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Outsourcing transaction processing achieves dramatic results for R&L Carriers, a logistics company
R&L Carriers, a major logistics provider in the US with over forty years of experience in the business, has a fleet of over 10,000 tractors and trailers. The company's growth has been propelled by its dedication
to anticipating customer needs and providing superior service. Through organic growth coupled with a network of partnerships, today it serves a total of 47 states in the US plus Canada and Puerto Rico.
The company was concerned about
Errors in billing specifics that raised, for example, Cash on Delivery (COD) issues
Mismatches in EDI validations during the quality checking process
With its orientation to serving its customers better, the company was determined to find a better way to handle its transaction processing.
The need: Faster turnaround
R&L's promise to its customers is "next-day delivery", and this depends on how quickly they can process their Bills of Lading. This is what Flatworld Solutions made possible with its outsourced billing solution.
Error rates in billing were costing R&L a significant amount of time and money. To give you an example, the Shipper Number in the bill is a very significant piece of information. If the Shipper Number is entered wrong, everything goes wrong, costing the company thousands of dollars in terms of delayed shipments, wasted trips, undelivered or wrongly delivered goods.
The company offshored a part of its billing process to Flatworld Solutions.
Flatworld Solutions offers domain knowledge of the logistics industry, confidentiality, reliability and cost-effectiveness. The quick turnaround time, excellent customer service and quality revealed itself in highly professional billing services that had a real impact on R&L's bottom line. It has a robust infrastructure with 350 computers, servers, switches, power redundancy, UPS and Internet leased lines.
1. High productivity
R&L generates Bills of Lading (BOLs) each day, of which Flatworld is handling 10,000 BOLs per day of their transaction processing - proof of our customer's trust in us and satisfaction with our performance.
2. Fast turnaround
The entire billing process is completed on the same day, within 12 hours or less, by professionals trained in R&L's system for transaction processing. Flatworld did this with a Billing Automation System that keeps track of Bills of Lading specifications as required by existing customers.
3. Error rates reduced to less than 3%
When the process was transitioned to Flatworld, error rates at the customer's end were very high. Within 3 months Flatworld had brought the error rates to less than 10 % and now they have been reduced to 3 percent.
How did we do this?
Through training, process enhancement and constant validation and quality checking.
R&L supplied a training manual which Flatworld further refined as we streamlined the process to prevent errors and enhance quality. In fact we created our own training manual to check quality. Training and online verification helped us maintain consistency.
Team performance is tracked and team members with higher quality performance are rewarded, resulting in retention of manpower. The causes for errors are investigated and team members retrained to reduce errors. A system of constant training and redundancy assures efficient and high quality work so that on-going work is handled systematically without breaks.
Flatworld's verification process checks on addresses and presents the Bills of Lading in specific formats, addressing compliance requirements.
When an error is detected, Flatworld's prompt internal communication alerts others down the line and stops the error from affecting the shipment and delivery of the goods.
Process enhancement software
A History Tracing System and message search engines built in-house helped us to discover critical errors in data entry. You can imagine what a wrong Destination Address could do to a shipment! Important information like Cash on Delivery (COD) when entered correctly, enables the customer to collect dues from the customer on time.
HAZMAT, (short for "hazardous material") is a highly critical entry, as such shipments require documentation compliant with state and federal laws.
4. R&L's expenses reduced
The improved accuracy rate reduced the company's expenses as wrongly processed BOLs would lead to wasted trips and shipment charges, wrong delivery, idle time of drivers and dock personnel and other wasted expenses.
Information from the bills of lading makes its way through the company's business intelligence system, speeding up the process of transportation, loading and unloading, reducing the idle time of drivers and dock personnel. In short having a positive ripple impact all round on R&L's business.
Increased productivity for dock personnel
Before freight is transferred from a pick-up truck to a delivery truck, the bills of lading must enter the database of the service center to create unloading manifests. Only after the manifests are created can freight be unloaded from the pick-up trucks and reloaded onto delivery trucks for shipment to their destinations.
A manifest includes specific information such as the destination of each shipment, the identity of the payer and the number of pieces of freight in each shipment, which means that dock personnel must have this document in hand in order to unload this truck. With Flatworld's solution, productivity has increased as dock personnel no longer have to wait for the manifest to be created. In fact, it reaches before the driver reaches the distribution center.
Receiving the freight information before a truck comes in enables the distribution center to plan ahead of time where the freight is to be unloaded, and direct the driver to the relevant gate. This is a great time-saver and productivity enhancer when you consider that there could be 500 loading/unloading docks in a large distribution center.
Drivers no longer have to wait two to four hours at the distribution center to get their trucks loaded with the repacked freight, ready for shipping to its next destination. Since drivers are paid by the hour, this gives R&L additional uptime and enables the company to ship more freight, more cost-effectively and faster.
5. The net result: Business growth for R&L
The net result is that R&L has been able to focus on its core business of logistics, offering its customers greater value in terms of faster turnaround and nearly error-free billing. This has enabled R&L to expand its business to new locations in one year.
This was made possible due to the reliability R&L has experienced through its strategic association with Flatworld while outsourcing its billing functions.
Contact us to outsource your billing processes for quality, reliability and cost savings.