Horizon Newsletter • December 23, 2022
2022 Year in Review

Merry Christmas! We hope this letter finds you, your team, and your family in the holiday spirit. Before you shut down your laptop and turn up Bing Crosby, let’s look back at 2022 to celebrate, commemorate, and learn.

It was a year of challenges.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start by mentioning the challenges that many XBE customers faced in 2022. When the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was passed in 2021, there was tremendous optimism in the industry. But, the other shoe was yet to drop. Commodity inflation and supply constraints in liquid asphalt cement, diesel, gasoline, aggregates, natural gas, parts, and equipment took a serious chunk out of profits in the year that followed. In addition, historically low unemployment and pandemic-related economic stimulus led to labor turnover, shortages, and disruption. Those factors combined to further reduce trucking capacity and increase prices, just when demand was ramping up.

We all learned how susceptible we are to disruptions and uncertainty up and down the supply chain.

But, one thing is certain. Funding for public infrastructure is incredibly strong for the next five years. It will take careful planning and management to capitalize on this opportunity, and XBE customers are the most prepared.

It was a year of growth.

Customers managed $177M+ of trucking volume through XBE in 2022, a 77%+ increase over 2021. Some of that increase was due to spiking fuel surcharges, and we helped customers manage that, too! We added 5,300+ user accounts, enabled dozens of new integrations, and processed more than 1.9M material transactions. It was our biggest year yet, by far. We expect a similar amount of growth in 2023 as new customers onboard and other customers expand.

It was a year of features.

We kept up our steady cadence of improvements to the XBE platform. Eleven team members contributed to the development of this huge list of performance improvements, amazing features, optimized workflows, excellent reports & analytics, and additional integrations. Some of these were a result of our two new traditions: Jugaad, our semi-annual feature-related hackathon that started in June, and Raftaar, our semi-annual performance-related hackathon that started in November.

These are my 76 favorite things we shipped - I refuse to narrow it down any further. How did we live without many of these features!? If anything looks new and interesting, check out the related release notes in the XBE app for more details.

  • Performance improvements
    • Significant speed up to data-heavy screens (part of Raftaar I)
    • Hundreds of database query and caching optimizations
    • Upgraded database capacity
    • Reimagined and optimized driver day navigation and data loading (part of Raftaar I)
    • Enhanced auto-scaling of compute resources
    • App size reduction of 65%
  • Amazing features
    • The Board for optimized job scheduling
    • Projects with material types, cost codes, subscriptions, action items, conversations, and more
    • Crew and equipment timesheets
    • Cost indexes and rate adjustments for fuel surcharges
    • Time card approval audit workflow
    • Draft driver shift assignments
    • Public Praise to reward and reinforce culture-consistent behavior
    • My Action Items feed
    • My Incidents feed
    • Equipment rental management
    • New equipment movement manager
    • Automated travel time management
    • OCR-assisted material transaction ticket details review
    • Synthesized per-ton rates
    • Driver shift scopes to enable driver-specific rates
    • Job production plan locations and segment locations
    • Exclude some service type units of measures from trucking invoices
    • Job production plan reference data
    • Bulk split and reschedule flexible shifts
    • Rachel, the multi-plan editing assistant (part of Jugaad I)
    • Tender rate match debugging (part of Jugaad I)
    • Driver incident requests (part of Jugaad I)
    • Rates with unpaid quantities
  • Optimized workflows
    • Rate agreement clone and edit
    • Time card adjustments via driver movement chart
    • Time card management view enhancements
    • Lock job production plan schedule changes
    • Crew importer from templates
    • New shift form in the lineup and job production plan
    • Quick assign mode in shift assignments view
    • Pin items to sidebar and a most frequently used section
    • New checksum matcher
    • Related material site raw job numbers in the job production plan form
    • Incident details in plan monitoring chart
    • Clone job site from current job production plan job site
    • Accepted shift missing assignment reminder notification for trucker managers
    • One-click subscriptions to plans and incidents
    • Plan colors, trucker colors, other colors
    • Release note searching
    • Create trucking incidents from driver movement chart
    • Financial impact of incidents
    • Job production plan activity feed enhancements
    • Driver now page card visibility for branch members
    • Material transaction comments
    • GPS visibility reminder notifications for drivers with no recent location data
    • Business unit relationship on job production plan
    • Tractor and trailer management enhancements
    • Enhanced time card hour calculation form
    • Patching-related attributes and searching
    • Bulk move drivers in and out of job production plans
  • Excellent reports and analytics
    • Job summary report
    • Material summary report
    • Lane monitoring report
    • Job production plan cancellations report
    • Raw material demand forecast in the material demand forecast
    • Unique material type count in material demand forecast
    • Trucker certifications report
    • Driver day movement chart
    • Newly active truckers report on branch today screen
    • Material volume scoreboard on the today screen
    • Project material summary report
  • Additional integrations
    • Digital Fleet vehicle location integration
    • Samsara vehicle location integration
    • KeepTruckin’ vehicle location integration
    • Geotab vehicle location integration
    • Teletrac Navman vehicle location integration
    • FastWeigh material transaction integration
    • Command Batch material transaction integration
    • Connex E-Ticketing integration
    • HaulHub E-Ticketing integration

I’m tempted to hint at some of the incredible new things we have planned for 2023, but that’s best left to another letter.

It was a year of community.

It was incredible to host Horizon Live 2022 in March, our first-ever customer conference. We gathered 122 attendees from 22 companies in person in Kansas City to learn, share, and socialize. The event was amazing, and we can’t wait until the next time.

We facilitated many direct meetings between customers to benchmark key processes and collaborate on shared solutions. We were able to attend many of these sessions as well, and they provided us with a good number of ideas that later became features in the platform.

We also published over a dozen newsletters with observations and advice based on our work with customers. We’ve recently ramped up the pace to 2-4 newsletters per month to provide as much content as possible for customers to leverage in their work to control, improve, and optimize their operations.

Did you see our collection of customer testimonial videos? Those were new in 2022, too! We wanted to give the outside world a glimpse into what we’ve been able to achieve together. That led us to learn how to produce video release notes and newsletters ourselves, which have been a big hit! If you missed the release note for The Board, you should check it out.

We also continued our involvement with the National Asphalt Pavement Association. We hosted a “Cocktails and Conversation” party at their annual meeting in Scottsdale, and also the official welcome reception at the mid-year meeting in Santa Barbara. Rumor has it that we might even host a boat party in Miami during the upcoming annual meeting in February. Look out for your invitation.

Finally, all this growth helped us add some fantastic new team members! Andrea, Anish, Brittany, Daryl, Jessica, Kim, Naiya, and Ravi all joined us this year and we’re thrilled to have them.

It was a year!

It’s been nearly seven years since Milind and I started building XBE. They’ve all been great, but none greater than this year.

Thanks for the trust and opportunity you’ve given us.

Warmest wishes from the entire XBE team.


Sean Devine
Founder & CEO, XBE