A Badger Tale

New app helps Troy-based logistics firm recover from the recession.


Published:

TPS Logistics' Parker Stallard, Brandon Stallard, and Jeff Lau hepled lead a major turnaround.

When the global financial crisis took hold in 2008, the client relationships that TPS Logistics in Troy had spent years cultivating and nurturing didn’t just wane — they disappeared. With a majority of its sales tied to the auto industry, the company had to adapt or run the real risk of shutting down.

“We quickly found out the way we used to do things didn’t work anymore,” says Brandon Stallard, co-founder and CEO of TPS Logistics. “The business lesson is obviously not to put all of your eggs in one basket, but there are so many more lessons that came from the recession, like being willing to change course and sacrifice the present to build for the future.”

To wit: In October 2008, TPS employees, including management, were asked to take a 15 percent pay cut. And by the beginning of 2010, the firm reversed its fortunes and every employee was paid back, with interest.

How? “It took eight months to find new business opportunities, and while the automotive market was down we got into oil and gas, along with other markets,” Stallard says. “It was like getting the band back together after a long break. In this case, around 75 percent of our automotive clients were in Chapter 11 (bankruptcy). Then heavy industry began to come back, along with oil and gas, retail, and health and beauty.” 

Riding the new wave of business, the company — which provides transportation solutions and efficiencies by leveraging its volume to drive down shipping and related costs — began to invest in smarter software programs. It also stayed true to one of its founding principles, which was to manage transportation rather than acquire a fleet of trucks.

“We don’t compete with our clients; rather, we work with them to improve their transportation needs, which is why we don’t have physical assets like trucks,” Stallard says. “We’re subject-matter experts in transportation, right down to bar-coding. Companies want to know where every SKU (stock keeping unit) is, so we have to understand our clients, what their needs are, and what their pain points are.”

Today, with offices throughout the United States and Mexico, the company has 160 employees (75 in Troy). To drive value, TPS acquired several software firms in recent years and brought the enterprises in-house. As a result, the company took what was a rigid logistics system and added flexibility to better track shipments and carbon credit opportunities.

To better pinpoint the location of cargo, the company worked with Detroit Labs and others to develop Badger Application, an app-based freight tracking solution that enables logistics firms, shippers, and carriers to update and track shipments more accurately via a smartphone. Rather than calling eight people to figure out exactly where a particular delivery is, the app sends out real-time location alerts.

“If the final delivery point knows there’s a delay due to traffic, mechanical problems, or weather, they can shift to another job while they wait for the delivery,” says Parker Stallard, president of Badger Application, which is a separate company. “The app boosts efficiency across the board.”

The app, which costs $99 a month, has a large potential customer base, including thousands of shipping companies and 3.2 million truck drivers. “Badger is more efficient than setting up a logistics tech system (for individual clients),” Parker says. “It puts everything at your fingertips.” db

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Food Smart

It's a Duesy

Gilmore Car Museum expects new Duesenberg exhibit to attract more visitors to Hickory Corner

The Son Also Rises

A formerly down-on-his-luck restaurant worker now owns multiple eateries in Royal Oak and Howell.

Community Business

Eyes Up

Avantius Group in Birmingham invests in proven health supplements.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Waterford Township’s Summit Place Mall Site to House Oakland County Business Center
    The former Summit Place Mall in Waterford Township is slated for demolition in the beginning of...
  2. Detroit’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan Opens Neuro-Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
    Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit has developed Michigan’s first Neuro-Neonatal...
  3. Macomb County Tops Country for Manufacturing Job Growth
    The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that Macomb County is...
  4. Public Health, Economic Power Focus of Oakland County’s State of the County Speech
    Public health was at the forefront of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s 2019 State...
  5. Beaumont Health Announces Retailers for Royal Oak’s Woodward Corners
    Beaumont Health today announced retailers for Woodward Corners, a $32.8-million,...
  6. Southfield’s 123Net Partners with Stockholm’s Telia Carrier to Expand High-speed Fiber in Michigan
    123Net, a large data center services provider based in Southfield, today announced it has...