“Disruption” has become a buzzword across the logistics world. The industry has undergone a technological revolution over the past five years, and it is not uncommon for new solutions – or even new companies – to be branded as “disruptive.”
The term is often used as a synonym for “cutting edge,” but the two words do not share the same meaning. While every disruptive solution is cutting edge, not every cutting edge solution is disruptive.
In fact, the word “disruption” has become so commonplace that it has all but lost its original meaning.
At its core, disruption has an equalizing effect. In order to disrupt the logistics industry, a company must find an innovative way to provide previously unattainable or ineffective solutions to an underserved market.
“‘Disruption’ describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses,” according to a Harvard Business Review article about disruptive innovation.
Keeping this definition of disruption in mind, it is reasonable to conclude that the most disruptive players in any industry are those working to create systems and solutions that effectively bridge the gap between small businesses and their enterprise peers.
The recent explosion of freight technologies has benefited companies of all shapes and sizes, but these solutions have had an outsized effect on small and mid-sized operations. This is especially true when it comes to EDI services.
“EDI has been around for over 20 years, and it has always been seen as a necessary evil,” Bitfreighter Vice President of Sales David McCoy said. “It has historically been painful and expensive for brokers.”
EDI has garnered a reputation for being time-consuming and expensive to implement. Beyond that, it has also historically been cost-prohibitive to use because brokers are charged on a per-transaction basis.
The costly and complicated nature of these integrations has prompted brokers – especially smaller operations – to avoid them at all costs.
“Brokers could have had full automation across their entire business for over two decades, and it just didn’t happen because of the stigmas around EDI,” McCoy said.
As the industry becomes more high-tech, however, avoiding EDI altogether is becoming more difficult. Shippers expect automation, and EDI integrations are often a cornerstone of that.
Bitfreighter CEO Brad Perling came head-to-head with this Catch-22 when he was running a brokerage. Now, he is disrupting the market.
Perling created Bitfreighter to make integrations more accessible to the small and mid-sized that make up the majority of the industry. He has done just that.
“Unlimited everything” is Bitfreighter’s driving principle. By scraping the traditional transactional model, the company makes EDI integrations possible – and profitable – for logistics companies of all sizes for the first time.
The company’s dedication to an unlimited model started with unlimited messaging.
In a transactional EDI pricing model, brokers are charged on a per-character basis based on how much data they are exchanging with their trading partner. This works out to an average of $3 to $5 per load.
With Bitfreighter, customers pay a fixed fee per client per month. The price never increases, no matter how much data the partners exchange. In fact, the price per trading partner shrinks the more partners a broker adds. Not only does this approach mean that brokers can save hundreds – or even thousands – per trading partner, it also means they can add more partners while still seeing cost savings on a monthly basis.
Many of Bitfreighter’s clients have been limiting their integrations, offering them to only high-value partners who require them in order to continue doing business. Stepping away from the transactional cost model enables those companies to embrace more integrations and scale their volumes without increasing their costs.
By eliminating the historically cost-prohibitive nature of EDI integrations, Bitfreighter has opened brand new doors for brokers and their shipper partners alike. They did not stop at EDI, however.
Bitfreighter has continued to introduce new solutions aimed at increasing automation across the supply chain. One of the company’s newer solutions – LiveQuote – makes it easier than ever for customers to use a real-time truckload quoting API solution.
Just like the company’s managed EDI solution, automatic quoting helps brokers meet growing shipper demands for automation and instantaneous processes, all while making their own operations more efficient.
Bitfreighter’s model has truly disrupted the market. Now, brokers that once avoided conversations about integrations at all costs are using integrations as part of their sales pitches to shippers.
By making integrations cost-effective and easy-to-use, the company has taken a point of contention and turned it into a valuable sales tool for this previously underserved market.
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