Becoming a digital freight forwarder with an automated quotation process

Today we want to talk about a middle-sized freight forwarder who managed to solve their sales problem implementing an automated quotation process with Freightalia. The company has 23 employees and US $ 8M annual revenue. They move 5000 TEU per sea and 1M kg per air. Their sales department is composed of 6 sales operatives and 4 sales executives for sea, air, imports and exports. This department is able to generate about 1000 quotes per month, of which 20% results in closed bookings. The sales department also accounts for 35% of the company’s expenses and needs help to perform their job more quickly and efficiently.

Customers have started asking for faster quotations

The company was already aware that their sales department represented a bottleneck in their process. Their efforts focused on holding quarterly meetings to plan actions to spur the business. Some of these actions are visiting clients, attending fairs and meetings, and generating appointments, among others. The conclusion was that both operatives and executives spent the majority of the time organizing excel sheets, making quotes manually, and requesting rates. This wasted time coincides with customers’ demand for faster quotations, putting more pressure on the company and the team.

The solution was to automate the quotations process

Once the decision to automate their quotation process with Freightalia was made, the company commissioned one of the sales executives to create their account. Their surprise was enormous when they discovered that their platform was ready that same morning.

The next step was to prepare the platform for daily activity. In a few hours, the sales department uploaded the details of their agents and customers, set up a quotes template, and added a general markup profit and particular markup profits for regular customers. To give the platform the professional touch, they created their own subdomain and personalized the interface with the company colours and logo.

How quoting automatically changes the activity of the sales department

Thanks to the automatization, today only one operative is responsible for uploading rates from suppliers, which takes around 15 seconds. Now the company is anticipating the rates updates and no longer has to wait to get suppliers’ rates for sending their quotes. Some customers are even getting quotes instantly from the platform. The entire process has been improved and simplified, reducing errors to 0.1%.

Customers express their satisfaction with the new quotations system and are pleasantly surprised to receive their quotations instantly. The bottom line is that the company has noticed profitability in their quarter results. Now around 32% of their quotes turn to confirmed bookings and last month they achieved a record of 1800 quotations. The perspective is really high as not yet all customers are requesting quotes through the platform.

The future of the quoting process

With the new system, the company’s manager is confident of their competitiveness. They feel they have the capacity for maintaining, and why not increasing, their current clients and business. Now they feel they are set and have the tools to really exploit their sales power. Further, they are considering the implementation of the Freightalia online quoting widget in their website. For the first time, they have a new shopfront ready to bring them new business.