Process Improvement Savings You’ll Achieve With a 3PLWritten by Neal Willis
A 3PL can bring many advantages to the table for a shipper, the least of which is aggressive freight rates. Process improvements that can lower costs and provide savings can also be realized with a 3PL. When you partner with a 3PL you’ll begin to notice process improvement savings almost immediately, particularly with regards to Freight Bill Administration, Informational Flow, Customer Service, Quoting and Routing.
Freight Bill Administration
Having a 3PL handle the freight payment and audit process saves you both time and money. You’ll experience savings right away as trained auditors begin to spot carrier billing errors in your favor and pass the savings on to you. That means less time your staff spends on matching freight quotes to bills and checking for billing errors. Plus, with the right 3PL as a partner, you’ll cut one check for all of your weekly freight bills, which relieves you of the tedious process of cutting and keeping track of multiple checks being disbursed to numerous freight carriers for different shipments.
One of the best things about working with a 3PL and having them handle the freight bill administration is the fact that you’ll have all of your freight related information centralized in one place, which allows documents and information to flow freely as needed. This process improvement saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors being made as it eliminates the need to track down documents from different departments and it cuts down on the number of parties having to handle and relay information. Everyone can be on the same page and look at the same information at the same time.
Tracking and obtaining rate quotes for shipments takes time, especially when it’s not an automated process and you have many customers calling and requesting updates for various shipments. You can drastically reduce the time you currently spend fielding and handling your customer’s tracking and rating requests by having the 3PL’s staff handle that for you.
LTL carrier freight rates can be integrated into your online shopping cart for customers to obtain freight charges for orders at checkout. Rate quoting can be setup so that real time carrier rates are automatically retrieved from within your ERP/CRM/Accounting software without you having to enter any additional information or login to any additional programs and/or websites. Tools such as the vendor routing portal allow you to see the freight charges for inbound orders before you even get the freight bill from the carrier, which means you’ll be able to invoice your customers faster. You can even have your rate quotes automatically matched to your freight bills and receive an alert if any exception occurs, which helps to ensure that you’re accurately quoting the freight.
A 3PL gives you access to cutting edge technology and their TMS software will help to ensure you’re routing shipments least cost and not wasting money unnecessarily. Even the process of inbound shipment routing for vendor shipments can be automated, which saves you time from having to look up rates and send routing instructions to vendors, and vendor compliance can be easily monitored and enforced.