Is Your Freight Quote Process Obsolete? What Can You Do About It?

Written by Paul Forand
     

expense-reportFor many companies, a Transportation Management System can quickly update their shipping processes into a leaner, meaner, cost-cutting machine.  A TMS can potentially simplify every aspect of transportation at your company, reducing time spent while cutting costs.

It's a good option for companies looking to really control their transportation costs, especially because it can solve a number of commonly-seen issues that other companies are running into.

Here are a few we've seen come up repeatedly.  

Common Transportation Problems Solved With A TMS

1 - Trouble matching quoted bills to final payments

With a database-powered TMS, you can attach a single reference number to every document involved in a shipment.  This can be instantly retrieved, allowing you to quickly reconcile any differences.

You won't just see the initial quote and the final bill, but all documentation along the way, such as delivery receipts and bill of ladings.

2 - Your sales reps have to manually compare shipping prices.

Just a few years ago, it was common for sales teams, especially those handling heavy orders, to spend hours, or even days on the phone comparing prices between various carriers.  Even transportation brokers often had to do their research the hard way.

However, integrated TMS systems allow you to tie your systems directly into the quoting system of the carriers you use. Hiring a 3PL is especially useful in getting access to multiple carrier routing and rating web services. 

Then, you can find optimal rates within seconds by comparing multiple carrier and service options all at once, vastly reducing the time spent closing a sale.

3 - Miscommunications between Sales and Shipping.Integrating-Freight

Another common issue is not having both Sales and Shipping on the same page, when it comes to carriers and quotes.  Big problems can arise if Sales quotes rates from Carrier A, but, unknown to them, Shipping is currently using Carrier B.

A single integrated system keeps everyone on the same page, and ensures the same quotes and freight scheduling information is available to anyone in the organization who needs it.

4 - Burdensome eCommerce procedures.

If your website still requires customers to call in to get quotes on shipping large orders, there's a good chance they're  considering other vendors.  A database driven TMS can be easily connected to your eCommerce site, allowing your clients to have as much freedom in DIY shipment as you choose to allow.

5 - Delays in billing and payment.

If you have to wait for the carrier to bill you for a shipment before you can send a final invoice to the customer that includes the freight charges, you could be delaying payment from your customers unnecessarily. 

Daily electronic manifest reports from carriers can often be used for determining freight costs and helping you bill your customers for freight charges sooner. When the amounts on the manifest reports are matched to the final freight bills received from the carrier, you can more easily spot discrepancies in quoted amounts and identify potential problems.

In addition to automating this process, a TMS creates a full "paper trail" for assisting with customer queries, billing disputes, and service issues, all in one centralized location.

ReTrans Freight has decades of experience helping shippers of all sizes. Contact us today for a free process analysis!