The Truck Stop Blog

Carriers, Does Your TMS Offer Freight Billing Intelligence?

"While fleets use less and less paper, the information — the data — that used to be on a piece of paper still needs to be captured, stored, and applied to everyday business functions, from the truck to the back office, shop ... and management. As paper use has dropped, fewer filing cabinets line office walls. But fewer pieces of paper do not mean less data. In fact, there is more data than ever being collected and managed, because technology makes it readily available." This is according to a recent article in TruckingInfo.Com

To be competitive and cost efficient, trucking companies need an intelligent billing software that allows them to easily translate each customer’s billing demands into configurable customer packages and pricing plans. This type of intelligent billing software will empower carriers to achieve exceptional productivity, compliance and billing accuracy during freight bill entry process.

Customer packages contain group or account specifics like subscriptions, definitions, requirements, rules, alerts, messages, comments, notes and contacts. These packages produce flexible automated billing solutions when a customer’s account is associated with a freight bill. Based on each freight bill’s essential contents such as shipper, consignee, and freight information, customer packages can drive things such as:

  • Payment method
    • Prepaid, collect, 3rd party
  • Bill-to information
  • Invoice delivery method
    • EDI/Web API
    • e-Billing or hard copy
  • Invoice requirements
  • Shipment identification numbers (BOL, PO, SID)
  • Images (BOL, reweight certificates, POD)
  • One invoice per freight bill, or a consolidated invoice

According to Transport Topics "LTL carriers that fill out about 85% of their freight bills on paper spend roughly six times more money to prepare those forms than parcel carriers that receive almost all of that data information electronically."

Customer pricing plans allow carriers to define specific or widespread rules based on a variety of conditions. These conditions will automatically ensure the correct:

  • Class aliasing (FAK)
  • Tariff and rates
  • Discounts/minimums/floor
  • Accessorials
  • Fuel surcharges

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For instance, this is how a customer package and pricing plan would work during the freight bill entry process: Once a freight bill contains the shipper and consignee codes, as well as related freight information, preconfigured customer packages and pricing plans are quickly examined and will process the rest of the freight bill automatically.

To illustrate further, based on the freight bill’s contents above (shipper, consignee, and freight information), customer packages and pricing plans will accurately and automatically apply the freight bills appropriate:

  • Payment method
    • Prepaid, collect, 3rd party 
  • Bill-to information
  • Class aliasing (FAK)
  • Tariff and rates
  • Discounts/minimums/floor
  • Accessorials
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Interlines and splits

It is important to understand that there is a relative efficiency ceiling in terms of how much productivity an intelligent billing software solution can deliver. To achieve universal efficiency carriers need to integrate innovative technologies and services into their billing system to produce the ultimate competitive advantage.

In today’s connected supply chain, if carriers are manually entering more than a small portion of freight bills, they are putting themselves at a preventable disadvantage. Manual data entry can be significantly reduced by integrating the following technologies:

These technologies allow carriers to tap into the data sources and process large quantities of freight bills instantly, supplementing an unbelievable percentage of manual freight bill data-entry. Utilizing data sharing connected services allows for a streamlined workflow process and generates immediate production boosts, all while eliminating duplicate data entry across partnerships.

When carriers pair intelligent billing software with innovative technologies and services they achieve systemic business environment efficiencies. From adapting customer demands into simplified customer packages and pricing plans, to receiving freight bills electronically from your supply chain, the net result for carriers is a strategic and widespread competitive market advantage that allows them to remain cost efficient.

The best trucking software options should all utilize this technology. Explore Intelligent billing solutions such as Roadvision’s LTL billing software to get the edge, and streamline workflows while simplifying customer demands.

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