We were looking for a solution that could finally bring all our systems and data together into one place – and we found it with Qargo.
The haulage business is a close-knit one, regularly exchanging ideas on how to make operations more efficient and sustainable. It explains why some in the industry are now watching Welch’s Transport so closely.
After all, the near 90-year-old company is currently transitioning from its established TMS processes to Qargo’s innovative solution. The reason? With 165 employees, 100,000 square feet of warehousing and a fleet of 70 vehicles, Welch’s Transport wants to optimise its operations and how it services its local and national clients.
A key part of this optimisation process is how to successfully bring different systems and their data sets together. It’s a challenge that many of Welch’s Transport’s industry peers also face and explains the collective interest in the company’s recent decision to move to Qargo’s innovative platform.
“Our systems have never talked to each other,” explains Jamie Sands, Group Operational Support and Systems Manager at Welch’s Transport. “And that’s a real problem as we have many, many systems covering telematics and customer services through to asset maintenance and more.”
The team had been looking for a solution that could bring all these disparate systems into a central hub. However, such capabilities were not yet offered by traditional TMS providers, much to the management team’s frustration.
“The current incumbents are too well established,” explains Chris Welch, Commercial and Operational Director of Welch's Transport. “Most of them have a core system that’s simply had lots of modules bolted on to it. Worse still, their solutions are rooted in SQL databases and on prem, not in the cloud.”
He also remains sceptical about any existing provider plans to move into the cloud: “We know we will be stuck on a development path with no opportunity to feedback on it. Plus we’d have to wait to be onboarded in a 1-2 year’s time – and then be charged five grand extra for the privilege.”
All the traditional TMSs do the same thing and work the same way. Qargo is different.
The situation changed when Jamie was cold-called by Qargo. “They contacted me in late 2022 and pitched their platform,” he recalls. “I’d never heard of the company but Samuel, the sales guy, answered all my questions correctly. I was suddenly interested.”
Jamie relayed his initial impressions to Chris and after a demo, both were left impressed. “The solution was easy to navigate and it looked and felt right,” says Chris. “And its functionality and features were also extremely powerful.”
For instance, Welch’s Transport’s current TMS solution simply “dumps” all the jobs into the system without offering individual breakdowns of each. Qargo, however, takes any consignment and tracks its progress. Crucially, Qargo can also calculate the costs and revenue from each and every job, instead of Chris and his team having to rely on the homegrown Excel-based system they currently use.
In the past, such a lack of oversight has caused Welch’s Transport major headaches. “With our existing system, I don’t know up until four weeks later whether there is an issue – so I can’t do anything about it right there, right then,” explains Chris. “With Qargo, we now have the opportunity to deep dive into customer level, load level and vehicle level, gleaning real-time insights from across our entire operations all within a single place.”
Such vital functionality is underpinned by Qargo’s seamless integration options. Jamie explains: “Qargo’s integration was the clincher for me – the way it talks to our systems easily, coupled with the eagerness of the Qargo team to facilitate our integration needs before we’d even joined the service.”
Because of such far-reaching benefits, Welch’s Transport signed up to Qargo six weeks ago and is currently being onboarded. “We are working very closely with the Qargo team,” says Chris, “and there will be a live test system in place for us to try and ‘break’ in mid-July with a planned go-live date of October 1st.”
The speed of rollout has also impressed Chris: “We’re enjoying a fast 4-5 month process, which is no mean feat. If you were buying something like this off the shelf, you’d expect to wait 10-12 months to be onboarded.” The Welch’s Transport team is also being supported every step of the way by Qargo, which offers a personalised one-to-one service that Chris says is not offered by traditional providers.
You simply can’t fault the journey we’re going on with the Qargo team.
Because Qargo will optimise many aspects of Welch’s Transports operations, Chris is predicting significant efficiency gains. For instance, by integrating the company’s new route optimisation solution with Qargo, Chris predicts it will reduce CO2 emissions and mileages by up to 15%.
“This will help us on the road to net zero,” explains Chris, “because our vehicles will still be doing the exact same work and delivering exactly the same high levels of customer service – but with a meaningful decrease in CO2 emissions.”
Up to 30% savings are also expected in administration costs because time-wasting busywork is set to be removed entirely. Document flow will also be massively improved: “The endless paperwork and signature gathering at multiple points will soon end,” says Chris. “With Qargo, drivers can take a picture and upload it into the system, and the platform does the rest.”
Avoiding Never Land
Such a wide range of innovative functionality explains why many of Chris’s peers within the industry are watching Welch’s Transport’s transition – with some even invited by Chris to preview the platform. The reason? Before he took the final decision to partner with Qargo, Chris wanted to confirm his gut instincts were right; that his peers “got what I was seeing and feeling about Qargo,” he explains.
Chris shared the system with industry colleagues to test drive the platform for themselves. “They very quickly came to exactly the same conclusion that Jamie and I had,” he recalls. “That gave me the reassurance that I wasn’t just Peter Pan in Never Land; that Qargo was and is the real deal.”
Qargo is a breath of fresh air.
We’ll be offering an update on Welch’s Transport’s progress with Qargo in late 2023.