Why is ePOD important to a delivery business?
ePOD stands for electronic proof of delivery. It is the process of capturing delivery confirmation without the need for paper tickets. But why do you need it and how do you select the right ePOD provider?
What is an ePOD
An ePOD is an electronic delivery note, basically confirmation that an act, for example, a collection or delivery, has been completed. For a company with a logistics fleet, the humble delivery note confirms what items are delivered where, allowing orders to be processed, invoices issued, and payment collected. It normally takes the form of an electronic document that your customer signs and if you are lucky your drivers can capture photographic proof as well.
Why do I need ePOD?
Many of the companies we speak to use paper tickets that are handed to drivers to take out on their delivery route. Although there is nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with doing that, relying on the safe return of a completed paper delivery note is not without its challenges. They can get lost, ripped, come back illegible and then what do you do? They also need to be stored on-site, sat in a storage box somewhere just in case there is a discrepancy that needs to be dealt with. And if there is a customer discrepancy that needs to be dealt with you need the physical ticket in your hand to piece together the puzzle of what went on and when.
Now, let’s look at the electronic route.
- If you capture electronic proof of delivery, you have a digital record that’s easily accessible, no more scanning, filing and sorting of reams of paper every day.
- With electronic proof of delivery, you can deal with discrepancies quickly and efficiently. You can see what was delivered where and act accordingly. Response times for enquiries are much faster and more efficient.
- An electronic paper trail means you can invoice faster. You don’t need to collate, reconcile, and scan all your delivery notes to generate invoices. We have seen companies slash the time to invoice from 30 days to just 24 hours. Such changes have a big impact on cash flow.
- Electronic proof of delivery does not mean less people. Automating processes does not make staff redundant, it empowers them to be more efficient with their time.
- With digital delivery notes, you have a clear audit trail. What if you need to prove to a regulatory body that a certain delivery was made to a specific location? With a digitized process, you have that information at your fingertips.
What ePOD solutions are out there?
Not all ePOD solutions were created equal. Which one you choose depends on what your business needs are. Most will give you an electronic note and the ability to capture electronic signatures. Some will allow you to capture photographs and share the ePOD directly with your customer in real time. Others will be part of a bigger solution that also offers features such as route planning, customer ETA notifications and performance reporting. So be sure to understand your real business needs before you start your selection process.
Making the right choice
Here at Podfather we make it our business to understand your business. That’s why we have a dedicated business development team whose job is to get to the bottom of your current operational challenges and deliver a solution that gives you measurable results that are important to your business.
That said, ePOD is not really a stand-alone piece of functionality. The real power of eradicating paper from the distribution process is not ‘just’ having an electronic paper trail. If you look at the bigger picture, having ePOD is just a small element of a much more substantial process. After all, if you have a fleet of vehicles delivering to customers you will want to have visibility of what routes are going where, keep your customers notified with real-time ETA updates, and report on key performance indicators such as first-time, on-time delivery performance and planned vs actual mileage.
So, if you think there is nothing wrong with your existing paper process, we would suggest that you ask yourself a number of operational questions:
- How many delivery notes are you producing and processing each week? How many pieces of paper does that equate to and what is the cost?
- What is the cost to your business of processing those paper delivery notes? Creating them, checking, collating, scanning etc.
- What is the average cost per delivery and how many delivery discrepancies and refunds do you having to process each month? How many of these are caused by the lack of visibility that a paper process gives you?
- How many boxes or filing cabinets of delivery notes are sat in your transport office or in a storeroom somewhere?
ePOD solutions don’t have to cost the earth and the benefits far outweigh the costs involved. Your ePOD supplier should be clear on costs, have a product roadmap that suits your business needs and be prepared to support you on your journey to going paperless. Forgive the shameless plug but Podfather is one such supplier! So, if you want to get a fast ROI from a robust, easy-to-use solution, then give us a call today on 0131 553 0400 or email email@example.com
Podfather specializes 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 cashflow, reduce empty running across your fleet, improve delivery performance and get costs under control.
We'd love the opportunity to talk to you about how you currently plan and manage your transport operation. Our experienced business development team are here to listed to your challenges and offer a solution that works for you. Get in touch with us today.