The Silicon Review
VPL provides customized freight management solutions for healthcare and academic institutions. With years of experience, leading-edge technology and proactive account management, the company is making supply chains smarter, easier and better. VPL’s customized solutions, easy implementations, guaranteed savings, and new self-management platform, VPL Surpass™, lead the way in innovation and advancement of the freight management industry.
VPL has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to inbound freight management. Its co-founders, Eric McGlade and Scott Crow, were part of the founding team of HLS MedFreight, the first company to introduce the idea of inbound freight management to the healthcare industry in 2001. HLS MedFreight quickly became the market leader, serving more than 1,400 hospitals. In 2010, the company was sold and, while they were thrilled to see the original concept take off, their pioneering spirits needed more. Six months after the acquisition, they formed VPL in order to continue discovering new opportunities in the industry.
The company’s first undertaking was to create a freight management model for higher education, developing a sophisticated billing system required by grant-funded colleges and universities. This industry’s strict accounting rules led the company to create its outstanding billing and reporting system, renowned by its customers for its transparency and ease of use. When the time was right, VPL resumed its work with hospitals and health systems and quickly gained a reputation in the industry for its honesty, accountability and desire to ensure that its customers always receive the best shipping services for the lowest possible price.
Challenges Faced in the Initial Days
A major challenge for the company was rapid growth. Demand for its services skyrocketed, making it necessary for the company to adapt quickly and make organizational changes. Additionally, VPL had to increase its talent pool, an effort which required the time and capital to find the right teammates. With this expansion, the company started outgrowing its office space, necessitating a search for a new venue that would accommodate future growth while providing a comfortable atmosphere. Presently, VPL is in the midst of transforming itself from a full-service freight management program to a SaaS technology company, needing to supplement their development and project management departments. This again creates the challenge of having to find smart, driven teammates in a short period of time.
Products the Company Offers
VPL has built its reputation on providing its customers with the most robust full-service freight management program available in the healthcare market. Designed to promote transparency and partnership, the company’s program delivers greater savings through a combination of enhanced supplier compliance, customized invoicing and reporting and a flat-rate transaction fee pricing model. With an extremely loyal and satisfied customer base, demonstrated by VPL’s Net Promoter Score of 65, it only made sense for the company to build the same features into its latest self-management technology innovation, VPL Surpass™.
VPL Surpass is a cutting-edge, cloud-based technology platform that provides users with all of the resources of an advanced freight management program at their fingertips. Its design and functionality are in direct response to the growing number of health systems seeking an alternative to the full-service programs currently offered by traditional freight management companies. VPL Surpass is the first technology platform that allows customers to bring their freight management program in-house.
VPL Convey provides customers with a simple, effective solution for their Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping needs. This up-to-date, leading-edge service allows the customer to find the most competitive rates, manage freight transport and gain complete control of, and visibility into, their supply chain.
VPL Percept provides users with real-time information that they need to quickly transform data into an actionable strategy for improvement. It provides clear, colorful graphs and charts from across departments, facilities, and vendors and puts them in one place. Just log in and get everything needed in an up-to-date and easy-to-read format.
As points of patient care within health systems continue to expand, health care employees often don’t know where their supplies are, or where they go, once within their own network. VPL Traject will allow users to move and track product within their own network. It provides healthcare systems with complete visibility into what products are coming in and going out and helps them make the best choices as they move supplies across their entire continuum of care.
The Company’s Plans for the Future
As the healthcare supply chain industry evolves, VPL continues to develop innovative solutions that will allow it to meet the needs of its customers. The company will continue to grow its team and has plans to triple its workforce within the next year alone. VPL will also look to expand its headquarters in Columbus, OH to accommodate the company’s ongoing growth.
Connecting to Larger Societal Issues
Rising costs for health care services and insurance premiums represent a growing burden for individuals across the country. The growth in health care spending is crowding out other important priorities such as saving for retirement or for children’s education. Furthermore, employers have responded to higher health care costs by scaling back wage increases and by increasing employees’ cost sharing. If these trends continue, many people who had been middle-class throughout their working years risk not having sufficient financial resources to maintain a middle-class lifestyle during their retirement years. VPL’s leading-edge services are designed to help healthcare providers significantly reduce their freight expenses, thereby contributing to their overarching mission of providing high-quality, affordable patient care. VPL’s products and services are making a marked impact on the industry. The U.S. healthcare provider market realizes an estimated $2.9 billion per year in direct and indirect freight costs. VPL provides its customers with the technology and insights to reduce that expense by 15 to 20 percent. The company is poised to develop even more ground-breaking solutions to continue to close the gap on freight costs and reduce waste.
The Leading Trio
Eric McGlade, Chief Strategy Officer, and Co-founder:
His diverse 20-year background in freight management, supply chain, consulting and finance for higher education and healthcare makes Eric uniquely suited to help VPL customers maximize savings in numerous areas of operations. As a founding member and principal of VPL, Eric is committed to ensuring that VPL is wholly focused on its customers, day in and day out.
Scott Crow, Chief Innovation Officer, and Co-founder:
For more than 25 years, Scott has been on the leading edge of technology, consulting and working in product development and process re-engineering for the retail, financial, credit, utility, telecommunications, healthcare, and aviation industries. As a founding member and principal of VPL, Scott is focused on business strategy, operations, data analytics, IT, planning and customer experience, but admits his favorite part of the job is hiring the best, brightest, and most forward-thinking players in the industry.
Rob Doone, President, and CEO:
Almost the entirety of Rob’s career has been spent in the technology sector with the past decade having been focused specifically on the healthcare supply chain. That makes him a perfect leader for VPL as we sharpen our focus on developing leading-edge technology to reinvent freight management. As the President, Rob helps VPL to grow and scale, overseeing all day-to-day operations and strategically driving the company forward.