FreightGuard and CloudSmiths: Part and Parcel of a Salesforce Journey
The FreightGuard Group, which started originally in 1994, has been operating in its current format since 2012. The company specialises in service guarantees for break bulk freight carriers transporting smaller packages. As a professional third-party administrator, FreightGuard provides unbiased, neutral, and objective assessments of end consumer claims on behalf of freight carriers registered with the business.
FreightGuard’s self-funding service guarantee programme enables carriers to outsource their claims management process, provides revenue streams for the carriers, and offers data solutions that assists transport and logistics companies to analyse their data and provide an enhanced service offering to the end customer.
The average claim settlement time in the road freight industry in South Africa is 90 days from date of claim. FreightGuard turns claims around in seven days – this is our guarantee to our customers.Steve Zeff, Managing Director, FreightGuard
Target Market and Customer Base
FreightGuard works with approximately 110 road freight companies in the break bulk space, where carriers transport smaller package goods for multiple customers on each load. The business model is volume-based and provides a valuable service to freight carriers and the end consumer whose goods are protected while under the custody, care, and control of the carrier.
FreightGuard’s bespoke legacy system had become expensive and difficult to maintain. The functionality had become cumbersome and heavily reliant on manual input. It was difficult- to-impossible to implement upgrades, and the manual upkeep and administration increased with each new client added to the system. Minimal automation capability meant all claims had to be captured and administrated internally by FreightGuard, and physical paper trails were part of the process. The system did not optimise speed and efficiency, two of the main key performance indicators for the business.
Enter Salesforce and The Smiths
“The business motive behind our decision to update our platform was underpinned by several critical requirements – to streamline and automate our processes for our customers, to become more efficient at what we do, and utilise our time effectively. We investigated several alternatives, but none of them were suitable. We were referred to CloudSmiths and on investigation and after several meetings, we realised CloudSmiths stood out for a number of reasons: Salesforce is international, which aligned with our global footprint. Plus, the system had to be customer-centric and user-friendly, to enable users to log their own claims with ease and allow our internal administrators to make informed decisions. We were totally confident that CloudSmiths was able to meet all our requirements.” – Pam Eley, Business Manager, FreightGuard.
We also required a custom-build due to the unique requirements of our business – and CloudSmiths was able to deliver. We needed to migrate information, documents, and data from the legacy system – another box ticked.Pam Eley, Business Manager, FreightGuard.
FreightGuard and CloudSmiths commenced work on the project in February 2020. The CloudSmiths team formulated a customised Salesforce solution that ultimately has streamlined the key goals of the business and offered improved efficiencies. Salesforce Experience Cloud brought a multiplicity of digital touch points to the mix for FreightGuard’s customers and guest users, while Salesforce Service Cloud was implemented to provide CRM, customer service and support.
- Real-time alerts from new claims submitted
- Automated correspondence
- Submission of claims managed by claimants themselves
- Scalability to add additional carriers when required
- A cloud-based community environment
- Multiple views for different users
- Easy claim logging and recording of logged claims
- Immediate and real-time access to data relating to claims both past and present
The migration from FreightGuard’s legacy system to the Salesforce cloud-based solution took just under nine
months. CloudSmiths utilised remote teams after initial face-to-face discussions to bypass lockdown restrictions.
CloudSmiths has worked consistently with us to achieve the project outcomes, streamlining our processes and bringing down our processing costs.Steve Zeff, Managing Director, FreightGuard
- Improved customer retention through an upgraded claims process
- Structured, streamlined claims management
- Increased synergy between FreightGuard and their customers
- Scalability for future local and global growth
User uptake and buy-in was an essential component to the success of the new system. The portal is easily accessible either by direct log-in or via a carrier portal’s link. As there are multiple interactions during the lifecycle of a claim, the platform has been designed with a simple yet effective UI (User Interface) that enables users to easily navigate to where they need to be. Customers have migrated from using their own claims procedure in tandem with FreightGuard’s legacy system to only utilising FreightGuard’s Salesforce portal.
FreightGuard will continue to partner with CloudSmiths going forward into a phase 2 of the project where user feedback is guiding updates on the claims assessment application. Interestingly, automated responses emerged as a pain point for carriers. “Automated responses, while highly efficient, can reduce the personal interaction that is part of the end user’s FreightGuard and carrier experience. Our Phase 2 in Salesforce will give the freight carriers an option to edit an automated response on the system
before sending it to the claimant,” says Pam Eley.
Support and maintenance will become part of the journey going forward, as the rollout to the company’s customers reaches completion. FreightGuard’s expansion into the UK break bulk market – approximately 100 times bigger in volume than in South Africa – will likely necessitate integrations between FreightGuard’s Salesforce system and those of participating UK freight carriers, utilising an API (Application Programming Interface).
A partnership made in the cloud
As FreightGuard’s customers become accustomed to the new platform, buy-in becomes stronger – and FreightGuard and Salesforce become part and parcel of a new cloud-solution journey for FreightGuard’s business-to-business and business-to-consumer customer base.
The beauty of the Salesforce system is that it provides our customers with a systematic and intricate way of managing their claims processes. CloudSmiths’ sophisticated and customised build created a window through which our customers can see our operation, enabling them to become part of the FreightGuard community.Steve Zeff, Managing Director, FreightGuard