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The Ultimate Guide to Proof of Delivery Software

Finding time to research the benefits of a new technology solution can be a challenge. Especially when you’re already balancing customer expectations with internal pressure for improved efficiency, regulatory compliance and employee engagement. So we thought we’d help out by doing the leg work for you.

Below is a comprehensive list of the benefits of electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) software, with links to more detailed information, real-world use cases and customer examples.

Whether you’re building a business case or just trying to decide if proof of delivery software is right for your business, you’ll find everything you need in this article.

Who is most likely to benefit from electronic proof of delivery software?

Before we start, we should point out that advanced proof of delivery software is both flexible and scalable. This means that the following benefits are applicable to companies large and small, across a huge range of industries, from food distributors to field service operations.

No matter what industry you operate in, the benefits of using proof of delivery software such as enhanced customer service, improved operational efficiency, reduced costs and simplified processes for your staff, can all add up to transform your distribution operation.

We’ve identified 13 benefits …

What are the benefits of electronic proof of delivery software?

1. Remove paperwork

With electronic proof of delivery software, lost or damaged paper delivery notes, time-consuming manual data entry and long delays in data processing are all problems of the past.

Instead, proof of delivery software reduces the administrative burden of paperwork by guiding drivers through simple electronic processes and providing office-based teams with data in real-time.

Product Care, a high-quality delivery and aftercare service, was experiencing significant delays of up to three days before paper-based proof of delivery had been fully processed. ePOD software is now enabling the company to proactively manage daily activity, improve efficiency and respond quickly to any customer issues.

2. Improve customer communication

With advanced proof of delivery software you can use one or more of the following features to ensure your customers are kept informed throughout the delivery process.

  • Pre-delivery notifications – Help your customers plan their time with automated delivery updates configured to your requirements. Examples include, an email sent the day before delivery or an SMS 30 minutes before arrival.
  • Day of delivery tracking – Providing a real-time tracking portal can help satisfy the customer requirement for visibility while helping you improve first time delivery success. Think of a busy convenience store manager, for example. Up to date knowledge of when stock is due to arrive will help them co-ordinate staff breaks and ensure they are able to accept the delivery as soon as it arrives.
  • Post-delivery proof of delivery data – Providing confirmation of exact delivery locations and adherence to special instructions keeps your customer informed and can improve trust in your brand as well as helping to prevent negative customer feedback and spurious claims.

3. Enhance on-site service

Picture a driver handwriting a paper delivery note (maybe it’s even rain-soaked or crumpled) … it’s not an overly professional or efficient image, right?

On the other hand, replacing delivery paperwork with proof of delivery software can improve your brand image, speed up on-site processes and ensure your driver has all of the relevant details to hand, including any customer provided delivery instructions.

Simplifying on-site processes and providing an easy to use application also helps reduce pressure on your drivers, increasing the likelihood that they will deliver great customer service and become your best brand ambassadors.

4. Improve accuracy and detail of proof of delivery

Using advanced proof of delivery software provides a range of data capture options, from photos and notes, to checkboxes and alpha-numeric fields, that can be combined into your own business specific electronic forms. This enables you to capture a more detailed picture of what is happening in the field and trigger different processes depending on the answers your drivers provide. For example, you can activate a trigger if a reading for a temperature controlled item does not fall within the pre-configured range.

Proof of delivery software can also improve the accuracy of the information you provide your customers. For example, Canadian brick and concrete manufacturer, Brampton Brick, is using location-stamped photos of the delivery location, to record exactly which drop-off point or entrance was used at large customer sites.

5. Enhance real-time visibility

With data from the field transmitted in real-time, your operational and customer service teams are able to stay up to date and respond quickly to any issues. This can provide value in multiple ways, from workforce management to customer service.

For example, if a damaged item is logged, office-based staff can immediately review photos sent by the driver and contact the customer to arrange re-delivery or, if the driver is still on-site, service staff can even negotiate a discount to incentivise the customer to keep the product.

6. Create consistent processes across your fleet

The goal: standard mobile processes are carried out consistently across depots, employees and sub-contractors ensuring each customer receives a consistent brand experience and reliable, uniform data is collected for reporting and compliance.

Because all mobile workers are using the same application to follow your set procedures, proof of delivery software helps this goal become a reality.

Find out how:

Proof of delivery software helps ensure mobile workers follow procedure in the field

You can use proof of delivery software when using subcontractors

ePOD software can help you achieve customer service consistency

7. Configure different workflows to support your requirements

While consistency is crucial for many organisations, there are some circumstances in which mobile workers should follow different procedures.

Whether you have multiple mobile teams, such as ‘deliver’ and ‘install’ workers, or, you need to provide varying service levels for different customer contracts, advanced proof of delivery software can help you manage these requirements. All without bespoke and costly software changes.

For example, leading third party logistics provider, Wincanton, is using ePOD software to create tailored workflows to support individual client delivery requirements and bolster its new business offering.

8. Reduce time spent on internal communication

The processes for each delivery type are centrally configured by you and available to all drivers using the app, meaning that they do not need to call into the office to receive instructions, even for seldom used or lengthy procedures. In addition, exception alerts can be configured to automatically notify office-based staff of high priority issues as they arise, again without the driver needing to call into the office.

If office-based staff need to communicate with drivers, they can send messages to individuals or groups, with receipt of messages recorded so office teams can confirm when each individual driver has read the message. Communication is quick and consistent and there’s an audit trail.

9. Simplify and ensure compliance in the recording of operational data

From vehicle checklists and on-site risk assessments to temperature readings and driver break records, every organisation has operational information to record in addition to proof of delivery data.

Using proof of delivery software to collect this information has multiple benefits, including:

Furniture retailer, Barker and Stonehouse, is streamlining a variety of data capture processes using proof of delivery software including daily pre-shift vehicle checks and equipment checklists.

10. Optimise workforce productivity

Real-time data transmission with electronic proof of delivery software can improve workforce productivity in multiple ways both in the office and out on the road.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Quicker on-site processes mean drivers are able to complete more drops per day
  • Removal of manual data entry frees up office-based staff for higher-value tasks
  • Real-time data availability and pre-configured dashboards makes daily KPI reporting quicker

11. Reduce inbound calls

Automated notifications and real-time tracking give customers up to date information about the delivery status of their order, leading to fewer WISMO calls. Real-time data also allows services teams to proactively warn customers of delays or issues, ideally solving problems before they can affect the customer. For example, if a driver has been delayed earlier in the day, some jobs can be reallocated to avoid late deliveries and the resulting inbound enquiries.

All of this gives your customer service teams more time to focus on complex issues or even introduce new initiatives such as satisfaction surveys.

12. Share data across your business

Whether you provide everybody across your business with access to your proof of delivery system or share the information by integrating it with your other business systems, the data your drivers collect can enhance processes across a variety of departments.

Proof of delivery software can provide warehouse teams with item level information to help manage stock levels and process returns; supply job outcome data to your finance department to facilitate quicker invoicing; and deliver real-time data to customer service teams to enable proactive management of delivery issues.

13. Collate and monitor KIP data for continuous improvement

With advanced proof of delivery software, the data your drivers record can be automatically collated into dashboards for daily reporting as well as strategic trend analysis. You can use this actionable data to identify areas for immediate improvement, amending the workflows your workers follow out in the field without costly software changes or disruptive change management processes.

No matter what industry you operate in, electronic proof of delivery software offers a range of benefits that can enhance your customer service and streamline your operational efficiency.

So, what’s stopping you?

Not sure it will work for your industry or fleet? 

Worried about internal resistance to a new system?

Simplifying daily tasks for your drivers means that staff adoption is less likely to be a barrier to implementation.

Not sure which system is right for you?

Need to convince your boss?  

You can use the list above as the starting point for a business case or check out this blog post about tackling your boss’ 4 biggest concerns.

Alternatively, you can always get in touch with one of our experienced team who can chat through your requirements and arrange a demonstration of Aptean Proof of Delivery software.

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