Success Story: Manitoulin Transport

Manitoulin Transport Logo

Moving Forward: Efficient Image Access Delivers For Manitoulin Transport


Manitoulin Transport, one of Canada’s largest freight management providers, invests heavily in the specialized technology, resources and equipment necessary to slice through the complicated supply and distribution chains many businesses struggle with daily. Providing a host of transportation options to an extensive customer base throughout Canada, Manitoulin core competencies include: Canadian expedited ground service; international freight forwarding; customs brokerage services; cross border US/Canada expedited ground; warehousing and distribution; and logistics supply chain management.


In 2005, Manitoulin faced a document management crisis. They needed to provide customers with better tools for checking their shipping order status. To address this issue, Manitoulin enhanced their Web portal for customers to retrieve and view scanned documents including, bills of lading proofs of delivery and invoices. Shortly after its launch, the portal was accomodating over 35,000 visits per month.

However, one major issued remained. The document viewer integrated into Manitoulin’s Web portal was difficult to install and loaded images slowly. In fact, calls to technical support increased as customers began using the online portal — requests to walk customers through the installation and operation of the viewer on an individual basis grew. This situation was time consuming and costly, slowing support staff response time in serving other customer support issues.

Manitoulin understood the importance of quickly eliminating calls from frustrated customers confused about viewing images. They needed an application that would provide a seamless viewing experience and scale to accommodate more additional users without requiring any installation on the customer-side.

“VirtualViewer is a phenomenal application. It’s faster and cleaner than any of our previous viewing solutions”

— Tim Lalonde, IT Director, Manitoulin Transport


Manitoulin turned to Snowbound Software to provide a technical solution that would meet their business objectives. The ideal solution was VirtualViewer, a pure HTML, browser-based viewer that retrieves and displays documents and images through any Web-browser with no downloading or installation of software. Since all of the high-speed document and image processing is performed on the server, VirtualViewer speeds and simplifies viewing by eliminating the need for the end user to install anything to their computer.

Before implementing VirtualViewer, Manitoulin already had an established infrastructure to track their shipping operations, including a Web portal that integrated data from various systems and provided customers with an overview of their shipping orders. Tim Lalonde, IT director for Manitoulin, commented, “VirtualViewer fit very nicely into our existing back-end. We needed an application that wouldn’t interfere with the systems we already had in place. Snowbound recognized our needs as a business and proposed the technical solution [VirtualViewer] that would solve our problems.”


For Manitoulin, the results of VirtualViewer are both positive and apparent. Lalonde noted, “Since we switched over to VirtualViewer, we haven’t had to answer any calls from our customers about how to access images through our portal.”

  • Implementing VirtualViewer HTML5 has enabled Manitoulin to:
  • Increase customer adoption of the Web portal as their primary way of monitoring their shipments
  • Eliminate calls for technical support to access documents online, making more resources available to growing their business
  • Perform an infrastructure upgrade that had been impeded by the previous viewing application
  • Increase customer satisfaction – rapid access to documents enabled customers to better plan and manage inventory across their supply chains

“VirtualViewer is a phenomenal application,” added Lalonde. “It’s faster and cleaner than any of our previous viewing solutions.”

These results are significant to Manitoulin because document imaging is not their core business. Like many other companies, they want an application that will take away the pain point of providing customers fast and easy access to important records over the web. VirtualViewer has empowered Manitoulin to focus on what they do best while still providing a robust document imaging application for their customers.