Tips

Pro tip - using shared documents to log emails, receipts and more

October 12, 2021
Summary

Keeping track of all your email threads and receipts can be a chore, but FreightPath's shared documents can make it easier to log and find them later. Read this article to find out how.

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Why Keep A Record Of Emails And Receipts For Your Freight Brokerage?

Why would you or your team want to keep a record of email threads and receipts for your freight brokerage or 3PL operations? There's many good reasons, but chief among them, we've found through research with hundreds of 3PLs that this improves:

  • Intrateam communication and collaboration
  • Accountability and trust with clients and carriers
  • Bookkeeping speed and efficiency for your accounting team

Why is this the case? Let's break it down reason by reason.

Intrateam Communication

The first way that this helps your team is by improving intra-team communication and collaboration at your freight brokerage. What we've found working with hundreds of 3PLs and freight brokerage is that rarely are individual agents or dispatchers responsible for a shipment from beginning to end.

Oftentimes, especially at larger organizations, this process is split into many components from sales, to an account manager, to a dispatcher, and then to accounting. Each time this happens, a game of broken telephone can be played if the right information isn't logged and communicated effectively.

One of the chief ways of preventing this broken telephone is to log data consistently and accurately in your TMS. FreightPath makes this easy for your team, for example, with features like super-fast data entry and a driver mobile app so drivers can provide their own updates instead of relaying them back and forth to your dispatchers.

However, data entry isn't the end all be all of eliminating broken telephone communications either. Oftentimes, emails and document receipts are needed to prove communications, or simply to provide context to the data that has been entered in your TMS software. For this reason, most successful freight brokerage and 3PL teams we've observed keep and store important email threads and shipment receipts for intra-team collaboration.

Accountability with Clients And Carriers

Secondly, our research with hundreds of 3PLs and freight brokers shows that email logging and receipt storage is key for increasing accountability and trust with clients and carriers.

Even when you're working with the best partners in the industry, disputes over pricing, responsibility and "he said, she said" moments will happen. And the best of dealing with these disputes is to have the paper trail to back your statements up.

This reduces conflicts where nobody has concrete proof - improving your customers' trust in your team and process, and helping you to avoid costly customer churn and frustration.

Again, effective TMS software can help you with this. For example, FreightPath's TMS software allows your team to log specific shipment movements and status updates from drivers with timestamps and accurate location data so there's no doubt over delivery issues. This type of freight visibility can be incredibly important when disputes occur over successful delivery and timely arrival at the dock.

In one situation, FreightPath's timestamped consignee arrival data was critical in resolving a dispute where a shipper claimed a late delivery, when in fact the driver incurred hours of wait time due to the shipper's own dock issues!

However - like with intra-team communication, TMS data can't be your team's only way of enforcing client/carrier accountability. One of our favorite ways then, is to log and upload the actual emails and receipts directly in FreightPath so that there's absolutely zero doubt of any wrongdoing.

Bookkeeping Speed And Efficiency

Finally, and probably most obviously, logging email threads and receipts makes your bookkeeper's life much easier.

Over our research with hundreds of 3PL and freight brokerage teams, we found that 3-5 hours was being spent every week by bookkeepers and accountants tracking down receipts and proof of deliveries for shipments. This is time that can be easily saved if accountants and bookkeepers have easy, organized access to the right documents for each shipment.

However, the way most 3PLs and freight brokerages accomplished this before adopting FreightPath was not at all efficient - we found the most common practice (60% of the time) was to simply make a pile of printed PoDs and receipts and leave it at the accountant's desk.

That's crazy! With FreightPath - these teams instead transitioned to logging PoDs and docs (with the help of FreightPath's PoD Capture features) and were able to save almost that entire 3-5 hour span every week.

How To Log Docs, Emails And Receipts In FreightPath

The great news for solving all three challenges - intrateam communication, client/carrier accountability, and bookkeeping efficiency - is that it can be done in FreightPath in a matter of seconds. Here's a step by step showing you how to do all three.

Step-By-Step Instructions To Log Emails, Docs And Receipts In FreightPath

1 | Go to your email client (we'll be using Gmail) and open the desired email|

gmail email printing screenshot

2 | Print the email to PDF using the print options and save it to your computer

gmail email screenshot printing

3 | Go to the associated shipment in FreightPath and navigate to the "documents" tab

freightpath email upload shared documents screenshot

4 | Upload the PDF email you downloaded - it'll be shared across your team and available in the customer/carrier portal!

freightpath tms email uploaded shared documents screenshot

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“With FreightPath, the ability to track freight, complete paperwork, and share updates within seconds has become invaluable; not just for my team but for my customers and carriers too.”
Tandricus Thomas, Dispatch My Load
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