When evaluating an IT vendor for E-Way bill automation tools, making a checklist of your most important requirements is key to finding your best-fit software. From our experience, we’ve found that creating a comprehensive checklist of your automation requirements is the best way to organize your search. If you’re not sure of what E-Way Bill requirements are the most common, look no further.
First, ask yourself these questions! These will help you identify the right solution for you.
1. Do I have the volume of E-Way Bills for an automation solution?
Do you really need automation now? The simple answer is yes you do – ask anyone. There are plenty of good reasons. Most companies don’t realize they are making errors which can lead to seizure of goods and heavy penalties. It is only a matter of time when your luck runs out and the GST inspection mobile squads finds a truck with incorrectly furnished data fields. So be proactive and find an automation tool now than being reactive when things do not go your way.
2. Will it save money and time?
If a solution does not save time and money its not automation. The other way to look at it is – if automation of E-Way bills is proven to save time and money then what are you waiting for? Many companies have automated their compliance processes and these solutions soon will multiple in costs.
3. How many users do I have?
Its the era of user licensing. Almost all software solutions in the market today charge clients on the number of users they have. The reason they do this is simply because when the client grows so does the software provider. If cost is a constraint, make sure to choose a vendor that does not charge per user but rather per usage.
4. ASP or GSP?
GSP’s have gone through cut throat selection process by the government and undergoes an ISO 27001 family of standards keeping your information assets secure.
5. Technology Company or Tax consultant?
Tax consultants are great and quickly getting into the automation space. You have to be careful here because software development is a completely different ball game and requires a different skill set and contingency planning. Constant feature releases and debugging are hallmarks of a great software company so it is recommended you partner with a tech company.
Now it’s time for that requirements checklist. Through extensive experience and research, we compiled a comprehensive list of the most critical feature requirements to look for when researching and comparing E-Way automation vendors. These requirements are the most common for your average company, so some of these requirements may not be applicable to every company. Keep your answers to the questions above in mind as you read through this checklist.
1. Excel Imports
The most basic and probably a feature every vendor will have, but make sure the process of imports can be automated by an FTP or other method. Because manual import is not an automatic transmission. Think of it this way – if you have to ask someone if the file has been imported or not then it’s not automation.
2. PDF Invoice Imports
Every company has a standard invoice template. Look for a tool that can scrape the data from the PDF invoice itself rather than creating excel sheets. This eliminates the need for excel which is an unnecessary additional step.
3. Bill of Entry Imports (.PRN files)
If your company has a lot of imports then it is best you generate the E-Way bills straight by uploading the BOE’s. Can you imagine dropping your Bill of entry .prn file into a folder and getting a valid E-Way bill as an output?
4. Mobile App
Distribute the app to the warehouse and facility level supervisors can ensure updation of part-B right when the consignment is ready to move.
5. ERP Integration
If your company is one of those that loves to dwell within their ERP environment then there is no question that this will be your primal requirement. In this case you must know for sure if the vendor has successfully integrated with SAP, Oracle and NAV with another client.
6. Custom Reports
Reporting should always be in the hands of the user. The ability to use “AND” & “OR” operators to build your own reports and save your favourites on the dashboard for a daily glance will help you steer your business in the right direction.
7. Reconciliation of GSTR-1
Keep your Indirect tax department in mind. A sales register that could be uploaded in the application to compare with E-Way bills generated during given month/year can help the tax department do their job better. The matching should apply for both supplies and purchases.
8. Alerts and Notifications
All stakeholders, mainly immediate users like factory supervisors and transporters, must be constantly alerted and notified of E-Way Bill generation. Reminders shall ensure timely generation of E-Way bills.
9. Distance Calculator
The program must auto calculate the distance from source to destination. Manually populating distance data for an E-Way bill takes too much of the end user’s time and is prone to errors which in turn affect the validity.
10. Live Vehicle Tracking
This is a useful feature. The truck driver downloads an app onto his phone and the status of the consignment can be tracked. This feature is particularly useful when the validity of an E-Way bill of a vehicle in transit could expire before it reaches its destination. Won’t it be great if logistics gets an alert like this: “The E-Way Bill for Vehicle DL 1RT 7654 with EBN 7686800022 could expire before reaching destination. Kindly extend the validity by clicking here.”
The most important bit. Check cost, service level agreements, turnaround times and other items that are necessary to get the type of support you believe your team and organization will require. Evaluate the type of support – Phone, Chat and Email- at different pricing level.
The E-Way Bill automation search is a complex but there is method to the madness. Asking yourself these questions, gathering your requirements and applying these tips can ease the burden. Can you think of other questions to ask, popular requirements or helpful tips? Let us know your thoughts.