EBE, TruckOp.com create integrated parts purchasing system

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EBE, a provider of document and content management, workflow and process management systems, announced a partnership with TruckOp.com to offer a combined product aimed at reducing the costs of heavy duty truck and trailer parts for carriers and improving the management and control of these purchases.

Combined with EBE’s SHIPS workflow systems, purchase orders (PO) for ordered parts will automatically be created, sent to the supplier and integrated to the carrier’s accounting system for better cost control and management of these purchases. TruckOp.com is a subscription based portal providing its members visibility to actual invoiced pricing, by supplier, of truck and trailer parts. The visibility to this pricing offers stronger negotiating power with carriers’ local suppliers as well as cost effective purchasing alternatives, the company says.

The combined system provides asset based carriers the ability to create a PO for every part prior to, or at the time of, an order is placed. The PO, is then electronically sent to the supplier as well as the carrier’s accounts payable workflow where integration to the accounting and vehicle maintenance applications occur. EBE says the system offers more control and transparency to these purchases through an audit trail, holds suppliers accountable for agreed upon pricing and ensures that the relationships between buyers and suppliers are the most cost effective.

“In many cases companies are purchasing millions of dollars in parts a year without standard accounting practice oversight. This process leaves carriers susceptible to paying higher costs from both untrustworthy suppliers and purchases from buyers whose long-term relationships with suppliers are not being scrutinized through independent pricing sources,” says Larry Kerr, president of EBE. “This eliminates those revenue leaks while providing the carrier with savings of as much as 75 percent in operational costs associated with a paper-based, manual accounts payable process.”

From an operational perspective, the combined product works as follows. A buyer logs into TruckOp.com via an internet browser. A search is conducted for the specific part which then generates a results list of the suppliers and actual pricing for which the part was previously sold. The value of having transparency to the actual invoiced price, postures the buyer to either negotiate with their local dealer more aggressively, or purchase the part from the supplier listed through TruckOp.com.

Once the price is agreed upon, the buyer clicks on the “create PO icon”. Information is then auto-populated in the PO including the supplier’s contact information, the buyers “ship to” address and the negotiated pricing and quantity of the purchased item(s). The system then emails the PO to the supplier and imports the PO into the carrier’s account payable workflow. Once in workflow, the information can be integrated into the carrier’s vehicle maintenance and accounting software. When the invoice is received, it is then validated and processed for payment through the carrier’s accounts payable system and stored in the carrier’s imaging system.

Milan Express is just one of many carriers using TruckOp.com. “I was surprised to learn that our “National Account” pricing was not always the best deal out there. Even with our fleet and volume discount pricing TruckOp.com was able to save us substantial money,” said John Ross, CEO of Milan Express.