Following the implementation of Salesforce and Accounting Seed in 2018, fleet management company LB Technology has seen an increase of more than 100% in revenue over the past two years. Find out how automated billing helped transform and streamline the way that LB Technology does business.
LB Technology is a fleet services software company providing GPS telematics transportation technology systems to federal, state, and local governments as well as private enterprises. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, LB Technology utilizes cutting-edge hardware and focuses on back-office software designed to integrate and specifically suit the unique needs of its customers.
Scaling up and Streamlining Operations
Like many successful start-ups, LB Technology found that as their business began to grow, their back office began to get chaotic. For the first three years, LB Technology had several different core software packages, including QuickBooks and Zoho, that were very siloed, said Ellen Fortas, chief financial officer at LB Technology. “It was a really segregated operation set-up where nothing really talked to each other,” she explained.
Fortas and the executive team at LB Technology quickly realized that they needed to integrate and streamline their technology stack in order to keep successfully scaling up operations. In fact, Fortas said that if she could describe the impact that Accounting Seed has had on LB Technology in one word, it would be: “streamlined.”
The LB team decided to move forward with implementing Salesforce along with Accounting Seed in 2018. “The primary advantage of moving from QuickBooks to Accounting Seed is really a seamless, straightforward, and streamlined automation of our entire deal flow,” said Fortas
Focusing in with Sophisticated Customizations
Initially, the Accounting Seed implementation was fairly basic, but over time LB strategically implemented a sophisticated set of configurations and customizations to help them automate their entire billing process and leverage the full power of Salesforce and Accounting Seed. Business is booming as a result.
Fortas said that the biggest quantification of the benefit they’ve seen with Accounting Seed is the fact that they have grown their revenue by over 100% in the past two years. “We have not added any accounting staff or back office operations staff,” said Fortas. “We have added staff in other areas in customer-facing teams, but we’ve been able to automate so much of our back office that we haven’t had to add new positions.”
Building out with REV4 Solutions
LB Technology enlisted the services of certified Accounting Seed and Salesforce implementation partner REV4 Solutions to help them with their custom accounting automation build out.
“REV4 Solutions was founded in 2018 out of a love for Salesforce and its ability to help small business owners grow and scale their companies and really punch above their weight with software that’s previously only been available to enterprise-level companies,” said Stephen Tangerman, CEO and founder. Tangerman, an experienced IT implementation consultant, and his wife and business partner Abby, a CPA, realized that they could use Accounting Seed to help small companies improve their financial operations and that they had uniquely qualified experience to help provide that service.
“When we first engaged with LB Technology they were trying to gain more visibility out of Accounting Seed and Salesforce,” said Tangerman. Specifically, LB Technology didn’t have a good handle on the real-time usage data of their devices and their flexible billing offerings added an additional layer of complication with unnecessary fields cluttering up the process.
“We came in and did an initial assessment on-site and captured a list of short-term wins to help improve the process,” said Tangerman. “While we were doing that, we also came up with some longer-term plans and that led us to an on-going relationship to truly partner with them to learn their business and help them grow rapidly… without adding any back office head-count.”
Fortas agrees that the partnership with REV4 Solutions has been a grand success. “They have truly been a partner company for the past three years,” she said. “They came in on top of a base implementation and got us highly functioning and we’ve added on even more specialized functionality. They are highly knowledgeable about Accounting Seed and Salesforce, but on top of that they are even more knowledgeable about business. They take the time to learn about us to help us design the best solution. They’ve really become part of our company.”
Diving Down into the Automations
Automating the billing process was a key driver of the initial “phase one” work that LB Technology implemented with REV4 Solutions. LB Technology has a unique business model where they sell devices that report back usage, and those devices are tied to subscriptions.
“If I had to say what Accounting Seed does for our clients, it’s that it allows automation,” said Tangerman. “And automation can do multiple things for people – it can drive accuracy, streamline, and make processes more efficient. And in LB Technology’s example it can help companies scale more effectively. Once you find redundant or manual processes that are defined and bound by rules you have the ability to automate things. Give people back time and the ability to work ON their business and not necessarily IN their business. A lot of small companies don’t have a lot of staff so the time savings can allow them to focus on budgets and managing strategic aspects rather than worry about the minutiae of their accounting.”
REV4 Solutions streamlined the automation process of the sale, inventory management, and shipment. “There are triggers that bind the devices to a subscription and keep track of how many of the devices are active to each subscription in a given month. As those customers are turning on and off subscriptions in a month, we can capture that and bill accordingly,” explained Tangerman.
“Once we had that solved—and everyone had trust in that automation—we turned to the accounting and finance aspects to streamline the billing process,” said Tangerman. “We created daily and monthly automations to generate invoices based on subscription terms. And that aggregates up all of the devices and subscriptions.”
LB Technology’s customers have multiple ways to pay and automating each option has resulted in a different solution of varied complexity. On top of that, contracts with government entities require detailed audit trails. But to the customer it’s all a seamless automated billing process. Irrespective of the various payment terms and methods, invoices are generated automatically – whether the output is a PDF invoice to print out and mail or an automatic payment that emails an invoice with a zero balance, informing the customer that the payment has already cleared through the customer’s financial institution.
“A lot of our customers have pretty heavy-duty billing requirements and we’ve been able to utilize our asset-based billing platform to incorporate special billings for those special customer requirements – like advanced billing,” said Fortas. “Because we were able to automate our billing process and the payment processing we were able to significantly shorten our time to cash.”
Connecting Up with Native Salesforce Apps
Another piece of the puzzle for LB Technology was tracking packages. Zenkraft is a native Salesforce app that manages shipping labels, automates tracking, and processes returns. Zenkraft is a key component of LB Technology’s business operations flow. Applications that are native to Salesforce – like Accounting Seed and Zenkraft – can seamlessly connect with each other, giving customers a 360-degree view of their data in real-time. With 5,000+ partner apps available on the Salesforce AppExchange, it’s easy to see why Salesforce is the top-rated customer relationship management (CRM) system in the world!
“The automation flows all the way from the sales leads to the shipping of devices, and Zenkraft provides the ability to track shipments in real-time,” said Fortas. “And then, most importantly, the automation provides a subscription-based billing platform with a customized billing cycle for each customer. We’re able to bill them based on the actual number of devices that are active in our system on a schedule of their choice.”
Thriving in the Current Virtual Environment
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all facets of life and business but LB Technology continued to thrive during this time due in part to having all of their back office operations seamlessly automated on the cloud. “Because so much of our business flow is in Salesforce and Accounting Seed, we are able to not only handle our operations flow remotely from home, we are able to communicate with our customers on more of a live basis if they need information,” explained Fortas.
REV4 Solutions has seen an increased focus on enterprise resource planning (ERP) and moving business operations to the cloud since early 2020. “With COVID we definitely saw that prospects and clients were more receptive to adopting a cloud-based system like Accounting Seed, especially one that is on Salesforce. They have all of their information on the cloud, which is accessible remotely. They can seamlessly pivot with employees in the office, out of the office, or in a hybrid model. We’ve seen this as part of the value proposition that clients have desired over the past two years,” said Tangerman.
Continuing to Level Up Operations
The sophistication and flexibility of Salesforce and Accounting Seed along with the business expertise of REV4 Solutions has empowered LB Technology to automate, optimize, and evolve their back office administration in this ever changing business environment. What’s next for the LB and REV4 partnership?
Most recently, REV4 Solutions helped LB Technology implement a reseller portal using Experience Cloud, Salesforce’s Digital Experience Platform built on the Customer360. With Experience Cloud, LB Technology’s sales team can manage the relationship with resellers all inside Salesforce. The reseller portal gives access to resellers to generate sub-accounts in LB Technology’s system so they can carry out the sales process themselves, which offloads the effort onto the resellers but gives the team full visibility into the sales cycle and automatically feeds into their fulfillment system.
The good news for LB Technology, REV4 Solutions, and Accounting Seed is that the partnership will undoubtedly keep paying dividends: fully automated, with real-time 360-degree visibility.
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