Ask any 3PL about the biggest challenges they face on a daily basis, and no doubt they'll say: "The paperwork ends up on a different truck to the stock!"
We take a look at how you can remove paperwork from your transport business, to boost accuracy, simplify admin, and automate invoicing.
To people who are not from a transport and logistics background, this probably sounds like the most basic, most fundamental issue which should be very easily resolved.
However, for logistics people, we know that any company using paper records will be navigating multiple drivers, trucks, delivery runs and orders on any given day, and it's not that hard to imagine. The issue is, without completely changing how paperwork is handled, it's virtually impossible to stamp out the problem.
To understand how to solve this issue, we need to first look at how most SME 3PLs operate, and where paper is involved:
- When stock arrives into a 3PL depot from a client, generally all of the associated paperwork (invoices for all the orders they need to deliver) is sitting on top of one of the pallets, or sitting in the cab with the driver. The pallets are taken into the staging area, and the paperwork goes into the operations office.
- If the 3PL performs carton deliveries, chances are that each pallet coming in contains multiple orders going to different places which need to be broken down and sorted into individual delivery runs. In this process, the pallets themselves, or the individual cartons within the pallets, are shifted into the correct area for the associated delivery run.
- Meanwhile, the paperwork gets sorted into individual pigeonholes (delivery runs) within the operations office.
For a growing transport company, it's important to know you have the right orders, on the right runs, and delivered at the right time — which means, adding paperwork catch-up or reruns to that mix is simply wasting time, fuel, money... and often your sanity as well.
The good new is, there is a solution. You can leave work on time, have time for your family, for your hobbies, for your business growth!
"I would say absolutely, no doubt, CartonCloud is the best system. Being able to finish like a normal person at 5 — we've done all the allocating, printed all the paperwork for the next day; you can't put a price on it.
"Until you lose that part of your life, and then suddenly get it back— you really don't appreciate just being able to go out for dinner, and not have to think I have to go home, because I have to do the allocating and paperwork." —Emily Harris, Owner & Operations Motus Transport.
Two Possible Solutions:
1. Get your clients to attach invoices to orders? 🤔
The most simple solution in theory, yet the hardest to achieve, is simply to get all clients to attach their paperwork to the outside of the individual cartons or pallets associated with the order.
If they're new clients, this can be do-able as you can set the terms when they first join. However, for old clients, this will be a tall order, as you're asking them to do more work than they currently do.
So, how can you keep your customers happy, your drivers en route, and your records up to date?
2. Use a cloud-based TMS for automated data entry 👍
It's that simple, and your cloud-based TMS will do more than just save your from lost paperwork.
With CartonCloud's easy to use, powerful TMS, your customers can simply emailed invoices directly from MYOB or their sales system of choice, to your CartonCloud email address.
From here, CartonCloud reads the invoices and matches them off against the correct consignment within the system. You can then do all of your allocations, and once complete, simply print all of the invoices on a per run-sheet basis. The cherry on top here is that the invoices print in drop-order. Plus, sending them digitally rather than printing them out can save your client time and money, and you both have a digital record on hand for accuracy and accountability.
What's more, your TMS will save your business in other areas as well!
Your drivers can use the CartonCLoud mobile app to record electronic PODs with sign-on glass technology and attach images of the delivery to the POD for further accuracy. They can also use the app to optimize their route based on the fastest route, or by picking a start and finish location. They can even send driver ETA text messages to customers as they approach, to streamline the delivery process.
You can even use our Superimposed Proof Of Delivery to overlay the signature captured on the mobile phone onto the digital invoice and send that back to the client!
Want to know more about taking your transport operations paperless?
To get started, simply get in touch with our friendly team and let them know you want to automate invoices coming into CartonCloud. You can request a free demonstration of the software to see it in action, or send through your interest and ask for some more information, We're happy to help.
Page Updated April 2023