Data entry errors can occur at a number of points during shipment processing – incorrect account numbers, missing or incorrect customer reference numbers, bad shipping addresses, etc. It’s easy to view such errors as isolated incidents, and yet, taken together, they can all add up to a big addition to your freight budget. Consider the following:
When third party billing details are manually keyed in, an opportunity for error exists with every shipment. If the account number is entered incorrectly, the carrier charges the freight costs back to the shipper. Additionally, your odds of collecting those freight charges from the customer are slim at best.
Remedy? Have the third party billing account information passed from the order entry system to the shipping system when the order is completed.
When a carrier encounters an incorrect delivery address, they will fix the problem – for a price. Many shippers are surprised to find out just how costly address correction can be. Depending on the carrier, the additional charges may range from $13.00 to $91.00 per shipment.
Remedy? Pre-empt this hidden charge by adding address verification software to your order entry or your shipping system.
Companies who ship products to large retailers need to ensure that the customer reference numbers provided by the retailers are accurately entered in the correct field on the freight bill. This reference number is forwarded by the carrier to alert the retailer of an incoming delivery, a critical key to keep their inbound receiving operations flowing smoothly. Failure on the shipper’s part to include this number so that it is automatically transmitted by the carrier can result in hefty fines.
Remedy? Automate the capture of reference numbers so they are automatically included in the order-to-shipment process.
Another best practice is to regularly perform carrier invoice analysis to identify new delivery problems and resolve them before they amount to significant dollars. This is often too time-consuming to perform manually.
Remedy? Consider adding invoice analysis services to track carrier performance. Web-based options such as ADSI’s Analyze-IT solution make it easy to capture historical shipping details and identify carrier refunds and other cost reduction opportunities.
All of these ROI tips require a little common sense and a good checklist to ensure that data entry gaps are being identified and closed.
Your shipping system provider should be able to assist you by providing integration services to exchange data between your order entry, WMS and shipping systems. Additionally, mobile computing solutions can be very effective in eliminating manual order fulfillment and shipping processes that also introduce the risk for errors.
In the past, eliminating data entry gaps between all the systems that make up a supply chain was not a simple or speedy process. But today’s technology solutions have made it much easier for companies to integrate multiple systems to close these gaps.
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