Automating Freight Charge Calculation In Your Organization

Written by Paul Forand
     

Whether you set it up yourself or hire expert consultants for help, a full-featured Transportation Management System can radically change your shipping processes, for the better, across your entire operation.  

One of the best features of a TMS is automatic freight charge calculation.  When your TMS is tied to a database of products along with carrier rating and web services, virtually anyone in your operation can run the numbers on a shipment from anywhere, at any time.

It's not hard to imagine all the different ways this can pay off for a business.  Here are some of the biggest benefits that we've seen in our own implementations.

Five Major Benefits From Automatic Freight Charge Calculations

1 - Rapid Auditing / Reconciliation

It can be relatively simple to tie your TMS into your CRM or accounting system so that you've got a full-featured overview of all the transactions going through the system.  This makes freight bill reconciliation far faster, and allows near-instantaneous warning if a discrepancy is discovered.  

Along with this, you can maintain a full history of your quotes and other transactions.  This historical data is useful for benchmarks, as well as negotiations with your carriers.

2 - Reduced Errors

An automated freight charge system eliminates a large number of opportunities for errors to creep into the system:

  • Calculations are automatically performed and verified
  • Shipment information is only entered once 
  • No need for pushing easy-to-lose paperwork around
  • Automated auditing catches mistakes

While the chance of human error is ever-present, an automated system takes away most opportunities for errors to be introduced and saves your employees time.

3 - Document Imaging

A well-maintained TMS will hold archives of documents that pass through your system, and gives you the ability to lookup all documents related to a particular order, on demand.

This can greatly aid in resolving disputes with carriers and enhance customer service.

4 – Self-Serve Shipping for Ecommerce Salesfreight-cost

Business with ecommerce sites selling large items can often integrate self-serve options into their website.  In effect, bulk-ordering commercial goods doesn't need to be any more difficult than ordering from Amazon.

By attaching these services to your website, you're bringing a lot of value and convenience to your customers.   With a market being largely driven by personalization, this allows your clients to shop online with the same experience they've come to expect from consumer shops.

5 - Lower Shipping Costs

All of these things can add up to something even more beneficial than direct savings:  Lower freight prices for your customers.  

They're just as pinched for money as you, and shipping prices are a major source of competition among vendors these days.  The cost-savings brought about through these automated systems can bring lower prices to you and your clients.

This can be a huge selling point when trying to compete in a crowded market.

Paperless TMS Processes Bring System-Wide Benefits

If you want to take control of your freight costs, an integrated TMS and product database brings big payoffs. Interested in learning more?  Just contact ReTrans Freight today for a complimentary process analysis