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Beyond the Pitch

Vantage Point Logistics Leverages TechColumbus Services to Add Customers and Jobs

Saving your customers money is a great way to start a relationship.

Delivering actionable data and reports that help drive even further savings makes things even better.

As Vantage Point Logistics (VPL) is proving, it’s a recipe for success.

The young company increased revenue 10X in 2014, adding six new customers and creating seven new jobs.

How did they accomplish this?

“This may sound like a common response,” said VPL Co-founder Eric McGlade,” but patience and discipline are what we needed to succeed. The higher education market is much more deliberate in their decision making process than we thought. We had to trust that our model and business proposition were very strong and that we could deliver on the savings.”

VPL thrives on a customer-centric strategy

VPL helps universities and healthcare systems save money on in-bound shipping costs without any up-front implementation fees and with virtually no change to the institution’s daily operation. Additionally, VPL easily allocates costs to the appropriate department or endowment source—handily solving a complex challenge for universities and hospitals.

VPL anticipates more than doubling revenue in 2015 and creating more jobs for the Columbus region.  Part of their strong 2015 growth is based on recently earning a contract with one of the largest university systems in the country (10 campuses and 3 hospitals), The University of Texas System.

“Texas decision-makers recognized that we are the market leader in helping universities and health systems save money while allocating shipping costs in a unique manner that they require,” McGlade said. “Texas provided feedback that our references were incredibly strong about our focus on the customer.  It’s a huge compliment when your customers recognize you are taking care of them in the best way possible.”

When we first blogged about VPL back in the summer, McGlade emphasized VPL’s focus on solving real problems for early adopters. He also stressed how the Columbus region is such a great place to start a company.

VPL is a standout in walking the walk about its commitment to customer validation. And the team is very wise in its leverage of regional resources to help deliver on the milestones of its business plan.

So as we were looking for examples of “best practices” at the end of the year, we took a cue from VPL’s ongoing discussion with their customers and circled back to Eric.

We asked him to share with us and with other entrepreneurs which aspects of TechColumbus’ venture model and services have helped VPL.

Here’s what we learned:

1. VPL:“TechColumbus has been specifically working to connect us with potential customers in Columbus. We are a good solution for Ohio; there is a lot of opportunity for us to help Ohio schools save money which can translate into tuition savings.

TC: We have more than 37 cross-industry corporate partners who regularly participate to help connect TechColumbus clients with beta customers, strategic partners and investors.

 

2. VPL: TechColumbus advisors are very supportive in listening, brainstorming, and offering advice, whether it is in the form of financial, marketing, or other general business experience.

TC: Every new client is assigned a venture advisor who brings to bear the talent and experience of the entire TechColumbus team.

 

3. VPL: TechColumbus connected us with Sequent, which is an HR and benefits outsourcing company. This is a great example of what TechColumbus brings to the table—expertise and connections to business partners that support us beyond our core competencies.

TC: The whole idea behind our Expert Network is to provide access to a cadre of professional service providers who support entrepreneurs with introductory reduced fee or pro bono services as a path to building ongoing business relationships that benefit both parties.

 

And a bonus–SpringBox Labs

VPL is located in the SpringBox Labs incubator. “We’ve tripled our space,” McGlade said. “There’s great energy here with great access to TechColumbus experts.”

TechColumbus is thrilled that companies like VPL want to be located here—and we’re also thrilled that 2014 was a stellar year for SpringBox.

The incubator was ranked #3 in the world by UBI Index. SpringBox Labs companies that raised capital averaged $1.075MM; that’s 2.7 times more than the capital raised per round by companies that aren’t resident in our facility.

New companies, like VPL are powering entrepreneurship in Ohio as this region lays claim to becoming the country’s next big innovation hub.

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