APRIL 20, 2017 – If you’ve ever had to wait for payment because of a paperwork error, you know how important it is to make sure all of your documents are well organized and complete. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to accomplish when you’re running a business from the road.
With a little organization and a few simple pieces of technology, however, you can streamline the invoicing process and ensure you have all of your documents safely stored in one place. Here are some tips to help you get started:
#1: Invest in a mobile printer
These handy devices run on battery power and allow you to print directly from your smartphone, tablet or mobile computer. When used in your truck, you’ll be able to print documents immediately instead of waiting until you’re back home. So, if you get a rate confirmation sheet in your email that needs to be signed and returned, you’ll be able to take care of it immediately – and not risk losing the load.
#2: Download a scanning app on your smartphone or tablet
If you have a document that needs to be scanned and emailed back (such as a rate confirmation sheet), you can use a mobile application to snap a photo of it, convert it to a PDF and send it via email. You can search for apps in the Apple or Google Play store – many of them are free. Need to send a document via fax? There are apps available for that, as well.
- Tip: Review images for clarity before you save and send the document. The edges should be visible, borders should be kept to a minimum and the text shouldn’t be blurry. If you’re having a difficult time reading the scanned image, so will the shipper, broker or factoring company.
#3: Store your documents in the cloud
Using an online storage account to keep your documents organized ensures that all of your paperwork is available in one secure place – and that you can access it anywhere. It also protects against the data loss that can happen when a hard drive crashes or paper files are misplaced.
- Tip: Use a naming convention that allows you to easily recognize each document through the file name. This might include the broker’s or shipper’s name, the load number and the document type.
Lastly, make sure you double (or triple) check all documents for accuracy before you send them out. If an invoice is incorrect, you might not hear about it for weeks…delaying the processing time significantly. The same goes for your factoring paperwork: by ensuring all documents are accurate and easy to read, your factoring company can process your payment as quickly as possible. Here at Foley, clients typically get the money they’re due in less than 24 hours.