Turn $20k into $250k Every Year using IBM RPA with Tim Goff 

Turn $20k into $250k Every Year using IBM RPA with Tim Goff 

Published By : Cydney McCollum August 30, 2022

 

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Turn $20k into $250k Every Year using IBM RPA with Tim Goff 

This episode of Bots & Thoughts dives into how IBM #RPA has helped automate the middle/back office work for FedEx Ground Linehaul Contractors. Special Guest Tim Goff, CEO/Founder of GForce Software, and our host, Jimmy A. Hewitt, discuss how automation maximizes performance, quality of life, profitability, and more.

Watch Episode 11 interview now!

Follow along with the episode now!

Guest Background: Tim Goff, CEO and Founder at GForce Software, Inc.

GForce Software

  •  
  • Makers of mygroundforce: https://mygroundforce.com/
    • mygroundforce: Automation for Linehaul Contractors
      • Automates virtually every middle and back-office process or task associated with managing a FedEx linehaul contractor business
    • Powered by IBM RPA

Tim Goff

“I went from flying planes to running high tech networks to running a trucking company”

  • Grew up in West Tennessee and always wanted to be a Navy pilot
  • Went to the Naval Academy and then flew airplanes for the Navy for 9 years
  • After Tim got out of the Navy, he took a job as one of the early fiber optic engineers working for Corning
  • Spent 25 years in high tech communications
  • Moved from the passive network side to the active network side and held several different roles in hot, very high-tech equipment laser transmission systems
  • Ran a global division and a Fortune 500 company installing networks around the world
  • Was a VP Quality
    • Quality certified manager
    • Understood the implementation of world class business processes throughout the business
  • Was a COO of a startup company that built the fastest network in the world for high frequency traders between Chicago and New York
  • After the startup was sold, Goff bought into the FedEx ground linehaul business
    • FedEx does not own any trucks
    • Small businesses do all the transportation
    • All trucks are owned by contractors
  • Now has two FedEx Ground linehaul trucking companies
    • Run 50 trucks across three states in the southeast
  • All three distinct chapters of Tim’s life pull on the same skillset
    • Procedural
    • Good, efficient, quality-compliant processes
  • Has done automation projects in the past
Hyperautomation at GForce Software:
  • Challenges:

    • Maximize the value of the people that we have, but have as few people as we need
    • Lean on technology to help advance the company strategic goals, particularly financially
    • Tim asked other contractors what tools they use to run their businesses and they didn’t have any
    • FedEx did not instruct Tim how to be a contractor
    • Required to be a compliant operation with the fortune 50 company
    • The more you grow, the more people you need to stay on top of all the responsibilities
      • Costs money
  • Human involvement:
    • If the human is not there to work, key processes in the company come to a halt
  • Costs:
    • Cannot grow your business and improve profitability because the cost curve is stuck directly to the growth
    • To grow and scale your business, you have to flatten the cost curve
    • Couldn’t flatten he cost curve in the FedEx ground linehaul business with the tools in place when Tim began
  • RPA Solution:

    • Reached out to a friend who had started a software company and was writing some of the best RPA code in the world for automation solutions
    • Architected the first version of the system and then built a prototype using basic technology and the RPA robot
      • Demoed it in February 2020
      • Put together a business plan
    • Business plan: automate everything inside a FedEx Ground company
      • There would not be a need for any spreadsheets, admins, etc. to run the business
      • Would need an office manager inside your company to stay on top of all the automation
      • The automation would feed the robot and the robot would do the work
    • Use Cases: 

      • Payroll
        • Challenge: every Tuesday at 9 PM, a settlement statement is released summarizing all the work from the previous week in the company

          • Origin to destination, what truck was used, what driver it was, fuel information and charges, how much you got paid per run, etc.

          • PDF or CSV flat file

            • Continue to accumulate flat files

            • Have to put data into pivot tables or very complicated macros in Excel

          • Very labor intensive

        • Solution: RPA bot logs in and downloads your settlement and puts it into the SQL database running on the Azure cloud in the relational database section.

          • Very cyber secure so data is completely safe

          • Once all your data is captured, the robots run all night on Tuesday night and when you wake up on Wednesday morning, there’s been a lot of work done and it’s all available to you.

          • Set point and click rules for all employees

          • It takes less than 20 seconds to enable payroll for an employee

          • Also track non-driver employees so we can they can do a complete payroll for your whole company

          • Essentially feed the robots so then on Tuesday night whenever the settlement gets downloaded by the robot then they start plowing through the data, they use the rules-based system, and they determine what the driver did

          • Does calculations associated with the rules for what the driver actually did

        • Outcome: turn out payroll without error every Wednesday morning

          • Was spending 60-70 man hours a week before RPA

          • Now on Wednesday morning the office manager comes in, goes through the payroll report, makes the few manual notations that need to be made, and payroll is done

          • Have not had a driver complain about not getting paid properly since we started using the software

          • Pay full price, $18,000-$20,000 a year for subscriptions, and this year it will save the company about $250,000.

          • Pays for itself 10 times over per year

      • Compliance: driver compliance and truck compliance

        • Challenge: used to track everything needed to stay compliant with drivers and trucks (i.e., drivers have a commercial license, license, a medical card, etc. that expire on a period basis and trucks have annual inspections and service intervals that must be maintained) in spreadsheets
          • Driver compliance: Full time employee tracking 50+ drivers and contacting drivers trying to make sure that all documents came in and were updated
          • Truck Compliance: Full time employee managing truck maintenance, scheduling, and compliance
        • Solution: automated the compliance tasks with RPA
          • Whenever the company onboards an employee, they put in all their compliance information in the system.
          • The RPA bots then manage compliance
            • Set up their notification rules
            • Has a powerful text engine and e-mail engine in the system and the robots communicate proactively based on the rules that they’re fed
        • Outcome: Start getting compliance update notifications by text and by e-mail at 11 AM EST 90 days before your update is required
          • Drivers and supervisors both notified
          • No human manager needed to manage the compliance updates anymore
Business Management: Advice from Tim Goff
  • Any business that’s having repeatable positive performance has some key performance indicators that they pay attention to
  • TL 9000, ISO 9000, Six Sigma, and other world class processes yield metrics will help you understand what’s going on in the business and what levers you need to pull to get the numbers going in the right direction, which is a health indicator of the business
  •  All the health indicators are supposed to help you improve the profitability in the business.
  • If you’re not measuring what’s going on in your business, you cannot manage it
  • When you encounter a problem in the business, you immediately need to look at the data and then figure out how you can identify key performance indicators from that data to keep your company from making that mistake again.
  • Before you can measure data, you have to get command of that data by architecting systems that get command of the data
mygroundforce Transformation:
  • Get settlement information and put it in a database, collect driver information, truck information, and other scheduling information, and then leverage the bots to take that data and turn it into key performance indicators for the business.
  • Went from a ton of spreadsheets to no spreadsheets and from a calculator to no calculator because the company architects everything now
    • Used to spend most of time all week crunching numbers, pulling data, putting data in spreadsheets, and calculating data
    • No longer need to do this work
  • Dashboard: Built a dashboard and the bots update that dashboard every Tuesday night
    • All dashboards have trendlines to compare weekly performance
    • Wake up every Wednesday and the key performance indicators are already done
    • Malleable: Can manipulate the dashboard to see exactly what you want or need to see
      • Can view at company level AND the driver level
      • Can compare the productivity across companies, drivers, and trucks
    • Rich reporting polling data from various sources (i.e., online portals, emails, attachments, spreadsheets, CSV’s PDFs, etc.) into management friendly dashboards
  • Commercial opportunities:
    • Take the trucking platform for FedEx Ground contractors, add some very slight modifications, then it’s also going to have a commercial opportunity with, for instance, Amazon Relay contractors or regular trucking companies
    • Have had meetings with companies in Spain and Brazil to do similar work but in a different language
      • The bots used operate in 100+ different languages
      • Have to change your processed slightly to kind of match how different cultures think and work
Overview:
  • Future of RPA seems unlimited on what you could potentially accomplish
  • RPA Robots:
    • Completely adaptable: They have an infinite ability to change and adapt to what you’re trying to accomplish
    • They mimic human behavior on a computer
    • Help the worker shortage:
      • Robots can do an awful lot of work for your company and allow you to repurpose employees that you have doing what you think are fundamentally important tasks
    • Value:
      • If you think about how that work is getting done, you can leverage RPA technology to do that work and take that existing valuable employee and put them down doing something that’s more high value-add
      • Business leaders need to start thinking “how can I automate what I’m doing” and by doing that you can grow your company at a lower indirect cost which improves profitability
    • Indefinitely scalable: separate your cost curve from your growth curve
  • Tim Goff Advice:

  • Understand what people do

  • Ask yourself:

    • “What are we sticking minutes to?”

    • “Can I find a way to stick fewer minutes or no minutes to that particular task?”

  • All those extra minutes are costing you money when you could be growing revenue

  • It’s not to quit doing the work, but to do the work more efficiently and repurpose that headcount into doing things that are more valuable

  • You might be surprised on how much time you’re spending doing things that really are not furthering the strategic purpose of your organization.

  • Don’t be afraid of the technology:

    • There are organizations, like Salient Process, that know what they are doing and can integrate the capabilities into your company with you

    • Technology is simple to use and will give you huge returns

      • “The fear becomes the benefit”

    • You are not just automating minutes and repurposing employees, you’re also maximizing the value of your time!

Watch Episode 11 Interview with tim goff Now

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More on Hyperautomation:

What is Hyperautomation?

Scaling Beyond RPA to Hyperautomation

North Star Methodology

Salient Process is a full-service digital business automation shop and proud IBM Automation business partner. To learn more about us at our website, request a free consultation with one of our expert automation advisors! We look forward to guiding you and your company along your own unique Hyperautomation journey.