boomi Platform to capture that ELD data — especially data coming in via electronic data interchange (EDI) — and share it across the TMS and other internal systems. With Boomi connecting the TMS with customer applications such as enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), AM Transport can provide customers with timely visibility into vehicle and load status.

Transforming Business With an Agile Technology Foundation

Boomi is at the center of what AM Transport calls its communication circle. AM Transport is using Boomi B2B/EDI ManagementBoomi API ManagementBoomi Flow, and Boomi Managed Services to integrate its transportation management system (TMS), Salesforce, and customer ERP systems. Boomi has helped AM Transport transform the way it does business by:

  • Improving communications with customers
  • Better matching shippers and carriers
  • Quickly onboarding new trading partners
  • Ensuring seamless EDI transactions
  • Automating digital delivery of price quotes

To learn more about how Boomi helped AM Transport double the speed of partner onboarding while cutting EDI costs in halfread the case study.

Visible, Measurable Results

Since implementing Boomi, AM Transport has realized some astonishing results. 

Communications with new trading partners set up in one hour

To facilitate data exchange, Boomi connects AM Transport’s TMS with carrier and shipper (trading partner) ERP and other systems via EDI, email, text, phone, APIs, and the chat functionality available in the Boomi Bot Framework.

For example, Boomi ingests data from carrier and shipper systems, and, based on the data type, maps it to the correct field or object in the Salesforce-powered TMS. This allows the TMS to become the system of record and provide the correct information back to the shipper or carrier significantly faster than before.

“With Boomi, we’re able to set up communication with a customer within one hour and can have the data mapping done within four hours,” says Jason Doris, AM Transport business analyst.

A 50 percent cost reduction for EDI customer communications

Prior to implementing Boomi, AM Transport had to pay a per-character fee for each EDI transaction with its trading partners. Now, the company pays only an EDI fee per trading partner — regardless of how many documents or messages are exchanged with that partner.

“Using Boomi enabled us to save over 50 percent on our EDI costs,” Doris says. “We are able to send more communications with more trading partners and pay less for it.”  He added that in the last year, AM Transport has had more trading partners approach them to request an EDI setup than ever before.

Real-time load tracking leveraging ELD data

Boomi enables AM Transport to use ELD data to track its customers’ loads and keep customers informed on status and estimated delivery times.

“If we know the truck unit number a load is on, and we’re ingesting a live GPS signal from that truck’s ELD, then we can know the exact location of the load,” Doris says. “On the backside, we can run algorithms to communicate when the load will arrive at its destination with pretty good certainty. Boomi allows for that.”

Faster trading partner response times

Response time plays a major role in the logistics industry. With the Boomi Platform, AM Transport has been able to automate and streamline much of its common customer communications.

For example, a customer can ask about the location of a load and, leveraging Boomi and its technology foundation, that question can be understood, the data retrieved, and an answer delivered quickly to its customers without human intervention.

Want to transform your organization's EDI setup? Contact our experts to find out how Boomi can help.

Automated price quote delivery over the web

AM Transport can now provide pricing to its trading partners much faster. Doris explains how AM Transport uses Boomi to apply its own pricing algorithm on Amazon Web Services:

“When a customer needs a rate, that request hits our TMS, which passes that data to Boomi. Boomi then communicates directly with AWS with the requested parameters, bringing the rate back into the TMS, which then delivers it to the customer. With Boomi we can deliver the data a number of different ways — email, text, phone, and through our Boomi Bot Framework,” he says.

Watch the two-minute video below to hear directly from AM Transport Business Analyst Jason Doris:

People, Expertise, Open APIs, and Managed Services

According to Doris, Boomi's staff was one of the biggest reasons AM Transport chose the Boomi technology platform. “The people at Boomi really stood above the rest of the vendors we evaluated," says Doris. "We felt like it was a good fit culturally to be able to work with that team and to lean on them to help us through this transition.”  Additional factors resulting in Boomi's implementation included: 

  • EDI expertise: Boomi B2B/EDI Management was critical for the success of AM Transport’s new TMS built on Salesforce, as it could ingest data via EDI but couldn’t do the mapping. With no technical expertise in EDI, AM Transport needed a partner that could educate its team on the technical aspects of EDI, including how to set up the first EDI connection. “When we looked at it from that lens, Boomi stood out,” Doris says.
  • Open APIs: Boomi helps organizations API-enable everything — every application, every device, every person, every business. For AM Transport, one of the biggest competitive values is that Boomi allows it to unlock the ELD information via an open API.
  • Managed services: Boomi Managed Services has allowed AM Transport to free up resources to focus on the coordination of all of its integrations and enabled better visibility to its entire internal team.

With its Boomi partnership, AM Transport is meeting its business goal of combining first-class service with a robust technology platform so its customers can focus on what’s important for their businesses. The company has resolved the following technology challenges:

  • A leading TMS platform that couldn’t fully leverage ELD data due to its limitations with mapping EDI communications
  • Lengthy time (two weeks) to establish communications with new trading partners, which increased the risk of churn
  • No technical knowledge of EDI or how to set it up, which left AM Transport vulnerable to competitors that were already using EDI to communicate with shippers and carriers

Looking forward, Doris says that Boomi gives AM Transport the opportunity to expand its services by capturing data from other sources like Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as weight and temperature sensors.

“There’s going to be data coming at us that we’re going to have to ingest and handle to be competitive,” Doris says. “Boomi gives us the ability to do that, and to adapt to deliver differentiated services for our customers.”

To learn more about how Boomi helped AM Transport double the speed of partner onboarding while cutting EDI costs in halfread the case study.

About the Author

Lisa Martin is the principal of LuccaZara, Inc, a boutique marketing agency for tech companies in Silicon Valley. She's also a TV host, having interviewed over 400 executives from Michael Dell to personal financial expert Suze Orman on the many applications of technology innovation.

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