There’s a common misconception in the industry that a Transportation Management System has everything a company needs to automate their processes and grow their business.
95% of the time, this isn’t true. Most Transportation Management Systems only come with a basic imaging system. Just a place to store scanned copies of documents.
This is a problem because as transportation companies grow larger, they need more than a place to store files. They need a way to streamline their processes, automatically move information between systems, and help their admin staff handle greater volumes of documents in less time.
Basic imaging systems can’t keep up to the demands of a growing business. To drive efficiency gains, maximize productivity and minimize costs, successful companies invest in something more powerful—a Document Management System like Synergize.
3 Reasons Basic Imaging Isn’t Enough
Basic imaging falls shorts in ways that lead to higher costs, slower cash flow, more frequent errors, and bigger bottlenecks.
1. No Capture Methods
A lot of transportation documents get sent over email. Despite what you may have been told, the imaging system that came with your TMS likely can’t open, download, classify and check in email attachments automatically as they arrive.
That’s why Document Management software exists. You need to be able to capture information faster and from a variety of sources, using tools like Inbox Monitoring, OCR, advanced barcoding, and mobile capture applications like LoadPal.
With better capture methods, you get faster billing, better organization, and a completely paperless process.
2. No Way to Organize Work
When an invoice comes in that needs to be approved, how is it moved from person to person? Is it printed out, walked to someone’s desk, and then scanned back in?
That happens because a basic imaging system can’t automatically move the digital copy from desk to desk. There’s no workflow functionality.
A Document Management System allows you to build a workflow, automate steps in the process, and choose who sees what documents and in what order. As documents come in, they get automatically moved from person to person and office to office so that everything is organized, you know where every document sits, and the entire process is paperless. No printing. No scanning.
3. Your Systems Don’t Talk to Each Other
A basic imaging system doesn’t connect your TMS to your accounting system, or your asset maintenance system to your ERP. Your documents get filed and that’s it.
A Document Management System allows all of your systems to talk to each other. So invoice amounts can be posted to your General Ledger, automatically. Maintenance invoices can be matched with their initial purchase or work order, automatically. Carrier invoice amounts can be verified within set thresholds, automatically.
Instead of people having to fill the gaps between your systems, entering GL codes, checking amounts, and entering data, a Document Management System can do the work, pushing and pulling information from system to system.
Basic Imaging Leaves Money on the Table
Storing documents digitally is a step up from having paper filing cabinets, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s also just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digitizing and automating your back office processes.
If your business plans to increase profitability and continue to grow, basic imaging simply isn’t enough.
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.