Discover why flexible third-party billing is essential for high-volume shippers

In today’s interconnected supply chain, a simple customer order can trigger a complex series of events. Let’s say a retailer receives an order, but the product needs to come directly from a manufacturer. You, as the manufacturer, handle the packing and shipping, but the retailer needs to be billed for the cost. This is where third-party billing steps in, ensuring a smooth fulfillment process for everyone involved.

The rise of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC, D2C) e-commerce and collaborative fulfillment models, like initiatives involving Third-Party Logistics (3PL) companies, has made third-party billing a critical tool. It simplifies complex workflows involving drop-shipping and traditional fulfillment, keeping your customers happy with a faster, more convenient delivery experience.

However, a hidden cost can disrupt this efficiency. While advanced multi-carrier shipping software solutions understand the power of this flexibility, some shipping software providers charge extra for each third-party billing account. This creates a tangled web of fees that can slow down operations and eat into your profits.

There’s a better way. Let’s explore why flexible third-party billing is essential for a smooth shipping experience and how it can unlock new levels of efficiency and customer satisfaction for your business.

Most shippers know that a seamless customer experience (CX) goes beyond just on-time delivery and high-quality products. Businesses are increasingly looking for partners who can empower them to streamline their operations and adapt to their specific needs. That’s where flexible third-party billing comes in.

By leveraging multi-carrier shipping software that has flexible third-party billing options, you can let your B2B customers or fulfillment clients choose from a variety of billing options and easily manage them. This flexibility allows them to tailor their billing processes to their specific business needs and customer relationships. Whether you want to directly bill your clients, split costs with them, or create separate accounts for different departments, shipping software provides the tools and functionalities to make it happen.

For example, a retailer places an order with your manufacturing business for a large quantity of products. Traditionally, your manufacturing business might invoice the retailer directly. But what if the retailer wants the products shipped directly to their fulfillment centers across the country?

With flexible third-party billing, you can easily accommodate this request. You can create separate billing accounts for each fulfillment center, ensuring the retailer receives accurate invoices for each individual shipment. This eliminates confusion and streamlines the reconciliation process for your customer, fostering trust and a positive working relationship.

Flexible billing goes beyond simple order fulfillment and drop-shipping – and it isn’t limited to just the manufacturing and retail industry. For a third-party logistics provider (3PL) who is managing inventory for multiple clients, third-party billing allows them to offer clients the option to directly the clients or split the shipping costs. This level of flexibility empowers 3PL clients to cater to diverse customer needs and ultimately win their business.

While third-party billing offers clear advantages, some multi-carrier shipping solutions create unnecessary roadblocks with inflexible systems. Here’s how:

  • Hidden Costs: Per-account fees for third-party billing, a common practice with some shipping software solutions, can quickly erode your profits. This unexpected cost structure adds complexity and makes it difficult to accurately predict your shipping expenses. [What other hidden costs should you watch for?]
  • Workflow Bottlenecks: Managing separate billing accounts for each customer requiring third-party billing can be a time-consuming and tedious task. Inflexible systems often lack the business rule and other automations needed to streamline this process, creating bottlenecks in your workflow.
  • Admin Overload: Constantly adding, updating, and managing individual accounts is a significant administrative burden. Inflexible shipping software can force your team to dedicate valuable time to manual tasks that could be better spent focusing on core business activities.
  • Negative CX: Billing complexities can have a ripple effect, impacting the customer experience. If a retailer receives a shipment with an unexpected invoice due to a billing error caused by your 3PL company because you use a rigid multi-carrier shipping system, it can create frustration, confusion, and potentially damage your relationship with that retail customer. [How much can a bad CX really cost you?]

Flexible third-party billing goes beyond simply creating separate invoices. It’s a comprehensive approach that prioritizes ease of use and empowers you to manage complex billing scenarios with ease.

Here’s what sets flexible billing apart:

  • Effortless Account Management: Imagine adding a new customer requiring drop-shipping. With a flexible multi-carrier shipping software, creating a dedicated billing account for them should be a quick and intuitive process – likely a simple business rule. Look for shipping solutions that integrate seamlessly with your existing workflows, eliminating the need for complex manual setups.
  • Adaptability is Key: The beauty of flexible billing lies in its ability to accommodate diverse situations. Whether you’re a manufacturer splitting costs with a retailer or a 3PL managing inventory for multiple clients, the system should empower you to handle any billing scenario with ease.
  • Customer Choice is King: Flexible billing allows you to cater to your customers’ diverse billing needs. You can offer options like direct billing to them, splitting costs between themselves and another party (e.g., a distributor), or even creating separate billing accounts for different departments within their organization. This level of flexibility empowers you to build stronger relationships and cater to their specific requirements.
  • Building Trust Through Transparency: The ideal experience is a smooth and error-free billing process for both you and your customers. This is the power of flexible billing. By eliminating complexities and ensuring accurate invoices, you foster trust and transparency throughout your supply chain, leading to stronger client relationships.

Juggling complex shipping processes and managing separate billing accounts for each customer can be a time-consuming headache. ProShip’s leading multi-carrier shipping software solution streamlines your operations, including third-party billing, allowing you to focus on what matters most – growing your business.

Here’s how ProShip simplifies third-party billing for you:

  • Effortless Account Management: Forget manual setups and hidden fees. ProShip’s shipping software allows you to easily add new third-party billing accounts at your leisure and doesn’t charge you for each addition/change. Define simple business rules to automatically assign the appropriate billing party based on factors like customer type, order details, ship-to location and more. This streamlined approach saves you time and ensures accurate billing every time.
  • Centralized Control: Gone are the days of managing scattered spreadsheets and separate logins for each account. ProShip’s multi-carrier shipping solution offers a centralized platform where you can easily manage all your third-party billing accounts in one place.
  • Seamless Integration: ProShip’s shipping solution integrates seamlessly with your existing enterprise software stack, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing the risk of errors. Say goodbye to time-consuming workarounds and hello to a streamlined workflow.

By simplifying third-party billing, ProShip multi-carrier shipping software empowers you to focus on core business activities and build stronger relationships with your customers.

The e-commerce landscape is constantly evolving, with new trends like subscription boxes and personalized gifting emerging all the time. These trends often involve complex fulfillment scenarios that demand a flexible billing approach.

ProShip understands this need for adaptability. Our commitment to providing future-proof solutions ensures your shipping software can evolve alongside your business. With features like flexible third-party billing, ProShip empowers you to navigate the changing tides of e-commerce and build a foundation for long-term success.

After all this – one thing is clear: multi-carrier shipping software that has flexible third-party billing is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. ProShip’s advanced shipping solution empowers you to streamline complex billing scenarios, improve the customer experience, and gain a competitive edge.

Ready to unlock the power of flexible third-party billing with multi-carrier shipping software? Schedule a discovery call with our experts today to dive into your specific shipping needs.