Passport Shipping provides end-to-end international shipping solutions for e-commerce businesses. The company, which services approximately 400 customers, handles every step of the international shipping process, from warehouse pickup to first mile logistics, cross-border duties and taxes, end-to-end tracking, and customer support. Founded in 2017, Passport has grown substantially over the past few months and expects to nearly double its headcount in the coming year.
As a relatively young company, Passport did not have a sophisticated spend management system. Rather, a handful of team members were cardholders of a shared Capital One account.
“We didn’t collect receipts,” says Taylor Lucas, Passport’s Director of Finance. “We didn’t really analyze. We just imported everything into QuickBooks and that was it.” This system offered the team no way to digest or analyze corporate spend information. That created difficulty in overall budgeting for the company, because it was difficult to understand various teams’ spending needs.
“It was doable, but it was just really manual,” says Taylor. “There wasn’t a lot of value-add in the process.”
When Taylor joined Passport this past spring, he set out to find and implement a corporate spend management platform that could meet the growing company’s needs. After evaluating several providers, he selected Ramp.
“For me, it was really the ease of the platform,” explains Taylor. “A lot of [platforms] can provide unlimited virtual cards, but setting up was really easy in Ramp.” Plus, Ramp’s integration with Slack was a plus for Taylor and team, who rely heavily on Slack for internal communication.
As soon as Passport was up and running on Ramp, Taylor and his team began to set policies and implement controls in a way that was not possible before Ramp. They immediately took advantage of Ramp’s ability to distribute spend widely across the company while maintaining oversight and control. “One thing I’ve found really valuable is being able to distribute spend to the edge, to the people who actually need it,” says Taylor. “Being able to get everyone set up with a variety of cards was really great.”
For example, Taylor could easily auto-create cards for employees to use for Passport’s annual learning and development stipend, then track that spend and complete reimbursement more quickly. “Before, that all would just be tracked manually,” says Taylor. “And employees would have to ask the finance team for reimbursement, which could take five or ten minutes of someone’s bandwidth. The ability to have all that on cost-controllable cards has been really, really valuable.”
By shifting from a manual process to a platform that provides in-depth, real-time insights into corporate spend, Passport has realized multiple benefits.
“Now that I have access to what people have spent, it gives me a better sense of what people are going to spend,” says Taylor. That helps him set a more realistic budget and gain more granular insight into the spending behaviors of his colleagues. “I’m always monitoring Ramp expenses in Slack,” he says. “It gives me solid insights into the business and where our pockets of expenditure and growth are.”
The centralization and insights Ramp provides also highlight opportunities for cost-savings. “I’m always looking for new opportunities to spend on the credit card for cashback,” says Taylor. “Ramp allows us to evaluate our vendor and vendor procurement relationships a little bit differently.” With Ramp, Taylor receives automatic notifications that alert him to instances of duplicate spend and opportunities to garner lower prices from vendors. “I can’t necessarily look at every single transaction every single day,” says Taylor. “[Ramp flags to me] something like, ‘Hey, you spent 50% more on Zendesk this month,’ and I can just click through and say, ‘Oh, ok. We added three seats. That makes sense.’ The ability to reduce the analytical part of spend oversight has been nice.”
By centralizing, streamlining, and automating, Ramp has saved material time for the finance team. “Ramp has helped relieve the burden on me and my accounting team in terms of processing payments. I think we probably save between 10 and 15 hours a week,” says Taylor. “Holistically, it makes my job easier from a strategic lens. It gives me more bandwidth, so I’m not worried about the little ins and outs and small reimbursements and things like that.”
Since implementing Ramp, Taylor and his team operate with more confidence and are better prepared for the challenges that accompany fast growth. “Ramp has really allowed us to execute and to scale,” says Taylor. “Ramp has been an awesome partner for us and has really made my life easier. I have nothing but good things to say about it.”