Freight auditing can save a company a lot of money, especially when they automate freight auditing. There are many ways companies can make the switch to automate freight auditing. Actively auditing invoices and expenditures can identify excess costs that businesses may be at risk of losing. According to the Parcel Industry, “Freight charges can represent up to 10% of a company’s total costs. Fuel surcharges and fees drive that cost even higher, and we trust that what our contract says is what our invoice hears. In the world of transportation cost management, auditing invoices can become a clerical routine that gets pushed to the “to-do” pile. But Freight Bill Audit and Pay (FBAP) is a vital part of a company’s supply chain and should be seen as intelligence, not an inconvenience.” Some estimates show carrier invoice error rates as high as 25%. Freight auditing has the potential to save millions, and shippers need to know what to do to maximize their value and opportunity to recapture excess spending.
Connecting system users looking to automate freight auditing with an API will significantly change the atmosphere for auditing. Freight auditing can sometimes turn into a nightmare, but connecting systems to an API will make auditing more user friendly and more comfortable to handle. Linking strategies to an API creates a more accessible experience by taking information and programming it into one application for use. This compiles the data and analytics during transport that will help automate freight auditing. Tracking products and shipments are more accessible using an API and use predictive analytics to prevent issues, such as holds on freight shipping internationally and through customs. Holds through customs can cost freight companies hundreds by the day, which adds up over time and multiple freight lines. Eliminate this issue, reduce the cost, and integrate the API, and when it does come time to pay the piper, it’s easier to see the full data trail.
AI and ML are revolutionizing the freight management industry. Utilizing these technologies will increase efficiency while reducing excess spending. An advantage of using artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML), or other advanced logistics technologies, to automate freight auditing is that these programs are always learning and using the most current data in real-time to determine potential errors. Implementing programs like this also reduce the need to outsource for freight auditing and saves money there. Active monitoring, auditing, and reducing labor costs are just a few of the benefits of transferring manual practices to AI. The ability to check for constant savings is worth the investment companies make when making the switch to automate freight auditing.
The utilization of new technology also presents the opportunity to deploy the use of self-reporting platforms. To automate freight management, this is an essential piece of the puzzle. While other systems are tracking information in real-time, it is imperative also to follow invoicing performance. Leveraging this to supervise invoicing performance and carrier performance has the potential to catch mistakes. Self-reporting platforms will decrease issues such as double billing. When this happens, it can increase freight spending by a percentage to percentage match, which will add up quickly for most businesses.
Digital document management is another way to continuously audit and review data within invoicing and the supply chain. To fully automate freight auditing, digital document management allows storage of all essential documentation that will inevitably be used throughout the auditing process. Storing this information electronically eliminates excess use of paper, the cost of manual filing, and centralizes all documents for immediate use whenever it is necessary. Digital document management also holds the benefit of having a backup, pretty much always. The return on investment to utilize any of these technologies will far outweigh the immediate cost of transitioning to automated freight auditing management.
While a future with 100% error-free invoicing would be ideal, it’s not reality. Until all companies implement robust capabilities that eliminate error during order or data entry, an auditing program is the best way to recapture those erroneous charges. And Cerasis can help with automated auditing resources, too, as part of transportation accounting services.
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