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5 Ways to Streamline Your Freight Procurement Process

The freight procurement process is a critical element for most businesses. However, it can be a complex and time-consuming task to manage.

Streamlining this process can reduce costs and increase efficiency. First, consider five ways to simplify your freight procurement process.

Automate Your Processes

The way freight is procured directly impacts bottom-line results. Automated procurement processes increase efficiency and reduce costs by reducing paperwork, manual labor, and rework due to errors.

The current supply chain environment has forced many shippers to rethink their strategic carrier procurement strategies. With pockets of open capacity appearing in unexpected places, implementing the right technology tools will help them quickly identify opportunities.

An automated bid management tool like Sleek Technologies allows shippers to automate their RFQs and accurately evaluate carrier responses. It eliminates tedious manual tasks and gives businesses more agility to respond to changing market conditions, manage cost optimization strategies, and develop and maintain strong carrier relationships. Reducing risk in their shipment portfolio also simplifies conducting more frequent, smaller RFQs.

Automate Your Quotes

The truckload freight quoting process can be an enormous source of wasted time and resources. Manually managing truckload freight quotes is full of pitfalls, from lengthy phone calls and faxes to emails that go unanswered or need to be noticed.

With automated truckload freight quoting software, logistics companies can respond to quote requests instantly. They can also automatically send customer quotes and embed them into their website or internal systems. It helps them save valuable time regularly and prevent mistakes that can lead to additional fees. This automation software can also strengthen broker and carrier relationships, improve data visibility and support faster decision-making. For example, it can eliminate the need to wait for a response and even avoid costly surcharges like fuel surcharges.

Automate Your Orders

The complexities of procurement, especially for ocean freight, make it a challenge to digitalize. It requires the coordination of networks of suppliers, distributors, and shippers across countless shipping lanes. It is on top of managing multiple freight modes, volatile pricing, and changing capacities.

A robust strategic vendor sourcing process is critical to your bottom line and agility in supply chain operations. However, many manual processes need to be improved. For example, most logistics companies still rely on Excel spreadsheets to tally quotes from carriers, even though other parts of their supply chains have been digitized.

The resulting inefficient processes can lead to costly delays in delivery, missed opportunities for capacity savings, supplier complacency, and poor customer service. Automating your procurement process through a TMS can eliminate these barriers and make securing capacity for spot loads more effortless with a simple, intuitive interface.

Automate Your Invoices

A freight invoice, also called a bill of lading (BOL), includes all the costs associated with a shipment. Manual data entry can lead to errors that result in the wrong expenses or cost estimates being applied, so it’s crucial to have a reliable freight invoice verification process in place.

Automation technology makes it easier than ever to track your spending and ensure that your invoices are accurate. By using AI to match invoices with corresponding shipments automatically, you can reduce costly discrepancies that lead to payment delays and strained carrier-shipper relationships. Moreover, automating invoice processing gives operations teams more time to focus on other critical projects that drive business development. In the end, shipping companies that automate their invoice processes can save money on their internal freight costs and the fees they pay carriers.

Automate Your Payments

Streamlined payments are essential to a business’s bottom line. Having a better process in place will help reduce costs associated with freight services. It will also allow you to nurture relationships with your carriers and vendors and identify any inefficiencies in the system.

Using a digital platform that can automatically reconcile and pay invoices for you will improve your payment processing and save time in the accounts payable department. Ultimately, it will make your whole business more efficient.

Intelligent audit offers a seamless, end-to-end solution that automates freight reconciliation, payment tracking and processing, and supply chain finance. 

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