Finding the time to research the benefits of a new technology solution can be a challenge. You’re already balancing customer expectations with internal pressure for improved efficiency, regulatory compliance and employee engagement. If you’re daunted by the thought of adding to all that by figuring out whether implementing electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) software is right for you, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you.
Below is a comprehensive list of the benefits of ePOD software, with links to more detailed information and customer case studies.
Whether you’ve just started to research proof of delivery software, or you’re already sold on the idea, but building a business case to take to your boss, you’ll find everything you need in this article.
Who is most likely to benefit from electronic proof of delivery software?
First off, every size and type of business with a mobile workforce can reap the rewards from advanced proof of delivery software. It is both flexible and scalable. This means the 13 benefits listed below 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 a transformation of your distribution operation.
Here are the 13 top benefits that we’ve identified:
1. Remove paperwork
With electronic proof of delivery software, you’ll find that lost or damaged paper delivery notes, time-consuming manual data entry and long delays in data processing are all problems of the past.
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 delays of up to three days before paper-based proof of delivery had been fully processed. POD 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 customer requirements 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 ensure staff is available 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 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 exactly a vision of professionalism or efficiency, is it?
Replacing delivery paperwork with proof of delivery software can improve your brand image, speed up on-site processes, and ensure your driver has all 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 an alert when the reading for a temperature-controlled item falls outside a pre-configured range.
Proof of delivery software can also improve the accuracy of the information you give 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 an item is identified as damaged, 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 incentivize the customer to keep the product.
Or, if a driver has been delayed earlier in the day, some jobs can be reallocated to avoid late deliveries and the resulting drop in customer satisfaction.
6. Create consistent processes across your fleet
Ideally, you will standardize mobile processes so they are carried out consistently across all depots, employees and sub-contractors. This ensures each customer receives a consistent brand experience and that reliable, uniform data is collected for reporting and compliance.
Because all mobile workers are using the same application to follow your pre-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 organizations, there are some circumstances in which mobile workers need to follow different procedures.
Your business may employ staff with very diverse skill sets or responsibilities, e.g. delivering medical supplies versus administering critical nursing care. The ability to create different workflows for these two activities, or indeed multiple nursing levels, recognizes that they will be carrying out different tasks but still allows you to enforce a high level of service consistent with your brand promise.
Alternatively you may be operating on behalf of a number of different clients all of whom dictate a different approach to the data that is collected, or the customer experience. It is impossible to efficiently manage this approach manually but with proof of delivery software, you can be confident of achieving this without complicated processes for your staff.
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
Exception alerts can be configured to automatically notify office-based staff of high-priority issues as they arise, without the driver needing to call into the office. Further, the processes for each delivery type are centrally configured by you and available to all drivers using the app. That means drivers do not need to call in to the office to receive instructions, even for seldom-used or complex procedures.
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 organization needs to record operational information that goes beyond 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. Optimize workforce productivity
Real-time data transmission with electronic proof of delivery software can improve workforce productivity in multiple ways, both in the office and in the field.
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 make daily KPI reporting quicker
11. Reduce inbound calls
Real-time data allows service teams to proactively warn customers of delays or issues, ideally solving the problems before they affect the customer.
This gives your customer service teams more time to focus on complex issues, or even introduce new initiatives such as satisfaction surveys.
Home furnishings retailer, SCS, is using real-time data from proof of delivery software to empower its customer care team. When a delivery issue arises, the team is able to proactively contact the customer with all of the relevant details to hand, reducing inbound calls and improving the customer experience.
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. It can also supply delivery-outcome data to your finance department to facilitate quicker invoicing. And, perhaps best of all, it can deliver real-time data to customer service teams to enable proactive management of delivery issues.
13. Collate and monitor KPI data for continuous improvement
With advanced proof of delivery software, the data your drivers record can be automatically consolidated 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 which 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’s 4 biggest concerns.
Alternatively, you can always get in touch with one of our experienced team, who will take time to understand your requirements and then arrange a demonstration of the fleXipod electronic proof of delivery software.