There are few things as frustrating in supply chain management as trying to manage expenses, especially when it comes to something as costly as freight invoices. Even if you’ve developed a process for managing these payments, the presence of inefficient or outdated practices may be keeping your business from reaching its full potential.
From manual entry to email-based approvals, many businesses are still using methods that are both time-consuming and prone to error. These methods may be the status quo, but they’re costing your business money. If you’re ready for some serious cost savings, it’s time to take a closer look at your freight invoice management process and make some changes.
Our Tips to Optimize Freight Invoice Management
What can your team do to realize improvements in freight invoice management? Take a look at our three tips.
1. Identify and Eliminate Manual Processes
Your company is likely using a robust accounting platform or ERP system, but these systems aren’t always designed to handle the idiosyncrasies of freight payments. In turn, your team might rely on manual procedures to manage and close bills.
– For example, after receiving paper invoices in the mail, you may scan them and attach them to an email to confirm ownership or approvals. Once an invoice is approved, you may then forward it to your accounting team for payment processing. But, this manual process isn’t just time-consuming; it’s also prone to error.
Every time an invoice changes hands, there’s a chance that it will get lost in the shuffle. What’s more, relying on paper invoices makes it difficult to track payments and maintain an accurate financial picture of your business.
– Consider another example. You might be manually coding invoices on paper or in a spreadsheet before entering them into your accounting system. Using a double-entry system is redundant, and it’s easy to make mistakes when transcribing data.
– These are just a few examples of the many ways that businesses can get bogged down by manual invoicing and billing processes.
Take a step back and look at your freight invoice processing system from start to finish. As you do, take note of any tasks that require emails, spreadsheets, and manual notations. Consider whether you have to ask around to resolve invoices, or if carriers are constantly calling to check on payment status.
These are all signs that your processes aren’t as efficient or streamlined as they could be. Performing a review will help you determine precisely where you should direct your efforts to realize improvements.
2. Pinpoint Issues With Freight Spend
Once you’ve identified manual processes that are bogging down invoice management, it’s time to take a closer look at your freight spend. If there is no easy way to audit invoices against upfront shipment quotes, then there is great potential for you to overpay your carriers.
Consider auditing a sample of your invoices to get an idea of the issues that need to be addressed:
- Has your freight spend been higher than you budgeted for?
- Have you received unexpected refund checks for overpayments?
- Are there duplicate charges on your invoices?
Answering these questions can help you determine where your process needs improvement. Maybe you need to start comparing your invoices against carrier quotes, or perhaps you need to negotiate new rates with your carriers.
There are many ways to reduce costs on freight, but you won’t be able to take advantage of these opportunities for improvement if you don’t have visibility into your current process.
3. Automate Where You Can
Now that you understand where your processes need improvement, it’s time to start looking for ways to streamline the entire function. In many cases, the best way to streamline processes is to automate as much as possible.
Turning toward automation does not mean that you have to replace your current systems. Instead, you can complement your accounting platform or ERP system with an innovative solution that will make your life easier by replacing time-consuming manual processes. That solution is CloudLogix.
Why CloudLogix for Freight Invoice Management?
Our supply chain software platform is designed to help you achieve automation and manage exceptions so you can focus on more critical tasks.
– One of the ways that our platform supports your team is by importing and displaying all invoices in an organized manner, allowing for more efficient freight audits and approvals.
Also, because our platform can serve as a complementary solution to your current systems, you don’t have to worry about disrupting your business operations. In fact, we can integrate with your existing systems to capture shipment data for invoice audits.
However, if you are seeking a sweeping change to your invoice management practices, you also have the option of using our platform for your entire process. We pride ourselves on offering you what you need, not what you don’t. So, whether you need us a little or a lot, we can deliver a custom solution tailored to your needs.
For example, CloudLogix allows you to configure your specific business rules and cost centers for automated auditing and General Ledger assignment. You can enter your payment details from your current accounting system and then our platform will automatically send full remittance details to your carriers!
– To make auditing even easier for your team, our platform houses the details of each client’s shipments, which you can compare and audit against invoices. Now you can quickly catch errors, overcharges, and duplicate charges.
– Need to improve communication with key stakeholders? Everyone with a need to know will be kept in the loop thanks to our centralized platform. All data and activity are logged in real-time, so you’ll always have a complete picture of your invoices. Our cloud-based audit processes allow you to quickly identify issues as soon as they come up, resulting in faster resolutions and fewer disruptions to your business.
– Best of all, with our transportation and logistics invoicing tool, you can virtually eliminate inefficient, back-and-forth communication that always keeps you several steps behind where you should be.
With everything in one place, you can move forward with confidence that your freight bills are being processed accurately and on target – something that will save you time, money, and a whole lot of headaches.
Schedule a Demo of CloudLogix Today
If you’re ready to take your freight invoice management process to the next level, our team would love to show you what CloudLogix can do. Request a demo today, and see how we can help you improve your bottom line!