Helping Shippers Do More With Less
Q: What challenges or issues are shippers facing in an era of globalization?
A: Our world has certainly become a much smaller place, but our challenges have only increased. Coupled with a tough economic climate, the need for greater supply chain visibility is paramount. Transportation costs over the past several years have come under greater scrutiny, and as shippers are challenged to do more with less, a company’s operational business intelligence is crucial to streamlining and optimizing its global supply chain.
Over the past 40 years, freight audit and payment providers have been a key source of data for North American companies to gain insight into their supply chains. As the freight audit and payment industry continues to evolve, shippers are now looking for a solution that can provide a single, global data warehouse, as well as state-of-the-art analytical tools that will allow them to realize greater visibility and efficiencies, while reducing costs on a global scale.
Today, a number of global freight audit and payment providers can help shippers gain valuable insight into their global supply chains while overcoming numerous challenges, including harmonizing multiple currencies, capturing information in foreign languages, cleansing data, and meeting archival requirements.
Q: What should shippers look for when selecting a global freight audit and payment provider?
A: Shippers looking for a truly global solution should ensure potential providers have a firm understanding of regional as well as global requirements, such as VAT compliance and documentation archival requirements. The provider must also possess experience in implementing complex processing requirements.
Shippers should also ensure potential providers have strategically placed, global, full-service processing centers with a multi-lingual staff that can provide regional support.
Extensive line-item data capture is critical to providing customers the visibility they require. Other considerations shippers should look for are Web-based, state-of-the-art analytical tools, including dashboards; collaborative exception management applications; imaging technology; the ability to provide complex general ledger account coding; and the ability to remit payment in numerous currencies.