Industry: Logistics/International PO Box Services
About: TransExpress is an international online purchase delivery service, allowing customers around the world to purchase goods from U.S. based online retailers such as Amazon.com and have those goods shipped directly to them or local agencies no matter where they are.
“BoxOn was fundamental in helping us to not only get control of our customer account information and billing, but was the catalyst that allowed us to automate our entire operation. This set us on a path to exponential growth.”
Jaime Basagoitia, GM
Company Overview: The TransExpress story is an interesting one. In fact, TransExpress was the client for whom BoxOn was devised and originally built for as a custom application. When TransExpress contacted us, they were in a difficult situation. For years, they had an employee, one woman, doing the entire customer invoicing and she was the only one who knew the bookkeeping information for this $25M company. The company learned one day that she was terminally ill with cancer and they needed a backup plan. They had to scramble to find a solution that would allow them to recover all of their customer information and invoicing history and then transfer it to a system that they would be able to understand, use and manage going forward without her help. She had been using Airway Bill bookkeeping software to send invoices and billing agencies. This billing system was built based around P.O. Box software that was managing the warehouse and box transaction system for packages going in and coming out. The big issue was that each agent and each customer had been given unique pricing structures and this information was not something that the Airway Billing system was designed to account for. That information was stored entirely in her head! They needed a system to hold the entire customer invoicing data, one that was flexible enough to create unique rules for each client without their needing to understand programming languages or be technologically proficient.
This software would have to help them be more efficient in their billing and allow unique rules to be assigned on the fly for each customer, including pricing and terms that could be auto-calculated upon invoice. It would require information to be funneled in from all departments to a central customer database with information not only on customers but the partner agencies they worked with as well. Since all the customer payments were being issued directly to TransExpress, the company needed to know how much they were billing agency customers, how much they were paying out to the agencies and other key data. They needed to be able to keep track of incoming invoices, payments and required payouts to partner agencies through whom those customers’ business had come to TransExpress and all through one manageable, user-friendly software.
Getting Started: Such a software simply did not exist so BoxOn was created to fulfill this need as a custom framework–one that would allow TransExpress the flexibility to build these rules into the system on the fly, rather than having to reach out to or hire an in-house programmer to make ongoing modifications to the software package. BoxOn was developed on the .Net platform in order to account for the customization and sheer complexity of the software.
To accommodate TransExpress needs, a Fulfillment Module was built to include Inventory Management for the various goods being received, warehoused and stored to facilitate a seamless software-driven fulfillment process. Also, an API was created which allows them to pull sales data off of e-Commerce sites such as Amazon for the processing of orders. The module was created to handle inventory controls, rules for shipping per item and transparency to the 3PL customer to be able to view inventory, where packages are in transit or other relevant details. TransExpress requested for this information to be allowed to be inputted via a rules-based engine on a per customer basis–allowing each customer or agency to be able to view only the information that TransExpress would want them to view.
Secondly, a Rating Engine module was built to be interlinked with the other modules. Using a Rating Engine module, TransExpress would know the fuel surcharge costs, labor costs, agency costs, etc. This module was designed to cross reference data for specific agencies to determine overhead costs and agency billing, what can or can’t be shipped to a specific location and which carrier and agency would be the best option for that shipment. Within this module, we enabled them to create different rates for different services, feeding that data into a calculation that allowed the user to select the carrier with best terms and maximum profitability.
Conclusion: TransExpress has continued to grow into one of the largest International P.O. Box providers in the world and BoxOn has been the Logistics Software that has helped fuel and hold together that success.