Completing the finance stack along NetSuite and powering SaaS subscription management. Read Dispatch video transcript.

Abby Allen (00:00):
We have seen really great results working with Ordway. So we're trying to figure out what is it that we need from a billing standpoint? What could we do? What new heights could we take our product to, to really make our lives much simpler and easier to manage? My name is Abby Allen and I am a Product Manager here at Dispatch. Dispatch is an on-demand courier system that connects independent contractor drivers with small businesses and others need that on-demand courier service. Dispatch has been using Ordway for several years now to handle the transactional business model of our marketplace. And then we launched the Dispatch connect product line, which was an entirely new business model.

Patrick Connelly (00:39):
Our normal Dispatch product is a marketplace, and Dispatch Connect is a software as a service product. And so making that paradigm shift from one by one order of transactions, to having a more monthly based service that we're offering customers required a lot of different infrastructural changes that, that was quite challenging.

Abby Allen (00:56):
We needed to get a product entirely live in less than a few weeks worth of work.

Christine Malundo (01:00):
We didn't want to kind of recreate the system. We found it beneficial to stay with Ordway and make sure that everything was aligning through Ordway.

Abby Allen (01:08):
Without the ability to just plug into Ordway APIs, there's no way that we could have hit our timeline.

Patrick Connelly (01:13):
That would have been many more months if we needed to build out our own subscription service. So I would say it took us one sprint, just a couple of weeks to get integrated. And that's because we already had a lot of our infrastructure in place and just integrating the new subscription service was very easy.

Christine Malundo (01:28):
Ordway acts as a subledger for our NetSuite General Ledger. So Ordway compliments NetSuite as the information that is in Ordway is all of the orders that were needed to be invoiced along with invoices and any credits that associate with those orders. And then within NetSuite, it has reporting for all other functions. So AP fixed assets and then your financials. So it's nice to be able to have both.

Patrick Connelly (01:55):
The return on investment working with Ordway meant that we basically don't need to hire specific engineers and pay them a bunch of money to build out the systems.

Abby Allen (02:03):
So I would recommend Ordway to any company who is looking to have more flexible billing options. We expect to expand our offerings and offer new tiers of service later this year, which we will also have powered by Ordway.

Dispatch is a last-mile logistics technology that connects independent contractor drivers with small businesses and others in need of on-demand courier services. When the team launched Dispatch Connect, a new delivery management software that allows customers to visualize and organize daily deliveries all in one place, they took on the additional challenge of SaaS subscription billing. A few years ago, Ordway’s RESTful API led to a 3-week implementation for Dispatch. Now, as their business evolves and adds a new revenue model, Ordway is powering both SaaS subscription management and marketplace billing for the team.

Dispatch Connect platform

The challenge

Add SaaS subscription billing and revenue recognition without replatforming the finance tech stack

The new Dispatch Connect platform helps companies that have their own fleet of delivery vehicles, giving them one system to manage all orders. Launching this new product required the Dispatch team to be able to manage recurring payments on a monthly or annual basis in addition to managing their transaction-based marketplace business. 

Implementing a subscription model also created nuances in the way Dispatch recognized revenue. With the rest of the Dispatch marketplace, revenue is recognized as soon as an order is delivered, and any adjustments would also be recognized on the date of the sale. Introducing Dispatch Connect subscriptions meant that revenue would be recognized over the life of the subscription, in this case quarterly or annually. 

If Dispatch tried to do this by adding modules or hiring consultants to augment their Oracle NetSuite general ledger, they would incur large fees and long implementation timelines. Plus, they would do this without a guarantee of being able to manage both their core marketplace business and their new subscription service Dispatch Connect without manual workarounds and spreadsheet work.

Dispatch Patrick

The solution

Ordway reduces costs by absorbing the complexities of Dispatch's new business model in their dynamic order-to-revenue process

Because Dispatch was already using the Ordway platform for its marketplace billing, it was simple to lean on Ordway’s SaaS subscription management capabilities.

The quick implementation reduced the impact on the Dispatch engineering team and also meant that one best-of-breed (BoB) system was sending invoices, collecting payments, managing orders, and producing summary journal entries for Dispatch's general ledger. Within their flexible and powerful finance stack, Ordway acts as a subledger to the Oracle NetSuite general ledger. In essence, Ordway's platform seamlessly adapted to this change to Dispatch's business model without the need for an additional software investment or professional services fees.

"In my opinion, Ordway complements NetSuite as the information that is in Ordway is all of the orders that were needed to be invoiced along with invoices and any credits that associate with those orders, that they can be aligned with the invoices that the orders are on," said Christine Malundo, Controller at Dispatch. "Then within NetSuite, it has reporting for all other functions, so AP, fixed assets, and then your financials. So it's nice to be able to have both."

Partnering with Ordway has enabled Dispatch to focus on expanding their offerings to customers, while billing is handled automatically through the Ordway platform. “We didn't want to recreate the system,” said Malundo. “So we found it beneficial to stay with Ordway and make sure that everything was aligning through Ordway, and Dispatch, and NetSuite.”

Discover how businesses like Dispatch are optimizing their finance tech stacks for greater time and cost savings. 

Dispatch Connect platform

The results

Ordway platform flexibility accelerates Dispatch's go-to-market of a new subscription model in just one engineering sprint.

Ordway's RESTful API gave Dispatch engineers the ability to connect Dispatch internal systems to the Ordway SaaS subscription management framework and ultimately meet an ambitious go-to-market timeline for Dispatch Connect. 

"...the Ordway API really enabled us to get moving very quickly on our product to get to our initial MVP," said Patrick Connelly, Software Developer at Dispatch. "For Dispatch Connect, the total timeline was about six months, and that would have been many more months if we needed to build out our own subscription service that Ordway was offering. So it really helped us to get started and up and running for customers very quickly. I would say it took us maybe one sprint, just a couple of weeks to get integrated."

By going to market with the Ordway platform configured to handle billing and subscription management for both their new subscription offering as well as their marketplace offering, Dispatch was able to get a product live and ready for customers to buy with just a few weeks of work. 

Ordway saves $10,000s in engineering time 

Relying on the Ordway platform in this build vs. buy decision translated into the following sources of ROI for Dispatch:

  • Dispatch engineers did not have to build out an invoicing system internally, saving valuable time they could dedicate to core Dispatch product development. 
  • A faster go-to-market for their cutting-edge product meant reaching more customers quickly.

Ordway does the heavy billing work while Oracle NetSuite serves as a robust general ledger

By designing their finance tech stack with Ordway working alongside NetSuite, Dispatch will avoid costly NetSuite modules, change orders, and the need to hire outside consultants to maintain their billing and revenue recognition infrastructure. The Ordway platform reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) when accounting for time, consultants, and recurring software fees.

Looking forward, Dispatch plans on expanding the tiers offered with Dispatch Connect.

“...Ordway really helped to partner with us to figure out what the best solution would be for our customers, as well as set us up for the future,” said Abby Allen, Product Manager at Dispatch. “We launched with a single tier, but we're already set up and feeling well-equipped to go live with a second paid tier later this year and we're really excited to continue to partner with Ordway on that.”

For more on how Ordway supports SaaS subscription management for agile companies like Dispatch, check out our subscription billing capabilities.