For many shippers and carriers, continuous freight invoice auditing is paramount to saving on last-mile delivery costs. Ongoing disruptions led many businesses to rethink their relationships and technology packages. Usually, there is more wiggle room for overhead spending, but with the unprecedented growth of e-commerce and omnichannel sales, freight invoice auditing needs to be more thorough than ever. The growth and rush of the upcoming peak shipping season further open the door for more simple mistakes, but they can be prevented. Auditing can catch those errors ahead of time and allow management to deal with issues head-on. Factors such as increasing accountability for carriers, reduced waste, and decreased oversight of spending are just a few of the additional benefits of freight invoice auditing. Let’s take a closer look at why invoice auditing is critical to achieving that goal.
Why Peak Season Growth Amounts to Greater Risk for Shipping Invoice Errors
The greatest need for a data-driven strategy is illustrated by the “little errors.” They add up and cost companies millions every year, leading to increased shipping costs and even more limited capacity. Peak season will make everything move even faster, so deploying a contingency plan to make up for them is paramount.
Such contingencies might include delaying the typical delivery window in response to leveraging ground versus air or using hub injection. It’s all subject to the unique needs of each shipment. Regardless, the risk for errors increases with every change that results in an additional movement or touchpoint.
Shipping invoice errors also lead to missed freight payments and could have residual consequences. The aftermath of these problems may pave the way for more tender rejections or even higher rates for shippers. Freight invoice auditing combats these by ensuring errors are limited, if not eliminated altogether.
Invoice Auditing Catches Errors Before Payment
Another example of how technology catches errors is by cleansing data. Freight invoice auditing allows shippers to see errors prior to the final mile and initiating freight payment. According to Inbound Logistics, each minute counts on the road, and with shippers looking for carriers that have global capabilities and shipping on a worldwide scale, problems need to cease. Many may need to keep their goods below cost to remain competitive, but the demand does not change. With the growing avenues of online and e-commerce ordering, payment errors affect everyone from the carrier to the ultimate customer. Manual processes increase the chances for errors in freight invoice auditing; without technology automating these mundane tasks, precious time can be lost.
More troubling, some errors are simply due to inconsistencies in geographic locations. For instance, address inconsistencies may lead to the incorrect general ledger (GL) code for delivery. By the time the issue hits the invoice, it adds to expenses. However, leveraging the power of an analytics engine, shippers can address these issues and avoid overpaying for shipments. But that’s starting to get into the meat of the real benefits of freight invoice auditing.
Added Benefits of Freight Invoice Auditing
With the need for changing innovations in parcel e-commerce delivery, freight invoice auditing offers a plethora of perks.
- Increased carrier accountability. Holding carriers accountable means holding the entire team to the highest standards. Without some control, carriers might charge exorbitant fees or might not deliver the best service. No package is good if it is damaged during transit. Keeping carriers accountable keeps deliveries on time, in full, and without hazard or issue, and using shipping analytics, shippers can track carrier performance in both a broad and detail-oriented view.
- Better measurement of performance across your network. Better visibility provides the capability to monitor performance across the carrier network. Each level of the industry needs accountability to keep operations running through this peak season. That also includes tracking cost by zone, mode, carrier and more.
- Better management of the cost of goods sold. When the market remains volatile and prices surge, the costs of goods are affected as well. Well-run teams and better freight auditing helps mitigate the costs of goods sold and help your team recognize when and where problems are more likely to occur.
- Reduced confusion over total transportation spend. A significant perk comes with a reduced disorder of transportation costs. Knowing where the money comes from and where it goes is important. Tracking spending can be more accessible when management performs freight auditing using automated resources, data-driven KPIs, and intuitive dashboards that provide a single source of truth.
- Increased insight into opportunities to lower freight spend. Real-time visibility leads to better insight into everyday activities that can help your team transform insights into actionable steps to lower shipping costs. Better insight means a broader understanding of where cost-cutting measures can make the greatest impact. Ultimately, insight is imperative to reducing freight spend.
Keep Shipping Costs Under Control This Peak Season With Intelligent Audit by Your Side
Control is the name of the game during this peak season, from large freight haul to parcel delivery in the final mile. Shipping costs already increase during this time of year. Freight invoice auditing will keep carriers on the road and keep shippers’ customers happy. Together with technology, auditing can restore performance and increased profitability in your enterprise by keeping the risk of higher costs in check. Mitigate those issues and get ahead this peak season by contacting Intelligent Audit today.