Using technology to keep customer and supplier relations your #1 priority during COVID-19
The ripple effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been seismic.
A global lockdown has forced logistics businesses into unchartered waters, as companies and operations teams adjust to a whole new way of doing things. For most logistics companies, the biggest change has been the shift to remote working. Like it or loathe it, remote working is the new norm for businesses across the global supply chain.
The problem is that most organisations in the logistics industry weren’t (and still aren’t) properly prepared for remote work, with many lacking the tools and processes needed to operate efficiently and effectively in a remote environment.
Other teams are struggling with business continuity with team members battling sickness, balancing childcare or dealing with a reduced team size due to furloughs. Paperwork isn’t going away, leaving teams with a build up.
Existing operational pains are being amplified
The pains and frustrations of an inefficient logistics back office are nothing new. Even before COVID-19, manually logging logistics paperwork was a costly and time consuming process that took employees away from high value tasks, such as working with customers.
One example is the AP Invoice process. When an exception is raised due to a mis-match between job accruals and invoices, the finance team will typically loop in the operations manager via old fashioned email ping pong.
With higher email volumes due to disrupted supply chains & concerned customers, the last thing the ops team wants is another batch of emails with CargoWise data entry issues that need to be resolved.
At a time when improving efficiencies is more important than ever and the number one priority is keeping business healthy, i.e. keeping customers happy, these small pains are being amplified and having a detrimental impact on workforce productivity, team outputs and business performance.
Automation is the answer
There is a quick fix that comes with minimal risk and a high ROI for freight forwarders. In our previous blog on investing in technology during times of crisis, we discussed how specialist automation technology is now more relevant than ever. Building on this article, we look at some of the key features Shipamax can provide to help freight forwarders optimise their back office document processes while working remotely.
Save time by automating data entry
With Shipamax there’s no need for staff to deal with labor-intensive manual tasks which can often lead to data input errors - the main source of pain for many back office logistics teams. Shipamax is designed to sit within your existing workflow - data is automatically read from the email source and synced seamlessly in real time with your TMS or ERP system. A major stress-reliever for constrained teams.
Drive focus with a simple exceptions manager
As a specialist automation solution built for logistics teams, we understand the complexities associated with shipping workflows and craft simple-to-use tools that help manage these.
Our Exception Manager is a simple and intuitive ticketing system that tells users if a document could not be sent into their TMS / ERP system and why. When operations and finance teams are managing AP Invoices, teams can easily collaborate on exceptions, without the need for back-and-forth emails and phone calls.
What this means is that rather than being reactive and having to spend time chasing answers over email and telephone, teams can plan when they will address document exceptions, allowing them to stay focused on the task that matters most - satisfying customers quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, the team can use the exceptions manager to quickly navigate to the highest value exceptions, ensuring supplier relations are in top condition during this pressing time
Easily Identify and eliminate bottlenecks
Moving exceptions from email inboxes to a dedicated system enables quick & easy reporting that shows how many documents that have been processed and paid, versus how many are currently outstanding.
Shipamax is able to highlight the causes of exceptions, helping teams to understand why manual intervention was necessary in the first place and showing how many documents need additional work. As a result, teams can focus on eliminating bottlenecks, improving inefficient processes and achieving higher overall automation.
Simple roll out with Plug and Play technology
Shipamax is designed to be plug-and-play requiring minimal effort to set up. We’ve found end users can get up to speed in less than 30 minutes, making things easy for implementation managers responsible for driving new efficiency initiatives during this period of principally remote operations.
The perfect tool to optimise your back office paperwork processes
Before Covid-19 shook the world, automation was already a fast growing trend throughout the logistics industry. With freight forwarders under more pressure than ever to keep key customers happy and lift the burden of manual back office admin during this remote working period, it might just be the perfect time to invest in a specialist document automation solution.