Shipment Reconciliation

Big business relies on small business to get the job done.  Critical supply chain processes are often subcontracted to small businesses.  Konduit’s Transaction Editor (TEd) Service has been used by small businesses to keep up with the accounting demands of large clients.  I frequently get the comment that our tracking is better than their large client’s, and this saves them much time and money reconciling differences that would otherwise lead to delayed payments or disagreements.

A farm cooperative has been using Transaction Editor since 2006 to schedule and reconcile deliveries by over sixty member shippers primarily to a single large processing plant. During harvest season from September through July each year, shippers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, averaging 1250 shipments per month with a peak of over 5000 shipments in November. The system’s primary Table manages over 185,000 Rows of current and historical data.

The shipment reconciliation process starts with the farm cooperative generating a series of Load Numbers for a particular coop Member.  Included in the generated Load Number is a reference to the Member’s Sales Contract Number plus a sequential Load Sequence Number and a random Load Authorization Code.

When a driver arrives at the Member’s loading scale to receive some bulk material,  Member users log into a Member’s Portal and select from a displayed list of Member-specific Load Numbers.   This link presents them with a form they use to update a shipment record with weight and temperature readings for the Load.  Seal numbers, driver name, and various other information is also updated on the form.   The Portal allows them to print a bar-coded Bill of Lading for the driver to carry.

During transportation, bulk materials can often change in weight, volume, or quantity due to weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle conditions, or driver error.  At the destination, the consignee takes weight and temperature readings with their own systems.  At the end of the day, the consignee produces a file of these shipment measurements from their internal systems for the day’s deliveries and delivers this file to the farm cooperative for shipment reconciliation.

This shipment reconciliation is critical to the accounting that leads to payment or the filing of carrier loss claims.  The cooperative uses Transaction Editor to import the consignee’s daily file and a Report compares it with the Member shipment information.  Several custom Transaction Editor Reports allow the cooperative to  reconcile differences and settle commodity contracts. Their system is quite complex, yet the process of shipment reconciliation is flexible and forgiving.  Every Transaction Editor system includes a data change history audit trail, which forgives human error by allowing the User to investigate and recover from data editing mistakes.

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