Inbound Logistics | September 2022

Savings In the Ba

Intelligent Audit to provide business analytics that can help them identify opportunities to reduce costs and improve their operations, says Hannah Testani, CEO. To help its clients accomplish this, Intelligent Audit’s solution examines more than 150 service points across all transportation modes, identifying service-related issues, residential surcharges, dimensional rates, and duplicate billing, among other issues. Its business intelligence platform allows clients to access and visualize data so they can optimize their shipping networks and transportation modes, and manage transportation costs in real time, among other capabilities. Deep Learning Capabilities Intelligent Audit’s technology leverages deep learning models (DLM). A form of articial intelligence originally proven to be successful for self-driving cars, the healthcare space and fraud protection, Intelligent Audit’s proprietary machine learning algorithms are able to nd anomalous patterns in their customers’ data with precision. So, even when a company’s transportation spend looks consistent on a macro, enterprise-wide level, DLM can pick up spikes or other issues impacting one part of it. “It can see, for instance, a spike in the cost per kilogram in a specic lane,” Testani says. Then, with the prescriptive analytics, shippers can take action before a small anomaly becomes a bigger problem. In examining freight expenses for a large retailer, Intelligent Audit’s DLM technology noticed that the average cost per shipment for several locations had spiked. Intelligent Audit provided the anomalous information to the shipper accompanied by actionable intelligence to contextualize the issue. Further examination revealed new items were being shipped from these locations in packages that prompted handling surcharges; these SKUs either needed to be marked up when charging e-commerce customers or offered only as pick-up, in-store items.

Before you sign on the dotted line, consider these must-ask questions: 1) How established is the firm? Ask how long the company has been in the core FBAP business, and how long its ownership has been active in running the business. Ideally, the company and its leadership will have some history in the industry. 2) Does the company perform the audit work itself? Some outsource to white-label providers. 3) What exactly does the company provide? Get the specifics. Q†ŽT‘’“S T A ” W“ E– UN F‹  F‘ ˜S It is also important to ask: 1) How does the company treat carriers? Shippers need to maintain strong relationships with their carriers, and the freight audit team can impact their e–orts. Rather than simply blame the carrier for any errors, the audit firm should work collaboratively with carriers to identify and fix the causes of mistakes. 2) What is the current state of their technology and what are the planned investments? “While none of us know what will happen or how technology will change, you want a freight bill audit and payment company that is willing to make investments,” says Je– Carlson, vice president, global sales and marketing with Cass Information Systems. 3) Can the company help you become a smarter shipper? The information it provides should enable you to more e–ectively manage your transportation and logistics operations.

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88 Inbound Logistics • September 2022

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