3rd Party Logistics Company
Increases Revenue While Decreasing Costs
Data Capture Processes And Technology Increase Quality And Decrease Turnaround Times To Enable Faster And More Accurate Payments
Increasing competition in the logistics processing space was endangering this 3PL company’s market share
Engaging iTech Data Services and implementing ICR and QMS technologies in conjunction with smart manual processes and local support.
Decreased Costs, Increased Quality, Decreased Turnaround Times.
A privately held third party logistics payment processor and a leader in supply chain logistics, cost management, and freight payments. Each year this company processes hundreds of thousands of freight invoices and disburses millions of dollars in payments.
The Need for Speed
One of the hallmarks of this company’s service is its ability to process payments quickly and accurately. The goal is to get their client’s vendors paid faster and less expensively than with in-house processing. This results in a number of benefits including better cash flow management and the ability to capture previously missing vendor discounts.
In 2007 the company began seeing price pressures from competitors who were promising similar results but at increasingly lower costs. This was in large part due to outsourcing and advancements in payment technologies.
Faced with potential losses of market, its leadership was forced to seek answers to the following questions:
- Are our current vendor partners helping us meet our client obligations?
- Are there proven technologies or processes we could integrate that will add value for our clients?
- Can we provide additional transparency into the work we do for our clients?
What’s The Slowdown
In 2008 iTech received a request for a proposal to provide manual data entry services for this company. They were seeking a vendor partner that could provide the processing speeds their customers required, but also one that balanced speed with superior quality at a cost that made sense on their balance sheet. All of this came with the expectation that any new outsourcing partner would work with the same tools and use processes similar to their current data capture provider.
iTech discovered that their goal would be hard to meet. Implementing a successful data capture program would require more than just a vendor making one-sided promises to lower costs and decrease turnaround times. They were in dire need of structural changes that could not be accomplished by doing the same thing with a different vendor. It would require the company to make significant process and technology changes, and to enter into an outsourcing partnership with a data capture provider that could help guide them.
iTech found that the company was employing three separate legacy systems on which their outsourcing vendor was expected to complete data entry. This added additional time to the data capture process, as well as creating an environment in which errors were easily made but difficult to track. Compounding their problems, they had failed to create data extraction standards. Instead, in an effort to please every client, they customized a solution for each. While each of their over 400 clients had the same extraction needs, they all had specialized “wants” that required their own unique processing rules. This created additional keying confusion and resulted in additional errors and bottlenecks.
Meeting the needs of this company was an impossible task within the RFP parameters iTech was presented with. Instead, iTech presented a four part plan that, once implemented, would create greater client satisfaction, help them remain competitive, and meet their needs for quality and turnaround times.
- Migration of all clients to a single data capture system
- Creation of common client capture standards
- Creation of internal teams of keying experts who were knowledgeable in specific groups of client/carrier combinations and their unique needs
- Communication standards using iTech’s iClarify tool. Allowing for the easy exchange of questions, answers, and clarifications
First iTech proposed migrating all of the company’s clients to a single data entry platform. Of the three legacy platforms,one was significantly robust enough to handle all of their clients and client requirements. During this migration we would assist in developing common data entry standards for all of the company’s clients. These standards could be packaged to their clients as meeting their needs while creating operational efficiencies that would result in much higher quality.
Since this company’s client’s needs ranged from simple to very complex, iTech proposed dividing them into groups for specialized keying teams. These teams would become knowledgeable about their specific client group, which would further minimize the possibility for errors. Finally, iTech would integrate its iClarify tool into the data capture process, creating easy and open communication, and providing transparency into the keying process to prevent errors and potential bottlenecks.
The company saw the value in the proposed plan and implemented it. Within one year they were able to improve the average freight bill turnaround time from 72 to 48 hours, increase overall quality from 98% to 99.94% at field level, and save hundreds of thousands dollars (this in addition to reducing Data Capture costs by 25%). Also, iTech was able to further decrease turnaround times by introducing automation tools such as Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) to capture data without human interference.
The company knew what they wanted to accomplish, but with their outdated back-of-house processes and competing technologies, a simple keying solution would not have helped. Rather than work within the parameters this 3PL company presented to us, iTech was able to leverage its knowledge and abilities to provide an overall solution that resulted in significant process improvement, client satisfaction, and recovered revenue.
iTech Data Services is a US-based data services and content management company with principal operations in the United States and India. iTech specializes in delivering cost-effective and quality solutions, including document scanning, OCR/ICR data capture, data entry, data integration, forms processing, workflow management, data transformation, and data archiving. Well trained and skilled employees, and state-of-the-art off-shore locations enable iTech to deliver optimal solutions for its clients. For more information contact Jason Dodge at jason@iTechDataServices.com