Connecting the Dots: Forward Forestry

Logs on a truck in a lumber yard.

Since implementing Dots, just about everything–time, speed, user interface–is better. At every turn, we were disappointed with Stripe’s performance, especially regarding speed. It was so slow for us that mailing a physical paper check to the customer was faster than the time it took for them to payout on their ACH transactions. Our customers would also get frequent account holds as most of our customers don't have websites or an online presence so Stripe’s automatic verification system just wouldn't work for them. But with Dots, the onboarding and verification process has been seamless. Cost wise, we do transactions of around $2,000 per payout. In our previous attempts with transaction handlers, it was almost five times the cost and it was much more limited and slower than Dots.

Ryan Glossop, Forward Forestry CTO

Transforming Waste Into Value

Forward Forestry is a company focusing on tree services by connecting suppliers and markets. They facilitate the sale of logs to sawmills in the local area or to log exporters for the best price. As a result, Forward Forestry has been able to transform a waste product of one party into a valuable product by connecting two groups – tree services and mills. Their core product is a marketplace called Mill Market, conducting transactions between tree service companies and mills. As with legacy industries, transactions in the logging market were largely done via physical checks. Forward Forestry decided to disrupt the old practices of the market by partnering with Dots, offering instant, same-day ACH payments to loggers and makers who would have otherwise maintained the antiquated practice of delayed payments through mail.

“The Dots automatic texting to the customers is really convenient. Stripe didn’t appear to have anything like that when we were working with them, but their interface is just so much more complex than Dots that it might have been somewhere. But that’s another thing with Dots, their user interface for the platform is so much more straightforward and simple. It’s not unnecessarily complex, like Stripe’s. In our opinion, Dots is doing the same thing, except better.”

Ryan Glossop, Forward Forestry CTO

Forward Forestry's Favorite Features:
- Multiple payout rails (Venmo, ACH etc.)
- Personalized dashboard with payment status tracking
- Automated SMS text to customers with Payment Links
- Simple onboarding process within seconds
- Reliable technical support from Dots team

Modernizing A Legacy Industry

Logs at a lumber yard.

Prior to working with Dots, Forward Forestry had a difficult time transitioning log industry contractors from paper to digital transactions. Their previous payment processor’s verification process was incompatible with the analog presence of loggers. Most loggers didn’t have an online presence or website that the payment processor would depend on to verify their business and identity causing significant delays in payment processing due to account holds. However with Dots, the transition for all contractors involved–loggers, mills, and exporters–have been seamless. Dots’ staggered, comprehensive KYC verification process took seconds for contractors and utilized industry-agnostic information such as legal name, phone number, and address making it simpler than ever to ensure 1099 information is received and payments made on time.

Checks are what's widely used by the industry. So through Dots, we’re the ones bringing the ACH transactions. The average age of a logger is 50 years old. It’s an aging workforce who have done things the same way their entire career, and don't want to change. But if we can say “we'll get the money in your bank account by the next day, right after the log truck leaves, instead of waiting a week or more to get paid,” that is incentive enough to get them online.

Ryan Glossop, Forward Forestry CTO

Tracking Payments for Truckers

Logs on a truck.

A main group of Forward Forestry’s stakeholders are trucking companies and local contractors. With drivers being all across New England and Quebec, tracking payments and managing transactions became an utmost priority for Forward Forestry to improve contractor satisfaction rates. With Dots’ dashboard which allows you to track each payment’s status at each stage from when a Payment Link is created, to when the funds deposit into each individual drivers’ bank or Venmo account. This solved a huge pain point for the Forward Forestry team as they no longer had to spend hours tracking down the cause of account holds, delayed ACH payments, or lost paper checks. With Dots, Forward Forestry experienced a significant reduction in time spent on payments allowing them to focus on generating more value and innovation within the foresting industry.

With Stripe, we were expecting to pay a customer and have the money arrive in their account. But that just didn't happen a couple of times. And with Dots, that's never been a problem. If it doesn't work right off the bat, it's clear that it's not working, and we can do something about it. But with our previous payment processor, it didn’t even notify us that the money didn't go into their bank account. With Dots, It's just night and day, compared to our previous processor.

Ryan Glossop, Forward Forestry CTO