Discrepancies and errors with invoices, records, communications, and processes represent the biggest issues facing companies today regarding freight management. Where no systems of checks or balances exist and no freight audit protocols remain, it is difficult to detect these issues before they cause major problems. Catching deviations, disruptions, and problems sooner rather than later becomes the best way to avoid expenses and maximize return on investment (ROI) on any investments in freight audit technology and solutions. The applications of advanced technologies, including business intelligence, are vast, but they still leave much to be desired.
It's possible to simply not know where to begin, resulting in problems. According to JOC.com, "what if technology hinders the achievement of those goals instead of enabling them? Approximately half of supply chains failed to meet their goals for 2019, according to an American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) survey of supply chain professionals in late March, and technology shortfalls were cited as a primary factor in those failures." Therefore, the only way to understand the status quo in the supply chain is to recognize what problems exist and find their solutions. One such problem is the increased risk of invoicing errors in the global logistics landscape. To stay strategic and maintain proper carrier pricing strategies, freight management parties need to know a few things about why a freight audit matters today more than ever.
Many supply chain networks today struggle with collecting and properly using actionable data throughout the chain. Collaboration has become more important than ever and becomes especially true for logistics. When every partner uses a different platform and process, it can seem difficult to collaborate and share information. Modern collaborative logistics for freight management and freight audits makes it easier to share information from one supply chain to another. It also helps strengthen partnerships, streamlines routine processes, and makes the entire system more reliable.
Many managers make one mistake when it comes to setting up their freight audit and review process because they believe that their 3PLs provide enough support with their auditing program or software. While this may seem true initially, most outside audits lack the depth indeed to uncover all issues truly. Without an end-to-end view and a personalized focus on the supply chain itself, an audit will miss some things. The best audit setup utilizes shipping analytics tools and looks from the very start with sourcing raw materials and continues all the way through final mile delivery and invoice payment.
Normalized data unifies the code variances used in audits and analysis to make it more streamlined and useful in advanced freight analytics. Collecting data can be effective, but without the right kind of data or simply not utilizing data once analyzed, it will not do much good for freight audits and reviews. As important as a unified auditing process becomes, the right type of process for the wants and needs of the management team becomes even more critical. Much of the success within data auditing and analysis depends on proper access and utilization of data along the supply chain network.
Most freight managers know audits can offer valuable insights; most teams want and use freight auditing, but what sets the winners apart from everyone else becomes their ability to go a step further. Successful shippers understand several key points regarding the benefits of simplicity in logistics and freight audits:
Logistics within the transportation industry can appear complex and confusing at times. Offering a streamlined approach for freight audit, data analysis, and communication throughout the supply chain maximizes impact within the network. To learn more about how to set this up for your logistics network, contact Intelligent Audit, and request a consultation today.
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