If you go back about 30 years, the way a trucking company got paid is a lot different than today. Traditionally, trucking companies wrote out invoices by hand or used a typewriter and carbon paper to get duplicate copies. Those handwritten, typed, or eventually printed invoices were created from the bill of ladings that drivers brought back after a haul.
After finalizing the batch of invoices, they still had to go into envelopes and make it to the post office. These steps took a lot of time. Not only did a company have to deal with USPS processing and shipping times, but there was also the wait for the payment to be made and mailed back. If a client only paid invoices once a month, it could take weeks for a payment to arrive. Worse, there was always the chance of the mail getting lost along the way.
Not only did mail slow things down, but banks had to process the checks and follow similar steps to ensure the check cleared. Imagine how hard it was to have a steady flow of cash coming into your trucking business when you had to wait a month or longer for a payment to reach you and clear the bank.
As technology improved, it became a lot easier to streamline a trucking company’s invoicing routines, but there was still the need for printing out the invoices and sending them through the mail, by fax when possible, or via an email attachment. It wasn’t a great situation, and it still slowed the flow of revenue.
Freight factoring technology has made great strides in streamlining invoicing to a point where you can get paid on the same day. It’s an amazing change from what well-established companies will remember. Take a look at the use of technology and freight factoring for streamlining your trucking company’s money flow.
The Technology That Streamlines Administrative Processes
So, what are some of the greatest technological advancements?
- Online Documents and Uploading
One of the biggest changes in technology has been the use of mobile devices. When your drivers have tablets on their rigs, they can generate an electronic bill of lading and allow your clients to sign the tablet rather than needing paper. There is no need to have paper documents that are easily lost.
Once a digital bill of lading is signed, it’s sent electronically to the freight factoring company for instant payment. With Saint John Capital, if you submit a bill of lading by noon EST and have the SJC fuel card, you get paid the same day. Digital documents have put an end to month-long waits for payments.
At the same time, you have a digital invoice that’s generated automatically. With a click of a button, you can upload it to your bookkeeping software. You’re no longer going to need a large office staff to handle these different processes.
- Find Loads Job Boards
Finding more work is important for a trucking company owner. If you run a truck that’s only partially full, you lose money. If you could easily pull up potential jobs in areas where your drivers are already traveling, you make more money.
Find loads apps enable you to find work and filter by the amount the haul pays, the size of the load, and the origin or destination cities. You can find additional jobs in less time. Put the increased revenues to good use by offering better benefits packages or wages to the drivers you have. Use it to upgrade your rigs and grow your business.
- Online Business Credit Checks
Free business credit checks give you the information you need in a matter of seconds. You’ve used a find loads app to look for additional work, but you don’t want to take the job until you know the client is reliable. Use a free business credit check to look at the broker or shipper’s payment history and check for warning signs like late or outstanding payments.
- Load Tracking Software
You have a client on the phone asking how much longer before your driver arrives. Load tracking technology gives you real-time information to answer questions like these with accuracy and confidence. You don’t even have to put your client on hold to call your driver and check-in. You have the information on the app’s GPS map.
The other benefit to load tracking is that you can alert your drivers to heavy traffic due to weather, construction, or accidents before they’re stuck in long lines. They can hop off the interstate in advance and reroute until they’re past the blockage.
- Online Payment Portals
Another benefit to today’s technology is that you don’t have to wait for a client to mail payment. They can access an online payment portal and pay then and there. They can view the invoice, make a payment, and have proof they’ve paid you all from an online portal.
- Cloud Storage
You may remember days when you had huge filing cabinets taking up a lot of office space. Those cabinets contained all of your paper invoices, whether they’ve been paid or not. Cloud storage puts everything in a secure storage area in the cloud that’s only accessible by password and by your company.
Not only will it take up less office space, but it’s accessible from anywhere you happen to be. You can be at a business meeting on the other side of the country and be able to retrieve the financial information you need. Suppose you’re working to gain a new broker and they ask a question that you cannot immediately answer. You can pull up the information and not require them to wait until you’re back in the office.
What’s Possible in the Future?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining ground, and it could be the next wave of freight factoring technology. AI can be used to automate specific trucking company tasks such as automatically providing business credit scores to load finding job postings or scanning for signs of fraud.
For now, streamline your invoicing and payment processes to ensure you have a steady flow of cash and aren’t struggling from one month to the next. Freight factoring services help with this by paying you the same day or within a couple of days of delivering a load for your broker or shipper.
Saint John Capital offers the latest freight factoring technology to ensure our clients get paid fast. We have the lowest factoring fees and can pay you the same day if you sign up for our fuel card. Imagine having your drivers drop off a load and get the payment within hours. It’s that easy.
Talk to Saint John Capital to find out more about the technology that ensures you have the money you need to keep growing your business. Our company only handles freight factoring arrangements, which ensures we have the expertise you need the most to ensure your trucking company thrives in a changing economic climate.