Strategic Partnership Helps Echo Global Logistics Reach Elite Status
300% increase in revenue
since engaging with Optymyze
3 parallel planning horizons
immediate process improvements plus longer-term growth initiatives
98% fewer manual reconciliations
due to automatic validations
Echo Global Logistics is a publicly traded Fortune 1000 company that helps businesses worldwide transport their products and manage their supply chains.
Over the past couple of decades, logistics has become a cornerstone of the worldwide economy to a never-before-seen degree – it’s a multi-trillion-dollar transportation industry, and trillions of additional dollars ride on the ability to move goods quickly, safely and efficiently around the world. Through its proprietary technology, logistics expertise, and focus on simplifying transportation management, Echo has become a major player in the world transportation market in only a little over a decade of operation.
Going from startup status to being recognized as one of the world’s 1,000 largest businesses is an enormous mountain to climb for any company. Such a momentous achievement requires the right partnerships – especially for a function as critical as sales performance, which generates the lifeblood of growth: revenue.
Echo has partnered with Optymyze to implement a flexible and highly efficient sales performance management solution – but also to craft and implement a long-term vision for how the logistics giant can drive strategically aligned sales behaviors, continue growing through M&A, and maintain the agility to adjust to changes in this dynamic market.
Patrick Taylor, Senior Incentive Compensation Manager
Patrick Taylor has been with Echo since 2010 – the final days of the old, pre-Optymyze era of manual sales comp calculations. Less than one year into his tenure, the company decided to replace that inefficient legacy methodology with a more modern and effective system.
As a rapidly growing organization, Echo needed a solution that could account for constant changes in plans and resources while keeping its incentive comp management team lean and efficient. Its unique business model means that Echo’s salespeople run into a lot of one-off exceptions, and the new system needed to be flexible enough to integrate those smoothly on the fly – all while providing intelligent analytics and ongoing support.
Selecting a vendor for a matter this serious is no simple business. This decision (and the resulting implementation) involved key stakeholders at all levels of the organization – including Echo’s VP of Strategy, VP of Finance, CFO, incentive compensation team, sales leadership, and more. Together, they considered a number of options, but most “left our plans feeling a bit too rigid,” Patrick says.
To get the flexibility they needed, Echo’s executive decision-makers ultimately chose the comprehensive, end-to-end capabilities of Optymyze. Patrick was intimately involved in the partnership, including designing and implementing the new system, and once it was live, his team became able to handle plan changes, exceptions, and day-to-day participant management with ease.
Since then, Patrick has become Echo’s most indispensable source of expert knowledge on Optymyze – and risen within the organization accordingly.
Strategy & Results
Our partnership with Echo is emblematic of our commitment to strategic engagement.
It starts with delivery planning – which is the full e xtent (albeit minus the exclusive features of our industry-leading technology) of pretty much everyone else’s sales performance management solution. In Echo’s case, we worked with analysts and managers to address their most immediate operational needs and deploy a scalable foundation for future growth.
But at the same time, we were engaging Echo on two other tracks: operations and strategy.
Operational planning entails distilling our client’s goals into a plan for improving processes and streamlining sales operations over the following 12-18 months – a process in which Patrick and his supervisor, Echo’s VP of Finance, were deeply involved. Strategic planning involves our strategic engagement team working in concert with the company’s highest-level executives, including the CFO, to gaze 3-5 years into the future and create a roadmap that positions our client for long-term success.
All three of these planning phases happen simultaneously; the point of strategic engagement, after all, is to ensure collaboration and alignment at all levels of the business by connecting the aforementioned company executives with their counterparts on the Optymyze side.
So, as we were working with Patrick’s team to address Echo’s comp plans and implement the new technology, we were also preparing the business for growth by altering processes to create standardized business outcomes and simplify reconciliations. And we were priming the pump for enduring growth by building procedures and structure in consultation with company leaders, preparing them to integrate what would become Echo’s biggest acquisition yet: Command Transportation.
The June 2015 purchase of Command represents the climax of a string of 21 acquisitions Echo has carried out in recent years. That stretch has resulted in Echo landing on the Fortune 1000 for the first time – they clocked in at No. 969 on the 2018 list – and the smooth harmonization facilitated by Optymyze has been a major enabler of that growth.
Echo now boasts a sales team of more than 1,000 reps focused on bringing their unique brand of transportation management to businesses around the world – linking more than 35,000 clients with a network of carriers numbering over 40,000. Those reps reap the benefits of a solution that has done for Echo’s sales compensation what Echo does for its own clients: simplify a complicated process.
“Our sales reps now have a daily view into commission calculations and projections for the remaining pay period at hand,” Patrick says. “Removing any guesswork from a sales rep’s compensation has led to an increase in productivity, since they can now keep their focus entirely on sales and trust the accounting is accurate.”
Indeed, 98% of reconciliation instances are now caught and addressed automatically without the affected salesperson needing to request support. That’s 98% less reconciliation heartache for the reps and 98% less manual reconciliation work for the sales ops crew.
Even with the growth his company has experienced since partnering with Optymyze in 2011, Patrick has been able to manage compensation for all of Echo’s sales reps – and he himself has grown into an organizational leader in strategy enablement. With his time freed from mundane tasks, Patrick (along with his team) is free to focus on keeping comp aligned with corporate objectives while continually ideating further process improvement and maintaining the agility to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.
Today, Echo Global Logistics earns nearly $2 billion in annual revenue – approximately triple what it was before engaging with Optymyze – and rising. The two companies continue to enjoy a robust working relationship, and our long-term roadmap still has plenty more impressive milestones to go.