The Case for Outsourcing Freight Payment
If you are a high volume shipper, you have three options for managing your freight invoices and expenses: outsource to a specialty provider, use the freight payment module from your TMS or ERP provider, or use/build a home-grown solution.
Studies show that the number of shippers outsourcing the process continues to rise. This is the result of two trends occurring with in-house solutions. First, TMS/ERP systems cannot handle the complexity that companies are requiring of them. If they are not functionally deficient when they go live, they become so quickly, as companies outgrow the capabilities that once met their needs. Secondly, few companies with in-house systems are dedicating the resources necessary to keep up with their evolving operations. Too often, the longer an in-house freight payment system is in place, the more it atrophies. Adequate IT and transportation resources aren’t dedicated to their maintenance, much less improvement.
Freight payment service providers focus on one thing: maintaining freight payment systems for their clients. Their experts draw upon years of experience to build solutions that meet sophisticated needs. Customers benefit from regular improvements in technology and processes that the freight payment company makes in order to remain competitive. Resources can be quickly dedicated to respond to change – such as the acquisition of a business unit or fast growth in global shipping activity.
In addition to the specific expertise offered in maintaining freight payment systems, specialty providers also take on countless administrative tasks that free up resources for the shipper. These include managing carrier invoice inquiries, working with carriers to set up EDI billing, and handling most of the day-to-day invoice issues.
Benefits of Outsourcing Freight Audit & Payment
Outsourcing partners are almost always better prepared to provide a higher level of customization. Purchased software rarely provides the flexibility needed to accommodate complicated accounting rules, complex contracts, or many of the myriad other complexities involved in a shipper’s transportation management operations.
Outsourcing providers are also more adept at providing meaningful business intelligence. Whereas most internal systems collect data that is only relevant to the payment of the invoice, providers like Cass can integrate data from multiple sources, delivering much more valuable information to be used for decision-making and process improvement.
Outsourcing improves your ability to respond quickly to business changes. It is also a more scalable solution, an important concern for the growing organization.
A professional and uniquely qualified team guides the shipper through the process of system configuration, providing guidance on best practices and proven methods used by other leading shippers.
Continuous process improvement is both a byproduct of technology improvements that span all of the provider’s customers, as well as a focus for each particular client. These initiatives may focus on improving carrier EDI invoicing, creating carrier scorecards, or increasing invoice throughput, for example.
System maintenance is provided. Keeping a freight payment system functional is a labor-intensive process. Areas such as rate maintenance, audit rules, reporting needs, and infrastructure changes, for example, require regular attention.
Partnering with an organization providing freight payment to other leading shippers gives you access to industry best practices.
Read the Case Studies
Extremely well managed companies look for outsourcing opportunities that allow them to outsource processes that fall outside their core competencies so they can devote valuable in-house resources for projects that drive their core business. If you are a retailer or manufacturer, your core competencies most likely fall outside the area of auditing and processing freight bills.
That’s why leading organizations such as Chiquita, Dole, Emerson, Hexion, McCain Foods, Restoration Hardware, Siemens, Toyota, Unilever and many others have chosen Cass as their outsourced provider of freight payment services. For more information, read the Cass transportation expense management case studies. Or contact the Cass freight payment team today.