Updated: May 13
Today, businesses are looking for more ways to cut shipping costs beyond carrier discounts and automating processes. This month’s focus is to help you find potential issues in your shipping operation and offers solid suggestions to help solve them.
Here are a few questions you need to answer internally about your current process:
How do you manage freight, parcel and courier expenditures?
If you are like most companies, it is a mix of data files, and paper and manual processes to find out how much your company spent with each carrier.
Do you have more than one shipping location?
If so, do you have more than one database with shipping information that is not easy to access on an enterprise-wide basis?
Is order, shipment and delivery information visibility a serious challenge?
Do you have easy access to shipping activity reports?
Have you ever been in a situation where you need to quickly produce detailed shipping reports that identify shipment opportunity trends to a particular zone by the carrier, service level or for specific products?
How do you prepare for carrier negotiations?
Do you rely on your carrier(s) to provide you with information about what you shipped with them in the past year? Does that make sense?
How do you audit your carrier bills?
Have you noticed discrepancies between what your shipping software recorded and what the carrier charged you?
If so, how do you account for these additional charges?
Do you know what the actual carrier discounts are?
How do you know for sure that you are getting the correct discount?
Does your current shipping software automatically rate and route your shipments based on a variety of business rules such as:
Carrier delivery history?
The lowest rate for your customer’s required delivery date?
Unfortunately, there are often divergent systems, databases, processes, and departments handling these issues. On top of that, auditing carrier bills and gathering the correct data is a time-consuming manual process involving several people.
Your carrier bill auditing partner should allow you to:
Sort data by almost any parameter
Analyze shipping data for cost reduction opportunities
Create detailed reports and graphs
Leverage historical data to enhance current business shipping rules
Accurately rate & route shipments
Consolidate multiple site shipping data into one enterprise database
Your carrier bill auditing partner should use data-driven technology to monitor all weekly shipment activity and find discrepancies so you can quickly authorize electronic carrier claim submissions.
Your high-quality carrier bill auditing partner can help you:
Gain control over late packages and incorrect charges
Enhance data collection and analysis through detailed reports
Efficiently process voids and billing errors
Make real-time corrections for direct shipment optimization
Here are a few sample auditing points they should cover for you:
Late Delivery of Packages
Manifested but not shipped
Late Delivery Fees
Contracted Rate Errors
Inaccurate Pickup/Delivery Scans
Inaccurate Daily Manifest
Lost in Transit (Not Delivered)
Delivery Area Surcharges
Here are a few sample auditing reports they should offer you:
Carrier Invoice/Summary Report
Third Party Billing Report
Carrier Exception Report
Address Correction Report
Residential/Commercial Address Correction Report
Customized reports by request
Bottom-line, a high-quality auditing partner helps you:
Capture all the discounts you deserve
Eliminate mistake-prone manual processes
Efficiently manage courier, parcel, and freight transportation billing errors
In closing, your high-quality auditing partner should be willing to go the extra mile for you by becoming your strategic partner and an integral component of your long-term distribution operations success.
Good luck and good shipping!