Building a TMS for Freight Brokers with Tai Software
Episode Transcript
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“Youth and enthusiasm is probably what got me started on it.”

That’s a quote by the CEO of Tai Software “Mitch” Mitchell when asked how someone wakes up one day and decides to build a TMS for freight brokerages.

But after years in logistics and a background in computer science,  he was the perfect person to do it. Today he joins the show to talk all about it.


1. “Youth and enthusiasm is probably what got me started on it.”
2. “You got to balance the two and make sure that you have both a really strong technical skill set as well as really specific industry knowledge.”
3. “And if you’re going to tackle TMS, those two components have to go together.”
4. “You know, sometimes we lose sight of what the technology is supposed to be doing and who it’s supposed to be helping.”
5. “You can’t just build it and then use it forever. You have to continually invest in technology.”



00:05:10 Invest in technology continually.
00:10:43 Embrace brokers to add value.
00:15:27 Automate freight management tasks.
00:20:30 Focus on profitable customers.
00:26:43 Quick, painless TMS switch.
00:27:09 Efficient onboarding process saves time.
00:34:59 Streamline communication with customers.
00:38:19 Improve freight broker efficiency.



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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of everything is logistics a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I am your host Blythe Brumleve. And I'm happy to welcome in Walter Mitchell goes by Mitch CEO at Tai software. And today we're gonna be talking about the freight broker software ecosystem specifically when it comes to TMS solutions. So Mitch, as I've already described, I know you'd like to be called by that first name. So welcome into the show.

Walter Mitchell: 0:31

Yeah, thanks for having me. Really appreciate you letting me join up and talk today.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:35

Absolutely. Now now, for folks who may not be familiar with your career background, give us a rundown of what your career experience has been and what brought you into the logistics space?

Walter Mitchell: 0:48

Yeah, so my background is technology. I went to school with computer science as my focus. So I got a degree in computer science and then started writing software out of college. During that time I came across an opportunity to build at the time was a rating tool for LTL. And that was in the A while ago, back when we didn't have as many great options for rating. API's weren't a thing. And so I started on this project, I thought it was going to be a six month project. And it was it was a short term project. But then after that, is when I got introduced to a TMS and I started building a TMS in I guess, around 2002. built up a TMS had a partner that I was working with at the time, and we were promoting and selling our TMS to freight brokers, and then ended up splitting up from there in around 2012 and then moved into staying in TMS, I've been true to the to the broker facing TMS my whole career, I just can't get away from it at this point. And it's a great segment, I really enjoy working with this segment. So it's a good path for my career. So then worked on on another version of a TMS and a separate business and, and at that time, we were also partnered with a freight company, we split off from them during COVID. And in 2020, at the beginning of COVID. Tai was was separate and formed. And we've been using the the TMS platform that we built before that. So our platform has been around for a little over 10 years. And so it's matured and it's grown up. But we've learned a lot of lessons along the way. And now we're a pure broker facing TMS product, and continue to try to help and provide great tools for the broker space.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:40

So you mentioned that you're one of those crazy people that decides to build a TMS. How does that process get started? How do you decide do you wake up one day and say, I think I'll be able to TMS today.

Walter Mitchell: 2:51

Yeah, I like to say youth and enthusiasm is probably what got me started on it. But being with a technology background, I think it makes sense for there to be great technology solutions that should be focused with, with people who have a little more of a technology background, but still know our industry, you got to balance the two. And make sure that you have both a really strong technical skill set as well as really specific industry knowledge. And if you're going to tackle TMS, those two components have to go together. And they have to work together in a way that's well balanced. Otherwise, the TMS you produce it'll be too, too skewed one way or the other. And so that's what got me into it is you don't have that technology background, I understood the business. And there was a pretty big gap in TMS and, and I think there still is some gap. And that's what Tai is trying to do is we're trying to build a TMS and we're trying to continue to build a TMS provided for freight broker that really focuses on the operational guys that really focuses on making sure that operationally the team that's using it gains value. And I know that kind of seems like a little bit obvious, but it's sometimes not you know, sometimes we lose sight of what the technology is supposed to be doing and who it's supposed to be helping. And that's really one of the key things we focus on at PTI and and I think we have more room to go. And I think a lot of our competitors and a lot of other TMS is have a significant amount of space that they need to work on to continue and focus on that area.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:24

And so when you talk about sort of the your your strong focus on the operational side of things as it is it may be fair to say that a lot of the the TMS solutions before Tai didn't focus in that area were were give us I guess, a an eagle eye look of what the TMS ecosystem look like. And then where you thought Tai was going to be a good fit.

Walter Mitchell: 4:49

You know, I think what ends up happening and this is a really common situation for technology products is a product will get created and it'll solve a specific need and a need that exists in that timeframe, but there's a, there's a bit of a challenge that comes with that, and that they get aged. And as they get older, they stop solving that problem as well as they did before. And it's kind of that, that misconception you get about technology, which I think is changing a lot now, but you can't just build it, and then use it forever. You have to continually invest in technology. Just like if we look at something like our iPhone, right? If we break out our old 2007, iPhones, we're going to be pretty sad using those today. So you have to have the, I hope somebody actually goes and pulls out their Oh, seven iPhone and tries it out, Oh, that would really warm my heart at the end, because we'd see that these they change and the apps, we're using more sophisticated the requirements that we have changed, our businesses change, all of that changes. And it's, it's a good idea for us to think about technology the same way. And to think of technology as an evolving process, and an evolving product. And that's where you gain a lot of value from working with companies like Tai, we are a cloud based solution. So we're constantly making sure our software is updated. And you don't have to worry about updating server infrastructure or reinstalling, a new operating system for your TMS, we take care of all that for you. We take it we make it easy for the broker to evolve, we make it easy for them, especially like on the truckload side, for example, we've seen so many changes in the last few years with the digital freight management tools. Well, if your product that you're using stopped iterating a few years ago, today, you're you're behind, and you're going to really struggle. And so that's what we see, primarily as one of the important things that we're trying to promote across the TMS space is make sure you're continually evolving, make sure you're continually working to provide good value to your ops team, your accounting team, everybody who uses the technology

Blythe Brumleve: 7:03

is it is it maybe another safe assumption to say that for TMS systems, especially that some of the legacy ones, they've been kind of just doing their own thing for a while maybe not resistant to change, but maybe just a little bit slower to it than some of the newer solutions that are coming onto the market, which maybe are a little bit more hyperfocus like I noticed in a lot of like the tide demos, you're strongly focused on like truckload and LTL. Whereas maybe another TMS solution might be focused only on reefer Can you give us kind of, I guess, sort of a competitive landscape? Look at what, what does the ICO what does the I guess the overall system look like? Is it more evolving into these specialized markets? Or is there you know, some some good all in one solutions that still exist?

Walter Mitchell: 7:56

You know, that's a really tough question. And, and an important one, and I think part of it's a business decision, we feel like, we focus on LTL, and full truckload primarily, we do support a bunch of other modes and types of transportation. But those are the two areas where we know we do a really, really good job. And I think the same thing kind of applies to other components of life. Like, for example, in the construction space, you know, typically a general contractor is going to do a great job of managing your project and, and helping get things through. But you don't always want your general contractor being your plumber. You know, they're different kinds of things. And I think the same thing applies in in the freight space is that LTL and full truckload there already have different, different conversations and different workflows. But when you throw expedited in there or international, it's a very different type of a situation. And so what we focus on and what I think is an important way to focus is to be really, really good at the areas that your work that you're supporting, and allow other products to be really good at their areas. And I think you add a lot of value that way. And especially with API's and connectivity that's available today, you can operate with a multiple, multiple TMS is or multiple products to run your business that can all communicate really well together. Whereas 10 years ago, that was a lot harder. So having a single product that did everything was maybe a little bit better, a decade ago, but today, we have a little more flexibility.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:32

I think that that's very comparable to marketing. Now. You know, I'm pretty good at content marketing, but if you asked me to create an ad campaign, I'd kind of be lost. So I would rather hire somebody who specializes in that versus trying to do it myself are trying to learn it myself because just the cost reward is just so much more beneficial just to hire this person, that or hire the tool or buy the tool that actually work. for that specific problem that you're trying to solve, and think that's one of the other,

Walter Mitchell: 10:05

I think that's a great parallel, you know, having those the right skill set is, can be tremendous value and reduce your time to market and reduce your time to get things done. So, yeah, it's a great, great analogy.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:19

Well, in speaking of which you said, or not used specifically, but and one of the the freightwaves demos that I was watching is a tie as a TMS built for freight brokers. What what do I guess? What do freight brokers need from a TMS that maybe like a carrier or I don't know somebody working in rail? What they would need compared to a specifically a freight broker?

Walter Mitchell: 10:43

Yeah, so we'd love to embrace brokers. It's a, it's a thing for us. You know, I know, sometimes broker the term can be sometimes looked upon poorly, but we don't think so. You know, I think a broker is a huge value, add in our business, and super important to the logistics space. And we see brokers being super important in other areas, too, like, for example, insurance, right, I don't think it's possible to buy insurance without a broker. And so in our space, we really embrace the broker. And what that means is they have different needs than a carrier carrier, one of the important components is assets, making sure those assets are making them money all the time. That's a very important part of being a freight broker or serpina. Carrier. Well, freight brokers don't have that worry. Instead, they're worried more about making sure their customers are being well serviced, and they make sure that their carriers are being well serviced. Their job is to make sure that both sides are getting what they need, whereas the carrier has to kind of focus a little more on their assets than anything else. And on the other side of shipper, their concern isn't really with their carrier with the carriers. Their concern is how can they move their product as effectively as possible? How do I worry about things like what I kept stored in my warehouses or what's what's coming out of my manufacturing centers? These are the things that shippers should be worried about, not necessarily the logistics side. And so that's where the broker fills a really important component of the logistics cycle, whereas they can really focus on both sides.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:26

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Walter Mitchell: 13:18

I think tying back into what we were talking about before, making sure that your TMS helps your team and helps the people on your staff operate effectively. Because especially when we look at a freight broker, and we look at their their p&l, there's going to have two expenses that are their primary number one expense is going to be freight costs, right and that that's a pretty important piece of it and will change based on on how many shipments are moving and so forth. But their second most important one or largest is going to be the cost of their staff. And staff is also the hardest part to grow, and to modify and to train. And so we feel like staff being so important. We want to make sure that we're providing a product that helps your staff do their job really well. And that's what I think anybody should be looking for is to focus first on not necessarily can this product handle my three international shipments that I run every month, or, you know these special cases. But what's it going to do in in 90% of my business? How will this help my operations team? How will it help my operations team communicate to my accounting team? How will it benefit my carriers that I work with? And when you're evaluating a TMS if you're looking at those types of components, and you're focused on what kind of value you're gonna get and what value your business is going to gain from from the TMS, you're gonna end up selecting a product that's much better for the business.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:52

And so when you when you talk about some of those, you know, operational improvements, you know, I hear the words you know, a lot of like automated Sure that's built into tie what I guess automations are important for those repetitive tasks, that that freight brokers or even in accounting those folks, whatever they're using, what kind of, I guess maybe clear tasks should be automated with your TMS.

Walter Mitchell: 15:18

Yeah, so I could go on for days on this, this is one of my favorite subjects. So I'll hit on a couple of the, a couple of my favorites. But one of them is digital freight management and the tools that are available there, such as like green screen and parade and, and see for, there's a bunch of different products out there right now that are doing a really great job and adding a tremendous value. So your TMS needs to work with those tools in a compelling way. And automating the connection between those is more than just saying, you know, putting a checkbox in like, oh, yeah, we support parade. It's again back about that operational efficiency and making sure that we don't just support parade, we don't just support green screen, or any of the other board DTS products. But doing it in a way that really provides value to your team when they need it. And to use it in a way that that's there when they need it. So for example, making sure that shipments get posted across at the right time making sure they get removed from the load boards when they're covered. That's one example of automation. That is an easy checkbox to say, yes, it's there. But how well it's done, matters more than the fact that it can be done.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:36

And what I guess what is a good example of like a bad way of how it gets done, or maybe a slower way of it, how it gets done, versus like a really just tone like honed in automation process, because I I'm sort of a process nerd, I tried to use Zapier any anywhere I can in order to streamline some of these mundane tasks. So what maybe could you list off maybe like a few of the mundane tasks that brokers are responsible for maybe folks in accounting are responsible for, but they're just it's tedious that they have to do with any other platform. Yeah.

Walter Mitchell: 17:10

So I'll jump over to to the accounting side a little bit. And we'll talk about a process for accounting, and one of them is pod recovery. Or, actually, let's talk about carrier bills, and the recovery of a carrier bill. Super important, we need it on every shipment. And we need to verify that it's right. So with Thai, one of the tools that we can do, or one of the workflows that we cannot do in Thai is to make sure that when those care bills come in, we can help you process them. And what we'll do with that is we'll we'll read the care the email with the carrier Bill attached to it, extract the carrier bill, extract content from the carrier bill, match it to the shipment that it belongs to make sure the pricing is all correct, and then auto approve that carrier bill, if everything's correct, and if it's not, then we'll send it to a an exception workflow and allow your team to do a little more. And so this process of receiving that email for you extracting it attaching the bill to the to the shipment, and all of those steps, those should save the user significant amount of time. And that time saving on every single bill really compiles into a significant time saving for your accounting team. And it also has an additional benefit of reducing typos and reducing errors. That

Blythe Brumleve: 18:27

was gonna be my next question, as I would imagine that it would reduce the amount those amount of errors because it's just natural to be able to if you're tired in the day, it's been a long day, and you get these bills, and you want to send it over to accounting, but maybe you just enter in the decimal in the wrong place or something like that's a big difference.

Walter Mitchell: 18:43

And it's really easy to do, right? I mean, we're, we're humans, and we get tired. And we do make small mistakes like that. And, and so that's exactly what we're trying to accomplish is let's produce that type of work from your staff. And let them focus on the important things like, for example, that that shipment comes back. And it's $120 more than what originally was. And then we'll see on there something like detention. And then we can call the customer and tell him like, hey, this bills off because of detention. And Was there really a detention and maybe there was maybe there wasn't right, and then we can work on it from there. But you can have your staff working on things that are more engaging, right, that are going to excite them a little bit more, because it's a lot more interesting to have that conversation than it is to be entering, you know, $2,650.25 that you're reading off of a PDF.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:39

And I think too, with that in in one or the other interviews that I was listening to is that you said it gives the brokers more time back to look at the analytics side of things, especially with the customers that they're working with and quoting and you know, integrations into all of these different tool sets that can help them do their job not only faster but more profitable, which is probably what every broker wants right now. So from a data perspective, what is important? When you get that time back and you're able to look at analytics, what type of analytics are the most important for a broker to be paying attention to?

Walter Mitchell: 20:19

Well, that's a tough one. There's so many great things that we can be focused on. But one of the things that we like to look at is, is just overall profitability is probably the easiest one, because we can see things like, if there's a trend, a declining trend, or if there's trends based on customers, one thing, one analytic or piece of information that we really like to work with our customer trends, right, so you can see, for example, how profitable is this customer over a span of time, or even how much volume is a customer working with us over a span of time. So you can produce almost a net promoter score for your customers. And that's a value to the, to the broker, because now they can be looking and saying, Oh, this, this customers a really good customer. And it can be based off of metrics instead of feeling. And that's that type of data. And being able to spend the time to look at that data can really help the business and help you understand what your customer base looks like. So you can, in a perfect world, spend more time on your good customers, and more time on the customers that are helping benefit the business and the team the most? And then hopefully, you know, do something different with the others?

Blythe Brumleve: 21:37

Well, yeah, and I would imagine that that would also like clear up that perspective for them to to know what customers to target in the future. And these are, you know, extremely profitable relationships on both sides of the coin. I would imagine that that would tie in nicely with the email feature that you guys also have as well, which if you if you could just break down that email feature, because I from what I understand it's very good with quoting and also possibly scouting new customers to partner with.

Walter Mitchell: 22:07

Yeah, so our emailing tool, it's really kind of matured a lot over the last couple years. And what we're trying to accomplish with that is, we used to use faxes right back when we had our 2007 iPhone, some still do. Yeah, we had our fax machine. There are still some, but fortunately, I can tell you that we see our volume of faxing dropped. Thank God a very small number. Yes, yeah, we're very happy about that. But that evolution means that we've moved on to something else. And that's email. And, you know, we see that brokers are spending so much time managing email. In fact, I was just dealing with a customer recently, or a prospect that was not only dealing with emails, individually, but they had a distribution group. So they have a group of six or seven people that were receiving and replying to all these emails. And I was asking him, like, how much time do you think it takes out of your day, or out of your staffs day to read 12 emails about an issue when only one person needed to solve the problem. And as they're reading through those 12, and there's five other people doing the exact same thing. They don't know until they're finished if the problem needed to be resolved, or if it required their assistance, or even if it's going to provide any value to them to read through that. So our emailing tool is there to help simplify that. And there's still some great tools out there that should be used like front end, Help Scout and other tools that manage email, and manage those distribution boxes. But what Tai can do is you can give us the ability to look at those emails, and we'll read them and if they apply to a shipment, will automatically extract the information from that email. And then we'll add it to the shipment that it belongs to and then alert the proper user. So maybe you have like the gold team. And gold team is responsible for all shipments coming from coming out of California. Any shipment that's has an email that's received that's associated to a shipment out of California can automatically notify the gold team like hey, here's an activity. And as soon as somebody on that team goes and looks at it in the TMS without ever go into their email, they can go and take a look at that, that shipment, they can see the email associated to it reply to the customer, it'll go back into the email thread and close out the email forum. And they've done all of that from inside their TMS. And so we're not trying to replace email, but what we're trying to do is simplify that whole process. So it's less friction for the operational guy. less friction for the people that are dealing with 1000s of emails a day.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:47

Speaking of I mean I feel like if you just cut down on a fraction of those emails that that frees up, you know more time to be able to focus on like what we mentioned earlier with analytics and developing this deeper relationships with your customers. There's one other integrations within tie really make you excited for for freight brokers today.

Walter Mitchell: 25:06

Yeah, there's, there's a lot of them. This is another one where I can go on for days. We have some great partners that we work with, across the board. I mentioned a couple of them companies like parade and green screen, and highway, you know, just to list a few have done so many really cool things to innovate in our space, and to help improve the way that that we run and manage freight. And so working with those kinds of partners, I consider it to be a pleasure and, and a real push in the right direction to help further simplify the life for freight brokers and, and offer more functionality and, and make their life a little easier and better. So those things definitely get me pretty excited. From our product itself. I already talked about the emailing thing a little bit. But it's super exciting to me, I think that that's an area where Tai is really innovating and really driving the market forward. And I think we provide a tremendous value to the to the operations process and the execution of freight. And then document processing to and our ability to extract as I talked about with carrier bills. So those are all things that really, really get me geeky.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:24

So with with one thing about, I always like to pay attention to like how software is being marketed in this space. And with Pty, in particular, you talk about how it's an all in one hour, not all in one, but an out of the box solution that you can that that brokerages can can get up and running within a month. And I think that that for me personally, I was part of a three PL that went through a TMS switch, and it took anywhere from eight to 12 months in order to complete this process. It was extremely painful for all parties, all departments involved. How do you make that process? You know, so much painless, and much quicker?

Walter Mitchell: 27:06

Yeah. So yes, it's a super important part of the process. Because it's also the biggest hurdle in switching a TMS is sometimes just the fear of what is this implementation going to look like? What is it going to do to my team. And so at PTI, we focus really heavily on making sure that our onboarding team is top of the line, they are well trained, they understand the broker, they understand the business. And because we're focused, and we work with mostly LTL, and full truckload, and only brokers, we don't have to worry about some of the peripheral information because we know who we're trying to help and how we're trying to help them. So it makes our onboarding team all of these things combined make it's our onboarding team can execute at a really high level. And our average onboarding time right now is 36 days. And which is I don't know, all my competitors, but I'm very sure that it's the fastest in the industry. And the reason we focus on that is because we don't want the process to hurt for the broker, the point is to provide value. And if I got to stretch that value, over nine months of pain, now we got to recover nine months of pain before we get to feel the benefit, right? So we don't want that. And we focus to make sure that we know exactly what the process looks like, we have a really well structured plan for how we get you from A to B. And that plan makes it really easy for us to follow along and, and execute at a high level. But then also, and another point of it is, and a different area is that software's kind of evolved a little ways as well. And when you think about even things like like our email, when you know a lot of companies are using email packages, like Google workspace and an office 365. These are out of the box solutions. There are professional services that can be added on to it, but you don't have to have them. And as much as there's a lot of value to professional services and having that expertise. An out of the box package allows you to execute quick and execute at best practices without that long roadmap. So So combination of these things all together helps Ty execute at a really high level and bring value to the brokerages really fast. And that's the important part.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:35

Can you can you give us a few examples of what maybe those aha moments look like for the brokers after the onboarding experience is completed? They're up and running and they're on the new TMS. What are some of those moments where it's like, oh, yes, this was a great decision that we made.

Walter Mitchell: 29:52

Yeah, I think one of the biggest ones that I that I like to talk about is quality of execution, and it ties into the integration to our partners, when, because of similar what we're talking about before you have this, this idea where just a connection to the DHT load board is good. And yeah, that is good. But that doesn't get you where you need to go. You need to make sure that that connection is, is working in a way that matters to your team. So for example, one of the differentiators that we see is, it's great to be able to post from your TMS to the load board. But what happens tomorrow, what if that freight isn't ready for for today, and it needs to be posted tomorrow. So having time based posting, and having the ability to to repost, remove and repost when you need to, are all things that that we focus on to make sure that the integration that we have to the load boards, executes the way that your operations team wants it to work, not just making the connection for the sake of making it. And so that's one of the the the moments where the freight brokers are like, oh, yeah, this is helping me is because we focus so much on making sure that the quality of execution, around these integrations and around everything we do is really high.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:15

Now, you you said a phrase there for a minute, and you said tie these integrations together? Is that where the company name tie comes from?

Walter Mitchell: 31:23

It's not but it is hard to not to not tie it together that way. Right? We do have a little bit worked out in our office.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:32

I was gonna say where did the I guess the the name for the company come from?

Walter Mitchell: 31:35

Transportation applied intelligence. Oh,

Blythe Brumleve: 31:39

cool. I like it doctor acronym based and in synergy with the phrase as well.

Walter Mitchell: 31:46

And for us, it's easy to spell. So that definitely matters. One of our previous companies, our name was really hard to spell. So we were definitely very focused on making sure we had a name that everybody could read. And, and spell. In fact, we even changed it. We used to have capital AI, but people would call it T AI. And that was too confusing with Tia. So Right. Yeah. So there's, you know, we're not perfect. So no,

Blythe Brumleve: 32:12

it comes off, you know, on a much better direction.

Walter Mitchell: 32:15

Yeah, so So now tie just works a little easier.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:19

Yeah, it's simple. It's to the point, and you can play off it with marketing phrases and all that. Do you wish there was a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit employees, and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business? Well, all of this should already be on your website. But too often, we hand that responsibility of building our online home off to a cousin, a neighbor's kid down the street, or a stranger across the world. Digital dispatch believes in building a better website at a fraction of the costs that those big time marketing agencies would charge. Because we've spent years on those digital front lines. Our experienced team focuses on the modern web technologies to bring in all of the places you're already active online, show off those customer success stories, and measure the ROI of it all in one place. With manage website plans starting at $90 a month, head on over to digital to see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. We've got explainer videos right on the website and the ability to book a demo immediately find it all over at Digital Now looking towards the future for a little bit for the TMS landscape. If you could have one dream sort of wish or integration for the overall just TMS landscape, what what would it be and why.

Walter Mitchell: 33:50

So I'm really pushing big on email, if there was the area that I would really love to see a lot more progress is is in the emailing workflows and in the way that we connect to our customers and our carriers. So there's a pretty big gap there. And we have a lot of the functionality and tied today that can help help reduce that and help make that more streamlined, but adoption of it is still a work in progress. So that would be the the area that I think we can make such a tremendous difference. And that the industry will really change when when you start bringing in these tools together so that you don't have such a discrepancy between the work that you're doing outside your TMS, to the work you're doing inside. And you know, we it's so cliche but communication is important, right? We all know it's important, but it's also really hard. And and that's the part where we dis valued the communication a little bit is that it is really hard and tedious. It can be tedious as well. So let's make those better and I think what you'll see when we do that is we see it in CRMs. Today, right like HubSpot and Salesforce, have tremendous products. And those products are focused on communicating with sales prospects. Well are our customers from a freight broker, they are sales prospects. And so treating them were the same way and communicating with them and setting up automated workflows and and integrating in our communication mechanisms together. That's the area where I think we're gonna see a tremendous amount of change in the next few years in the TMS space.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:35

That's interesting you say that, because that was always one of my biggest gripes when I was handling marketing at a three PL is that the TMS was essentially worthless to me. And I knew that there was so much potential there because it had all the customer insights and the data points, but there outside of exporting, you know, a contact list that was the extent of what I could use it for. So I'm curious if you're aware of, you know, you just mentioned like HubSpot and maybe Salesforce integrations into tie, but are there any other maybe marketing feature sets that you know, maybe are on the horizon, or you think that, you know, should be included? I don't even know what would be included, outside of, you know, email communications, but I'm just curious to hear your thoughts.

Walter Mitchell: 36:15

So we're not necessarily trying to be a marketing platform alone. But what we do want to do is we provide a lot of templates so that your emails go out using templates. And it seems like a pretty straightforward thing. But those templates can have some tremendous impact. Like, for example, the, the number one question that I think we should ask our, as a freight broker that we should ask our customers on, every time we communicate with them is, do you have any more freight? Is there anything else I can quote for you? But these are simple questions that, that every time we touch a customer, we should be asking, and with the templates, and if we bring our emailing into the TMS, and we use templates to reply to customers, we can keep that on our template. And we can keep it there all the time. So every single email that goes out as a business owner, or as the leader of a brokerage, I can make sure and, and put that across the whole system. So then in 95%, of my emails that are going to customers, I'm asking that question, and that's going to provide a tremendous impact. Because if you even if you bring that number from up from 60%, to 90%, that's tremendous. Right? Huge. Yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:32

Yeah, that's definitely always be selling. And I think that that's an easy thing for us to forget, just the easiest way to sell is to connect with the people that you've already sold to, and see if you can help them with anything else. Any other other problems that they may be experiencing. Alright, Mitch, where can what other I guess maybe feature sets, or what other you know, maybe news down the pipeline that you got coming for Tai, anything else that the audience should be aware of?

Walter Mitchell: 38:01

Yeah, so we've got a big year, this year, we'll be at will be at all the the bigger trade shows, especially Tia, we love going to their shows and the freightwaves shows will be at both of those this year. So you know, we really want to connect with as many people as we can, we feel like we've got a really valuable product that can help make freight brokers so much more efficient, and help that help them do their job better. And that's really what we want to do. And we want to get the opportunity to talk to as many people as we can and, and help find a way that we can make their business a little bit better, or help get technology to help make their business better. And so that's really what we're looking forward to the most this year is connecting with as many freight brokers as we can, and seeing where we can help them and seeing their businesses improve because of it.

Blythe Brumleve: 38:52

Thank ya, Tia. I think it's happening in Orlando in April and then freightwaves is happening in Cleveland in June, I believe. So I have both of those listed on my calendar.

Walter Mitchell: 39:04

Yeah, me too, will be there for sure.

Blythe Brumleve: 39:07

Awesome. Well, well, well, Mitch, where can folks follow more of your work? Follow? Follow Tai software, you know, all that good stuff.

Walter Mitchell: 39:14

Yeah, so you can find us at And you can also find us on LinkedIn. But definitely a Tai dash is the best place to get us and you can reach out from there.

Blythe Brumleve: 39:27

Perfect. Wow. We'll link to all of those in the show notes. But I thank you so much for the conversation. It was it was interesting to hear what the landscape looks like from the TMS side of things and and how improvements have been made, especially on the marketing front with communications and email. So appreciate your time and perspective. Mitch,

Walter Mitchell: 39:44

likewise, thank you so much for having me

Blythe Brumleve: 39:51

I hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight telling the story He's behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking, oh God, another newsletter, but it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus, we drop a lot of gems in that email to help the one person marketing team and folks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You could find that email signup link along with our socials and past episodes. Over at everything is And until next time, I'm Blythe and go Jags

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.