As your company grows and develops, the business itself becomes more complex. Due to this, certain aspects become a priority, and others get left behind. Going over freight invoices and ensuring they are accurate is one of those that becomes of low priority. However, many people don’t understand how frequently mistakes occur, and if these are not discovered and resolved in time, they can cause many problems.
In the following article, we will introduce you to the freight audit process and present you with a list of facts that will help you understand how everything works. In addition, we will also tell you why you should outsource this service and how you can benefit from it.
What is a freight audit?
Companies that are in the supply chain industry collaborate with several carriers to have their merchandise transported between two locations. Once they find a carrier, they learn about their work and the overall price of the services. When the delivery is completed, carriers send a freight invoice to the company, listing the services and the cost of each one of them. Now, all that is left to do is to pay this expense. It sounds simple enough, but people don’t realize that several factors can change the initial price. If this occurs, the invoice may not necessarily be inaccurate. Nevertheless, in some instances, mistakes do happen, so in the end, the company may be overcharged.
This is when the freight audit comes in. In a nutshell, it is the process of going over these expenses and making sure that they are accurate. Each charge is thoroughly analyzed, and as already mentioned, it is investigated whether the additional cost is justified. The aim of this process is to validate each invoice, or on the other hand, look for mistakes and correct them as soon as possible.
What are the common errors?
Before we list some of these, we have to explain why these occur so often. According to research, only 17% of freight bills are accurate. This isn’t necessarily the carriers’ fault since delivery contracts can be very complicated due to many shipping options, meaning there is always room for error. Over time, this can prove to be quite costly, and retrieving your funds can, in some cases, be impossible. Basically, if these mistakes go unnoticed, they can cost you a lot of money that you could have invested in some other aspects of the business.
Now, you must be wondering what the most common errors you should be on the lookout for. There are many of these, but some that you can easily notice are regarding the shipment information, miscalculation of the overall cost, inaccurate data regarding the weight of the shipment or number of items transported, miscalculation of fuel rates, wrong delivery address and transit time, etc.
Enforcing the freight audit process
If you run a small company, you likely don’t face this challenge since you probably have enough time on your hands to analyze these invoices thoroughly. Nevertheless, if your business is quickly expanding, this is most certainly not an option. Also, there is another problem. Building an entire department and hiring professionals to do this work is very expensive, and most companies cannot afford it. According to CT Global Freight Audit, it is why you should consider outsourcing this service. This way, you will have enough time to focus on the core of your business while having peace of mind that professionals are working on freight auditing. Besides having a team of experts collaborating with you and providing you with crucial services, you will save a lot of money since outsourcing will cost you only a small fraction of the investment you would have to make if you were to build an in-house team.
Benefits of outsourcing
Even though we have already mentioned several of these, we will now discuss them in great detail.
First of all, there is the matter of data visibility and accessibility. Although you won’t be the one conducting this work, the audit company will regularly supply you with critical freight information, enabling you to stay on top of this aspect of the business, follow the changes if they occur, and so on. What’s more, by regularly analyzing this data, you will be able to make a well-informed decision that can significantly impact your company’s future.
Furthermore, having a team of professionals will enable you to optimize the entire process. It means that the manual work will be eliminated, the whole auditing process will be completed quickly, and more important, accurately. In addition, all the recurring errors will be resolved, and you will be able to take the process to the next level.
As already mentioned, when it comes to this aspect of the business, identifying mistakes is vital. Miscommunication with a carrier can easily happen. Unless you notice it immediately, you may continue your collaboration for many months or even years before realizing the expenses are higher than you originally thought. We are not going to discuss the money you would throw down the drain but instead focus on another benefit of learning about these errors in time. This information will inform you whether you should continue collaborating with a certain carrier.
The oversight may be accidental, but you cannot really know this until you conduct a thorough analysis. So, it is not only about saving money but also reevaluating the collaboration with others.
Moreover, when the process goes smoothly, you will be able to make all the payments according to the arranged timeline. As you can assume, this will positively affect the relationship with your partners and also enable you to improve it further.
To sum up, these are some main points and features of the freight audit process. As you can see, it is a crucial aspect of your business that can have a severe impact on your company if not conducted perfectly. Not only this, but it can also provide you with numerous significant benefits, which is why you need to implement it as soon as possible and make sure you have a team of experts working by your side.