Does Your TMS Provide you a ClearView?
Q: What are you seeing as the biggest opportunity for TMS functionality?
A: Transportation management software (TMS) was developed for the simple task of enforcing carrier routing and producing a shipping label. Web rating, or rate shopping, was a major advancement to the TMS technology industry 10 years ago. Today, very few TMS companies offer functionality beyond rate shopping. Once the shipment leaves the dock, the job of most TMS technologies is complete. The future of TMS systems is not only to monitor service in real-time while the package is in transit, but to properly audit the carrier’s invoice to ensure that companies can analyze shipments through invoice settlement and beyond.
Q: Don’t most TMS systems audit freight bills?
A: No. A lot of transportation management systems in the market mistake auditing with simple ‘bill matching.’ Matching the quote to the invoice is not a best practice in freight payment and audit. Technology alone cannot provide proper freight audit services, carrier payment, and general ledger coding services. Filing disputes with providers and monitoring of changes in carrier billing policies or rules tariffs is vital to post-shipment visibility of supply chain events. It is very important that shippers do not confuse bill matching with audit.
Q: Looking at ClearView’s suite of solutions, what makes you different?
A: ClearView Audit has taken an unprecedented approach to transportation execution. By providing clients with dynamic load planning between all modes of transportation, monitoring shipments in real time during transit, and settling invoices, our rapidly growing customer base has all of the tools necessary to monitor supply chain performance in real time. ClearView often encounters companies who have purchased a TMS where rates are loaded incorrectly or carrier tariff rules are not updated. Freight payment and auditing companies perform their detailed invoice reviews based on carrier rules and invoices validated against those same carrier rules. In many cases, carrier APIs are not correct and the rates that are received by even the most advanced TMS are not what appear in the carrier’s rules tariff, nor the carrier invoices. Often the TMS must make the adjustment to fix the rate received from the API so that proper execution decisions can be made.
Q: Will TMS technologies in the future provide best practices in freight auditing?
A: Not likely. The North American shipping market has not pushed TMS technologies to exhibit intimate knowledge of the transportation industry nor carrier’s rules tariffs. TMS technology companies are not equipped to handle paper invoices nor source their own EDI integration with carriers to handle such large tasks for fees as low as 50 cents per invoice. TMS companies lack the resources to perform the services and auditors lack the technology resources to provide TMS systems. The shipper is caught in the middle as the only party left holding the bag when charges are incurred, but not caught by the TMS system or the auditor.