SHIPS Automated Billing & Settlements Solution Leads to Reduced Unbilled Order Count, 97% Reduction in Phone Calls for Missing Paperwork
"Our documents are centrally located and easy to retrieve. We have grown by 35% and we haven't had to add a person to our billing and settlements department because of the automation and ease of use of EBE SHIPS," Bonnie Ramsay, Chief Information Officer at Halvor Lines said.
Halvor Lines, Inc. is a transportation provider servicing 48 states, Alaska, and Canada. Founded in 1968 and based in Superior Wisconsin, Halvor Lines operates 321 trucks, 72 owner-operators with 500 employees. With a fleet of refrigerated, dry van, deck van and flatbed trailers, Halvor Lines hauls a large number of commodities including UTV's, ATV's, construction products, ceiling tiles, paper, steel, dry wall, poultry and seafood. The company is recognized for being a four-year recipient of "Best Fleets to Drive for," having a 98% on-time record and being named a US EPA Certified SafeWay Transport Partner.
Halvor Lines's document capture and submission platform was very inefficient and unreliable which, due to all of the required manual intervention, led to significant accuracy and productivity challenges. Although it was an electronic, paperless system, the process demanded an extensive amount of manual re-indexing of documents due to the platform's performance issues. The billing cycle and cash flow were being negatively impacted due to the lack of visibility of missing paperwork.
If drivers failed to submit all of the required documents, there was no mechanism to alert billing personnel to follow up with the driver. Not until days later, when billing would review the processed orders, were they made aware that the invoices were not fully processed. Then, the staff would reach out to the driver to reconcile the gap in paperwork. This delay in processing not only caused frustration among the billing clerks, but also led to slower billing cycles.
Halvor Lines selected SHIPS Automated Billing & Driver Settlement Solution by EBE. EBE's automated decision support applications position carriers to improve productivity and reduce costs through "working by exception" and minimizing manual intervention to process routine transactions. Halvor Lines' decision to select EBE was based on the robust capabilities of automated decision support and the ability to adapt the software to work within their existing business process. SHIPS Automated Billing & Driver Settlements Solution provided the improved process efficiencies in a paperless, integrated, and automated workflow environment.
97% reduction in phone calls for missing paperwork
Through the use of SHIPS Settlement Assistant module, automated alerts are executed based on Halvor's defined business rules. Through integration to Halvor's dispatch system, SHIPS compares the received versus the required documentation for each order. If there is a discrepancy, the driver is automatically alerted of the missing paperwork via their mobile communications units. Alerts can also be sent to drivers via text messaging, email, or driver portals if the carrier desires. This automation has decreased the number of phone calls billing clerks have had to make by over 97%. Not only are the invoices going out more quickly because of the faster turnaround of missing paperwork, but the staff is able to focus on more productive activities than making follow-up phone calls to drivers.
Unbilled order count reduced by 95%
The combination of automated alerts, centralized archive of documents, and total visibility of billing and driver settlement status by all the responsible personnel, has positioned Halvor lines to reduce the number of unbilled orders by 95% monthly. The streamlining of these processes has led to a decrease from 200 unbilled orders to about 30-40 a month, and has allowed Halvor Lines to reduce billing processing.
Trip documents are received two days earlier
After implementing SHIPS, Halvor Lines immediately gained two days on their documents receivables. Previously, they waited for the trip documents to physically be delivered through a third-party service, then process them in their billing department when they are received. SHIPS billing and settlements system processes the scanned documents automatically, therefore eliminating the two-day delay they had experienced previously. With the receipt of these documents more quickly, Halvor is able to bill more quickly, generating a positive impact on its cash flow.
Growth without needing additional staff
Halvor Lines has grown by 35% since implementing the SHIPS solution and the company has not had to add an additional person to the billing and settlements department. With alerts automatically sent to drivers when they have not scanned their paperwork, the staff is able to focus on other aspects of the billing and settlements process, allowing the company to grow without needing additional staff.
Halvor Lines will continue to look at EBE as a valuable partner for providing organizational efficiency as the company hopes to expand its fleet by 40% in the next five years. To allow their drivers more flexibility, Halvor Lines is also considering adding EBE's Connect Mobile Capture Solution.