Electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) refers to a digital version of the delivery note (a document used to confirm completed deliveries and in some cases also to allow billing), and the software app that enables field agents to capture that data and verify the success or failure of their tasks.
Traditionally, proof of delivery was a paper document (delivery order, delivery note, or docket) that customers had to sign to verify the receipt of the delivery and in some cases to allow the billing of their order.
With the advent of ePOD, however, the entire process was digitally transformed and improved.
Now, companies can use digital proof of delivery to increase the mobility and flexibility of their operatives, while at the same time, gaining more visibility and control over the activities they perform.
The capabilities of ePOD also extend the volume of data companies can collect from their customers, reaching far beyond the basic name and signature.
With more information at their fingertips, companies can use it to their advantage to provide a better customer experience while at the same time reducing their operating costs.
It’s easy to see how the implementation of electronic proof of delivery systems benefits everyone involved in the life cycle of each delivery, and why many businesses, across all industries, are no longer delaying its adoption.
As it is used both by agents in the field and operators at the office, ePOD software commonly has two equally important components:
The workflow on, or as part of, a mobile app helps drivers and other agents in the field to collect proof of delivery at every drop-off location throughout their daily delivery run. At the same time, agents can also access information about their customers to provide a better service upon arrival at their destination.
Most modern ePOD software (either standalone or as part of a broader solution) runs on iOS and Android operating systems, which makes it easier to choose devices that match operational requirements or integrate the software with existing catalogues of smartphones, tablets, or in-cab devices.
Apart from collecting electronic signatures, barcodes, QR codes, or other types of verification, electronic proof of delivery solutions might also capture time- and geo-stamps on each task as well as in some cases photos as well. After it is collected, all of the data from the field is relayed back to the central hub for registry and review. Some solutions such as eLogii enable this to happen on a live, as-it-happens basis.
Providing access to the digital dashboard to office teams raises the transparency of the entire delivery operation. It lets essential staff monitor live operations, track information as it arrives, and make decisions in real-time based on that data.
The higher degree of visibility also raises the efficiency and accuracy at every stage of the delivery lifecycle with no extra cost to the company.
Teams using powerful end-to-end software solutions of which ePOD is a part can use incoming POD data to modify routes, boost the performance of depot operations, or update driver schedules, and immediately send those changes to carriers in the field.
At the same time, it helps customers receive more accurate information about their deliveries, such as current status or ETAs, which enhances their experience with your service.
A powerful digital proof of delivery systems is configured to capture data according to the operational needs of your organization.
Apart from the standard electronic signature, the most modern and advanced software supports other types of verification, including:
As soon as your delivery agent opens the app on their device to verify the delivery at the drop-off location, the app automatically captures other relevant data, such as:
After the data is collected, it is instantly transmitted to the central information hub for analysis by the team at the office.
Given that digital proof of delivery is flexible and scalable, it benefits small, medium, and large companies across a range of different industries, from food and beverage distribution to field service operations.
Regardless of the size of your company, type of industry, whether you are operating an internal or external fleet, integrating ePOD can transform your operation into a more efficient and cost-effective delivery service.
Here are nine benefits that let you see how:
Removing paperwork from the delivery confirmation process is by far the biggest benefit of mobile proof of delivery software to any organization.
Manually collecting data is a time-consuming process. It is marked by long delays between the stage of gathering information and processing it. And it relies on a medium that is easily damaged, lost, or destroyed.
By contrast, digital proof of delivery software is easy to use. The mobile ePOD software lets carriers collect data from the field with the swipe of the screen, which minimizes the administrative and financial burden filling out forms by hand.
Once collected, the app uploads the information into the system without delay, which becomes accessible to everyone in real-time and can’t be easily damaged or lost.
Several features integrated with mobile ePOD software allow operators to ensure accurate information reaches the customer about their deliveries. These may include:
Using an electronic proof of delivery app to verify the receipt of goods is a much more efficient method of confirmation. Not only that, but it’s also much faster, simpler, and more professional than using a paper docket.
For carriers, it also means having all the relevant information about the delivery and its recipient at the swipe of the screen, which makes it easier to provide a memorable service to customers at every drop-off.
Because digital proof of delivery provides a surplus of options when it comes to capturing data, a company can combine and custom-build its unique electronic form.
From photos and driver comments to checkboxes and time-stamps, it gives customer service operators a greater depth of insight from the field, which they can use to provide more accurate information to customers.
Allowing information to flow from the field to the central hub lets operators at the office stay up to date with the latest developments. They can easily review data as it arrives, and quickly take action if the situation requires it.
More visibility also means more control and transparency. This results in better management of the fleet and a more dynamic distribution of resources, which can be useful to customer service agents when handling issues that affect customer expectations.
Connecting all teams through one platform creates a uniformed network across the entire delivery service, which develops a standardized process that the workforce can carry out consistently across various departments, depots, and stages of delivery.
At the same time, the system ensures everyone involved in the delivery complies with the standard when collecting data or creating reports, while the data itself is uniformed according to the same format. That consistency makes it easier to build a steady stream of data that everyone can easily access and use.
Even though the system provides consistency across the delivery service, it doesn’t forbid the disruption of the workflow to complete unique tasks or manage the process during specific situations.
This allows organizations to adapt the various stages of the service, or create completely customized workflows to meet client demands for their deliveries. All of which is facilitated without any resource-heavy changes to the system.
Using one platform to plan, manage, track, schedule, and complete tasks also make it easier to communicate internally.
For example, when drivers want to access some information on their delivery run, they can simply use the driver app instead of making unnecessary calls to operators at the office.
Additionally, the software is usually configured to send out automatic notifications to carriers, which also eliminates the need to contact other members of the team.
If, on the other hand, operators have to get in touch with carriers, they can simply use the integrated messaging system, which can be set up to deliver text messages either to individual agents or to groups of agents operating in the same fleet.
The ability to send and receive and access data instantly via the electronic proof of delivery devices boost the productivity of the workforce.
It makes it possible for drivers and carriers to complete more delivery drop-offs, as operators can dynamically schedule new tasks as orders arrive.
Removing the need for manual data entry also frees up vital resources for everyone involved in the delivery service, which can be put to better use completing more valuable tasks.
Most of all, the vast amount of collected data can be used to optimize performance at every stage of the delivery process. Operations managers can analyze essential KPIs to uncover problems and fix them or simply take steps to improve various activities across the entire service.
We have everything you need to start improving your delivery.
Here are the nine free guides that will show you exactly what we do to optimize the last mile and dominate delivery logistics.
1. The definitive and complete guide to Route Optimization Software
2. Why mapping multiple delivery stops is impossible without software
3. How to leverage Route Planning Software to drive delivery excellence
5. How we crush customer experience with delivery management software
6. Where to find and how to choose delivery management software
8. How we dominate reverse logistics and eCommerce returns
9. How teams dominate remote work using nothing but Field Service Software
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