3PLs – A Viable Solution for Your Document Retrieval Woes

By Mike Daugherty, Co-founder & CEO of Synter Resource Group

Are you a 3PL that’s struggling with the time and cost it takes to obtain all of the necessary documents to invoice your customers and pay your carriers?

“Document retrieval is such a headache!” 

From contacting the carriers (some of them over and over again); to reviewing for completeness and legibility; to releasing the loads for billing – it’s extremely time consuming—and, in an industry where quite literally “time is money,” the labor costs add up quick.   Not to mention the inability to invoice your customers, which affects almost every facet of your business.

Even for those companies who’ve invested in an expensive document management system, getting the old school carriers to use the system and send in good copies can be a pain (remember, 96% of all carriers have less than 10 trucks)!   Wouldn’t you rather have your staff spending time on more important things, like booking more loads or increasing quality time in other areas of your business, rather than chasing down documents?

One alternative might be to hire a paid-to-perform outsourcer to handle some, if not all, of your back-office document management needs.

“What services can an outsourcer provide?” 

  • Contact Campaigns – An outsourcer will use various methods of communication (both manual and mass automation) to contact carriers and/or their factoring companies to obtain all necessary documents.
  • BOL Audits – Even when a carrier sends the documents, they still need to be reviewed for completeness and legibility. An outsourcer versed in the transportation industry knows what to look for and can quickly differentiate between those loads to be sent to billing, and those that require additional carrier contact.
  • Billing – Once it’s determined that the documentation is complete and legible, an outsourcer can invoice your customers via both email and hard copy.

“Why should I choose an outsourcer over using my own internal staff?”

  • Reduce Cost – When looking at the cost of document management, you may only be considering the labor portion; however, take into consideration the costs involving HR (recruiting, hiring, training); Accounting (payroll); Loss of Productivity (sick time, vacations), IT (hardware, software, help desk); and Management.
  • Increased efficiency – Outsourcers have invested in powerful technology to quickly and consistently contact carriers via phone, email, and text messaging for faster results and lower costs. In addition, outsourcers have the ability to scale their workforce up or down easily in response to the workload.   How many times has your team fallen behind in the busy season, or had to find something to do in the slow?
  • Better performance – Outsourcers are paid to perform. This means they are incentivized to perform at a higher level than your typical hourly employee.   In addition, a transportation-specialized outsourcer will have established relationships with carriers and have an inside track to obtaining documents whether it be through access to the carrier’s system, or an inside contact they can reach out to for assistance.

If you are looking for a way to reduce the time and costs associated with document retrieval, review, and invoicing—I encourage you to consider outsourcing as a viable solution.

Mike Daugherty is a cofounder & the CEO of Synter Resource Group, based in Charleston, South Carolina. Over the last 17 years, Synter has grown to become North America’s largest, dedicated provider of business process outsourcing solutions by enabling transportation and logistics companies to reduce operating costs, improve back-office processes, and enhance the customer experience. Mike may be contacted at 843-746-2206, or miked@synter.com.