Lost invoices and missed vendor payments prompted Bulldog Hiway Express to seek out a new way keeping track of accounts payable.  -  Photo: Bulldog Hiway Express

Lost invoices and missed vendor payments prompted Bulldog Hiway Express to seek out a new way keeping track of accounts payable.

Photo: Bulldog Hiway Express

When Kent Taylor came onboard at Bulldog Hiway Express as the South Carolina carrier’s new CFO, he inherited an accounts payable department that was pretty much mired in the past.

“I saw right off that we had a very manually intensive process,” he says. “Lots of paper shuffling. Lots of printed-out invoices. Productivity was low. And we had a lot of lost invoices between our branch offices in Savannah, Georgia and Mobile, Alabama.

“We pride ourselves on customer service at Bulldog. And that goes both ways: We want our vendors to be paid the way we want to be paid.”

Taylor saw a lot of opportunity to fine-tune the department and boost productivity.

“I had an idea of what kind of management platform I wanted,” he says. “I’ve been through this process before. And you really have to peel back the layers of inefficiency to understand what’s going on and the obstacles you’re facing.”

At the core, what Taylor wanted for Bulldog’s accounts payable department was more control for employees handing invoices, as well as more transparency.

“That would give us more efficiency and more visibility into where our money was going, and what payments were outstanding. We needed to be able to see the movement of our invoices from point-of-purchase to payment.”

Based on those needs, Stampli, a provider of AI-powered, intelligent financial management platforms, stood out to Taylor.

“We needed a user-friendly system,” he says. “And their system checked almost all of our other boxes. On top of that, we found that their customer service was excellent. So, it was a good fit.”

AI Automates Fleet Accounts Payable

Fleet Snapshot

Who: Bulldog Hiway Express

Where: Charleston, South Carolina

Fleet: 140 tractors

Operations: flatbed, intermodal, drayage, specialized haul, heavy haul

Fun Fact: The Heavy Haul fleet handles loads up to 160,000 pounds.

Challenge: Outdated accounts payable department

One particularly appealing feature offered by Stampli was that it uses artificial intelligence to “learn” a company’s accounts payable process.

“What Stampli’s AI engine does is make decisions about invoices based on historical data,” Taylor explains.

Historically, he says, Bulldog had a massive amount of invoices that were lost or delayed for a variety of reasons — most of which could be traced to human errors.

“There are a lot of repetitive, manually intensive steps that have to be done when processing invoices,” Taylor says.

“What Stampli does is take over those procedures and learn from them. It begins to learn our vendors. It knows, for example, that a certain vendor sells us tires. And it then begins to learn how to properly code that transaction for our accounting system. It can then automatically upload those invoices and email them to all the concerned parties.

Increasing Productivity

"Moreover, it gives all of us greater visibility as to where those invoices are in the accounts payable process. So, we can tell at a glance when they’re due, who has approved them, and if they’re ready to move ahead and process the payment.”

Adopting Stampli has taken Bulldog Hiway Express’ accounts payable department to new levels of productivity and efficiency, Taylor says.

Using Stampli’s AI-powered accounting software has given Bulldog fleet managers greater transparency into its finances while boosting productivity throughout the accounts payable department.   -  Photo: Bulldog Hiway Express

Using Stampli’s AI-powered accounting software has given Bulldog fleet managers greater transparency into its finances while boosting productivity throughout the accounts payable department. 

Photo: Bulldog Hiway Express

Better Visibility on Where Money is Going

“Our leadership team has a lot more visibility into where our money is going,” he says. “It’s also helped us streamline costs, and we can now see what products and services are the most valuable for us.

“Stampli has opened the door that allows us to ask the right questions about which vendors are the most attractive to us, and why. Having every invoice available electronically — no matter where it is while being processed — makes it much easier for us to check them for accuracy and has given us cost savings that we can quantify.”

About the author
Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts

Executive Editor

Jack Roberts is known for reporting on advanced technology, such as intelligent drivetrains and autonomous vehicles. A commercial driver’s license holder, he also does test drives of new equipment and covers topics such as maintenance, fuel economy, vocational and medium-duty trucks and tires.

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