1. What is an electronic proof of delivery (ePOD)?
An electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) is a digital version of a delivery note (a document used to confirm a completed delivery and, in some cases, also authorize payment). With a transportation management system (TMS), ePOD will allow field workers to capture data and verify success or failure for their tasks.
Traditionally, proof of delivery is a paper document (such as a delivery order, delivery note, or book) that the customer must sign to confirm receipt of the goods and, in some cases, to issue an invoice.
However, with the advent of ePOD, the whole process has been digitized. Now, electronic proof of delivery will completely replace the traditional paper, saving time and helping improve the operational flexibility of the staff. Moreover, this change also provides the company's office staff with the updated delivery status and better control over the delivery activities. ePOD software also helps optimize the amount of data businesses can collect from their customers beyond names and signatures. Companies can take advantage of this further information to provide a better customer experience while reducing operating costs.
Here are the benefits of implementing electronic proof of delivery software in the delivery business, proving that many companies from many different industries have been actively adopting this software, especially during the pandemic.
2. How does electronic proof of delivery work?
ePOD, used by both the in-office dispatcher and the shipper, typically has two main parts:
The Mobile App system collects various types of data;
The Web App system manages, adds, modifies, and monitors data from the office.
The above workflow enables drivers and dispatchers to collect proof of delivery at every delivery location during their daily deliveries. At the same time, businesses can also access information about customers to provide better transportation services.
Most modern ePOD software (standalone or as part of a broader solution) running on iOS and Android operating systems makes it easy for businesses to choose the suitable device for their operational or integration requirements.
In addition to collecting digital signatures, barcodes, QR codes, or other types of verification, electronic proof of delivery solutions can also record each task’s time and geographic location in a single transaction. In some cases, photos are also included. All data will then be transferred back to the dispatcher's Web App system.
Providing access to the office staff will increase the transparency of the entire delivery operation. It allows essential departments to monitor operations directly, track trip information and make quick decisions in real-time. Higher visibility also improves efficiency and accuracy at every stage of the delivery process at no additional cost to the business. At the same time, ePOD software will help customers receive more accurate information about their delivery, such as the order status or ETA, to enhance their experience.
3. Common data types of ePOD
In addition to standard digital signatures, the most modern and advanced software supports other types of verification, including:
Alphanumeric information field.
As soon as the delivery man opens the app on their device to verify the delivery, the app automatically collects other relevant data, such as:
Timestamp (time of delivery);
After the data is collected, it will be transmitted immediately to the Web App system so that the office staff can analyze and provide timely support.
4. Benefits of ePOD
Simplify the process
Removing paperwork from the delivery confirmation process is perhaps the most significant benefit that ePOD software can bring to any business.
Manual data collection is a time-consuming process due to the long delay between the information collection and processing phases. Moreover, documents also carry many risks such as easy damage, loss, or destruction.
In contrast, electronic proof of delivery has many outstanding advantages. Mobile ePOD software allows carriers to collect data from the field by swiping the screen, reducing the burden of time and effort manually filling out forms.
After the data is collected, the software will upload this information to the Web App system immediately so that everyone can access it in real-time and ensure the security of the information.
Flexible in customer support
Several features integrated with ePOD software allow businesses to update delivery progress to customers accurately. These include:
Notifications and alerts help customers plan their time around projected timelines (ETAs). For example, businesses that integrate electronic proof of delivery can send customers reminder emails on the delivery date or text messages an hour before the goods arrive.
Real-time delivery tracking keeps dispatchers and customers updated on the delivery status and location of the order. For example, knowing the location of a package can help agents notify customers of its arrival.
Delivery information helps dispatchers confirm receipt of goods and receive special requests for customer returns. For example, the Feedback and Review features from customers will help businesses control the performance of carriers at many different routes, making future transportation coordination easy and tailored to customer needs.
Improve quality service
Using an ePOD for order confirmation will make the process faster, simpler, and above all, more efficient than traditional paper. For businesses, all information related to delivery and recipients will be evident with just one swipe, which helps create a memorable experience for customers.
Increase the accuracy of proof of delivery
Electronic proof of delivery offers a wide range of options for data collection so that businesses can build and create their electronic forms. With timelines and images updated in real-time, dispatchers gain insight into the field, making it easier and quicker to respond to requests and particular circumstances during the delivery.
Provide real-time control
The ePOD's ability to transmit data from the field to the dispatch center allows managers to stay updated with the latest information on orders, delivery status, and more. As a result, they can timely respond to any unusual situations to ensure the best customer experience.
More visibility also means greater control and transparency, which helps businesses better manage their fleet and coordinate resources when dealing with issues that affect customer expectations.
5. ePOD in practice
Many distributors and carriers such as Kospa, DHL, or Habeco have applied Electronic Proof of Delivery to their daily work.
The distribution and transportation of goods of the above enterprises have been significantly improved after using ePOD. Specifically, the ability to instantly send, receive, and access data will boost workforce productivity.
In addition, drivers can also optimize delivery productivity because dispatchers can reschedule and rebuild delivery plans for orders that arise during the day. Eliminating manual input also helps optimize human resources to use them on more important tasks.
Best of all, businesses can use the vast amount of data collected to optimize performance at every stage of the delivery process. Dispatchers can also analyze the KPIs needed to evaluate the fleet performance and offer improved solutions, which helps increase the whole system’s efficiency.
In general, businesses using Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) have given very positive feedback about the effectiveness of this software for their businesses.