Only 32% of shippers surveyed in the 2017 Third-Party Logistics Study from Capgemini Consulting stated that they outsource freight invoice audit and payment services to a third-party provider. Why the resistance in the marketplace when the benefits can be so significant? An effective transportation invoice audit and payment partner can be a positive force in initiatives to remove cost and waste from your enterprise. To make sure your partnership provides a good return on investment, consider these six steps to help build improved synergies with your strategic partner by defining goals, aligning expectations, setting benchmarks and establishing communications protocols.
- Start small. Running a preliminary pilot project is the best way to anticipate – and avoid – potential problems in the full-scale implementation. Preparing a freight audit is a time- and resource-consuming process, so it’s smart to test the waters first with a small-scale study.
- Manage carefully. Audit managers must be fully versed in current processes and models in order to generate valid audit results.
- Define clearly yet incrementally. Each separate phase of the project should have a clearly defined scope and schedule as well as agreed-upon deliverables and timetables. Especially for global shippers, the distinction between audit and payment is sometimes variable, depending upon internal controls, process requirements or other operational guidelines.
- Require quarterly report cards. By examining carrier performance and compliance on a regular basis, you can address potential problems before they escalate.
- Create RFPs that capture carrier capabilities. Choosing carriers is too important to be based on price alone. Detailed requests for proposal can give shippers a comprehensive understanding of each carrier’s capabilities, service proposition and pricing structure.
- Go for global buy-in. When company divisions outside the United States are faced with implementing changes that may or may not offer significant benefits to their operation, resistance is only natural, especially in disciplines like audit and payment services that are new in their markets. In order to generate buy-in, it’s important to emphasize the demonstrated value of a global payment warehouse to the company’s overall performance and profitability.
A strong partnership between shippers and their chosen audit and payment service providers can provide significant value across the supply chain. Like all partnerships, it’s important to choose carefully and cooperate completely to get the full benefit of the relationship.
Transportation Insight provides freight and parcel auditing and payment services as a key part of its bundled enterprise logistics offering that also includes strategic carrier sourcing, Transportation Management System (TMS) technology, comprehensive business intelligence solutions and LEAN consulting. Our proprietary freight and parcel invoice auditing systems collect copious amounts of invoice data to deliver actionable business intelligence that helps clients make smarter, faster decisions while improving accounting process efficiencies, eliminating unnecessary charges and lowering multi-modal transportation costs.