A day in the life of a million dollar saving freight auditor

Pieter Kinds

Pieter Kinds

November 15, 2015 - 15:05

In the suburbs of the astonishing metropolis Kyiv, Ukraine, a bus loaded with young professionals is on its way to a modern business area just outside the dazzling city center. Unnoted and discrete in the multitude, the youngsters in the vehicle make their way to the building, where they annually save millions of euro's for the largest organizations in the world.

"We’re not exactly lifesavers or superhero's,” says 23-year old Olena, one of the youngest team leaders of the company while entering the building. “People say, ‘In this company, you’re doing what?’ Freight Audit?” People outside logistics operations and finance often don't have a clue about freight audit, sometimes referred to as freight invoice auditing or freight payment. "You can't really blame the people for that, freight audit is such a small part of the supply chain, but I really feel like we are making a difference!"

Being in charge of one of the 5 audit teams of Europe's largest freight audit provider, Olena and her 8 team members really do make a difference, by acting as a trusted third-party between multinationals and their transportation carriers. "We process and audit millions of transport orders and invoices per year. By doing so, and using the transportation data via our own cloud-based application in combination with our customer service teams, we achieve cost savings and visibility in the complex logistics processes of our customers."

What is Freight Auditing and how does it save me money?

Well, that's among the many things that Olena has on her mind. A regular working day for Olena starts, after a large cappuccino, with reviewing e-mails and scheduling the day of her team. Olena is in charge of 8 young individuals, who are all enrolled in a pro-active process yet accomplished by their team leader.

Freight Audit: Dedication and training

The young and academic freight auditors (average age 26) go through a pre-defined process of trainings (16 in the first year), 8 tests and learning on the job before they are fully cleared and authorized for operation. In this period they are supervised and scrutinized by senior colleagues and the management team to ensure practical application of all knowledge obtained. Once all tests are completed, the auditors can work their way up the ladder in the 150 people and counting organization. Promotion to deputy team leader, team leader or implementation specialist is very usual in the growing organization of ControlPay. Last summer, however, an even more spectacular moved was made by one of the female auditors, who joined, after completing a 2-year study, the IT- department as the first lady!

A day in the life of freight auditing

Back to Olena and the freight audit process. After working 5 years for ControlPay, Olena believes that a strong background in logistics makes all the difference in Freight Audit. "The complexity that we need to unravel in logistics costs starts with a thorough understanding of logistics flows, types of costs, practices, shipping methods, accessorials and the business rules and logic behind it. The deep logistics understanding of our people in IT, Audit and Implementation makes our organization unique in the industry."

The task of the invoice auditors is to ensure timely and effective execution of the data processing in accordance with the internal procedures and standards agreed between the client and the company. In old money, this means that the freight audit & Payment process on the clients side becomes as low touch as the system allows it to be, with only exceptions handling as a daily task for the logistics and finance department.

Once the foundation is developed and installed by the implementation team, Olena's team goes to work for some of the world's largest multinationals. "Our auditors operate in a so-called double loop approach – to resolve transportation invoice issues, problems with (invoice) data or extra freight costs and ensure that it will not occur again. We work on the root of the problem to reduce freight spend, not only on effects as we like to call it."

The Kyiv-born then rushes to a video conference booth, for an external call with one of her clients. "It is important to maintain contact with the client. Outsourcing doesn't mean zero involvement because we strive to improve processes and workflows for our customers."

Besides client meetings, her day is a non-stop gathering of management meetings and internal meetings with other departments (implementation - IT). "We really work as a team to bring the best solution for issues, optimization points and resources points for our clients." The internal meetings with other auditors’ groups involved are to learn about new scopes, overall progress, transition from one to another process, solving major issues and to prevent delays.

About ControlPay - Global and EMEA freight audit

Inside Europe's largest freight audit company
ControlPay is growing fast and looking for experienced and talented people in Kiev, Ukraine. We are committed to maintaining superior excellence level of the quality and value of its services provided to the customer.