Transportation is a thin margin, cash flow business. If your billing process isn’t quick, accurate and extremely efficient, you’re going to be bleeding time and money you can’t afford to lose.
An automated workflow is the main solution to the most common billing problems.
1. It takes too long to bill customers.
The time from getting a signed POD to getting an invoice sent should be measured in minutes, not days.
If your current process takes longer than a week, that might sound too good to be true, but it’s a reality for the companies who have implemented an automated workflow.
It really boils down to removing bottlenecks.
If instead your bottleneck is getting documents indexed and sent to the right people in the right places, a solution might involve barcodes, OCR and/or Inbox Monitoring.
Either way, automation and a more controlled process is the key to going from days or weeks, to hours or minutes.
2. Unbilled revenue is too high.
When you’re flooded with accessorials like scale tickets, detention, lumper fees and so on, it can be a nightmare getting everything sorted correctly.
With automation, you can configure a solution that fits both your unique needs as well as your customers. Depending on the document type, you can bundle what can be billed to the customer with the load and attached to the invoice, and what needs to be billed separately or deducted from a driver’s pay can be sent to a different queue.
When this is all done manually on paper, it’s nearly impossible to avoid mistakes and avoid losing paperwork. When it’s done digitally, it takes a lot less time and it’s much easier to keep track of everything. That’s how Royal Trucking reduced unbilled revenue by over $500k.
3. Too many people are working out of the same inbox.
When you have offices and terminals across the country, it can be extremely difficult to get documents in the right people’s hands.
Automation, like Inbox Monitoring, is the solution. When emails come in from everywhere they can be automatically sent to the right people in the right locations, so that billers only ever see what they need to see.
Instead of everyone working out of the same bucket, the documents can be automatically sorted into separate buckets, so that the paperwork chaos is kept to a minimum.
4. No visibility.
First off, if you can’t view billing documents in your TMS, you need to upgrade your imaging system to a document management system ASAP. From your TMS, you should be able to quickly see and sort all loads based on whether or not proof of delivery documents have been sent in.
Secondly, the big benefit of automatically sorting documents into queues is that you gain visibility into the billing process from end-to-end. You can see the flow of documents throughout your organization, identify where documents sit the longest, and relieve the bottlenecks. In turn, you also get a clearer picture of your cash flow.
5. Can’t keep up with volume.
If your business is growing fast, it can be hard to keep up with the flood of documents and obviously you don’t want to keep hiring staff.
The huge benefit of all the automation tools that we’ve talked about so far is that they result in huge efficiency gains, allowing your billing staff to handle more volume without adding headcount.
Again if that sounds too good to be true, check out this case study from ODW Logistics. They were able to triple their volume without adding to their billing team.
Better Billing Means Better Business
At the end of the day, your billing process is central to your business. If you can do it faster, more accurately and with greater efficiency, you can save time and money, accelerate cash flow and grow faster.
If you can relate to any of these problems, you should check out our Billing and Settlements Workflow, or schedule a demo below to see how we can set up something up that works for you.
Kevin Fernandes is the Senior Solutions Architect at Microdea, a leading document management software for transportation and logistics companies and one of the fastest growing 500 companies in Canada.