Optimum Shipping FAQ
General Small Parcel Audit Questions
What carriers does Optimum provide audit services for?
Optimum Supply Chain is a consulting & shipping solutions company that utilizes a sophisticated model to audit UPS, FedEx as well as DHL invoices for billing errors as well as late deliveries in your weekly small parcel delivery invoices.
Our parcel auditing service makes sure that you are billed correctly, and that your service levels are met.
The Optimum team focuses on delivering logistics network transformations and best-practice
What are you looking for on each carrier‘s invoice during a parcel audit?
We know that each audit line is a possible source of errors in carrier billing; hence, we seek the corresponding refunds on your behalf. The more common billing errors are address corrections, residential delivery, late deliveries, and incorrect dimensional weight charge.
A crucial part of parcel management is continuously monitoring your shipment at the package level detail and auditing these for accuracy against your contract or agreement.
How do I get started with the parcel auditing service by Optimum?
To implement, we only require a copy of your most recent carrier agreement, and access to the carrier's invoice or online billing repository. Once we have these, we’ll be able to run cost-saving comparisons for you right away. Our process demands little to no intervention by you or your staff and is limited to cost-saving review meetings. Our team brings with them the tools and expertise to run an analysis on your shipping spend and thus provide strategic recommendations on how best to optimize your transportation spend.
After implementation, is there any lag time before Optimum begins carrier audit work?
No lag at all. Upon implementation, our team will report monthly details of your savings and credits/refunds found in your small parcel invoices for service failure recovery.
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Does your auditing service guarantee to reduce shipping costs?
UPS, FedEx, and DHL guarantee that they’ll deliver your parcels for air and ground services by a specific date and time. While these guarantees may be suspended during particular periods, they are a necessary performance check against delivery failures. In addition, carriers may sometimes request a GSR waiver added to the agreement in exchange for discounts or additional incentives.
Optimum highly encourages shippers never to waive the ability to claim late deliveries, as these often outweigh potential incentives by carriers.
If you have a GSR waiver in your contract, we can still run an audit on your invoices and return savings for billing errors.
How does Optimum differentiate from other freight audit companies?
Optimum uses proprietary software built by former members of the carrier’s pricing teams to run a thorough and effective audit. We leverage our highly trained staff of analysts and consultants to interpret the data on your behalf. Provide strategic advice for proper parcel management to focus on realizing the potential of optimizing your overall spending, not just small parcels.
How will implementing a parcel audit affect my company's carrier relationship or level of service?
A common misconception. The most crucial aspect of parcel management is to ensure the services you receive are in line and that billing is 100% accurate. In addition, it is your job to remind the carriers that you are willing to move to someone else should the service suffer because your customers will suffer in return and, as a consequence, your business.
Our shipping audit services will not negatively affect your carrier relationship. Quite the opposite, we will be empowering you, with data, to have the right conversations with the carriers, so they work on keeping your business, which often results in improved service and a better more transparent carrier relationship.
How do I track those savings produced by Optimum’s shipping audit?
Claims filed by our auditors directly onto your invoices generate UPS and FedEx refunds.
Our team will report monthly all the refunds/credits from our auditing efforts.
What reporting does Optimum offer?
Optimum provides a detailed monthly savings report for late shipment recovery and contract optimization, comparing your new contract with your old one. Re-rating your shipments as if shipped under the old contract to find your net savings from the delta.
We also provide customized and ad hoc reporting based on customer requirements.
How does Optimum charge for parcel freight auditing services?
We can summarize the compensation for our engagement in audit services in two tracks:
A. A gain share model (most popular)
With a gain-share model, you take no risk upfront; we bill you a percentage of the net savings we recover on your behalf. (e.g., At a 40% gain-share, if we recover $1,000 in net savings in a month, we bill you $400; you keep $600).
B. A monthly fee based on services and reporting requirements.
General Parcel Freight Contract Negotiation Questions
If we already have the lowest shipping rates possible. In what way can Optimum help or improve our shipping contract(s)?
Shipping companies maximize their profits with pricing.
Our highly skilled logistics & pricing experts utilize a sophisticated shipping rate & analysis software built through 15 years of rate negotiations and scores of D2C fulfillment optimization cases.
We report the net financial impacts of earn-discount, dim factor, minimum charge, base rate discounts, etc.
Your contract team can set suitable targets by service level - for meaningful savings and service levels that meet and exceed your customer’s expectations. It is guaranteed, as it should be.
I am already paying for a logistics team with experience in negotiating contracts. So why would I hire Optimum to do something our team is supposed to handle for me?
Negotiating small parcel & freight contracts represents a small part of Optimum’s toolbox when looking to execute cost savings on small parcel or freight contract negotiations.
Many companies attempt to run their parcel and freight audit themselves. However, without the right analytics or the know-how of former carrier pricing engineers, you could leave cost savings on the negotiating table. You deserve every discount you can get. Optimum has helped many companies recover or negotiate millions of dollars worth of transportation dollars.
There are also so many variables to consider when running an analysis of small parcel contracts. We can help you get it right with scenario modeling, and a financial savings report you can take to the bank.
If I just signed a new carrier contract. How long do I have to wait before considering Optimum contract negotiation services?
Though carriers' pricing agreements typically have a defined length of time, they are generally not contracts; they can revise them at any time. Therefore, optimum can begin by reviewing your pricing agreements, and our team of pricing experts will generate the analysis of all your cost savings opportunities.
Will I have to change small parcel carriers?
Our contract analysis & negotiation service does not require you to switch carriers or change how you operate. Instead, our analysts will present you with the best cost and service options from UPS, FedEx & DHL through an RFP process. It is your decision whit which carrier services you select to move forward.
I want to keep my relationship with my shipping carrier.
Will hiring a third-party contract negotiator jeopardize that relationship?
The basics of vendor management tell us that the best way to improve any vendor or carrier relationship is to remind them that they are not the only ones periodically. Instead, they should work to retain your business and translate it into improved service & pricing.
Optimum’s solution becomes that reminder for your incumbent carrier that while they’ve already earned your business, they still need to work to keep it. As a result, we often find that customers receive a higher level of service after going through our contract negotiation process.
What if I signed a confidentiality agreement with my carrier. How does that affect my decision to use Optimum solutions?
All customers of UPS and FedEx have a confidentiality clause in their carrier agreement(s). Therefore, we planned our cost savings solutions to accommodate these commitments to avoid issues when negotiating carrier contracts.
How do we pay your parcel and freight contract negotiation services?
We take a free risk approach. Our compensations come from an agreed percentage of gains of the savings we help you negotiate. There are no out-of-pocket expenses or expensive retainers to consider.
How much of my time will it take for a contract negotiating process?
The Optimum team brings the technology, negotiating skills, and experience to help your company stop overpaying for small parcel & freight costs.
Our contract optimization solutions demand virtually none of your time. Our analyst team will manage the project, and guarantee all technical results, to maximize your shipping cost savings.
You are likely overpaying your carriers. We will help you stop that right away.
Am I obligated to do anything if I engaged with Optimum to analyze my freight and parcel carrier contracts for freight cost-saving opportunities?
No. Our team will perform the first Optimize™ analysis to evaluate the opportunity with your current shipping contracts. Then, we will present you with the findings for you to decide to leverage our solution and begin saving right away.
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