Companies that build big trucks or maintain fleets ferrying goods across the country are no strangers to dealing with reams of paperwork. Such businesses regularly generate repair and service orders, vendor invoices, and, if they're transporting goods, a glut of packing slips.
All these documents carry important information that the companies need to keep tabs on in order to remain competitive and avoid unnecessary expenses. Many industries have transitioned to digital versions of key documents and are using software to manage them, a trend that's expected to continue for years to come.
But the trucking industry has a ways to go in this area, with many operators still relying primarily on paper-based documentation. Savvy truck manufacturers and fleet operators use automation to capture and process payments on invoices, purchase orders, and other essential forms.
The Far-Reaching Benefits of Automation
The benefits of this approach are clear: Companies that once wasted time tracking down an invoice or service order can now do so immediately on their PC or mobile phone. And their document administration costs also come down significantly.
The knock-on effect of an optimized document and payment processing workflow often brings about other benefits, such as improved vendor relationships from fewer invoice errors and faster payments.
Trucking dealerships that already use a dealer management system to run their day-to-day operations have an opportunity to optimize their forms management and payments processing by adding a sophisticated automation and document management solution that can integrate with their DMS.
Here's how automating just five key business forms can make your DMS more efficient.
1. Repair Orders
Truck fleet managers are responsible for keeping their vehicles in top shape, and that comes down to proper maintenance and repair. After identifying a mechanical problem in need of attention, managers will issue a repair order.
While major dealerships and fleet operators generally submit these forms electronically, many companies still rely on paper versions. These forms can easily multiply as the process moves from the initial order to the cost estimate and, eventually, the repair go-ahead from the fleet manager and finalized invoice.
Ensuring that these forms are keyed in correctly and that the vendor is cleared for payment can be an onerous and time-consuming process. An automation solution that includes a robust, seamless document scanning and sorting system can help prevent costly errors.
2. Service Orders
Sometimes known as a work order, these forms are common to many industries with technology or equipment, like trucks, that need to be serviced regularly. Unlike a repair order, which may be generated any time there's an equipment malfunction, service orders are typically scheduled well in advance around a preset maintenance schedule.
Handling service orders via an automated document platform saves time by eliminating one more bit of paper to keep track of manually.
3. Payment Request Forms
This is a check request form, used when a payment needs to be processed but the supplier has not sent a traditional invoice. A payment request form is treated as an invoice and follows the AP process, adding a layer of security and auditability to these requests.
4. Purchase Orders
Businesses generate an untold number of purchase orders on a given day, and it falls on AP teams to ensure that they’re approved and, once fulfilled, the vendor is paid on a timely basis.
Automating purchase orders can significantly streamline a company's procurement process, ensuring there's a clear, real-time audit trail from the moment the order is issued through fulfillment.
This speeds up the process of approvals and ordering. It also minimizes errors and saves money by freeing up accounts payable staff to focus on more valuable tasks.
Using AP automation to streamline how you handle invoices is another big win for businesses. By automatically grabbing invoices from emails or other designated folders, AP Automation replaces slow, manually intensive methods of handling invoices.
Here’s where the automation really kicks in, extracting data from the invoice and making it available instantly to AP teams or vendors. Automation will also generate an aging report, so you can see where invoices are at every stage of their cycle.
The best AP automation solutions use optical character recognition, or OCR, technology to upload invoices into the system using two-way, three-way, and four-way matching. This can help flag when a vendor sends in more than one invoice for the same purchase order. And if the invoice is error-free, it’s processed automatically.
Drive Toward Efficiency
Optimizing document and payment management workflows is increasingly essential in today's challenging marketplace where speed and keeping a lid on costs are key to profitability. The combination of the right ERP and a leading AP automation platform can help streamline key document and payment processing tasks, resulting in lower costs and smoother operations.
DocuPhase's AI-powered, AP automation platform has the industry's best automated document-matching technology and can be configured to handle complex AP workflows, ensuring everything from invoice processing to payments run smoothly.
It also fully supports cloud technology and integrates seamlessly into a company's existing ERP, such as Excede, an advanced truck company dealer management system by Procede Software.
Ready to level up your DMS with a complete, end-to-end, document management and automated workflow solution? Request a demo today.