Freight settlement processes are complex, expensive and prone to errors. Gia Glad of Global Trade Magazine states that up to 6% of freight invoices are processed with errors. To reduce the time and expense lost to such errors, modern supply-chain leaders are leveraging technology to automate manual processes in back-office operations. Automating freight settlement processes enables faster, more accurate and more profitable freight settlements.
The Freight Invoice Settlement Process Is Complex
The High Labor Cost of Manual Freight Invoice Settlement
Mistakes Happen When Freight Invoices Are Settled Manually
Freight Invoice Settlement Mistakes Are Expensive
Automation Creates Faster, More Accurate Freight Settlement
- The carrier emails a freight invoice and supporting documentation to your accounts payable team.
- The automation platform
- Ingests the email and documentation.
- Identifies the carrier, document types, load (or loads.)
- Matches this information to the transportation management system.
- Confirms the carrier provided customer-specific required documents and references.
- Alerts the accounts payable team if anything is missing or doesn’t match what is expected
Best Practices to Automate the Manual Freight Invoice Settlement Process
- Process map your back-office work to identify what can be improved. Understand that you can’t automate a lousy process, and be prepared to change what is broken.
- Track back-office productivity KPIs on a monthly basis to ensure your improvements have the desired effect.
- Talk to your team to understand sources of friction and inefficiency. Document their recommendations and begin the change management process by making them a part of the improvement initiative to automate some of their work.
- Use analytics to identify trends in errors among carriers. Understanding these will help you determine which carriers will require more work from your accounts payable team.
- Set goals. Can you get your payables team from 75 invoices per person per day to 300? Can you shift your receivables team from auditing and fixing customer invoices to focusing on collections and customer satisfaction?