In January 2019, CloudTrade for Logistics was launched – a solution that helps carriers, freight audit and freight technology companies get 100% validated data from freight invoices with no OCR or human intervention. Applying our already popular and prevalent technology to a new industry, was an exciting challenge and also gratifying that we could bring the benefits of seamless digital document automation to an industry that was struggling with the weight of paper and manual processing.
Over 18 months on, it’s an opportune time to provide an update on what we have learnt and, as we look to a post pandemic future, where we are heading.
During many of our early discussions with Freight Audit, 3PL’s and logistics focused companies it was clear that organizations wanted to process their inbound documents faster and with more accuracy, thereby enabling faster payment, which benefits every party in the supply chain. It was apparent that few things slow a business down more than the late administration or execution of payments. Given the recent challenges that CV19 presented with capturing data when we weren’t able to be in an office environment, it’s hard to rationalize why such an integral part of the supply chain still suffers from a large number of recurring problems, leading to delays, errors, compliance risks and, at the end of the day, increased costs.
CloudTrade for Logistics was launched to solve these problems. By integrating invoice processing and digital data exchange for all parts of the freight industry, we enable companies to overcome inefficient methods of freight invoice processing, giving them the opportunity to transact digitally with trading partners, regardless of size, maturity or complexity.
Let me be clear – all we do is capture and validate your inbound data. Don’t get me wrong, we do this brilliantly, but we are complementary to your freight audit or TMS solution, rather than replace them, and our tech supersedes the traditional approaches, including EDI and OCR, to process and capture data.
What we have learnt along the way:
CloudTrade for Logistics is different from anything else on offer in the freight industry, we offer 100% compliant, validated data and can integrate directly into all target IT systems.
Our solution allows our users to create custom-designed business rules and validations that run on the vendor supplied invoice; we don’t mistake an ‘I’ or ‘L’ for a ‘1’ which ensures the data we deliver is 100% accurate data, which is not the case using OCR technology.
Resulting issues and incorrect data appearing in data fields such as Tax or VAT, account code or depot location, data fields are removed. When this is combined with our rules engine we can put in place controls to ensure that the PO/BOL is included and referenced on the invoice, that the BOL is valid and sufficient funds available to pay the invoice and in some cases that the item/ship codes are correct. Contributing to extremely high levels of straight through processing.
Need line level data – “no problem!”
Our approach to data capture means we’re able to collect a large amount of data from an invoice, wherever it is on the page.
Although many organisations make do with capturing ‘header-level’ data only, CloudTrade go beyond this, capturing as much information as our customers require and giving them the data they need for their back office systems and with the powerful benefit of being able to understand their detailed spend profiles. Companies can process files and payments faster than ever before, while in the longer term, identifying and capturing incorrect spend from the detail on complicated invoices.
Whether you need 30 or 150 fields, we can process it accurately, fully validated and within minutes of receipt.
CloudTrade for Logistics works with organizations to provide the fastest return on investment. Our people and approach provide process efficiencies quickly for all users, with our solution deployable in weeks, not months or years.
In addition, our cloud-based, containerised solution processes transactions in a matter of seconds and at scale. We know it can take a manual operator using a key-to-screen or an OCR solution up to 30 minutes to capture the data on a multi-page shipment or complicated invoice, CloudTrade can process in seconds.
Built upon our own patented technology, this solution is the first to provide this quality of data accuracy and allows freight payment providers, third-party logistics and business process outsourcing partners to increase efficiencies, cut operational costs and increase throughput. The need for manual or OCR processing of PDF and paper invoices, which invariably produce errors, is eliminated. Getting the data 100% right at the point of capture ensures that manual touch points along the processing chain are reduced, so more can be processed with less effort.
Where are we going?
Growth and Expansion
We’re proud of our current 98% customer retention rate in North America and our carrier reach is ever growing. As our global partnerships expand, partner satisfaction and advocacy are paramount and we continue to work with our partners to solve their customers business challenges.
CloudTrade for Logistics now extends into Europe and Australia, and we continue to build upon our success with many freight and logistics organisations in USA & Canada.
Our focus will be on working with key partners and helping as many users in the freight and logistics industry as possible, providing a simple, best-in-class technological solution to a problem that we feel should have been fixed a long time ago.
Innovation continues as we work with our partners and clients, as we target complex documents and processes that need rules and validations running against them. With RPA and AI gaining more exposure and prominence, we are developing a new AI enriched solution, using our neural network to propose capture patterns for new document types that is based on our historical document archives; this is being augmented by our rules based, in-built, generic logic where document capture patterns are transformed into repeatable, tested rules.
Finally, we continue to compliment other technologies, including SAP, Oracle, the Microsoft Suite and a range of TMS solutions, where our engagement and approach to the acquisition of data, feeds the back office processes and workflows needed by RPA robots which can then carry out tasks with correct data.
If you haven’t heard of CloudTrade, check us out. We’re certain we can improve back-office life for your company, quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.