Inbound Logistics | June 2022

Design your provider selection process with a sharp eye on their unique operation and needs. Thoroughly understanding those needs is a crucial first step. “It’s important to identify and document your company’s needs prior to engaging the freight bill audit provider,” Miller says. “Solicit feedback from all departments—finance, transportation, IT, purchasing—that will be impacted by outsourcing the freight audit process. “Once you have the requirements documented, then research freight audit providers to identify a handful that you feel may be able to meet your requirements,” he adds. “Distribute a detailed request for proposal (RFP) document with sections on operations, finance, technology, and support for both you and your carriers. Then create a scoring system to weigh the supplier responses.” Miner agrees shippers seeking providers should tailor their inquiries and search to their unique operation, making sure any provider is a good fit. “Shippers should base their evaluations on the specific solutions they need from the provider,” Miner says. “This includes allocating each shipment’s freight cost to the SKU level and apportioning the cost breakdown by the shipper’s specific internal accounting system general ledger numbers.” Choose a provider that understands the process nuances specific to their industry, as details and practices can vary by industry. “Especially with larger companies, it’s good to make sure that the provider you’re considering has at least a good working knowledge of your industry,” Carlson says. “That ensures, especially during the implementation process, that what’s being put in place actually will support your other business needs.” Ask prospective providers detailed questions related to their capabilities unique to each mode within your network to ensure they can support all the carriers and modes you use. Make sure providers can support all countries within your global footprint. “The biggest difference between

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The global freight audit and payment market is projected to be around USD 26,984.12 million by 2028, at a CAGR of 19.23% during the prediction period. Technological advancements and increased investment in this sector are likely to boost the market ahead throughout the forecast period.

Source: Adroit Market Research

customers,” Miller says. “You want a provider that actively troubleshoots exception invoices to identify root causes as opposed to a company that puts the burden on you by just slotting the invoices to the customer exception portal.” Verify that a prospective provider can offer more than just access to a platform to process their transactions. “Exceptions will exist so having a provider that identifies the root cause to correct immediate issues while implementing solutions to resolve them is of significant value,” Matthews says. Tech tools and automation are critical but must be accompanied by expertise and collaboration. “While technology provides for improved velocity, it’s important for the service provider to demonstrate their integrated exception management functionality,” Matthews says. “Managing exceptions requires oversight from the carriers, shippers and the FBAP provider. “Shippers seeking to choose an FBAP provider should evaluate these processes significantly as it’s the exceptions that can cause disruption in relationships and services performed by all parties,” he adds.

implementing freight audit solutions in North America versus other regions is understanding the local regulatory and tax requirements,” Miller says. “Global freight audit is not ‘one size fits all.’ Each country has its own unique requirements that must be accounted for. “It’s important that the freight audit provider has the necessary knowledge and experience within each required country,” he adds. For that reason, Miller advocates drilling down into a provider’s capabilities rather than accepting their surface claims. “It’s easy to put together a flashy presentation that claims a provider can support certain processes,” Miller says. “But to truly gauge a freight audit and payment provider’s capabilities, request to see specific scenarios demoed within their system. The more specific you can be in your scenarios, the better.” Evaluate a potential partner’s emphasis on customer support. Of particular interest is how providers contend with exceptions or discrepancies in the invoice process. “Look for a provider that takes a proactive approach to supporting their

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