SHIPS AI-Driven Solution Automates the Collections Process to Increase Cash Flow
"The best thing about this solution is the automated notification to customers that their invoices are outstanding. Our customers now respond to the notifications and submit the payment in a more timely manner before their account status is jeopardized – which helps us keep up good relationships with our customers." - Monica Scruggs, Payroll Manager, Bulk Transit Corp.
Since 1972, Bulk Transit has been specializing in the transportation of dry bulk commodities including plastic, flour, starch, lime, sand, cement, soda ash, and carbon. Headquartered in Plain City, Ohio, Bulk Transit has two sister companies in New York and Texas and boasts eight terminals located in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana. The company employs 300 people and runs 300 trucks, and prides itself on its mission to consistently maintain product integrity, professionalism, safety, and high customer satisfaction.
Bulk Transit was experiencing a problem that many companies face: past due invoices. The challenge for them was notifying their customers of these outstanding invoices. Their previous collections process consisted of manually emailing 95% of invoices to customers (the other 5% were mailed), while relying on a temporary employee to physically call customers with invoices greater than 60 days past-due. This process resulted in unnecessary overhead costs, loss of staff productivity, and a delay in resolving those past-due invoices and receiving payment.
Since Bulk Transit relies on EBE solutions for several of their back-office processes, including Document Imaging and Email Importing, as well as Recruiting and Onboarding, they were confident EBE could help the company automate the collections process as well. EBE's Collections solution uses AI-supported workflows that monitors the aging accounts in the system. As invoices age to a pre-determined date outstanding – in Bulk Transit's case, their thresholds are 45, 55, and 60 days – workflows are triggered to send emails or faxes to the shipper with a copy of the invoice, as well as any supporting documents necessary. Shippers' scorecards are automatically maintained with a collection status that places the customer on credit hold, minimizing further potential losses.
Since implementing the SHIPS Collections solution in December of 2018, Bulk Transit has experienced significant improvements in their collections process.
Customers are More Informed
The SHIPS solution automatically emails customers with copies of the past-due invoice, so customers are kept informed throughout the collections process. Bulk Transit now has the records to prove that customers were sent the past-due invoice, which has reduced the incidence of customers who could claim they were never notified. Now there's no reason for delay in payment – the proof is right in the communication through the SHIPS system. What's more, customers are more satisfied with the improved communication because they are able to submit their payment before their account status is jeopardized – resulting in a more positive experience for Bulk Transit's valued customers.
Cut Unnecessary Staff Expenses
With the added automation in their collections process, Bulk Transit was able to eliminate the need to engage temporary staff to call customers to remind them about their past-due invoices. The company was able to decrease the number of staff hours spent in the collection process by 81%, from 160 hours per month to 30 hours per month. This increased productivity means the Bulk Transit staff was able to free up their time for more profit-oriented tasks and improve the overall efficiency of the department.
Time Saved Translates Into Dollars Saved
The solution has improved the company's overall bottom line in a variety of ways. Not only was Bulk Transit able to reduce overhead costs due to the elimination of a temporary staff position; the SHIPS solution allowed Bulk Transit to reduce the amount of past-due invoices and ensure the company is paid within a timely manner. In fact, the SHIPS system allowed Bulk Transit to reduce their 60 days past-due invoice amount by 41% -- a number that has made positive impact on the company's cash flow – and the company anticipates further improvement thanks to the efficiency of the SHIPS solution.
With their collections process addressed automatically, and with the other SHIPS solutions already implemented in their back office, Bulk Transit is looking to improve their settlement process with the SHIPS Settlement Solution. This application helps companies improve their settlement accuracy and frequency by sending automated settlement updates to drivers. Once this solution is implemented, Bulk Transit anticipates driver satisfaction to be increased due to the delivery of more timely and automated communications regarding drivers' settlement status. Additionally, the company expects to improve their staff productivity and, ultimately, reduce overhead costs associated with manual settlement updates.
Bulk Transit has seen the positive impact of SHIPS solutions – now you can, too! Contact us today for more information.