5 Ways To Optimize Freight Bill Administration & Reporting

Written by Paul Forand
     

 Optimize-Freight-BillIf a company is looking to optimize efficiency and eliminate unnecessary waste, there are probably few better places to start than with their freight billing systems!

For many companies, the amount they're paying for freight and other related costs is not easy to pinpoint. If individual offices/departments are handling freight independently and reporting it only as part of their operating expenses, it’s quite possible that the company doesn’t know exactly how much is being spent on freight.

And in such cases, the answer is always going to be "too much."

If a company decides to take control of its freight processes, and starts truly looking to eliminate needless waste in shipping, they can quickly realize huge cost savings in their day-to-day operations. Without taking such a "big picture” outlook, they're more than likely losing money on charges they don't even know are occurring.

Five Ways To Improve Your Freight Administration Processes

1 - Go paperless.

Implementing paperless processes across freight related matters is typically one of the easiest and most cost effective improvements a company can make. When everything is handled and transmitted electronically, from the initial sale to the carrier invoicing, the result is a vastly more efficient process.

An XML and/or EDI-based unified system allows for better oversight of your shipping operation with faster, more detailed reporting capabilities.

2 - Pre-rate and pre-assign shipments.

Nothing says you have to wait until after the sale to quote a shipment, especially if you already have carrier freight rates linked to your product catalog or database. Most carriers have web services that can provide rate quotes for shipments from the point of sale.

When you get quotes up-front you can greatly improve the accuracy of your shipping estimates, speed up processing times, and give your customers more visibility of their own shipments.

3 - Outsource the freight billing process.freight-billing-systems

Outsourced financial services are becoming increasingly common, and there are plenty of systems on the market that can be quickly adapted to a variety of needs. A financial services provider could create a system that achieves your goals, either as a one-time upgrade, or as an ongoing service.

4 - Design your own software.

For some shippers, hiring a software designer to design new systems from scratch may be the best option.  "Off the shelf" packages are effective for most everyday business needs, but can lack the flexibility of custom-built software systems.

It’s an expensive option, but sometimes provides the best long term benefits.

5 - Partner with a 3PL.

Today's Third Party Logistics firms can provide many of the above services, and more, at extremely competitive rates.  The best in the business are far more than simple brokers:  They can take you paperless and hook you into a vast array of web services that will greatly improve process efficiency. To learn more, contact ReTrans Freight today for a free cost-savings evaluation.

 

photo credit: drumm via photopin cc