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There has been a lot written in the past few years about how our cognitive processes are being impacted by “the digital age”, “the Internet” and the constant push and pull of digital content in our “always on” lives. Books such as The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr and Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn by Cathy Davidson explore the work of psychology and brain science experts that indicate that our use of these technologies are fundamentally changing the way we think. These authors discuss resulting “attention blindness” and our constant state of “distraction and disruption” and how they are impacting our ability to think deeply, to concentrate and even to remember.

At AMTR, we are seeing this phenomenon play out with increasing frequency when it comes to paying attention to the details of transportation contracts, tariffs, pricing rules and other documents. The detailed guidance they contain is not being read, followed and/or fully understood, and it is costing shippers and carriers big money. To begin, these documents are often complex in nature. They cannot easily be skimmed or read in a hyperlink fashion with full understanding. Secondly, they address important issues such as rules of application, exceptions and outside governing publications that often need further human interpretation and deeper focus and concentration. At AMTR, we recognize that the “devil” is truly in the details with these kinds of documents and their application to freight billing. Even though we battle the same cognitive impacts as the rest of society, our job is to pay attention to the details – and we do just that for our clients. It is just another way we put “Smart” in our auditing.

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