Getting detailed insight into exactly how your delivery operations are functioning helps you improve – saving money and increasing competitiveness. Dealing with delays and other problems quickly, and satisfying customer demands for timely information about the status of their deliveries, is the name of the game in a world led by Amazon. Now more than ever, you need real-time visibility of your delivery operations.
Using a paper-based system to manage data capture processes in your mobile workforce operation results in slow and costly updates from the field. You have to wait for your drivers to return to base with physical paperwork. Then there are further delays created by office-based staff manually entering data into the relevant system(s). The result is that it can be days before the information is freely available to use throughout your business. Worse, it may well be inaccurate or incomplete.
Consequences of this can vary from business to business, but common examples include:
Implementing an electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) system can remove these problems by replacing delivery paperwork with streamlined electronic processes.
With an electronic proof of delivery system, your drivers collect data on a user-friendly mobile application that can be installed on your choice of mobile Android device. All the data your drivers enter is accessible in real-time via a browser-based central management portal, including operational information and proof of delivery data.
Data that can be transmitted to office-based staff includes:
The central management portal provides “at-a-glance” overview screens that give office-based staff the ability to see progress out in the field as it happens, with the option of viewing more in-depth details if required. For more important events, alerts can be created that send out immediate notification of high priority issues.
To further enhance visibility, the data your drivers collect can also be fed into other business systems, providing business-critical information to various departments in your organization such as customer service, accounts payable, fulfillment and warehousing.
Real-time visibility of data from the field can be valuable across your organization for many reasons. Here are three of the most common ways real-time visibility can help your business:
Streamline operational processes, throughout the business
A proof of delivery system streamlines real-time mobile workforce management by providing real-time updates of each driver’s location and their progress through the daily task list. That means you can stay agile in deploying your resources. For example, if your model requires you to accept emergency jobs throughout the day, office-based staff can quickly allocate incoming jobs to the most appropriate driver.
By integrating an ePOD system with your other business systems, real-time data visibility can optimize processes for teams throughout your business. Just two examples: real-time notification of job completions can speed up billing procedures, and visibility of returns can streamline warehouse and stock management processes.
Enhance customer service, reduce customer queries
Increased visibility of delivery activities allows you to improve the delivery experience for your customers. A proof of delivery system gives your service team easy access to estimated time of arrival information as well as confirmation of delivery outcomes, which means they can respond to customer queries promptly and with reliable information.
It also prevents strain on your customer service resources by reducing the number of inbound customer queries. Your customer service teams can proactively alert a customer if a delivery is behind schedule, or some other problem has been identified, rather than waiting for the driver or the customer to get in touch. That not only reduces the number of inbound queries; it also provides a better customer experience, enhancing your competitive edge.
Using real-time delivery data, it may even be possible for office-based staff to prevent issues before they affect the customer. For example, if a driver has been delayed earlier in the day, office-based staff can assess the impact on the delivery schedule and re-allocate jobs as necessary to prevent late deliveries.
Improve regulatory or compliance procedures
The enhanced visibility available with a proof of delivery system means that office-based staff can take appropriate actions immediately when a regulatory or compliance issue arises, rather than waiting for the driver to return with the paperwork. Examples of where this is useful can range from generating a vehicle checklist that must be filled out at the beginning of the day to specific questions presented to the driver when delivering controlled substances.
In addition, providing immediate visibility to office-based staff means your drivers are not solely responsible for making compliance decisions. For example, if a driver flags a problem when completing an on-site risk assessment, office-based staff can review the data, including any photos or notes, make a decision and get back to the driver with instructions – all within a matter of minutes.
Implementing a proof of delivery system provides your business with enhanced operational visibility via real-time data. The benefits include improving efficiency across multiple business departments, and enhancing your customer service performance. An advanced proof of delivery system is flexible, too; you can configure the processes and data capture requirements your drivers follow to ensure you are receiving data that’s tailored to your specific business needs.
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