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The Best practices For Freight Auditing

Best practices don’t only apply to businesses. Freight audits are a significant component of a company’s daily operations. Some companies do the entire process in-house, while others rely on third-party audit services to get it done.

Conducting an appropriate freight audit can uncover key cost-saving opportunities and a chance to improve the entire logistics process. They can also help companies keep a solid relationship with couriers and potentially get generous discounts on their next shipments. That’s why some best practices must be in place to ensure the freight audit is conducted properly.

Use electronic invoices

Dealing with paper invoices is an issue. From lost invoices to duplicates, they can create an uncontrollable spiral of chaos. Keeping these invoices in electronic format can help avoid duplicate invoices. Electronic invoices come with a unique consignment number that allows companies to sort them out properly. This makes it easy to audit invoices with software.  You can plug invoices into the software without having to convert the invoice. Electronic invoices simplify the process.

Increase the visibility of your logistics costs

You want to know where you’re incurring added costs and whether there are any additional surcharges or hidden charges due to delays in shipping. Even a small accidental weight increment could translate into thousands in operational expenses down the line. With a proper freight audit, companies can group their operational costs into categories to visualize data at a glance.

Uncover opportunities within your supply chain logistics

By analyzing insights from freight invoices, you can accurately predict how to improve processes along your supply chain. For example, you can consolidate your loads in one freight when dealing with multiple containers, saving substantially on freight costs.  However, suppose you detect any other inefficiencies in your supply chain, and costs start adding up. In that case, a freight audit can highlight any red flags to watch out for. If you dive into a freight audit with this resolutive mentality, you’ll experience improved efficiency down the line.

Standardize freight rates

Don’t get lost in the mud. Companies usually deal with multiple freight rates. Ensure you have a proper system to set up freight rates, limit the number of accessorial costs, and harmonize cost mechanisms. This will limit the amount of overspending you incur each month and help you maximize gains.

Control your costs

To manage logistics budgets effectively, companies can control their costs by carefully reviewing each invoice item. As a result, they can negotiate rates with their courier, or avoid overbilling issues, while substantially cutting transportation costs. In addition, if you conduct the courier invoice audit the right way, you can get refunds on overbilling faster. That’s why it helps if you implement a well-designed and efficient freight audit system to control your budget.

Implement advanced duplicate protection controls

Shippers receive and review thousands of invoices per year. Instances of duplicate invoices are not uncommon. During a freight audit, businesses might miss instances of duplicate invoices.

Businesses can add a unique purchase order number on top of their invoices or include the type of charge on each invoice. This will help determine if an invoice is duplicated.

In addition to their regular freight audit system, having advanced control systems will prevent unnecessary instances of overbilling.

Compare old charges against new charges.

Sometimes, businesses can expect price hikes, generally due to the rise of fuel prices. Comparing old charges against new ones will give companies a sense of the price difference. Furthermore, it allows them to think of cost-cutting strategies for further shipments.

Conduct a freight pre-audit

Businesses complete pre audits before paying for shipment. A pre-audit helps companies check whether discrepancies exist between the freight contract and the items displayed in the invoice. That way, you can avoid problems incurred after paying incorrect invoices.

Conduct a monthly freight audit

Even a few dollars in freight invoice mistakes can cost businesses thousands along the line. Companies that handle thousands of invoices a month using an audit software solution streamline the process and avoid small mistakes. Conducting this audit process monthly will ensure there are no invoice errors.

Also, if you decide to outsource the freight audit process, find out companies that understand the local market in Australia. They might help you identify cost-saving opportunities by identifying problems with contracts, help you find the cheapest couriers, negotiate with multiple couriers, and more. Avoid overpaying by having an Australian Auditor take care of the process.

Following these freight audits, best practices will ensure businesses are equipped with tools to detect invoice errors. Keep these in mind while handling invoices.

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How Automating the Freight Audit Process Can Skyrocket a Companies Cost Savings

Much has been said about how digitizing logistics can help companies streamline their processes and boost their revenue growth. But, on the flip side, they might miss the importance of conducting a proper freight audit. With automation, the problems companies usually face slowly fade away.

There are some key benefits to automating a freight audit commonly overlooked but can save companies from massive trouble ahead. Here are a few reasons why freight audit automation can skyrocket your cost savings.

Automating the freight audit process minimizes the effort in medium to high volume invoice review

Reviewing multiple invoices manually is a lengthy process, and the resources companies spend auditing invoices can be used elsewhere. In addition, automating the entire process frees up time for employees to work on tasks that increase company revenue.

Conducting a pre and post freight audit minimizes errors and skyrockets savings

A pre-audit is conducted before paying the invoice, and that’s when companies usually detect discrepancies between invoices and the initial contract. Companies do a post-audit after payment to find out if there are instances of overcharge. If so, companies can file claims of repayment.

Conducting both freight audits can minimize mistakes and maximize the detection of overbilling. Since at least 1 in 3 freight invoices contains errors, companies that routinely conduct audits can save thousands in potential overcharges.

Reduce costs of hiring new employees to conduct freight audits

Conducting freight bill audits is an essential non-productive task for businesses. The more time employees spend on productive activity, the faster a company grows. By automating these tasks, companies save valuable human resources. Even though the cost of automating your freight audit is initially higher, a company can multiply its ROI in the months ahead. Improve processes today for higher savings tomorrow.

Save on fuel costs

The rise of oil prices has made shipping prices surge. As a consequence, companies struggle to save transportation costs. With automation, companies can uncover opportunities to save on fuel costs by consolidating shipments. They can simply check the fuel surcharge on every shipment and, with this data in hand, weekly update their metrics to find opportunities to ensure they can maximize their savings.

Make more informed decisions

One key benefit of automation is that it allows businesses to classify all their logistics expenses and visualize them in simple charts. With that clean, actionable data, companies can make informed decisions. From negotiating better rates with carriers to consolidating shipments, businesses can quickly identify cost-saving opportunities. Data-driven decisions maximize productivity and give companies a competitive edge.

Detect courier rate changes automatically

Courier rates are constantly fluctuating, and the rates between couriers are all slightly different. Also, couriers apply discounts to their rates. Now, this can be tricky because a higher discount doesn’t translate to a lower cost. For example, courier A might have a higher base rate than courier B. If the discount applied to A is higher than B’s, courier B could still cost less even after the discount is applied. By automating the process of detecting the best courier rates, businesses can rest assured they’ll find the best quote with the highest discount every time.

Check compliance with a contractual agreement.

The contractual agreement stipulates the payment terms included in invoices. Therefore, discrepancies in courier invoices involve a breach of the contractual agreement. Detecting any major inconsistencies helps companies evaluate whether it’s expedient to continue using the same courier or find one that complies more often with these agreements. With automation, companies can quickly check their invoices against the original contract and make an informed decision.

Scale business operations with automation

Automation allows businesses to scale their operation since machines do complex data monitoring. Whether a business is looking to expand to a new market or an opportunity to save on logistics costs, automation allows companies to focus on their expansion. It also helps them save on avoidable mistakes caused by human oversight.

Freight audit automation delivers enormous benefits to organizations. It not only reduces an excessive amount of invoice errors. It also helps companies focus more on expansion while saving them time and energy for their human resources. If companies are looking to remain competitive in this complex logistics landscape, a solid automation strategy is key in maximizing savings.

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Here’s Why Digitalization in Logistics is Experiencing Major Growth During COVID

It’s no secret that Covid is accelerating the migration to digital. As a result, businesses are burdened with shipping items with a one to two-day delivery window. This puts undue pressure on companies to make the logistics process more efficient while cutting all unnecessary costs.

While businesses were digitizing the logistics process before the pandemic started, the recent increase in demand in the eCommerce landscape forced them to adapt to this digital world. That’s why, currently, companies are digitizing their entire logistics process to ramp up the delivery speed.

Companies that digitize logistics will become more transparent and consequently more efficient when handling multiple moving parts of the logistics process. There are a few key things that companies can glean from this trend.

Digitalization in logistics improves supply chain management organization

Companies are putting digitalization in the no. 1 spot, but few can quickly adapt to this rapidly changing landscape. Whether there’s a shutdown of a production plan or a shortage of raw materials, digitalization helps companies keep track of supply and demand every step along the supply chain.

Save time

Time is an essential element when dealing with multiple shipments across the world. Since a digital system is standardized, companies won’t have to scramble for time and resources to evaluate strategies to optimize their supply chain. With digitalization, companies will ensure there aren’t any human errors and that prices of inventory, supply and demand, and the shipping process are more efficient. Tasks will be completed quickly, with almost no human error; a win-win situation.

Improve analytics

Collecting data is one of the key components to optimizing the supply chain. However, data is only useful when companies use it. Having a healthy supply chain is a key component of healthy success. Analytics is the backbone that allows this to happen.

With digitalization, data is streamlined, meaning it can be stored and viewed at any moment. Whether there is a bottleneck in the shipment process or your internal processes aren’t standardized, digitalization will help you improve on these inefficiencies quickly.

Boosts efficiency when comparing data

Companies can compare data from multiple countries to improve logistics cost effectively. Through digitalization, companies can access all team members worldwide to every aspect of their supply chain operations. All administrative functions, whether sending or receiving documents, auditing invoices and reviewing land bills, can all be automated. You’ll be able to compare the data from your invoices against your courier contracts digitally, minimizing human error while boosting efficiency.

Reduce transportation costs

Digitalizing logistics can reduce transportation costs. The best way to migrate to digital is by using a robust TMS system. At the click of a button, companies can have the whole map of their operational costs, evaluate any extra fees they could avoid, and further opportunities to reduce freight spend. Due to digitalization, companies will know exactly what’s going on regarding freight costs and reduce them substantially.

An extra opportunity for revenue generation

Companies have an unprecedented opportunity for growth with the explosion of the eCommerce landscape. By digitizing one of their key processes (logistics), companies can schedule pickups, reduce costs of route and planning by 30%, efficient pickup management, and more.

Companies can uncover new opportunities to enter new markets quickly. With all the data at their disposal, they can make quick decisions regarding which markets are easier to enter. Also, they can cut transportation costs substantially and use this as leverage to expand to new markets.

Real-time operation and real-time visibility

Let’s face it: any delay in logistics can cost thousands along the line. Companies that haven’t adapted their supply chain logistics to fit the demands of this globalized world are far behind in this competitive landscape. By digitizing logistics, companies can manage their warehouse inventory, track their shipments, instantly identify demand spikes, and optimize their transport fast.

Digitalization is a recurring issue in the logistics industry. Companies scramble resources to get to the market quickly and at the lowest cost. By digitalizing the entire logistics process, companies can make smarter decisions to improve their operations. Consequently, they can reduce the margin of error, multichannel sales and increase delivery speed while cutting costs substantially.

If you haven’t digitized your logistics operations, think about these added benefits. Then, get started on your migration to digital soon.

 

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Here’s How a Freight Audit Software Can Help Companies

A lot is being said about how companies can automate the freight audit process. To reduce overhead and cut costs, performing an audit is key. However, automating the entire process is a more feasible option since you avoid all the paperwork involved in manual audits. Since at least 1 in 3 courier invoices have mistakes, and a minimal error can cost thousands, having the right freight audit solution will save businesses some big headaches.

For companies looking to streamline their invoice audits, having the right freight audit software can save your employees time so they can do other business tasks. However, at least 25% of companies don’t use technology to manage their freight bills. That’s massively affecting their bottom line, and they’re not taking advantage of tremendous opportunities to save on freight costs. So here are five reasons why Freight Audit Software can help companies:

Freight Audit Software cuts cost by 20%

When it comes to saving, cutting costs of freight charges is a top priority.

Companies can experience up to a 20% reduction on freight bills with a freight audit software solution. That’s because it frees up employee time and helps avoid costly freight bill emissions along the road. The software can also track a significant amount of mistakes that lead to refunds. Businesses can use those savings to focus on managing their supply chain more efficiently.

Gain valuable insights from shipping

With fast changes happening globally, especially in the logistics industry, it’s hard to keep track of minor changes. However, you can get an invaluable amount of data about how data is reported on shipments with freight audit software.

Companies can identify in which areas freight companies overcharge clients. They can also plan future freight routes, gather data on freight increases to select the best option, and even account for extra shipment fees. In addition, freight audit software can track all your data to have specific information on what they can do to improve their shipping process.

Go deep into logistics data

Analyzing logistics data at a superficial level and only accounting for data on errors in one factor, such as weight, can make a business lose its cost-saving opportunity. Real-time reports on logistics spend, freight rights, and even market data will ensure companies have accurate data at their disposal. For example, a freight audit software that constantly compares invoices against a freight system manifest in real-time will provide a company with updates on its logistics.

Enhance performance and intelligence Data

The freight audit business is data-driven. Companies that keep a record of shipment data can leverage their savings to improve their production line. In addition, the software can tap into the freight system and deliver accurate charts on freight spend data. As a result, a business will be poised for massive cost-saving opportunities.

Streamline the audit process

To avoid the headache of reconciling invoices, checking for duplicate invoices, or even detecting mistakes that can cost thousands, the right freight audit software can be a game-changer.

Look at it this way.  A freight audit company sometimes doesn’t have the incentive to help you save since the data collection process is time-consuming. The software doesn’t face this same issue. A business can simply upload invoices with software, check them against the courier manifest, and the software will automatically find any discrepancies.

This way, companies can virtually automate the entire freight audit process. For example. if they have software that delivers monthly reports, they can do the whole process hands-off.

Save human resources

Human resources are at the backbone of any organization. Whether a business wants to tap into new markets or expand the product line, optimizing their employees’ time spent on productive activities is essential. Freight audit software can minimize errors in reviewing invoices and save employee time for productive activities.

These five reasons summarize the key benefits of having freight audit software. First, humans are prone to mistakes. A freight audit software will ensure a business saves time, money, and human resources while focusing on its productive expansion.

So, if you want to speed up your audit process, save your employees time, and cut costs by 20%, choose the freight audit software that best suits your needs. Then, with many freight audit software at your disposal, get ready to be poised for some massive cost-saving opportunities.

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Everything You Need To Know About Courier Auditing

Freight audits are a crucial aspect of the invoice review process. Ignoring this essential aspect of the process is like leaving fruit hanging before it’s ripe. You lose the fruit.

With freight audits, you’ll potentially lose thousands in small mistakes. These mistakes could lead to millions in lost potential revenue. That’s why companies should carefully audit their invoices before they proceed to allow courier dispatch.

The Courier auditing process helps fix freight bill issues

Having a structured invoice audit process helps companies become more efficient. However, if you don’t have a proper invoice audit system in place, you could end up auditing only a few invoices. Some companies even audit only a random sample of their invoices, leaving significant problems with their bills unnoticed. To properly fix your billing issues, conducting monthly audits is crucial.

Helps maximize refunds

Since 1 in 3 courier invoices have errors, maximizing the detection rate and returns on these errors is a must for companies. With human manual audits, companies must be careful to check every invoice against the courier manifest to find discrepancies in weight, size, and even base reight. Or, they can use a software solution that will help avoid costly mistakes and ask for refunds quicker.

Can check discrepancies with freight rates

Courier invoices contain a myriad of minor errors, mainly due to human oversight. Some of these errors include discrepancies between the rate charged in your invoice and the freight rate. Sometimes, the negotiated rate isn’t the rate indicated on your invoice. Leading to an unnecessary overcharge which, by the way, breaks with your contractual agreement with the courier.

You can check the invoice against your original contract with a proper freight audit to find and report this discrepancy. Even a 1% mistake can turn into a $5000 + overcharge.

Gives companies better data and analytics

A freight audit can give you a better idea of how you can avoid overpaying courier invoices. Some companies apply a discount rate on your shipment, for example. However, this discount is often omitted in the final invoice. Consolidating your invoices and courier manifests in one place to quickly identify this issue can save time and help maximize refunds.

Also, performing a courier audit allows companies to track freight rates, shipment data, fuel costs, and more critical areas. If it turns all this information into a spreadsheet, it can help companies better visualize their data. Having these key metrics in one place gives businesses insights into new cost-saving opportunities.

Freight saves you from major headaches

The logistics landscape is complex, and with so many changes in freight rates, fuel costs, and a shortage of freight, companies struggle to save on logistics. For example, when you rely on websites to find courier rates, you might find that couriers apply discounts on higher volume loads. Sometimes, this discount is omitted from freight bills.

The way to avoid the above issue is to carefully compare the weight of your packages against the discount rate applied by the courier company through the courier manifest. A courier audit will help you solve this problem.

If you have a system in place to check these issues, you’ll avoid major headaches later on.

Saves valuable employee time

A freight audit also saves time for your employees to work on other crucial aspects of your business. Having a professional freight auditor or even freight auditing software can help you avoid costly mistakes. It will also ensure you can quickly resolve any complex issue with invoices.

Can help you identify issues early

Businesses usually have agreements with their couriers regarding discount rates, surcharges on fuel, or extra hidden charges due to late pickups. If you’ve notified your team that the discount rate applied is 15%, that wasn’t included in the invoice. The team misses this crucial detail. You might end up realizing after a year that they hadn’t applied discount rates! Accounting for this during the freight invoice audit is a necessary stepping stone to avoid this issue.

Freight audits not only help businesses maximize their time and reduce their overheads. It also helps save money on freights over a long period through identifying key errors in invoices. Hiring a third-party company to perform the audits or even utilizing software is necessary to minimize invoice errors.