The world today moves too fast for pen and paper, and the founders of MercuryGate International Inc. recognized this early on. Monica Wooden and Steve Blough founded the company in 2000 to provide transportation management software that was based in the cloud. Their goal was to provide clients with faster and more efficient access to the vital information they needed to keep their supply chains moving at the speed of business.
At the time, Director of Business Development Peter Yost explains, that was quite the quantum leap for the industry.
“When you think about the year 2000 and what the information technology world looked like at the time, transportation management systems were cumbersome, inflexible and expensive,” Yost says.
What’s more, Wooden and Blough wanted to create a transportation management software platform that could be scalable and applicable to any size business. “The founders of our company envisioned transportation management software that was affordable, configurable and easy to implement,” Yost adds. “That was a radical thought around the year 2000.”
That radical thought has put MercuryGate in a leadership position in the transportation management software market, with dozens of other companies trying to play catch-up with their own cloud-based products. Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Daniel Vertachnik says the company’s customer base is diverse and continues to grow, with a number of large, multinational clients as well as mid-tier and start-up clients. With the company’s versatile product and dedication to service, MercuryGate has reason to believe it will continue to be a powerhouse in the market for years to come.
All Things to All People
The designers of the MercuryGate transportation management platform come out of logistics backgrounds, with experience that ranges from the warehouse floor to executive management. This gives the company the ability to develop solutions that fit a number of transportation scenarios.
MercuryGate offers solutions for shippers, third-party logistics, freight-forwarding and brokerage. This puts the company in a unique position because few solutions providers have this kind of breadth to their product lines.
“We see a lot of different competitors because most other companies handle point solutions that serve a single segment of the market,” says Yost.
“Indeed,” Vertachnik says, “We seldom run into the same competitor [in each market segment.]”
Because of the multiple areas of expertise MercuryGate has under its roof, its platform can plan, optimize and execute complete transportation operations from pick-up to delivery.
“We are truly a global, multimodal, end-to-end transportation system,” Vertachnik says. “We manage across all transportation requirements, across oceans and across borders.”
Not only does MercuryGate create solutions that fit virtually any transportation environment, the company also has the ability to configure in the cloud for each client’s specific operation, Yost says. “Our diverse customer base is a testament to the flexibility and scalability of the software.”
Yost adds, “Competitors tell clients they can have a self-hosted application or configurability, but not both. MercuryGate, on the other hand, gives customers free rein over their systems while also providing them with the support to tailor it to their specific requirements.” This includes the ability to create templates for commonly used functions, such as loading contracts and rates, he explains.
“You do something once, and then you can set that as a template and use it again,” Yost says.
“MercuryGate’s platform is built as a data warehouse,” Vertachnik adds. When you combine this rich data content with end-to-end control tower visibility, you have the operational data and the control to quickly respond and adapt to changes in the transportation management network.
“We implement quickly,” Vertachnik says. “We’re a product company and we’re very proud of being a product company. Our goal is to get clients operational quickly so they can begin to derive value from the system and see a rapid return on their investment.”
Because MercuryGate views itself as a product company and not a consultant, it is up-front with clients about the cost of the system. “We quote early in the sales process so there are no surprises for the prospect,” Vertachnik says. Clients pay MercuryGate no product or implementation services fees until the system is in production, something we believe no other transportation management system provider does for clients.” The company also does not charge clients for EDI messages they send through the system.
“Once the system is live, MercuryGate is still there for our clients,” Vertachnik says. “While the system is easy to use and configure by our clients and their users, if they need us, our 24/7/365 support is there for them.” Yost adds that the company does not require clients to enter into long-term contracts with MercuryGate, allowing them the freedom to drop the system with 30 days’ notice if it no longer meets their needs – something that has seldom happened in MercuryGate’s twelve year history.
Yost says the fact that so many different companies across so many industry segments use the same single platform product in so many different ways speaks to the strength and flexibility of MercuryGate’s product. The greatest challenge has been to keep up with the demand.
“The company continues to add employees to support our existing client requirements as well as our rapidly growing domestic and international markets,” Vertachnik says. “We think we’re going to continue to see this rapid growth, the market is hungry for a global enterprise transportation management system to meet their ever changing and growing international transportation requirements and MercuryGate TMS meets the challenge.”
Even though the company is getting bigger with each passing month, Yost says there’s one area of MercuryGate that will never change. “MercuryGate has always been and will always be a customer-driven, customer-focused organization,” he says.