For freight brokers and third-party logistics vendors, efficiency is king.
Whether in packing a freight truck or tracking invoices, wasted time and resources can quickly eat into your margins. And in the example of invoices, the unwieldy process of cross-referencing and auditing means that fraud in the logistics business is all too common. According to a poll conducted by Deloitte, 39% of consumer and industrial products professionals found at least one instance of fraud or abuse in their supply chains in 2020.
In the logistics business, the pain points – and the potential points of failure – are numerous and come with very high costs. Freight brokers and 3PLs are exposed to risks on both the buy and sell sides: Depending on the supply chain, the process can involve multiple intermediaries: shipping lines, trucking companies, and charter companies, in addition to insurance firms and, of course, the customer who winds up receiving the goods.
There’s potential for fraud, abuse or simple oversight at every step of the way, and there’s a lot on the line: margins are slim, and simply tracking the flow of cash traditionally involves a small army of workers checking invoices manually.
Many 3PLs and brokers just can’t afford that – so in the interest of conserving cash and manpower, they may skip invoice auditing altogether. That amounts to billions of dollars lost worldwide every year. Invoice remediation is especially burdensome for small freight, “less than truckload” shippers that deal with multiple units of inventory, and thus multiple invoices, per shipment.
Outsourcing accounts payable to a third-party vendor traditionally isn’t a great solution.
This option is both limited and costly: It could involve a procurement company, which a freight broker or 3PL may actually compete with. A more common outsourcing solution is to farm out invoice reconciliation to a bank, but that presents its own host of problems: Banks typically require a 3PL or freight broker to use the bank’s own payment network, charging a fee of up to 5% per invoice. Not only does that translate into lost leverage with vendors, it also introduces a variable cost and potentially a circular problem if a need arises to re-audit those invoices.
Fortunately, the right software can remove many of these risks entirely, and instantly save your business money.
An automated invoice reconciliation system not only eliminates fraud, but frees up your accounts payable team to focus on protecting cash flow, holding vendors accountable and making processes more efficient. OpenEnvoy automatically compares every invoice line item to its related estimate, contract, or proposal, validating every result before anything is paid.
For logistics companies, ease of use matters. A plug-and-play solution like OpenEnvoy, which requires no code and no special technical skills to use, eliminates barriers to adoption for your team. By fully automating invoice auditing and remediation — a process that can otherwise take hours per invoice — OpenEnvoy saves money, manpower and resources while also providing a bird’s eye view into cash flow, allowing your team to focus on higher-order goals like planning, strategy and expansion.
There are pricing tiers to suit every need, and payable at either a monthly or annual cadence. Choices range from the basics of auditing, activity logs and analytics to more advanced enterprise plans that manage a very high volume of invoices. Whatever the plan, the setup is simple: Once your account is validated, you can begin uploading invoices in OpenEnvoy.
OpenEnvoy makes auditing invoices easy. Just upload an invoice and at least one baseline document, such as a quote, contract, or bill of lading, to match against, and select a vendor. That creates your first “job”, and the rest is taken care of through OpenEnvoy’s matching systems.
Depending on the complexity of the matching, it can take anywhere from one hour to 24 hours for the matching process to finish. Once complete, you’ll be notified via SMS and email, and either create another job or to go straight to your dashboard.
The result is immediate ROI, no matter what volume of inventory you’re dealing with.
When your business depends on making the most of limited space, ensuring that every unit of inventory is properly accounted for is critical. Track costs, identify issues and quickly resolve conflicts to increase your effectiveness, guard cash flow and grow your business.