Bold decisions and a touch of prescience advanced MegaCorp Logistics into an industry leadership role at a time when others in the space were struggling to respond to the sudden changes wrought by the pandemic.
Based in Wilmington, N.C., MegaCorp is one of the country’s most lauded logistics firms. Not only have they moved $11.6 billion of goods in their 13-year lifetime, but their commitment to exceptional service through technology and collaboration also keeps them atop a number of “best of” lists, and at top of mind for shippers large and small.
A passionate innovator with a mission to be America’s premier logistics provider, MegaCorp specializes in meeting the needs of customers seeking comprehensive full truckload and LTL services throughout North America. The company leverages a blend of technology, service, and collaboration that goes beyond meeting service level requirements, introducing their clients to new and innovative technology resources.
“We’ve found the key balance in providing exceptional service and finding areas where our technology can improve or enhance our clients’ or carriers’ experience with us,” said John Carter Gillespie, the company’s Chief Technology Officer. “We are heavily into anything that helps us differentiate and innovate in our offerings for our carriers and our customers.”
Gillespie credits company CEO Ryan Legg’s comfort with radical change as the driver for their sweeping technology modernization effort; that mindset launched MegaCorp into an enviable leadership position in the 3PL space. “He recognized where the industry is going, and where we needed to optimize so we could scale appropriately,” he said.
When Gillespie joined the company in March 2020, he set out to build out a proprietary transport management software (TMS) system inside the cloud. The TMS enhances day-to-day operational efficiencies, allowing users to access multiple system resources including CRM capabilities, carrier profile information, carrier document storage, and processing, as well as the ability to post loads to external platforms and research market capacity and truck pricing.
The modernization plan also included updating their major operational business processes, and a push to become more cloud scalable and mobile- and web browser-friendly.
Prior to the pandemic’s onset, the company had moved their telephone and email contact systems to the cloud to create an operating expense (OpEx) subscription model for hardware. “We knew that as we scaled and grew, we could just consume versus having to buy servers and build out data centers in colocation spaces,” he said.
Working with the industry’s biggest cloud providers opened a plethora of regional data center opportunities, making it easy for their third-party integrators to get on board. Moving systems let them avoid technology roadblocks, including the consequences of the supply chain chip shortage that made it difficult to acquire servers and networking equipment – issues that many similar firms had to face.
The creation of a hybrid, remote-friendly work model allowed their employees to work from home; by doing so, they retained 100% of their existing workforce and even hired an additional 50 workers at a time when other 3PLs were enduring layoffs. “We had about 325 employees when I came to the company. Today we have 670 employees,” Gillespie noted. At the same time, MegaCorp’s revenue grew from roughly $350 million to approximately $900 million in revenue.
The company’s technology resources also include real-time tracking updates that can easily be integrated with industry tracking platforms including MacroPoint and FourKites. Automated over-the-road reports provide tracking and load status updates, as well as access to the company’s free interactive client portal, HeroConnect.
The cloud-based client portal that allows customers to view their active and historical freight information in real-time is directly linked to their TMS. MegaCorp clients can view appointment information, and appointment confirmation numbers, as well as real-time location check calls, location maps, and satellite views through their tracking integration with the Trucker Tools Smart Capacity system.
Smart Capacity makes it fast and easy to locate specific types of capacity in certain lanes and on specific dates. In addition to making loads digitally available to owner-operators and carriers, the system enables them to transfer load documents for payment on MegaCorp’s carrier portal.
The system stores historic load data, giving clients continuous visibility even after their load is delivered. “HeroConnect provides consistent visibility so our clients can continue day-to-day operations without having to stop and find out additional information,” Gillespie explained. “We want to provide transparency to our clients — what we see, they see.”
Several key partners, including Presidio and AppSmart, helped to make the transformation a success. Virginia’s More Better Technology (MBT) provided architecture, cloud, DevOps, app modernization, and delivery advancement tech to modernize their TMS architecture to be adaptable to MegaCorp’s rapidly growing business.
“MBT has been a great partner, helping us reach our scalability needs by maturing our cloud architecture and management along with the necessary application changes to realize unlimited scale,” Gillespie said. MBT leveraged their expertise and proprietary tooling to rapidly adapt and correct legacy application code across MegaCorp’s multi-million line application platforms, which was hindering them from achieving their desired scale, stability, and implementation of new functionality.
“They partnered with our IT and business communities to build roadmaps and strategic plans to realize the right business value at the right time with the right architecture,” he added.
When it comes to fostering a highly productive and healthy workforce, the award-winning enterprise goes above and beyond, creating what Gillespie calls “life-changing” opportunities for their employees. In fact, Inc. named MegaCorp one of the top workplaces in America for 2022.
At the local level, the company partners with several organizations to create a robust talent pipeline, not just for themselves, but for their community. They are developing university-level talent intern partnerships and working with the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce to create technology career paths for high-schoolers.
They’re also collaborating with SparkNC, supporting an inventive outreach to elementary and high schools throughout North Carolina in which students learn about the tech industry, solving real problems for real businesses or organizations with the support of a certified coach. We’re certain that MegaCorp’s approach to introducing students to technology will highlight the need for what makes the company stand apart – customer service.
“We understand the workload that can inhibit our clients daily, and we do everything possible to make their experience with MegaCorp seamless and a breath of fresh air.”