Marc Andreessen, the serial tech entrepreneur and founder of Netscape, says, “software is swallowing the world.” Our ability to navigate our day is predicated on how effectively we use all the screens around us. Each new website, tech company or app automates some sort of process or procedure that previously relied on manual labor or pen and paper. What used to take days can now be done in minutes from anywhere in the world.
Software is increasingly prevalent in the transportation industry. Gone are the days of hand written BOLs and fax machines; they have been replaced with full-service transportation management systems (TMS) that generate digital bills that instantly pop up on a driver’s smartphone. In this series, we highlight six more areas where the proper use of technology improves operating performance and profitability.
Part 6: Invoicing
Perhaps the slowest part of the business to embrace automation is invoicing. Many carriers continue to print paper invoices and send them through the mail. Teams of accounts payable personnel open envelopes and create big stacks of invoices sorted by carrier that they then must manually enter into their accounting systems and assign to individual orders.
New technology to directly address this antiquated approach enables invoices to be scanned into your automated invoice capture software, which recognizes all key data fields in your invoices and returns easy to handle structured data. This data then auto-populates in both your TMS and accounts payable system under the related shipment ID.
Staff time, errors, and financial losses are mitigated.
When you automate invoicing:
Do: Put spot check measures in place as re-bills and multiple invoices plague automated billing, too.
Don’t: Forget to re-assign available FTEs no longer needed to complete these tasks.