Every customer who's found themselves eagerly refreshing the tracking status to find out when their latest online orders will arrive can tell you that transportation and logistics have undergone significant changes over the last few years. And no matter how impatient customers may be, those inside the industry feel the effects much more dramatically.

No matter how goods are being shipped—truck, rail, or freighter—logistics and supply chain management requires some of the most complex transaction tracking and billing, calculating shipping costs against the type of goods, weight, volume, delivery time, taxes, tariffs, and countless other variables.

Even under the best conditions, accurately tracking shipping costs and expenses (and converting them to accurate billing) is a tall order, given all these variables. But with the factory shutdowns, delayed shipments, and transportation disruptions logistics companies have had to cope with in the wake of the pandemic, the game has become more complicated than ever.

For many logistics companies, adopting technology systems to improve efficiency and minimize costs has been the solution. However, because these digital transformation initiatives have typically been scattershot, companies continue to fall behind in three key areas: customer-facing services, automation, and data management.

Our latest whitepaper, Logistics Disruption Enables New Revenue Models and Requires More Complex Billing, explores all three of those challenge areas—and their solutions—in depth.

To give you a preview, we’ll recap the highlights here.

Customer-Facing Services

Customers today crave the ability to manage their orders and shipments via web and mobile apps where they can place and track orders. Our whitepaper breaks down four of the most notable innovations in customer self-service that both delight customers and improves billing efficiency and cash flow:

  • Online quoting
  • E-booking
  • Track and trace
  • Customizable reports

While these capabilities—for starters—can dramatically enhance the customer experience, encouraging both return business and rave reviews, they’re often easier dreamed up than implemented. Most frequently, this is because the disparate technology systems—and the departments that “own” them—operate in silos, the sales team’s CRM struggling to communicate with procurement, which doesn’t speak the same language as finance, which missed a note from legal about the original contract.

Systems integration is critical to successful digital transformation, making business-critical data more efficient, accessible, and consistent. Breaking down these silos dramatically improves internal processes, accuracy, and efficiency, making it possible to provide a frictionless customer experience with every transaction.

Billing Automation

A significant driver of the problems discussed above is the lack of automated processes. Not only are disparate systems working in silos, but they require heavy manual intervention within and between departments to move the quote-to-cash process forward.

On the other hand, automating the flow of information and materials speeds inventory to its destination and increases efficiency. It shortens the cash cycle while providing visibility into fulfillment and billing for internal users and customers. In particular, automating the tender and pricing systems most logistics companies use to manage contracts simplifies the procurement process for customers and streamlines invoicing. With the appropriate digital processes, fully automated invoicing can eliminate billing errors and speed up cash flow.

Data Management & Analytics

Finally, properly managing and leveraging data is a powerful way to enhance billing. This process includes the integration and automation we've already discussed. Still, it also includes using billing data strategically to gain tighter control of business processes, leveraging insights from that data to make changes that move the revenue and cost needles—rather than simply adding or shaving 20 cents here and there.

To maintain data accuracy—and use that data to their advantage—freight and logistics companies are improving their data management capabilities in two specific areas:

  • Data warehousing
  • Forecasting and planning

We explore both of these areas in depth in our whitepaper. Here, it's important to note that access to near real-time, accurate data can unlock additional process-related savings. In contrast, digitization and operational data capture will enable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support forecasting and enhance shipping capacity, operational efficiency, and profitability.

The Right Billing Infrastructure

Digitization and technology are revolutionizing transportation and logistics, enabling companies to be more efficient, agile, and creative in how they bill for shipping services. But how can businesses take advantage of all these capabilities? It starts with the right billing infrastructure.

The Gotransverse Billing Platform was developed with digital transformation in mind, and it’s designed to empower transportation and logistics companies to integrate their end-to-end processes, promoting greater transparency and control and revealing new business opportunities, including new ways to improve pricing and billing.

Download our whitepaper to learn more about complex billing challenges in the face of logistics disruption. Then, for more information on how Gotransverse helps companies overcome those challenges, we invite you to take a virtual tour of our platform or request a complimentary demo. One of our experts will be happy to walk you through our platform and processes.