Broken Billing Process at the SeaCube Container Leasing Company

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Team Authoritative Paper
Robert A Pesicka, Valerie Johnson, Eric Crivello, Suzanne Roman June 12, 2011
City University of Seattle, WA
Professor Jean Geer MBA505 Business Communications Course
This authoritative paper presents a broken billing process for the SeaCube Container Leasing Company and presents a solution to fix and improve the process. It has been written in order so the management of SeaCube Container Leasing Company can support and implement the proposed improvement to the billing process. This paper will cite references in adherence to the APA writing format for clarity. Team Authorative Paper

Sending an invoice in today’s world can be costly when you consider the expense of paper, postage and printing along with the possibility of lost mail” (Best Practice Systems). In the business world today, the use of technology has been of such great use in quickening processing times in all departments. For any business dealing with customers to who bills must be sent, the use of a number of billing systems and invoice generation modules has become a growing trend in monthly invoicing practices. Receiving invoices through Media other than the traditional paper bill via mail or express service is an increasing preference for all involved as well as being considered environmentally friendly. The following billing process at SeaCube Container Leasing Company will be explained with suggested improvements.

Team Authoritative Paper
SeaCube Container Leasing is an International leasing company which provides shipping containers to the world’s top 20 shipping companies. In dealing with such high level customers and detailed specific contract terms, billing each customer every month becomes a long and vigorous process. Approximately 50 customers are billed per month each with anywhere from 1 to 15 separate contracts. Depending upon the contract terms, numbers of containers can range from anywhere from 1 per contract to over 10000. Invoices are generated from the company’s system on a line by line or unit by unit charge. The average number of invoices generated per each bi-monthly billing cycle is close to 300. Being that the company currently uses a dual system, meaning that both paper and electronic invoices are sent every month, the high costs and increased time it takes for delivery of paper invoices seems to be a process which can be addressed and resolved easily. In the billing department of SeaCube Container Leasing, bi-monthly invoices are generated through the company’s billing system Mistral, checked for accuracy according to contract terms and then sent to customers for payment via various media including Federal express of Paper invoices. The process of delivering paper invoices includes the following, thorough checks for accuracy and approval by the department manager, paper invoices are printed, assembled and then FedEx’s to customers in over 25 Cities nationwide. The cost for printing, paper used and FedEx shipping internationally has been recognized by managers as an expense which could be drastically cut and yet little has been done to do so. “Business invoicing costs the average company millions of dollars, according the Gartner Group.  Switching to electronic web invoicing (Best Practices 2008) converts those millions of dollars in cost to millions of dollars in savings that transfer right to the bottom line.  The simple truth is that Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) is a profit-making tool (Best Practice Systems 2008)”. This dual system of invoicing is usually only done if testing of electronic invoicing is being run so that there are no lags in the billing process. At SeaCube, the desire to give customers exactly what they ask for has caused a delay in changing up the billing system as a number of customers still prefer the paper invoice in hand. Although customer satisfaction is one of the company’s top priorities,...
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