Learn how to automate the once time-consuming process of uncovering errors and overcharges in your shipping process
From inaccurate charges to overlooked errors, the numerous ways your parcel and freight shipping invoices can quietly drain your company’s finances are as widespread as they are costly. All it takes is a simple miscalculated surcharge, an incorrect shipping address, or an unnoticed billing error before you are hemorrhaging money that could have been invested elsewhere in your business.
Regardless of the reason for your increased shipping costs, often times they aren’t identified until after the fact. Fortunately, today’s methods of auditing shipping charges have improved significantly due to automated intelligent audit software provided via some multi-carrier shipping platforms. For companies utilizing IBM I (AS/400) Power systems, using a tool like this can revolutionize the way businesses audit parcel and freight shipping invoices, ensuring precision and substantial cost savings.
Let’s take a look at a few ways companies can perform these audits.
In the Beginning: The Manual Audit
Manual auditing has been the traditional approach and common way to start evaluating parcel and freight shipping invoices. However, like any job done manually, this process has its fair share of flaws. Not only is it a time-consuming process, but it also demands a high attention to detail, leaving room for human error. This, unfortunately, is unavoidable as it’s human nature for even the most meticulous auditors to overlook an error or record something inaccurately.
The manual auditing process may work initially, but once the volume of orders rises to a certain level, it can become impossible to keep up. This is especially true if employees have their hands full with other job responsibilities. Things start to be missed, and the percentage of error starts to increase, thus costing your business dollars that could and should be spent elsewhere. Labor shortages also raise concern for manual tasks as we currently have 1.4 million fewer Americans working than we did in early 2020. These flaws place a spotlight on the urgent need for a more advanced approach to parcel and freight auditing so what else do you try? Enter the consultant.
We Can’t Take It Anymore: The External Audit
Auditing companies have been established for a long time and serve a crucial function in helping businesses ensure financial accuracy and adhere to regulatory standards in various areas of their operations. They make money by keeping a portion of compensation from the businesses that use their auditing services. Although they may do a better job of keeping up with high volumes than an internal team, auditing companies still have their own flaws.
While you may be saving on shipping costs by receiving more accurate audits on your parcel and freight invoices than you were with manual audits, you are still paying for an outside service. [Learn more about FreightAudit solutions]. At this point, you may be feeling a lack of control over the money spent on not only shipping, but also monitoring shipping. The reality is you could have paid for automated auditing software several times over by now, reducing excessive costs and unnecessary errors. If you want more visibility, but are unwilling to return to a manual process, it’s time for the next step. Enter auditing software.
Keep It Simple: The Automated Audit
Top shipping software solutions provide easily integrated and automated auditing solutions as a core component of their offerings. These software solutions go beyond the traditional auditing methods mentioned above as they leverage algorithms, data analysis, and technology to examine various kinds of records. Typically, they work by analyzing data invoices, receipts, and shipping records against rules agreed upon by contract to detect any discrepancies or errors in real-time. Doing so prevents your business from paying for things like overcharges, duplicate bills, and invalid charges. This solution also empowers businesses to improve their competitive edge, streamline their operations, and reach substantial cost savings. What’s even better is that there are multi-carrier shipping solutions strategically built for shippers who are on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems. This is key when trying to find a solution that integrates properly into your Enterprise Software Stack (ESS).
Feedback Loop: The Continuous Improvement Benefit
When your automated auditing software discovers errors, particularly those that cause expensive accessorial charges, the fault doesn’t always lie with the carrier. There are many potential errors that your shipping software and/or your employees can help you avoid. These include, but are not limited to, dimensional weight pricing, residential surcharges, address corrections and more. [Have more questions about dimensional weight pricing? Watch this webinar to learn more about tackling unexpected shipping costs with automated technology.]
Having auditing software can help recoup carrier overcharges and with the right shipping software in place, brands can identify the types of overpayments that are internal. For example, a package might have been sent via Regular Delivery to a residential address, causing a surcharge, when it could have been sent via Home Delivery. Additional employee training to reduce internal errors can be another beneficial way to minimize shipping costs. An elite auditing program will surface the examples you need to help your staff learn.
While rising shipping costs will continue to be an area of concern for most companies, keeping a close eye on costs with internal auditing software can help make the most of shipping budgets.
The Industry’s First IBM i (AS/400) Power Shipment Auditing Solution: ShipAudit™
There’s only one solution for IBM i (AS/400) Power customers looking to ensure accuracy on their parcel shipping invoices, as well as save money on their transportation spend. Varsity Logistics’ ShipAudit™ software helps shippers find a quick ROI on their investment by reconciling pre-negotiated contract rates against actual carrier invoices as they are received electronically. Once the invoice is audited, everything that aligns is marked ready for processing and sent automatically to the finance or accounting department.
All the details related to any exceptions, duplicate charges, and accessorial fees are collected and presented together, along with recommendations to pay or deny, and charges that require an adjustment based on contract rates. After a quick review, legitimate exceptions are paid and the details for the contested charges are submitted back to the carrier for correction.
Varsity’s ShipAudit™ software offers many other benefits in addition to cost savings and eliminating manual data entry and audit processes. Other benefits include erasing the need for costly third-party involvement and ensuring contract rates and incentives are correctly applied to freight bills. Plus, there is one additional benefit from keeping your audits internal: a well-trained shipping staff.
Ready to learn more about how Varsity Logistics’ ShipAudit™ software can help you? Contact our shipping experts today to schedule a ShipAudit™ demo & see how auditing software can revolutionize your shipping process and help you avoid costly shipping mistakes.