Extremely difficult task to check freight invoices
At Primelog we work with a complex area – namely, freight contracts and freight invoices. There are few other areas that make it so difficult for customers to check their invoices. There are so many parameters that complicate things and must be checked. Do the weights and volumes agree? Was it the right route? Were the surcharges that they billed us correct? Did we really order this shipment? Was this shipment billed to us earlier on another invoice? Is it the right currency?
Yes, there are lots of ways things can go wrong, and it’s extremely difficult for customers to check that they have been correctly invoiced. What makes it even more difficult is that volumes are often high and an invoice might contain hundreds, or even thousands of lines – making it very costly to check manually. For this reason, most companies don’t do that. They check line items at random instead.
“There are few other areas that make it so difficult for customers to check their invoices.”
Existing systems do not solve the problem
The problem is that existing systems can’t check invoices against orders and contracts. A business system that can match invoices requires a purchase order and a contract that the purchase order refers to. The purchase order is used to buy the material – not the shipping. Freight is ordered through a transport booking system with the customer or shipping company, or else it is sent electronically via EDI. The transport booking doesn’t talk with the business system. This means you can’t match the transport invoice against the transport order and the transport contract.
And it doesn’t stop there; the electronic billing system can’t match transport invoice systems either. Even when these systems do have a matching function, they are based on purchase orders. Billing systems do serve an important function when they handle a work flow digitally, so you don’t have to send a physical piece of paper around to different people for signatures.
The problem remains, however, that you might not always get invoice information digitally, but in a PDF format, that might or might not convert to a digital format. And the problem doesn’t disappear. The transport invoice has so many lines that can appear differently from one time to another, so that image conversion software can’t consistently interpret a PDF invoice to a structured digital format.
“There are excellent possibilities of complementing both your business system and your billing system with the missing functionality.”
The solution is to add complementary functionality
So how can you check your transport invoices without hiring scores of people to achieve 100% invoice matching? Easy, there is a solution on the market that can handle the complexity. Primelog is the leading supplier in this area, so there are excellent possibilities of complementing both your business system and your billing system with the missing functionality.
You obtain complete matching, and you only need to look at the deviations that you think are worth looking at. What do you gain? Well, lower costs, since you identify incorrect invoicing, you get a fantastic platform for analysing your costs, and at the same time, enough data to support better procurements in the future.
Want to know more?
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a more in-depth discussion about how Primelog can help you check your transport invoices, lower your costs and get better data for analysis and decision-making.