In the world of transportation, processing a freight invoice has always been a long and arduous task. Every transportation company seems to have a different format and specific way of doing things.
As a carrier, forwarder or service provider, processing freight invoices involves a few key fundamentals that ensure the process is efficient and cost effective:
- The ability to receive freight invoices regardless of formatting..
- Flexibility in terms of freight invoice information completeness.
- Minimal effort when processing invoices.
Let’s look at each of these.
The ability to receive invoices in different formats and process them in the same way, will enable you to take on larger volumes of invoices and be more competitive. An integration platform and mapping tool will allow invoice receipts in any format from any carrier. It will map the data to a common format that you can then upload to your processing system. Importantly, it is able to reuse maps and protocols that allow you to quickly deploy format maps across carriers; enabling simple maintenance and quick deployments.
Often times invoices are received incomplete or with field errors. Many times invoices that fall into this category are automatically rejected or someone needs to manually look at them. This is where business rules and workflows within the integration platform and mapping tool allow you to enrich the data. Many times connecting to external or internal systems to validate and enrich the data. Using the integration platform for this process takes the onus away from you and the carrier. In doing this, it reduces the number of invoices that may be rejected back to the carrier.
Now, we are able to automate the invoice receipt process, allowing the complete electronic invoice to be delivered to your processing system. It will display the necessary statuses and alerts when things are not right or have been fixed automatically, providing full traceability and acknowledgement.
There are tremendous saving to be had here:
- Reduction in manual processing.
- IT infrastructure and resources.
My list can go on, but most important, the process is quick, secure, accurate and customers are happy.
Furthermore analytics allows you to measure the performance of the process end to end, not just the invoice receipt, but the invoice process approval and payment.
We have already seen excellence results for processing EDI 110, 210, 310, xml and flat file invoices.