By Walter Scremin, General Manager of Ontime Group
Picture it – you have outsourced a key business function to a third party supplier.
The relationship starts well, you enjoy the service and the flexibility that it brings. Then you get the invoice: a confusing document including surprise items and higher than you bargained for.
Worse, it signals a fracturing in your relationship.
We must never forget how sensitive invoicing in business can be.
When done badly, it may cost your business. If clients ever complain about unexpected items on the bill then you have a problem.
But even if they don’t complain, the onus is on you to get invoicing right – because many clients will not complain, they will grumble to themselves and quietly take their business elsewhere.
When done right, invoicing can be a strength. In some industries it can be a point of difference.
For example, in the transport industry opaque invoicing has always been a problem – long ago we decided to bring transparency and simplicity to invoicing, and there is no doubt it has contributed to client loyalty.
Invoices should not need an accountant to decipher, they must be clearly laid out. Invoicing must be predictable, easily broken down and understood.
There should not be any surprises.
Being transparent in all activities and communication builds trust, as does simple to read invoices set out in a way that assists the client determine exactly what every job cost.
Confusing invoices are often a ‘deal-breaker’ – make sure your business isn’t losing business because of them.
Walter Scremin heads up national delivery transport company Ontime Group, which provides tailored, flexible delivery transport solutions to a range of clients including SMEs and large listed companies.
Walter believes superior service and strong relationships are key to business success. He is also passionate about measuring performance and leveraging technology; Walter has overseen several technology projects including On Time’s unique Fleet X-Ray analysis software, a telematics tracking system and smartphone app, Gopher, designed to track vehicles and deliveries. www.ontimegroup.com.au