Case Study

Amplifier Chooses Gotransverse to Support Scalable, High Volume, Usage-Based Billing During Rapid Growth

Overview

Amplifier is a third-party logistics firm who specializes in meeting the needs of online communities. Their clients often are medium-sized businesses with large audiences. These organizations turn to Amplifier when they want smart, effective merchandise management. “Our clients run the gamut: from communities organized around content, to large nonprofits, to product businesses, to marketing companies. We can help any type of organization use merchandise to monetize their customers,” explained Amplifier’s Chief Technology Officer, Jud Harris.

In addition to apparel imprinting and other merchandise, the Austin-based company provides a fully outsourced, end-to-end merchandising service, which includes order management, receiving, inventory storage, back-end logistics, pick-pack-ship and customer service. Amplifier can even produce merchandise on demand, allowing their clients to test the popularity of designs without tying up capital in inventory costs.

The Best Kind of Business Challenge

Every business team strives for growth and strong product sales. But what if you expected to sell one thousand units of a product that ultimately sold millions? That’s exactly what happened to Amplifier when they originally signed the LIVESTRONGTM Foundation. The organization projected up to one million units over the first year, but their famous yellow wristbands went viral and drove sales of nearly 40 million wristbands in less than a year.

Such large shipment volume exposed gaps within Amplifier’s operations, and the executive team made the decision to plow some of their extra capital back into the company—investing in technology to improve operational efficiency and customer experience. First, Amplifier implemented a sophisticated warehouse management system (WMS) and then focused on customer-facing tools to help clients create merchandise, manage orders and track shipments.

Creating a Rewarding Customer Experience

“Amplifier delivers a highly complex service offering. A customer signing up today can design new products, order large runs of those products or choose to have us make them on-demand,” said Harris. “They can deliver orders to us in batches, or through our API. They can notify us of inbound inventory by creating advanced shipment notifications (ASNs). They can even print out barcode labels for their goods to ensure inbound inventory sails through our receiving dock. Clearly, we do a lot for our clients and doing so necessitates many moving parts. For us, the goal is to do as much as possible for them in as few steps as we can. “One of our biggest challenges was creating detailed visibility of our work, and exposing our performance back to our clients showing them the experience we are delivering on their behalf.”

Scaling up Billing and Revenue Management

To further support the customer experience and Amplifier’s revenue objectives, Harris sought a better method to produce usage-based billing for merchandising services. The company historically employed a manual process to generate invoices based on internal usage reports, and it could not be scaled to keep up with growth. “We saw an opportunity to automate with a billing platform, but we didn’t want to go through the painful and disruptive process of building and maintaining such a complicated platform. We needed a billing system that could handle the large volumes of highly disparate activities we performed for our clients. We found that platform with Gotransverse,” Harris said.

High Volume. High Usage. No Limits.

On high-volume days, Amplifier has surpassed 30,000 orders in a single day. Under its merchandising-as-a-service business model, each order requires Amplifier to perform a variety of services during fulfillment. So when it came to billing, Amplifier needed a partner who could handle hundreds of thousands of activity records in a single day. “The Gotransverse team knows high-volume usage inside out and Gotransverse was built for that. That was a requirement for us.”

Harris evaluated several subscription and usagebased billing systems, but only Gotransverse could support Amplifier’s level of usage. Other vendors tried to convince Harris that he didn’t need so much detail on client invoices. He disagreed: “They did not know our business. That is why we chose Gotransverse. “It was the only billing platform that natively handles high volume usage billing.”

“The nature of our business is clients doing flash sales. It can go from zero to having sold 50,000 shirts in a very short amount of time. We push all of the usage activity into Gotransverse in realtime, 24/7 throughout our operation. Any time we want to cut an invoice, all of the detail is already there and ready to go.” As a result, Amplifier’s clients have gained better visibility into charges and account activity, enabling them to make more informed decisions about inventory levels in storage, for example.

Gotransverse provides the flexibility to support any kind of new product or service that Amplifier chooses to launch. “It lets us structure billing in a way that makes the most intuitive sense to our clients, rather than being constrained by the system. Gotransverse has allowed us to say ‘how does the market want to pay for this service offering’ and then bill for it that way.”

Insight at the Speed of Business

The Amplifier management team benefits from new levels of business intelligence made possible with Gotransverse. Harris’ overall technology goal has been to access intraday profitability data and see revenue over cost in an executive dashboard. He explained, “With our operational systems and the Gotransverse billing platform, I can tell you how much money we are making by the hour, instead of waiting until the end of the week and running reports. That’s powerful! We have the same billing and revenue data, but now it’s provided much more frequently with more granularity. Having a massively-scalable, usagedriven billing system provides Amplifier with a significant competitive advantage.”

With our operational systems and our Gotransverse billing platform, I can tell you how much money we are making by the hour, as opposed to waiting until theend of the week and running reports. That’s powerful.

Conclusion

Gotransverse provides cloud-based software that enables companies in any industry to operate as a subscription business model, including the often-challenging aspects of usage-based pricing and monetization at massive scale. Founded by globally recognized billing experts, the company offers an intelligent billing and subscription management platform that automates the subscription order-to-cash process, including billing, rating, collections, mediation, analytics, and revenue recognition.

Gotransverse was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Austin, TX. For more information, visit www.gotransverse.com.