Smarter Shipping

iDrive Logistics
Written by Marcus Rummery

While many companies are capable of integrating new technology, iDrive Logistics creates its own. Two notable new products are its shipping software—called ShipCaddie—and its new online parcel auditing system.
ShipCaddie is a cutting-edge shipping software that allows shippers to manage orders, print shipping labels and send packages anywhere in the world. It works with any major carrier and users are able to import and ship orders from such marketplaces as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify and several others. Despite this critical functionality, it’s the business intelligence tools that gets iDrive Logistics’ Founder and CEO Shaun Rothwell excited.

“ShipCaddie really takes the business intelligence that we’ve built around managing shipping for our customers and gives real life, time-sensitive intelligence to companies that are shipping today,” says Rothwell. He spoke to me from his office in Lehi, Utah.

The ShipCaddie platform is fully scalable to serve everything from a small e-commerce operation that might sell only a few items per day to large retailers shipping thousands of products daily. Rothwell says ShipCaddie has been painstakingly created, nurtured and incubated—over a three-year span—to facilitate long-term relationships with clients.

In yet another piece of shipping technology, iDrive’s parcel audit software is proving to be a game-changer in logistics. The platform helps shippers recover payments from shipping carriers when a carrier mischarges the shipper. The most common example is for a late delivery, but Rothwell says the platform audits dozens of other data points that may qualify shippers for refunds from the carriers.

“Our customers really love it. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies who have recorded cost-savings in the millions using this software.”

Rothwell says that ShipCaddie and the parcel audit software have consistently created savings for the thousands of customers served by iDrive Logistics and that it has never failed to save a customer money.

“We love our value proposition. A 100 percent success rate with cost savings and no out-of-pocket cost to our customers is really a no-brainer. And our prospective customers are pretty quick to jump on board when they see the value we provide.”

iDrive supplements its technology offerings with other shipping cost-reduction solutions, namely carrier contract negotiation services. Rothwell claims that negotiating carrier agreements is iDrive’s true bread-and-butter, and that iDrive is the only consulting firm that has team members with intimate knowledge of carrier cost models.

“This has been an incredible edge in our space when it comes to negotiating best-in-class agreements. Using carrier cost model methodology, we are able to optimize cost savings for our clients while helping them establish more of a mutual respect and better relationship with their carriers. We’re very proud of what we provide our customers and they absolutely love working with us.”

iDrive has a client retention rate of more than 95 percent.

iDrive powered by efficiency, technology and teamwork
Indeed, Rothwell has created a new powerhouse in the logistics sector. “We pride ourselves on our efficiency, at providing gold standard service with a small tightly-organized staff. Most of our competitors with sales like ours will have four hundred to five hundred employees.” The company has a staff of only thirty-eight yet still registers $78 million in sales per year.

The company’s use of technology keeps costs down as it automates when possible to stay lean. “We want to automate and make things as cost-effective as possible. We’re very, very strong financially. We don’t have any capital debt; we haven’t had to raise any money.”

As in any business, building brand equity is of primary importance. Rothwell wants iDrive to be known as the best of the best in transportation management. “The goal is for our customers to associate iDrive with high quality, reliability and cutting edge technology. That’s why we care so much about bringing the right people into our family here.”

With regards to hiring the right people, Rothwell says that they have simply taken their time and recruited the kind of people that really understand the business. He cites several employees recruited from strategic positions within the largest carrier systems in the world. “They are rare individuals. Few people that possess their kind of intellectual property are available in the high-tech world.”

The company has two primary goals. One is finding and retaining knowledgeable employees who have the special skills required in the industry; and secondly and above all, making sure iDrive’s technology retains its cutting edge.

iDrive deploys ongoing training programs to maintain readiness and keep up with technological developments while positioning its employees to serve assorted roles. This maximizes flexibility and ensures that they can provide the best customer assistance.

“We want to make sure we provide a sophisticated training program that allows our employees to grow within our company. Our culture is really fun. We pride ourselves on maintaining both a fun and hard-working culture where people enjoy coming to work and associating with each other.”

The company – he says – is really built around people, so it is vital to ascertain whether potential employees are a “good fit” for the culture. “Before we even look at what someone’s skill set is, we ask ourselves, ‘do we want to work with this person for the next ten to thirty years?’ If the answer is yes, only then do we do we start talking about skill sets.”

One of the biggest challenges is in finding and keeping the talent pool a business needs. iDrive has been quite successful at this. “The development staff and the tech team that we have built are people who have stayed with the company. Once we’ve hired our developers, they stay, which is unusual here in Utah, where we’ve seen these highly-skilled people change jobs every year or two.”

iDrive has come a long way since its inception in the recession year of 2008, and the heart of the team is certainly Shaun Rothwell. After high school, this self-described Utah boy joined the Army and then the Army National Guard. It was there that he acquired experience in supply chain and logistics.

“From there I went on a Latter Day Saints’ mission to Birmingham, Alabama for two years, and then I got a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s in Business Administration.” The focus on continual learning extends to the team, which reads books together regularly.

“Just two years prior to starting iDrive, I had just sold a company in a similar space and recognized some additional needs we didn’t provide in my last company, so I went and recruited some very senior executives at UPS. We started to embrace a lot of the new e-commerce technology that’s out there. We’ve done a lot to expand our different revenue streams with our current customer base.”

Rothwell attributes his company’s success to teamwork and integrity. “Honesty is our utmost priority, full transparency and honesty with our customers.”

iDrive makes money by saving its customers’ money and then sharing in the savings. Yet, Rothwell insists that ‘savings’ is only one part of the formula for a successful client relationship. “The goal is that our clients will benefit from the expertise and the brilliant minds we have at iDrive and ultimately have no hesitation in renewing the relationship. We look at every customer as a long-term partner.”

iDrive is built on relationships with customers, its team, suppliers, vendors, and partners, some of which are the largest carriers in the world, including the United States Postal Service. According to Rothwell, iDrive is one of the largest USPS shippers on the planet. “USPS has stepped up and delivered solutions to our customer base, and that makes doing business with them easier every day. They’ve been a great partner to us.”

iDrive ensures that its partnerships yield vastly improved customer and end-user experiences.

“When an end-user orders a product from one of our customers, we want to make sure that the end-user pays a very competitive shipping rate or free potentially, and that the product is in good repair and is delivered quickly. That’s where we’re really able to facilitate our customers’ business. The economy is rocking right now, and that trend isn’t changing anytime soon. That trend will continue to grow and the shipping environment will only become more and more important.”

This rapidly-growing firm has been on the INC 500 and 5000 lists for the last four years and the Utah Fast 50 list for the past two years. The Utah list examines figures over a five-year span. “All that recognition is not coming because of me; it’s because of the team that I have. If I deserve the credit, it is for bringing the right team together.”



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