Third party logistics (3PL) companies play a critical role in the global supply chain, providing services such as transportation, warehousing, and inventory management for businesses of all size. As the demand for logistics services continues to grow, 3PL companies are facing increasing pressure to remain competitive by improving their operational efficiency, reducing costs, and providing better customer service.
3PL-specific billing differs from traditional billing methods in several ways. First and foremost, it is designed to meet the unique needs and requirements of logistics service providers (3PLs). This means that it takes into account the complex nature of the logistics industry, which involves managing multiple parties, handling various types of cargo, and navigating complex supply chains.
Traditional billing methods typically involve billing for services directly from the supplier or manufacturer to the customer. However, with 3PL billing, the billing process is managed by the 3PL provider. This means that the 3PL company takes on the responsibility of billing the client for all services provided, which can be more convenient for clients who use multiple logistics providers.
In 3PL billing, the 3PL company charges its clients for the services they have rendered, such as the cost of shipping, handling, storage, and other related expenses. For this reason, a 3PL-specific billing solution must offer billing methods that accommodate the different pricing models used by 3PLs, including by weight, volume, or shipment type. Because of their complex billing model, 3PLs may also seek out features that allow for the tracking of inventory levels and handling fees, as well as automatic surcharges for special services such as rush delivery or hazardous materials handling
Overall, 3PL-specific billing is designed to provide a more comprehensive and efficient billing solution for the unique needs of the logistics industry.
Billing Automation is the process of using software and other technologies to automate the invoicing and payment collection process. By automating their billing processes, 3PL companies can reduce the time and effort required to generate accurate invoices, while also improving the accuracy and speed of their invoicing. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction, faster payment processing, and better financial management for the 3PL company.
In this context, it is important to understand the special benefits that billing automation can bring to 3PL companies. Billing automation is important for third party logistics (3PL) companies for several reasons:
Billing automation can help 3PL companies streamline their billing processes and reduce the time and effort required to generate accurate invoices. This allows 3PLs to process more invoices in less time and in turn, improve their overall efficiency.
Manual billing processes are prone to errors, such as miscalculations, double billing, and incorrect rates. An automated billing solution can significantly reduce these errors, leading to more accurate billing and fewer disputes with customers.
Automated billing systems can help 3PL companies invoice customers more quickly and accurately, which leads to faster payment and improved cash flow.
With the automated 3PL billing your company has improved visibility and control over the billing process. This provides real-time reporting and analytics on their invoicing processes, such as invoice volume, payment trends, and customer payment history-providing the company a comprehensive view of their billing operations.
Accurate and timely billing is an important aspect of customer service. By automating their billing processes, 3PL companies can improve the accuracy and speed of their invoicing, which can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Overall, billing automation can help 3PL companies improve their efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction, while also providing valuable data for business analysis and decision-making.
A 3PL Contract Termination Date is one of the new features added to the 3PL Billing solution. Previously each contract header and contract line had only an Effective (start) Date and an Expiration (end) Date. Just like any other Dynamics 365 Finance feature that required effective start and end date ranges. Under those rules, at the expiration date, the price for that contract line would go to zero. This forced users to plan ahead to replace the current expiring date range with a new one or push out the expiration date to avoid a zero price and potentially a high volume of manual corrections.
Some 3PL Clients sell more than one Brand of products and thus contract with their 3PL Providers to fulfill orders for those multiple brands. In some cases, those same clients may want to keep the accounting separate by brand as well. Avantiico’s Automated 3PL Billing solution now allows client’s products to be identified by Brand and contract lines to be identified as “Invoice by Brand.” With this new feature enabled, clients will receive separate automated Invoices by brand just as seamlessly and quickly as our current automated Invoices, where tens of thousands to millions of lines of billable activities can be collected in near-real time, automatically organized onto sales orders by client and brand, converted to invoices and sent to clients at whatever frequency the 3PL provider prefers.
Let’s take a closer look at this feature and breakdown the benefits to 3PL providers of separating invoices by brand:
Separating invoices by brand can also make it easier to allocate costs to specific brands, such as labor costs, or transportation expenses. This can help to ensure that each brand under an end-customer is paying its fair share of the costs associated with the 3PL services provided.
By separating invoices by brand, a 3PL provider can provide more personalized and customized service to each brand under an end-customer, including targeted communication and support.
Overall, separating invoices by brand can provide a range of benefits for the 3PL provider and the end customer, including better tracking of revenue and expenses, easier reconciliation, improved reporting, better cost allocation, and enhanced customer service. This approach saves countless hours of manual efforts in the billing process for 3PL Providers. It can be an effective strategy for improving efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.
Freight reconciliation is an essential process for 3PL companies because it helps to ensure that freight charges are accurately calculated and invoiced. Here are some reasons why freight reconciliation is important:
By automating the freight reconciliation process, 3PL companies can improve their efficiency and reduce the need for manual data entry and other time-consuming tasks. This can help to streamline operations and reduce costs.
Avantiico’s 3PL billing solution’s updated freight reconciliation feature provides a more efficient way for 3PLs to manage and reconcile their freight bills. This feature allows for the automatic import of invoices from carriers, and it allows 3PLs to quickly match the invoiced amounts to the amounts they have already recorded. In action this allows you to comb through endless transactions in real time and reconcile between estimated or quoted freight charges and the actual amount charged. Thus, allowing you to save time and money on what was once an arduous manual process.
Avantiico’s new features within the 3PL Billing Automation for D365 Finance have revolutionized the 3PL billing process. The 3PL contract termination date, purchasing billable activities, ability to separate invoices by brand, and updated freight reconciliation capabilities provide 3PL providers with greater accuracy and efficiency in their billing operations. These updates streamline the billing process for both 3PL providers and their clients, allowing for improved visibility and control over the billing process. The key new features encourage clients to negotiate new contracts in a timely manner and provide a more seamless business relationship between 3PL providers and their clients. Overall, these new features in Avantiico’s 3PL billing automation are crucial for companies to remain competitive in the constantly evolving logistics and supply chain industry.