04 Feb Custom Freight and Parcel Audits Deliver Better Results
If you’re like most companies, you work hard negotiating freight contracts. Transportation and supply chain specialists can spend hours analyzing spend, reviewing proposals, and assessing the shipping model. But once an agreement is in-play between shipper and carrier, who checks to validate a contract is accurately billed?
If your answer is “no one” or “I’m not sure,” then you’re likely overpaying for shipping. Only a custom freight and parcel audit can produce ideal results and optimal savings.
Why Shipper’s Bleed…and Don’t Know It
A freight invoice is highly vulnerable to human and billing-related errors by the carrier. This fact alone mandates a thorough review be in place so shippers don’t overpay. With the need for a parcel and freight audit well established, shippers might question:
Are all freight audits built the same?
The answer is an emphatic…NO.
There are many willing to examine, adjust, and verify the accuracy of your carrier invoices. However, the practices across the industry vary greatly. This occurs because there are no standardized audit controls or policies that dictate the process. Each and every freight payment firm is free to implement a freight audit that best suits their business model. Partnering with a firm ultimately means you are adopting their audit practices and not necessarily your own. This can result in minimal protection.
The shipper’s most powerful defense against missed opportunities is to implement a custom audit policy. If the shipper doesn’t participate in the development of an audit, the company is left to question whether it is paying for something it shouldn’t. Working with an audit firm to implement the unique and negotiated contract terms and fine-print is the only way to minimize erroneous expenses.
Even a fairly simple freight bill can be interpreted and reviewed differently across different freight payment firms. The only reliable fact you have is that a unique shipment CAN be audited to your specification IF it is governed by your contracts AND a custom audit policy.
Custom Audits = Superior Results
A freight and parcel audit that is developed and customized around a shipper’s unique carrier contract will realize the following:
Customizing your audit means you can better identify discrepancies in carrier billing, validate accessorial charges, single out service failures, pinpoint errors in mileage calculation or tariff use, verify the legitimacy of shipper invoices, and more readily confirm the bill is not a duplicate. Only a custom freight bill audit can help you net the maximum savings opportunity.
Better Business Intelligence
A complete and thorough freight and parcel audit will provide better data for reporting. Ultimately, the long-term savings opportunity will be found in shipping optimization. The more accurate the data is, the more insight into how to implement cost-cutting initiatives. A shipper’s business intelligence reports are an essential lifeline to improve the supply chain.
Peace of Mind
Both the finance and transportation team can rest easier when they know a freight payment firm is executing a custom audit policy against shipments incurred. Any other solution can create exposure and gaps that lead to missed opportunities. Peace of mind flourishes when shipments are validated using unique contracts and custom audits.
At SSI, we understand that no single-contract is the same. Our freight and parcel audits, policies, and rules are customized to the individual client, resulting in millions of dollars saved every year. Not only do we check for duplicate bills, rate errors, billing discrepancies, and service failures, but also addendums, small-print references, and custom services negotiated with the carrier. In summary, the difference between other freight payment firms and SSI is found in the detail.