Every day, corporations around the globe invest millions of dollars upgrading their technology solutions to be quicker, faster, and more efficient. From upgrading to cloud-based platforms, to complete system makeovers that integrate artificial intelligence, there are many processes that are improved with the help of automation.
Billing and freight payment are a few of those crucial tasks that have become easier thanks to automation. Supply chain and logistics companies have several solutions, manual, outsourced, or automated, that help them review financial invoices, audit them, and send payment to vendors, suppliers, and more.
With all these options, how does a business decide on which method or platform is best suited to meet their needs? Well, for starters, they partner with a 3PL such as Redwood to help them assess their needs and make recommendations.
You can do the same by reaching out to our team of supply chain automation experts to schedule a freeconsultation and see how our team can help you improve your billing process.
The Billing Process
Freight invoices don't pay themselves.
In days past, a freight invoice would be generated by a carrier, sent by mail to the shipper, processed by the accounts receivable department, and ultimately paid to the carrier via a company check.
Today’s modern freight invoicing process has become much more scrutinized. Nowadays, invoices are audited, submitted electronically, and eventually paid via the payment gateway dictated by the carrier. With so many moving parts, mistakes can – and often do occur.
To counteract potential gaps in the system, many shippers trust a freight billing audit company. These third-party logistics companies integrate modern technology, including several automated solutions, that allow them to verify the legitimacy of freight invoices, complete multiple auditing processes, and pay the vendors on a timely basis.
How Automation Helps
Although there are several different types of freight billing automated solutions that seek to improve your billing process, each with customized tools and bandwidth, they all serve the same purpose.
Here are a few of the primary ways automation helps...
Reduce billing errors
Most automated solutions are designed to accomplish tasks quicker. But, with freight billing, speed does not always equate to efficiency – especially if mistakes are constantly missed. Many automated freight billing systems can be configured with tools that discover billing errors as they occur, including overcharging for services. It’s quite typical for carriers or other vendors to make billing mistakes with overcharges.
Whether it’s charging more than quoted, a clerical error regarding miles or freight dimensions, or just some other simple calculation mistake, the automated platform can find billing errors and highlight them as needing attention.
Keep payments organized
A common billing mistake made by busy companies is paying the invoice twice or forgetting to pay it altogether. Several automated billing invoice processing systems are equipped with custom dashboards that are configured to the comfort and preference of the individual user.
This type of organization allows the user to customize the setup for alerts, reports, and other tools that improve billing accuracy across the board.
Improved follow up to reduce future mistakes
If an error is discovered by the automated solution, reporting tools can automatically send emails to vendors, carriers, and other partners in the supply chain. This type of communication is crucial for reducing the potential of mistakes in the future but also improves transparency with billing.
Having the ability to follow up with providers with billing payments also builds stronger relationships – which can save money down the line.
When the invoice has been processed, audited, and any errors resolved, the automated solution can submit payment directly to the carrier or other vendor. When setting up vendor profiles, automated payment gateways, and billing solutions can allow you to enter financial information, which is all stored on a highly secured network of redundant servers.
Automation is a significant time-saver for logistics companies and can drastically improve your billing process.
Not all automated billing platforms are identical. It’s always a smart idea to consult with a professional 3PL like Redwood prior to investing in any new supply chain related tech solutions.