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How 3PL warehouses can generate higher revenues through improved charging accuracy

By Neil Olsson | Dec 3, 2018 10:05:22 AM

See how warehouse management software can establish more precise billing that improves revenues and leaves inaccuracies in the past.

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When you think about the benefits a warehouse management system (WMS) offers your business, what often springs to mind is the accuracy it gives to receiving goods, goods receipt, put away, pick, pack and despatch.

The precision it brings to charging customers and generating revenue is less frequently discussed. Yet effective charging is at the heart of any successful third party logistics (3PL) business.

The right warehouse management software will give your company accurate, real-time information about the services and warehouse space each customer uses, meaning you can maximise your revenue streams.

With inaccurate data or inefficient warehouse billing, your business may not be fulfilling its profit-making potential. An effective WMS can give you visibility of the information you need to produce more accurate, timely bills for your customers.

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Paper-free and streamlined

Recording the necessary data and then billing customers is traditionally a laborious and time-consuming task that generates a lengthy trail. Effective warehouse management software takes care of this work automatically, compiling digital information that will give you a real-time picture of every process in your warehouse.

A WMS can capture data about transactions and product movements as they happen. This eliminates costly and complicated paperwork and the time-consuming preparation and processing procedures that come with it.

Rather than overloading filing cabinets with pick lists, shipping notices, receipts and copy invoices, a WMS allows you to go paper-free. When it’s time to bill the client, charge rates are produced in a report, which can be given to the customer.

In a 2016 survey of 3PL businesses, 64% agreed that warehouse management software was the most important tool required to operate successfully.

Identify and stop missed bills and undercharging

Warehouse management software helps your business eliminate missing, underbilled and inaccurate invoices. With paper-based processes, or piecemeal systems that use a mixture of paper and IT, it’s easy for documents to get lost, for manual errors to occur or to cause unnecessary duplication of work and admin.

A WMS gathers all the necessary information automatically, allowing managers to generate bills with a much higher degree of accuracy. When you use an effective system for warehouse billing, you’re also more likely to identify activities that have previously been unbilled or undercharged. 

The power of information

As well as making warehouse billing speedier and more accurate, a WMS will gather a wealth of data that your business can use to inform its decision-making. Every movement and transaction that takes place in your warehouse will be tracked and recorded by the software, a valuable capability when it comes to analysing the service you provide for each customer and the overall profitability of your operation.

With a WMS, you have a rich and accessible source of information, through which you can determine how effectively your resources are being used on each customer account and how profitable that account is for your company. This may have consequences for the decisions you make about how you provide that service, or which terms and rates you offer.

Smart use of data can identify ways of working more efficiently around your warehouse. As the information is captured in real time, improvements can be implemented quickly, where previously you may have needed to monitor working practices over weeks and months.

Warehouse management software can help your business put its warehouse space and staff to best use and do more.

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Customer Portals

This rich and easily accessible source of information can then be opened up to your customers through a web-based customer portal.

These portals enable your customers to upload orders or see how orders are proceeding without having to speak to a member of your office team.

This real-time visibility can further streamline your procedures and improve customer satisfaction.

Faster and easier billing

In a competitive marketplace, your business needs to get the most out of any investment in a WMS. For 3PL providers and other warehouse specialists, the right software will track all movements of goods through your facilities, and will also automate warehouse billing, streamlining a function that is critical to your company’s business model.

The outcome is that you know exactly how time and space in your warehouse are being used, so that invoices are prepared with absolute precision, your revenue is maximised and your business never misses an invoice.

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