With all of the innovative technologies available today, many companies have gone completely paperless. For some trucking companies this transition might seem like an impossible concept, which is understandable. Traditional paperwork is as valuable as the freight being moved, but new affordable technologies make the paperless prospect more achievable than ever. (Not to mention the numerous benefits from cutting labor costs and materials expenses to helping the environment.)
If you are interested in going paperless, we suggest five key questions to ask before you invest in any document scanning solution.
1. Does the solution automatically index your image to your TMS?
Scanning images is the easy part, what happens after the document is scanned is where the real benefits are found. Any solution you are considering should be tied into your transportation management system and automatically index the document to the correct account/contact. Having to manually attach/upload a file to a record is not only time consuming but inherently creates an opportunity for errors.
Can the scanned document easily be retrieved once indexed? What is the point of scanning something if no one can find it? Make sure your solution provides an easy-to-use search option to locate your POD, BOL, Invoice etc.
2. What types of images can you scan?
Sit down and write out every document you want to access electronically and make sure the solution can process them. Some solutions available can only process and index certain document types. Do the research to ensure that the solution you choose will work for your company’s needs.
3. Can everyone access the images from anywhere in your TMS?
Dispatchers, Billers, Managers…Trucking companies have layers of people that need to access documents. Each department logs into different solutions within your TMS, make sure each of them can access the documents they need from the module they utilize.
What sort of user permissions or security exist? If you need to control who can access specific types of documents, then you need to make sure the imaging solution offers security.
4. Will the solution integrate with 3rd party services?
One of the key advantages to creating electronic records is that the documents can be instantly accessed across multiple channels within your company and throughout your network. An important aspect to consider is if the images can be easily accessed by a 3rd party technology companies that you are utilizing for services such as EDI or API’s.
5. Does the solution allow users to make annotations or edits to images?
To go completely paperlesss, it will be extremely beneficial if users can add annotation or edit directly to the images. More importantly though, it's important that you can control who can see user edits, annotations, and comments. You don’t want a customer to misinterpret a comment meant for internal use only.
Going paperless with a document imaging technology is a smart investment and the benefits are measured in more ways than just savings. By reviewing the five questions above you will help maximize the efficiencies your choosen solution will produce. When you launch your search for the best document imaging trucking software, be sure to consider Roadvision document imaging. Our solution is imbedded within our LTL trucking software, which makes going paperless seamless.
If you have any questions about document imaging drop us a line and we would be happy to answer your questions.