The Benefits of Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD) in Road Haulage
A manual proof of delivery process is hard work, for everyone. All that producing paper documents and getting them out to drivers, the lack of visibility of what’s actually happening with deliveries, and lost, delayed or damaged paperwork wastes valuable time that could be spent on other tasks.
It’s a common problem haulage companies face when they plan work on paper, spreadsheets or whiteboards. It places a huge admin burden on the haulier.
As hauliers are constantly seeking ways to streamline operations, optimise efficiency, and ultimately improve speed of invoicing, they are turning to Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD) systems to achieve them.
What is Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD)?
Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD) is a digital solution that replaces traditional paper-based delivery documentation with an automated and real-time process. It enables hauliers to capture, track, and verify delivery information using mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. Through ePoD, hauliers can obtain a wide range of valuable data points, including customer signatures, timestamps, GPS coordinates, and photos of delivered goods.
How does ePOD software work?
Haulage transport managers create, plan and allocate jobs direct to drivers using their transport management system (TMS). The jobs are sent from the TMS and appear in the driver’s ePOD app. All it takes is the click of a button and jobs appear in the order they need to be made.
ePOD apps can also allow the back office to have a real-time view of delivery progress. At each delivery point drivers update the job status which simultaneously updates progress in the TMS, keeping back-office staff informed.
At the delivery point, drivers ask recipients to sign-on-glass for a digital signature. To avoid contact, drivers can also sign the recipient’s name. Digital signatures are then transposed by the TMS onto an electronic delivery note.
Drivers can also take photos of the delivery on location as well as record instances of non-conformance and this information is saved in the TMS, and is stored safely and securely for future reference.
What are the benefits of Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD)?
1) Improved Cash Flow through Faster Invoicing
One of the most prominent ways ePoD software enhances cash flow is by accelerating the invoicing process. With real-time data collection at the point of delivery, hauliers can generate invoices instantly and accurately. This immediate invoicing eliminates the delays caused by manual paperwork processing, postal delivery, and potential errors. It also means this process can be carried out without relying on the driver to return to the office with the paper PODs, it can all be done remotely. As a result, customers receive invoices promptly, leading to quicker payments and, subsequently, an improved cash flow for the business.
“The ability to share pictures quickly has made communication throughout the business so much simpler and processes such as driver training and sharing information with customers quick and easy not to mention “instant photo POD’s” which are standard on every delivery.”
Tim Bloch, MD, Bishopsgate
2) Minimised Errors and Disputes
Manual paperwork is prone to errors and misinterpretations, leading to costly disputes between hauliers and customers. In contrast, ePoD software offers a higher level of accuracy and transparency in the delivery process. The digital records of delivery transactions, complete with timestamps and GPS data, leave little room for misunderstandings or disputes. This reduction in disputes not only saves time and resources but also maintains stronger relationships with customers and strengthens the business’s reputation.
3) Reduced Operational Costs
Moving away from the old method of handling paperwork and embracing an ePoD system makes the entire delivery process smoother. This shift to automation means there’s less need for tasks like entering data, storing paperwork, and manually making sure everything matches up. The TMS system takes care of creating invoices – whether it’s one at a time or in groups – and sends them to customers along with electronic proof of delivery (POD). These invoices have all the details, even if there were changes in quantities, which really helps improve the accuracy invoicing. As a result admin teams get more breathing room to focus on other important responsibilities.
“Since implementing Go we can plan our jobs in 5 minutes rather than 40 minutes. Now I get my planning done during the day rather than at home after the working day has finished.”
David Griffiths, Director at RJK Logistics
4) Enhanced Customer Experience and Loyalty
In the digital age, customers expect seamless and transparent interactions with businesses. By implementing ePoD applications, hauliers can offer real-time updates on delivery status, estimated delivery times, and instant access to proof of delivery at any time in the future. These features enhance the overall customer experience, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat buyers, thereby bolstering revenue and profitability.
In conclusion, the implementation of Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD) has emerged as a game-changer for hauliers seeking to improve cash flow and profitability. By digitising the delivery process and leveraging real-time data, ePoD systems enable hauliers to accelerate the invoicing process, reduce DSO, minimise errors, and enhance overall customer experiences. Embracing ePoD not only transforms traditional delivery methods but also positions hauliers at the forefront of the digital revolution, setting the stage for sustained success in today’s competitive marketplace.