One of the country’s leading forestry services companies was spending unnecessary time each month processing land leasing payments before implementing ONEConnect with Orbis.
TTG Forestry Services (TTG) is a property management and technical services provider serving the land investing and forestry industry. Their functions include managing land leasing and permits for their clients’ collective 1.3 million acres of land assets.
In 2014, TTG migrated their land lease process to an online recreational license management system through Orbis, a technology solutions provider for the land asset industry. However, after six years, the firm was experiencing a deluge of lease payments and was seeking an efficient solution to deal with the influx.
The TTG team recognized an opportunity to save time and streamline their workflows by leveraging an ecommerce payment platform. But getting there meant rethinking the way their team managed land leasing payments.
Each week during leasing season, TTG would receive lease payments in need of immediate processing. Processing these payments and managing the flow of money was taking the accounting team too much time.
Indeed, every week, the team was required to perform the following tasks:
- Review hundreds of payments
- Scan each payment
- Separate payments for depositing into multiple accounts
- Review every deposit to ensure it went to the right place
- Hard copy storage of checks for six months
In addition to placing a strain on TTG’s teams, this workload added a financial burden, due to the labor hours and costs associated with processing so many payments. The manual nature of the process also created potential for human error while depositing the payments.
The customer experience was also less than optimal. Lessees would have to go online, issue payment, take it to the post office for certified mail and wait several weeks. It could often take a month or more to get the proper licenses in place, thus prolonging the wait time for customers to gain access to leased properties.
TTG knew they needed a better way to manage this process and had been looking for a solution.
When the pandemic began, the shift to working from home further increased the strain on the workflow. Their team couldn’t safely have enough people in the office to process and deposit their payments, which had now increased substantially.
They needed a solution, and fast. But finding a better way to manage their leases wasn’t easy. There was simply no clear blueprint for solving the problem.
To find a solution, TTG turned to Orbis, who had developed and maintained TTG’s online leasing platform since 2014.
Orbis had built ONEConnect, their new ecommerce payment platform, to solve the problems that innovative clients like TTG were facing. Knowing they would be a great fit, Orbis showed TTG a demo of ONEConnect. The TTG team was sold on its ease of use, contactless processing and centralized functionality.
One Platform for Everything
Integrating their payment method directly into TTG’s land leasing website allows customers to make direct payments through Orbis’ ONEConnect. The platform serves as a centralized manager to coordinate the flow of money between payment gateways, processors and business accounts.
The real benefit of ONEConnect is its simplicity. It consolidates the dozens of different pathways and costs into a single step and fee.
This completely eliminated the many hours of manual processing the TTG team had to perform, while also providing a number of ongoing operational benefits:
- Removes the risk of losing mailed payments
- Eliminates manual errors
- Removes scanning, processing and monitoring of payments
- Provides security by having the money only passing through one system
- Saves users time and provided a better experience
- Minimizes time spent on administrative tasks
- Creates significant cost savings through operational efficiencies
- Reduces lease processing time by approximately 50%
With ONEConnect, TTG was able to streamline the hundreds of monthly transactions between landowners and users while making it easier to manage client properties.
“TTG and Orbis share a vision for being innovative and solution-oriented. It’s no surprise that TTG was one of the first to implement and embrace a new approach to payment processing.”Clarence Neese, Vice President, Orbis, Inc.
TTG completed implementation of ONEConnect in the summer of 2020. The new payment platform had an immediate impact on the way they managed land leasing.
The savings on time and labor alone are impressive. Now that they no longer have personnel tied up processing payments each month, their team can focus on more important tasks.
The automation and accuracy of ONEConnect provides many other benefits for TTG. The upload/download features allow them to integrate payment information directly into their accounting software, reducing human keying errors and data entry time. TTG uses ONEConnect to control receipts and maintain ongoing historical records in one location.
Since Orbis consolidates the variable costs of banks and payment gateways into one flat fee, they can help their clients plan for leasing expenses a year ahead. This helps TTG to improve their relationships with leasing customers.
Most of their leases have 100% renewal rates from recurring customers and extremely low turnover. By speeding up transactions, TTG is able to provide a better user experience and grow these critical relationships.
In addition to the financial benefits, the TTG team was thrilled with the new digital way of managing recreational leases.
TTG was one of the first companies in their industry to implement an integrated, streamlined ecommerce payment platform. This aligned with their company philosophy of continuous improvement and served as a transformative moment for the forestry and asset management industry.
“ONEConnect was our magic bullet. It allowed us to meet our leasing and office needs simultaneously, and has revolutionized this side of our business. I would 100% recommend both ONEConnect and Orbis.”Christine de Bogdan, Accounting Manager, TTG