Building a Business Case for Freight Audit Services: How to Achieve Buy-In from Stakeholders

Thoroughly and regularly auditing freight bills is one of the best ways for shippers to keep their transportation costs from spiraling out of control—making freight audit and payment services a valuable tool for protecting the bottom line. But before they can unlock the benefits this solution can bring, supply chain managers need to achieve buy-in from key stakeholders, which will only happen if they can make a good business case.

For leaders who aren’t buried in a mountain of freight bills every day, freight and payment services may seem like an unnecessary expense. Go to them without a thorough and compelling business case and expect to hear a response along the lines of: Why do we need help with this? Isn’t this your department’s job? Or: Can’t you just send them to accounts payable (AP) and be done?

Of course, the truth is that even if a company does have a robust accounting department, auditing and paying freight bills can be a time-consuming and tedious burden—one that only grows bigger as operations scale. What’s more, a busy AP team that doesn’t know the ins and outs of your operations is unlikely to spot every opportunity for savings, leaving money on the table.

Before approaching the decision-makers at your company, be prepared. Here are two key pillars to build your business case for freight audit around.

1. The savings will quickly outstrip the costs

Carrier overcharges and other errors on the freight bill are some of the most unnecessary—and frustratingly common—causes of waste across the supply chain. Whether they’re caused by a carrier billing an incorrect rate, failing to waive accessorial charges as agreed, charging full price for a late delivery despite a guarantee in your contract, accidentally duplicating an invoice, or just making a simple typo, when these mistakes go undetected, they can rapidly add up.

In other words, if you’re not auditing every invoice before paying it and putting it out of mind, you may be paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars more to your carriers than you really need to. This should be a central argument when making your business case.

By relying on cutting-edge audit technology and oversight from a team of audit and analysis experts, you can not only relieve the burden on your accounting department but can rest easy knowing that the solution is likely to catch things that a busy, distracted accountant probably wouldn’t. That means maximum savings on every invoice—and a healthier bottom line.

2. The visibility gains can open the door to even more savings and improvements

Beyond the immediate reduction in transportation costs that freight audit and payment services can deliver, the insights generated throughout the process can result in even greater savings. This should not be downplayed when building your business case.

At CTSI-Global, for example, we capture roughly 120 data elements from every invoice we process for our clients. We then normalize this data and ensure its integrity because language and currency differences shouldn’t be a barrier to visibility.

This gives shippers a complete and detailed picture of what they’re paying across all regions—which is surprisingly rare. Many of the companies we partner with have strong data for certain regions, such as the U.S., but when it comes to areas like Latin America or Asia, they often lack the granular detail needed to spot waste and trends.

Freight audit and payment services provide that level of detail and depth. When combined with business intelligence solutions, this gives shippers a whole new outlook on their supply chain—allowing them to identify opportunities to optimize their processes and bring costs down.

Make a business case they can’t ignore

At CTSI-Global, we help shippers process 5 million freight transactions every day, so we know the true value that freight audit and payment services can bring. If you need help crafting a business case that makes your leaders sit up and take notice, we’re happy to help.

Reach out to our team today and start putting money back where it belongs—in your bottom line.

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