Automating payments in a transportation management system (TMS) typically involves integrating payment processing capabilities within the system. The specific steps may vary depending on the TMS you are using. Here's a general guide that you can follow:
1. Select a Payment Gateway:
Choose a payment gateway that is compatible with your TMS. Payment gateways facilitate the secure transfer of payment information between the TMS and financial institutions.
2. Integration Setup:
Integrate the selected payment gateway with your TMS. This integration can involve configuring API connections, webhooks, or other methods to enable communication between the systems.
3. Vendor and Carrier Setup:
Ensure that vendors and carriers are set up in your TMS with the necessary banking information for electronic payments.
4. Automate Invoice Generation:
Configure your TMS to automatically generate invoices based on agreed-upon rates and shipment details. This ensures accurate and timely billing.
5. Payment Approval Workflow:
Implement a payment approval workflow to ensure that payments are reviewed and approved before being processed. This may involve setting up roles and permissions within the TMS.
6. Automate Payment Processing:
Set up automation rules to process payments automatically based on predefined criteria, such as approved invoices, due dates, or other relevant parameters.
7. Record and Reconcile Transactions:
Ensure that the TMS records payment transactions and provides a mechanism for reconciliation. This is crucial for financial reporting and auditing purposes.
8. Security Measures and user premissions:
Implement security measures to protect sensitive payment information. This includes encryption, secure connections, and compliance with relevant data protection standards.
Before deploying the automated payment system, thoroughly test the integration to identify and address any issues. This may involve testing different scenarios, such as varying payment amounts or payment schedules.
10. Training and Documentation:
Train relevant personnel on how to use the automated payment features in the TMS. Provide documentation that outlines the process for future reference.
It's important to note that the specific steps may vary based on the TMS you are using and the payment gateway selected. Consult the documentation provided by your TMS vendor and the chosen payment gateway for detailed instructions and best practices. Most major TMS providers: Cargowise, Magaya, and Descartes all provide accounting data and payment integrations access.