Streamlining Freight Bill Audit and Payment Processes
Allowing transparent, flawless communication between its transportation management system and its clients’ account payable systems, AR Traffic Consultants helps increase efficiency and lower freight costs.
AR Traffic Consultants prides itself on identifying problems and providing viable solutions. Several ARTC clients faced the same challenge when using non-standard carrier codes for various classifications instead of identifying the carriers with SCACs (Standard Carrier Alpha Codes). One client had to match the vendor files in their A/P system, which requires numbers. Other clients wanted to show multiple rates for the same carrier (standard service, guaranteed delivery, mix of pallet and discounted LTL rates).
Using CalcRate, ARTC’s transportation management system, they were able to manually match, audit, and pay invoices. However, they encountered complications when changing to EDI 210 transmissions to eliminate manual data entry.
The clients who showed multiple services would take a SCAC and alter it. Suppose a carrier’s SCAC was XXXX. They would use XXXX for standard service. However, they may use XXXP for pallet rates, XXGA for guaranteed AM delivery or XXGP for guaranteed PM delivery, etc. This facilitated the process for customer service reps with limited logistics experience and simplified internal G/L coding to assess transportation costs and revenue.
EDI transmissions link to carriers’ SCACs and all carrier invoices are received as a batch. The invoices, however, are linked by carrier code, PRO number, and BOL number (if provided by the carrier) in CalcRate before transmitting to the A/P system. For these TMS users, the shipments not designated by carriers’ SCACs, the invoices did not match the data in the accrual file. This greatly increased the auditors’ work. One frustrated client asked us to stop sending EDI. They found manual input entry easier despite being so labor-intensive.
ARTC was totally unaware of this issue until our client requested the cessation of EDI transmissions. When available, EDI is always the first choice. It speeds entry of invoice information to the system and eliminates erroneous information, which corrupts data.
We strongly urged our client to temporarily pause the EDI transmissions and allow us to develop a solution. Returning to the same manual system would be counterproductive. ARTC’s system matches data by a combination of carrier code (SCAC), BOL number, and PRO number. Optimally, both the BOL and PRO numbers are in the accrual file and the EDI transmission. Problems arise when the BOL number is not transmitted or the PRO number not entered in the accrual file at the time of shipping.
ARTC was able to achieve high match rates by searching the accrual file based on BOL and PRO numbers provided by the carrier without the SCAC. Additional layers of search were built in for the unmatched invoices to improve the match rate. This lowered the rate of unmatched invoices to less than 1%.
Our client reinstated EDI transmissions and greatly streamlined freight bill audit and payment processes. Using the same methodology, AR Traffic Consultants provided high match rates for other clients who experienced similar challenges, allowing transparent, flawless communication between ARTC’s CalcRate and A/P systems.
AR Traffic Consultants is committed to lowering freight costs and providing the right tools to keep business moving forward. We have the expertise, experience, and a track record of more than 50 years, providing the most advanced transportation logistics software and logistics services in the industry.