ARE YOU AWARE THAT ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AUTOMATION IS SET TO EXPLODE ?

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Accounts payable automation in Freight Forwarding and Logistics companies is taking off, and soon they would have eliminated paper once and for all. Now is the time to re-evaluate AP automation and pick a place to get started. Most AP departments in Forwarding companies are still stuck in the era of card catalogs because it’s not a client-facing, revenue generating function.

Forwarding companies never saw a need to invest money in it, other than to hire people. If they were using any automated solutions, the approach was piecemeal–maybe they were scanning invoices, or doing a few payments.

But every forwarding and Logistics company is familiar with the arduous process of paying supplier invoices, not to mention the sea of paper and the information management challenges it creates. Regardless of a company’s size, nearly every enterprise must respond to invoices for Freight, Trucking, Carrier, CASS invoices in order to perform without interruption. Failure to pay promptly can result in severe penalties or worse – no lights!

The approval of invoices and resolving of billing discrepancies can require many man hours. Inefficiencies may prevent organizations from taking advantage of invoice discounts and may result in late payment fees, or even damage to a company’s reputation. Invoice digital capture and automated workflow address these challenges. Together, they provide a seamless flow of accurate and timely information, expediting processing and saving precious human capital for more important projects.

Electronic capture and storage of invoicing information, coupled with automated workflow, ensures that the right information is available to the right people for action at the right time. It dramatically reduces errors and makes information accessible, while providing more security than is available in a paper-processing environment. Automation saves considerable staff resources and ensures prompt payment. In addition, it provides the details needed for easy audits, regulatory compliance, and process improvements.

There are many ways that a company can tap into automation for invoice processing improvement. Here are six benefits of improving the process with electronic capture and automated workflow.

  • Eliminate Paper at the source – make information available instantly :After an invoice is received, the invoice has to be approved for payment. Invoices may need to be matched to accruals and written approvals or signatures may be required before payments can be made. Some invoices may result in suspension until a condition is met or proof of product receipt (or services) is given. Other payments may be denied.
  • Expedite Approval :With automated workflow, invoices can be matched to purchase order numbers during the capture process and then sent into a queue to export for immediate approval, suspension, or denial.
  • Save money: take advantage of quick-pay discounts and avoid penalties : With the proper capture and automated workflow solution, large volumes of invoices and their discount and penalty information can be entered as payables within hours of their receipt, and approved and processed in time. A penny saved is truly a penny earned…and the savings can be significant.
  • Integrate with accounts payable systems: leverage data and remove errors: Too frequently, organizations have valuable information in disparate silos that can not communicate with each other, making management of this information daunting – even when it is all stored electronically. Integration of automated workflow with line-of-business applications such as a payables system makes it possible to extract and share data between applications.
  • Comply and audit more easily: Many of us have faced the dreaded moment of a creditor informing us that payment has not been made when we were sure it was paid on time. Proving this with facts can take hours in a paper system, especially if an invoice never was filed, or – even worse – was filed in the wrong location. When information is stored digitally, authorized persons can get an overview in an instant. Digital workflow makes it possible for staff to see where any invoice is in the process, to track who was responsible for which actions, and at what time. Detailed reporting assists the staff in tracking down information quickly and accurately. The four ‘Ws’ relating to payables transactions – Who authorized payment, What was authorized, When it was authorized and paid, and Why the payment was made (or denied) – can be substantiated definitively.
  • Maximize productivity: process, analyze, evaluate, improve: Effective deployment of digital capture and automated workflow means that the time previously spent on processing invoices in a paper environment can be redirected toward more meaningful work. Instead of handling inquiries, management and staff can spend their time strategically reviewing and analyzing data related to payments made, and project future costs and trends more easily. The consistency and completeness of information facilitates thorough analysis, helping management to make informed decisions more quickly.Workflow reporting also enables managers to gain an overview of productivity and processing in an instant, and enables them to improve procedures continually. Bottlenecks caused by extreme volumes or individual inefficiency can be discovered before they become problematic, and changes can be made to improve the routing of documents.

Summary:
Workflow ensures that this information is accessible to the right people at the right time for the necessary action. A company’s work can continue without interruption regardless of the location of the workers, as long as they have access to the Internet. Less time is spent on the grand paper chase, and as a result, payments go out the door more quickly. Detailed reports and analyses contribute to continually improved processes, leaving more time for other, more meaningful pursuits.

In conclusion, Maximize productivity: process, analyze, evaluate, improve
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Stay ahead of your competition – Automate or Outsource

Every business faces fierce competition–both in terms of sales and just as importantly in bringing efficiency and effectiveness.

As Logistics and Forwarding companies continues to grow, it has to be aware of revenue growth potential and how to best leverage their resources to ensure financial success. “Make more money while also reducing expenses…” – that is the new business expectation for delivering financial gains. It’s a universal goal, but a challenge to accomplish in an ever-changing digital age.

Taking deliberate steps toward automation and Outsourcing to increase efficiency is proven to lower costs and enable organizations to pursue new revenue growth opportunities.

The rise of the digital age is rapidly driving innovation across the shipping industry, with new technologies (cloud, social, mobile, Analytics and big data) continuously being introduced and changing the game. While organizations have always focused on improving efficiency and agility, cloud delivered solutions and especially third-party, many-to-many platforms are bringing an order of magnitude level of efficiency. Staying competitive has never been more challenging, and dependent on a strong, flexible, and visible supply chain.

There is increasing importance of collaborative, electronic networks of trading partners and supply chain visibility. Joining a network “enhances trading partner collaboration, reduces on boarding time for new trading partners, and provides users more flexibility in adapting their trading partner networks.”

Global supply chain visibility also helps organizations proactively detect, diagnose and solve problems, driving down the risk of supply chain disruption and improving customer service excellence.

Given the increased risk of managing a global supply chain, the visibility of potential problems is critical to managing global logistics operations effectively. Midsize to large international shippers (those with 1,000 or more containers per year) in dynamic international logistics environments will benefit from improved visibility

Benefits

  • Compliance
    Automation / Outsourcing ensure compliance in some of the most common areas of fault. Information remains secure as it is automatically moved from desktop to desktop. Encryption and Security policies keeps the information safe they will be handled the right way everytime.
  • Efficiency
    The amount of work being completed in your organization will increase exponentially. Removing mundane, repetitive tasks from a process allows your staff to focus on value-adding activities at all times, contributing more value to both your business, and your customers – all without adding additional human resources.
  • Continuous Improvement
    Progression provides agility and continuous improvement throughout your organization. As the market requires change, your business can change how work is done – no more delays due to changing environment or increased demand for a particular task to be accomplished while resources are reassigned.

Every business faces fierce competition–both in terms of sales and just as importantly bringing efficiency and effectiveness.

That’s where automation / Outsourcing comes in: To remain competitive you need to either automate or outsource–or someone else will automate you out of business.

Generally process automation helps businesses automate tens of millions of operations each day.

It is not limited to major corporations, a significant percentage small to midsize businesses that need leading edge in order to control costs and accommodate significant growth rates (read every business) needs automation or outsourcing. Here are six ways to improve your chances of Success:

1. The easiest processes first.
Pick routine tasks where there is no human value-add. It also lets you avoid human error while saving time in execution.

2. Build a culture that embraces automation and/or Outsourcing.
While that sounds “big company,” it’s actually more applicable to small businesses (and easier to pull off).
Employees are often reluctant to embrace changes because they’re concerned they’ll be out of a job. Yet in most businesses, the highest performers tend to be open.
When you talk about automation or outsourcing, talk about the benefits to employees, both in their current functions and in how it will allow them to grow into higher-level positions. Trying out with easy processes first will allow you to walk the talk.

3. Start small and focus on one business function.
For example documentation preparation – exports / import for a forwarding company took few minutes and mostly not on time. “After outsourcing, they cut the time, the business value was huge”.
Pick a function with a solid ROI. Then pick another function. Once you get a few wins under your belt, your employees will be asking you to try certain functions. You won’t have to push your employees; they’ll pull you in.

4. Automate the process away.
When you start to automate, at first you define the process, then you analyse it, then you automate it, and often what naturally happens is the process starts to collapse.
Ultimately, the process goes away because it is in support of some other process that you automate.
Collapsing a process generates value; collapsing processes of processes generates tremendous value. Don’t be afraid to chip away instead of taking on the whole thing.
Many of our customers start small and outsource incrementally; they don’t tackle massive all-encompassing initiatives. Financially that’s a great approach since you don’t need to fund a major project.

5. Build a history.
Document what you do: Where you started, what you spent, what the results are, etc., and do that for every process. If you don’t, you’ll take for granted how far you’ve come and you’ll hesitate to pull the trigger on projects that may yield incredible ROIs.
Celebrate your success–and document your success. Guaranteed you’ll find you accomplished more than you thought.

6. Learn from the leaders.
Find the companies who has already tried and successful in logistics or forwarding industry and get suggestions on how to lead your initiative.
They can add tremendous value immediately. They have the vision to see where you can be in two to three years, they know how to do it right, they understand the organizational change management required. They know how to start small and end up big.

7. Pick a partner.
If you reach the point where you want to bring in a vendor, the key is to look out and ensure your partner has the right level of scope, innovation, infrastructure and technology, and can scale with you.
So when evaluating such approach, closely assess your organization’s priorities, then seek focused solutions – avoiding ‘all-in-one solutions’ that are not ‘mature’.
Consider investing in IT & Outsourcing services that offer the best opportunity for service differentiation and consider total cost as you prioritize projects. With lesser investment, companies become more efficient in-house by Outsourcing – this will improve services and cut costs considerably.

Let’s get real
We know some process cannot be fully automated in other words some process cannot be automated even. The best alternate is to Outsource. It is considered best option since sometimes investing on semi-automated technology does not yield results expected ROI.

Better choose a service provider who can offer Technology and Outsourcing of your key internal process together. This will help you to improve your bottom line, grow your business profitability and retain your customers for life.

Diagnostic: What process is manual and take much of staff time. That is the area you have to Automate or Outsource? Ask your Operations and customer service teams what they think.

AxeBpo-Mind-your-logistics-business

Mind your business while we mind the rest!

Have you been facing difficulties in focusing on your core logistics and freight forwarding business lately? It’s time you change your strategies and revolutionize your business model.

Share your burden with us and witness a remarkable growth in your sales and profit figures. The obvious question that pops in your head is how? Let’s end your curiosity and reveal the magic formula. At Axe, we offer a wide a range of business services which you can easily outsource and revert your attention back to your primary business activities. We provide documentation, invoicing, back office-support, marketing, staffing and accounting services to our valuable customers.

Our association with the logistics industry has been a long and trusted one. The accumulated wealth of experience that we have gained over the years helps us understand your unique requirements and serve you to the hilt of your satisfaction. With our service backing you can become the master of your trade.

  • Bid adieu to high labor costs by availing our top notch services which will effectively cater to your diversified business functions and also translate into higher business savings.
  • Trash the high overhead costs such as HR, Payroll, Management functions, IT, Phone Lines, Internet, Office Space and Desks etc. by employing our resplendent services
  • Say hello to higher productivity with Axe Bpo taking care of your back office needs as well as operational activities in a timely and affordable manner. We aim to exceed beyond your expectations with our high quality services.
  • Flex your staff as per your requirements with our highly adjustable approach towards recruitment. Pay for additional staff only when there is tremendous work pressure; else squeeze it to suit your needs.
  • Make yourself available to attend to crucial business functions while we provide you with the support services. You can focus on expanding your core business, increasing your customer base and developing strong relations with your customers.

In our endeavor to serve you with utmost quality and perfection, we are backed by a team of highly qualified and competent employees who hold vast experience and understanding of the logistics and freight forwarding domain. Our team will relieve your management of the non-core business process so that can effectively spend their valuable time on strategic management and business growth.

At Axe, the central focus always lies on achieving operational. We deliver value for money with our high quality services based on the principles of transition, stabilization and improvisation. We integrate people, processes and technology in the most efficient manner to ensure seamless and smooth BPO operations.

We firmly believe that outsourcing advantages go much beyond operational efficiency. In a highly volatile and dynamic business environment, crippled by increasing globalization challenges,business sustainability and growth are hard to achieve. In such a scenario, we can help you attain strategic effectiveness by taking care of your non-core business process in a holistic manner.

We are a trusted partner across a large number of companies in the Logistics and Freight Forwarding Industry. Adopt a better working model! Embrace higher growth and efficiency by availing our BPO services. What are you waiting for? Click on the link below and explore new world of opportunities with Axe Bpo.

Explore Axe Bpo from here!

Innovate to achieve Competitive Advantage

Innovation : Can give you that Competitive Advantage?

Are you like many Forwarding and logistics companies finding it challenging to deliver both excellent customer service and a profitable bottom line? While it is challenging, finding balance is a business imperative. Today we are going to explore one of the most effective options we've seen and recommended to help companies overcome challenges inherent in forwarding and logistics business.

This email is part of Axe Bpo series of communication comprising of highly relevant information to help you differentiate Your Forwarding & Logistics business offerings and to Stay ahead in the Competition.

Innovation :

The reality for some of Forwarding and Logistics companies is they are are still in fiercely competitive markets where the market seems to dictate the price, and where only decision seems to be accept the price or get out of the market.

Clearly, when you can add features or functions to your product, you can command a higher price, or at least defend your price from being 'Wal-Mart-ized' (rhymes with downsized or put out of business). Features can be added through your own in-house operational team, or via licensing or acquiring complementary service offerings. This is the model that Google now used so well for years - partner and then acquire differentiating features. Regardless of how you feel about how they achieved that, I'm sure you agree their approach has been very effective.

One CEO said adding features and functionality is a core strategy his organization employs so they can afford to keep doing business with Walmart. You see, Walmart demands that vendors consistently reduce the price of products they buy, year after year. Clearly, no product has infinite potential for margin reduction (and besides, what kind of way is that to live?). So, this innovator has his internal R&D group develop new products which they sell to Walmart at higher prices since there is no established pricing model.They offer Walmart a first-right of refusal - whereby Walmart gets a unique product and the company enjoys slightly higher profit margins.

While many companies talk innovation, what's truly important is "achieving the results of that innovation, according to the standards of your clients, internal employees, or suppliers".

Logistics innovation is important for companies of all sizes. It means looking at the way a company applies its assets, operating resources, and capabilities to develop new ways to satisfy customer needs.Companies should measure the value of innovations or improvements by how well they help meet customer demands. While a small number of companies are implementing breakthrough or what is called "leapfrog" innovations, nearly every company today is looking to innovate in one way or another. And with good reason a company with a static logistics strategy will not be successful in the future.

When evaluating how important innovation is to your organization, ask, these two questions :

  • Will pursuing a strategy of incremental improvement allow us to meet our business objectives?
  • Can we avoid having our products and services become commodities?

The problem companies are well aware that if they do become commoditized, the ability to price effectively decreases, and so does profitability. Organizations are developing innovations across the entire Forwarding and Logistics continuum. Some key areas of activity include the following:

Adapting :

"The 'adaptive Logistics' has been the buzz over the last few years". Some organizations have moved beyond talking about an adaptive supply chain to actually implementing one, putting in place the necessary technology, people, and global operating models. This means companies will be operating with a global view of demand, and a logistics process enabled throughout the world to satisfy that demand," he explains.

Collaborating :

Collaborating with trading partners is one key area of innovation today. Companies had been operating within their own borders, whether internally or around the world. Today, they are looking beyond their boundaries, collaborating with their trading partners to collapse the time pickup and delivery.

Integrating :

Breaking down silos and integrating functions helps companies develop creative solutions.Companies that conduct business in an integrated environment can be more innovative. To transform the forwarding and logistics business, companies need to have a strong desire for internal and external collaboration. Transformation cuts across departments and areas of focus within a company. It also usually links with the extended enterprise, such as key suppliers, customers, and network partners.

Some companies talk about innovation; others deliver it.

Diagnostic:

What features or innovations could you add that would give you a competitive advantage? Ask your sales and customer service teams what they think.

ap-ar outsourcing

Improve Operational Efficiency with AP/AR Outsourcing

AP/AR Outsourcing

Freight forwarders must continually manage a vast global ecosystem of suppliers, partners, carriers and customers and at the same time handle and process copious amounts of regulatory and corporate paperwork. This reality requires them to be nimble and efficient in handling of documentation and invoices, in order to optimize operational efficiency and prevent a drain on resources. However, the surprising fact is that, even today, despite huge advances in automation and technology, almost 90% of documentation is processed manually. This can be highly labor-intensive and can adversely affect the bottom line especially in the current unpredictable market scenario.

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Real-Time Track and Trace Management

Every freight delivery process has thousands of companies involved in the movement of goods which makes it difficult (if not impossible) to manage the tracking and tracing of shipments. Many forwarders end up paying for staff to keep web-based track and trace systems up to date – otherwise, offering real time information simply isn’t possible. Updating clients over the phone can also be time-consuming and cumbersome; customer service suffers when forwarders end up having to call customers back or put them on hold while they search for information.

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Mobile App for Cargo Booking

With the explosion of mobile internet, the proliferation of smart phones and the rapid development of mobile commerce and associated technologies the world over, Freight Forwarding companies and their customers are quickly adopting mobile apps as the new way of accessing real-time information, enhancing supply chain functionality, optimizing results and increasing efficiency.

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