Company: Mesilla Valley Transportation, Las Cruces, NM
Operation: Full-service truckload transportation provider hauling general freight in the United States and Canada with 1,400 trucks across 20 locations
With a large national carrier, billing is extremely important. Settling bills quickly brings more cash into the operation; take too long and you may miss out on revenue. Delays in the process can occur for any number of reasons, but the end result is the same—lost revenue.
Mesilla Valley Transportation knew this, and that’s why it adopted a billing and settlement system. Still, not all systems are the same, and Mesilla quickly found that out. Even though it was an electronic paperless system, there were still a lot of manual steps that were needed.
A lack of integration to other back-office systems was partly to blame. Billers were spending their time reviewing each and every bill so that the right documents could be forwarded to the right people.
Mesilla needed a more streamlined approach.
Mesilla Valley selected the SHIPS system from EBE Technologies. The result was a full one-day reduction in the billing cycle and a 35% increase in productivity.
“In the months since we deployed EBE, we have been able to free up more than a million dollars in working capital while improving productivity,” says Scott Webb, chief information officer at Mesilla Valley.
With the SHIPS system in place, billers were freed from manually checking the accuracy of documents, saving two hours a day. The streamlined effect was felt across the organization.
“Mesilla Valley Transportation’s implementation of SHIPS billing and settlements workflow solutions is an excellent example of how EBE’s automated decision support applications improve profitability for carriers by automating and streamlining company business processes,” says Larry Kerr, president of EBE.
The SHIPS billing application monitors delivery documents based on a status set within the dispatching system, EBE explains. Trip rating, status, load completed, and special billing instructions are all validated. If a validation fails, the appropriate individual is notified through the system’s workflow tools. If everything checks out, an invoice is created.
In the case of a problem such as missing or past due documents, the system will notify the driver and driver manager to try and get the situation cleared up.
SHIPS also offers integrated billing so it can work with a company’s dispatch system to automate data entry. It utilizes optical character recognition and optical mark recognition to speed up the billing process by comparing data within the billing system with that on shipping documents.
Once a freight bill is complete, it may be printed, emailed or placed in an EDI 210 format. If the shipper has an imaging system, an electronic document is also placed into the shipper’s accounts payable system. That same information can be automatically placed in a web portal.