A recent article published in TIA’s Journal of Logistics has a warning for the industry about not dismissing how disruptive new technology and start-ups will be for the industry.
New technology companies are getting a lot of attention in the logistics space. It’s for good reason because these companies are prompting shippers, 3PLs, and forwarders of all types to rethink the role of technology within their businesses — like how data, AI, and other innovations can improve their operations.
A less visible, but just as impactful way some 3PLs are modernizing themselves is in the back-office.
There is a great amount of hidden work, and cost, happening behind the scenes in every logistics operation. HubTran is an automation platform that 3PLs, brokers, and forwarders are using to speed up their back-office operations while taking out cost.
Although often overlooked, the back-office is important because cash flow is vital to both carriers and 3PLs. Knowing this, most companies throw a lot of human and capital resources at back-office processes — like invoice processing and customer billing. It’s seldom done with a plan or real process that prioritizes speed and accuracy. And, it rarely leverages technology.
“HubTran uses Machine Learning to automatically identify incoming shipping paperwork, match that paperwork up correctly to the 3PL’s loads and verify the information in that paperwork against the load data. ,” explains CEO Matt Bernstein. “It’s faster, more accurate and lower cost than established document management alternatives.”
There are hard costs from slow back office processes besides people’s time. Every extra day it takes to get paid costs money. 3PLs need to keep their cash cycle fast, by having a tight process for organizing the documentation they need to get invoices out the door.