Over 800 carriers went under in 2019, nearly three times more than in 2018.
Times are tight, and they’re likely to stay that way. There will be booms and busts of course, as there always has been. But with increased competition, greater regulations and rising costs, it’s not going to get any easier to make money moving freight any time soon.
That means you can’t afford to make mistakes, especially not in your billing department. Your invoicing process needs to run like clockwork. Cash needs to flow.
The good news is that by avoiding the following billing mistakes, you can put cash in the bank faster and have more of it fall directly to your bottom line. Automation can help you both accelerate cash flow and increase productivity, a killer combo for any carrier looking to stay ahead in today’s competitive market.
7 Mistakes Carriers Make
Mistake #1: Failing to capture documents at the point of delivery.
When everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, waiting to receive trip documents no longer makes sense. Any delay in getting docs back to the office is a delay in getting invoices out the door.
Solution: Use a mobile capture app with OCR to scan documents immediately upon delivery and eliminate all unnecessary delays.
Mistake #2: Manually indexing documents.
Manually entering in load numbers and other info from PODs, BOLs, and other accessorials is a complete waste of your staff’s value time. Documents should be automatically matched with the correct load in your TMS as soon as they arrive in your system.
Solution: Automate indexing with TMS integrations, barcoding, inbox monitoring or OCR to speed up billing and save staff valuable time.
Mistake #3: Manually compiling and sending invoices.
Matching invoices with all their backup documentation is a job best done digitally, by software (not on paper!). Invoice packages should be bundled together and emailed out without any human involvement.
Solution: Use a document management system to automatically compile and send out invoice packages as documents are checked in.
Mistake #4: Continuing to receive cheques in the mail and failing to offer customers easy payment options.
When you send an invoice, you should also be sending your customers an easy way to pay. People take the path of least resistance. You need to show them the way. Receiving payment online removes the mailing time and stops you from having to go to the bank to make deposits.
Solution: Use a payments platform to give your customers the option of paying with the click of a button.
Mistake #5: Storing physical paper.
Storing boxes and boxes of billing documents is expensive and time-consuming. It’s impossible to find anything in the heap, which makes getting audited a nightmare. And the boxes just take up more and more valuable space.
Solution: Use a document management system to store documents digitally, where they’re easy to find with a simple search.
Mistake #6: Letting revenue go unbilled.
Without a tight handle on your billing documents, accessorials go missing and, inevitably, you end up failing to bill customers the full amount. We’ve helped trucking companies who were bleeding hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in lost revenue due to missing documents.
Solution: Implement a digital process where documents are visible at all times and it’s easy to tell when something goes missing.
Mistake #7: Overlooking the value of billing automation.
The biggest mistake we see carriers making is waiting too long to automate their billing process. The gains are huge and felt immediately. We’ve helped carriers take two weeks off the time it takes to go from load delivered to cash in hand. What could that hit of cash do for your business?
Solution: Implement a paperless billing automation solution today.
In 2020, billing mistakes are too costly to make. If your current process isn’t paperless, error-free and automatic, now’s the time to find a solution and drive your business forward.
Steele Roddick is a Content Specialist at Microdea where he creates content that helps transportation companies drive their business forward. He’s endlessly fascinated by technology trends, chess, and discovering new places to travel with his wife.