By Guest Blogger, Niko Michas, President & CEO, BridgeNet Solutions, Inc.
Auditing has proven to be an effective way to receive refunds for erroneous shipping charges and compensation for a variety of other billing errors, but there may be an even better solution: self-billing. Often, the biggest setback companies have when it comes to implementing self-billing is carrier resistance. One thing you can do to combat carrier resistance is automate your billing process.
By automating your billing process, you eliminate the guesswork normally associated with trying to determine the accuracy of your shipping charges. You can uncover the exact charges for all shipments, regardless of mode. Whether you go through SAP a third party partner that specializes in creating less costly and more tailored electronic system solutions, your automated system will need to be able to do two things:
1. Properly house the shipping data for each and every shipment in your supply chain, and
2. Successfully compare your actual shipping charges to those outlined in your carrier agreement and your carrier’s standard rates.
Below are three ways you can leverage the benefits of using an automated billing system to gain more support for self-billing from your carrier:
- Explain to your carrier that your automated system will help them know exactly when and how much they will be paid because your invoices will be more accurate.
- Show your carrier how you will be able to pay them in as little as seven days, rather than in 60, 90, or 120 days, as in a normal billing cycle.
- Prove to your carrier you can lessen their financial burden by eliminating customer service and administrative fees normally associated with auditing.
Self-billing isn’t a new idea, but due to the still questionable state of the current U.S. economy and self-billing’s increasing popularity in Europe, more U.S.-based companies are looking to self-billing not just as an alternative to auditing, but as a way to get faster, bigger returns. Automating your billing system can help persuade your carriers to get on board with your self-billing initiative.