Uniform Rental Services
DYK? Uniform rental industry billing changes
Did you know?
Large acquisitions and internal billing system changes among the uniform rental industry leaders have resulted in impactful changes to the ways customers of these suppliers are accustomed to being invoiced.
As a result, customers are seeing less detail on their invoicing and suppliers are charging them more.
Among the stated intents of these changes is delivering customers with more simplified, easier to read invoices. And it’s probably fair to say that an invoice with less detail is easier to read.
Unfortunately, it’s also easier to hide extra costs in these new invoices, which is making them significantly more difficult to audit.
It's probably fair to say that an invoice with less detail is easier to read. Unfortunately, it's also easier to hide extra costs in these new invoices, which is making them significantly more difficult to audit.
One characteristic of the new invoicing systems is combining charges for multiple aspects of a program into a single line item. While that might sound nice from a simplicity standpoint, it makes it harder on the customer who wants to understand and audit all elements of their cost structure.
National accounts on supposedly “locked” pricing systems have particularly suffered as systems from acquired entities and new internal systems have been in flux.
If you’re a procurement professional who negotiated a contract four years ago with a 300-line pricing exhibit, it’s highly likely that your supplier’s current billing system doesn’t have direct matches for a significant percentage of the charges contemplated in your agreement.
Off-contract spend has inevitably increased, leaving a growing portion of your account in a gray area where the correct price is anybody’s guess. These gray areas, as a rule, have played out to the detriment of customers’ bottom lines.
Over a decade ago, we built groundbreaking auditing software around the invoicing characteristics of the industry’s leading suppliers.
And just this last year, we completed a major overhaul of this software to account for the changes to the industry landscape and new billing methodologies.
Even with those tools, enforcement of a uniform contract requires continuous dedication and vigilance. Without these tools—not to mention the time and resources to dedicate to this challenging expense—well…good luck!