Price Truck Line Improves Billing Speed and Accuracy, Integrates Information Technology Platforms, and Maintains a Reputation for Service
Price Truck Line, Inc. is a Kansas City-based LTL carrier covering the Kansas City metropolitan area and entire state of Kansas with 9 terminals. Known for the pickup and delivery of general commodities, Price has 24/7 dispatch with a fleet of 100 tractors, 300 trailers, and 4 three-ton HOT SHOT units. Its mixed fleet of 28', 48', and 53' dry vans gives customers great flexibility in the kinds of commodities that can be shipped. As a family-owned-and-operated business, Price has earned a reputation for unsurpassed service.
The Price IT system is built on a UNIX platform. To gather transactional information about customers, shipments, and assets, Price purchased software from a local company that provided document imaging solutions to companies in the region. The system was purchased with the understanding the company would provide the solution that Price required; however, they just couldn't get the systems to integrate with one another. Without integration of data, Price found it extremely labor-intensive to continuously meet the high standards of service it set for its customers.
Price networked with other trucking companies that had faced similar problems to identify the most viable vendor to meet its needs. EBE was recommended based on its transportation industry expertise, ability to provide an integrated enterprise solution, and proven customer service. Price had evaluated other local software providers but no one was able to offer the solutions EBE offered. EBE was able to develop an effective and efficient interface between the Price UNIX platform and Windows-based technology. With disparate systems able to work together, Price was able to deploy additional technology solutions to further improve operations. SHIPS Automated Billing Solution was implemented to improve the billing process – from billing speed to accuracy. The EBE solution has flexible features that allow for multiple feature sets, based on the flow of business in a terminal. Larger terminals had a more comprehensive solution than smaller terminals and yet the systems worked together and with the UNIX platform.
Specifically, the EBE solution automated the process of indexing delivery data by load and by customers' specific business rules. This data is faxed, scanned, or e-mailed from each terminal and sent to the company's home office. All documents are maintained in electronic form and are automatically extracted to meet the requirements necessary for indexing. Using this system, the data is indexed and then imported to Price's billing and driver settlement system to create an invoice. Since the transactions that meet the standard business rules of each customer are processed automatically, Price's billing staff needs to handle only the "exception" transactions rather than the entire transaction pool. This allows Price to address the exceptions more quickly, speeding up the release of all invoices with more accuracy.
With the SHIPS Automated Billing Solution, Price is now able to integrate software throughout its entire information technology system. With disparate platforms communicating with one another, new service opportunities have been developed. Integrated indexing and dynamic workflows have automated the billing processes and improved efficiencies. The system is able to compare the information on the bill of lading with that in the dispatch system to produce more accurate and timely invoices. With SHIPS, Price is able to deliver invoices to each customer based on its business rules. Billing has become faster, more accurate, and less labor-intensive.
Platform integration has contributed to greater efficiency
When Price Truck Line adopted SHIPS, it was seeking a system that would bring together disparate platforms within the operation, without creating more labor needs. With EBE's solutions, Price Truck Line has found an interface to manage all aspects of the process, including scanning, tracking, and indexing documents.
Automated data entry and filing has reduced the potential for errors or lost documents, and it has made the process much more efficient and accurate. Company personnel can focus on more productive aspects of their work.
Automation improves all aspects of billing including invoicing and cash management
With a high level of automation, Price billing personnel no longer fill their days searching for paperwork, or checking to make sure all necessary documents have been received and filed appropriately. Invoicing is automatic; documentation is indexed and sent based on each customer's business rules. All Price has to do is fold the invoice and documentation and place it in an envelope. That increases customer satisfaction and speeds the receipt of payments.
Improved service makes loyal customers
Price Truck Line has always prided itself as a service-first carrier. With EBE, Price Truck Line is able to provide a service usually associated with much bigger carriers – invoice handling that's individually tailored to each customer. Documents are distributed in the formats customers want, with the information they've requested. Price Truck Line now provides an additional service that's in-demand among all shipping customers.