What are the benefits of ePOD?
Let’s look at the benefits of introducing electronic proof of delivery to your logistics operation.
ePOD, or electronic proof of delivery, is the process of capturing delivery confirmation without the need for a paper ticket. There is a variety of ePOD solutions out there, and each one will offer something slightly different. Some will offer a range of functionality that includes route planning and vehicle checks, while others will just capture an electronic confirmation that a delivery, or an action, has been completed. Here we look at the main benefits of switching to an electronic proof of delivery process
Paper free process
One of the biggest benefits of using an ePOD solution is that you no longer have to rely on paper tickets. Transport offices are notorious for having piles of paper all over the place, with stacks of delivery notes and returned confirmations being one of the main culprits. It is well known that although the paper process has been around for a long time, it does have its limitations.
Lost, illegible or damaged delivery notes cause transport teams endless headaches and let’s not even get started on dealing with customer queries. There’s always some poor person in a paper-based transport office who has the unfortunate job of having to trawl through boxes of delivery notes when there is an order discrepancy or delivery dispute.
Validation and legal compliance
For many fleet operators having an accurate delivery confirmation is an important part of regulatory compliance. If you are moving aggregates, muck or waste it’s an essential part of the distribution process.
Having an electronic confirmation, showing what was delivered where, and when, can be business critical. With a paper process it makes keeping a clear trail that little bit more difficult when an audit or inspection is required by industry bodies such as the Environment Agency or the DVSA. Having a robust electronic proof of delivery process can really help!
Faster invoicing and improved cash flow
For many companies having a completed delivery note kick-starts the invoicing processes. Notes are collated, reconciled, scanned and invoices are generated and sent out to customers. This can take up to 30 days for some businesses, and then with payment terms on top, it can be quite a while before cash hits the bank account.
If the process is electronic, it’s so much faster. Electronic proof of delivery can be shared with the end customer immediately once a delivery is made and some ePOD suppliers will give you visibility of what was actually delivered. Invoices can be raised more quickly and issued almost instantaneously with some of our customers getting their invoices out on the day that the delivery was made. Cash flow is improved as a result.
Better customer experience
We all want a great delivery experience, in fact, we expect it. With the likes of Amazon and DPD whetting our appetite for a fast, informed delivery experience, our expectations as delivery recipients have increased.
Many ePOD suppliers will be able to give you the ability to trigger ETA updates for your customers. Some may even give you live tracking links so that your customers can keep track of their own deliveries. With a solution like Podfather, you get both features as standard, plus your customers can access their completed ePODs online at any time. Happy customers stay, unhappy customers will look elsewhere and the delivery experience that you offer can have a big part to play in that.
With ePOD all information is available digitally. If you need to find a particular delivery confirmation, the days of having to search through a stack of paper tickets is fast becoming a thing of the past. If you are using Podfather you can search your ePODs using a range of parameters, filter results, share ePODs with others in your team, or your customers, with ease.
This level of operational visibility saves time and improves admin processes. It allows you to respond to customers faster and get a clear understanding of what’s actually going on across your logistics business.
Using electronic proof of delivery will save you money. There’s the obvious paper saving cost but there are also the admin time costs, the savings through improved customer retention and improved cashflow.
If you opt for an ePOD supplier that does more than ‘just’ electronic proof of delivery the benefits will extend beyond the transport office. Many ePOD systems have route planning modules, which using clever algorithms, can help you optimize your delivery runs. It’s well reported that switching from a manual to automated route planning process can knock 20% off your operating costs (fuels, vehicles etc).
Still not convinced that ePOD is for you?
Paper processes do work and for many companies the fear of introducing what they perceive to be a critical process change can seem like one step too far. But, rest assured, the companies we speak to never regret the change! Plus if you pick a supplier that has great system support, user guiding, training and a well-staff helpdesk, you aren’t doing this on your own. Plus the ROI will far outweigh any costs that will be associated with introducing a new system. It’s a process change, but it will be worth it!
Podfather specialises in the development, delivery and support of route optimisation and electronic proof of delivery technology. We are a UK-based team, located in Edinburgh, and we are passionate about what we do. We work with companies of all shapes and sizes, from industry giants such as Tarmac and Breedon to well-known names such as Rexel and ODDBOX and everything else in between. It doesn’t matter what you are delivering but if you have a multi drop distribution operation and are looking to make changes then we can help. Our solution includes the following as standard:
- Route planning and optimisation
- Vehicle checks
- Customer ETA notifications
- Driver tracking
- Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD)
Together we can help you improve cash flow, reduce empty running across your fleet, improve delivery performance and get costs under control. Get in touch with us today!