A business is only as successful as its ability to look ahead and plan accordingly for the future. Being proactive can alleviate future headaches, stave off potential problems, and conserve costs — all while optimizing operations. But when it comes to anticipating the future, companies need to rely on high-quality historical data. The best data for logistics planning comes from freight bill auditing. Past invoices can tell the story of future demand and help shippers simulate business with incredible accuracy.

An ever-changing logistics environment

The logistics environment is constantly changing as rates fluctuate, carrier availability ebbs, and numerous other variables impact shippers’ ability to move freight from one destination to another. Although there are plenty of tools to help companies adapt to these changes in real time — like nVision Global’s IMPACT TMS — there’s something to be said for anticipating and accounting for these variables proactively.

There’s no better example of this than 2020-2021, when pandemic uncertainties forced shippers to adopt a forward-looking, adaptable mindset when planning freight operations. In the wake of unprecedented supply chain disruptions, many companies sought to simulate future shipping volumes as a way of avoiding the costs associated with disruption. They’re turning to freight forecasting and relying on past audit data to do it.

The data behind freight forecasting

Any good business models are data-driven. When attempting to predict the future, past data paves the way for a better understanding of potential trends. But where, specifically, does this data come from?

To plan for future freight and logistics operations, shippers must understand their volumes, costs, routes, carriers, lanes, and more — and they need a way to bring all this data together in models that help them plan for the future against a sea of changing variables. What most don’t realize is they already have the data necessary to implement a robust forecasting solution; they just need a way to aggregate the data and bring it to the forefront. The solution is nVision Global’s freight bill audit.

In reconciling freight invoices and recording accurate information into their accounting system, companies can zero in on past shipping insights to drive smarter, more forward-looking decisions. Basic insights can shed light on crucial data points, including:

  • Lanes with the most spend and the volume of goods moved within those lanes
  • Carriers with the highest rates or the highest prevalence of service failures
  • Costs associated with accessorial charges and extenuating service fees

Shippers can feed audit data into ERP and TMS software and leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to quickly drill down into the nuances of their freight operations. With tools to aggregate, sort, and identify the relevance of data, freight forecasting becomes an exercise in extrapolating insights.

Forecasting the future with accuracy

There are tremendous advantages for shippers who can successfully forecast their freight needs and costs into the future. Anticipating demand means being able to budget accordingly, negotiate from a position of strength, capitalize on shipping lane trends, allocate resources without siphoning them, and preempt other aspects of business operations.

Shipping and logistics will always come with unknown and unanticipated variables. Audit data and AI processing tools work together to shrink the pool of unknowns and illuminate the critical data that shippers need to make confident decisions for the future.

Freight bill audit data may be a glimpse into the past, but there’s a lot it can tell shippers about how to plan for the future. The ability to simulate carrier agreements, freight rates, lane volumes, and more is key to a more informed approach to operational planning. nVision Global strives to provide clients with this data so they can make decisions that benefit both the top and bottom lines. To learn more, visit our website at nvisionglobal.com.