Improving customer experience is one of the top priorities for any manager. Automation holds the key to improving customer service and achieving business excellence. Slowly but surely, businesses have started understanding this mantra of success and are automating their processes. The way you deliver your products to the end user has a major impact on your customer experience. To streamline your delivery process, replace traditional pen and paper systems with mobile ePOD.
Mobile ePOD: An introduction
Mobile ePOD or electronic proof of delivery software includes a digital version of a conventional (paper) delivery note or delivery order. A delivery note is a document that includes information about the shipment. When the delivery is successfully completed, the delivery personnel hands over the delivery note to the customer for signing as proof of delivery.
The delivery note is required to bill the customer and also serves as proof that the delivery was successfully completed. An electronic proof of delivery is the electronic version of this document. There are many reasons why several companies are moving from a pen and paper system to an electronic system. Mobile ePODs not only help save time but are also nothing short of a blessing for organizations that are struggling to reduce their carbon footprint.
Equipped with advanced inventory tracking capabilities, modern ePOD systems help delivery teams avoid delivery errors and delays.
Generating an electronic proof of delivery
Businesses use different methods to generate electronic proof of delivery. The simplest method involves scanning paper delivery notes submitted by the drivers at the end of every day.
A more advanced method involves using handheld scanning devices. Companies using this method distribute handheld scanning devices to their delivery crew that use these devices for capturing the customer’s initials and barcode scanning as proof of delivery. The major downside of this method is the high cost of handheld scanning devices.
To keep tabs on their costs, many businesses use mobile applications to create ePODs. These solutions do not require costly hardware to function, which helps cut operating costs.
Mobile ePOD apps can be classified into two categories:
Basic ePOD apps: Teams using these apps have to download the delivery document before getting the customer’s signature.
Advanced ePOD apps: Come with a robust backend system that can generate delivery documents or help import it. Once the driver submits proof of a successful delivery, the system auto-generates the delivery document. Advanced ePOD apps are equipped with a range of features that help all the stakeholders including the customer track the shipment.
Some notable features of mobile ePODs are:
- Sharing daily manifest with drivers.
- Facilitating digital transfer of proof of delivery such as customers’ signatures and photographs.
- Configuring routes, drivers and vehicles.
- Generating real-time delivery reports.
- Sending proof of delivery emails and invoices to the parties involved.
Reduced carbon footprints
Over the years, global warming has emerged as a major threat to humanity. As a responsible business, you need to realise this threat and take steps to contribute to sustainability. One way you can do this is by trading your paper-based delivery system for an ePOD system. Because these systems capture data digitally, your staff won’t need paper to perform their daily tasks.
Poor coordination between drivers and the in-house delivery team is a recipe for disaster and can result in delivery errors and delays. To help address this problem, delivery ePOD systems are specially designed to facilitate communication between drivers and transport teams.
Drivers can use the system to provide real-time updates to the in-house team regarding the delivery status. When the in-house team members are constantly in the know regarding the delivery status, they can answer customer queries in a timely fashion, which helps improve customer service. Real-time updates also help improve the cash flow as the billing staff can bill confirmed deliveries immediately.
Reduced business risks
Relying on a paper-based process can prove to be a costly mistake. There are several risks associated with maintaining paper records and invoices. Paper records are often misplaced, misfiled and destroyed. ePOD systems with a digital interface help address this problem. When everything is recorded and stored digitally, you do not have to stress about losing strategic data.
Additionally, ePOD systems can share information with other systems which helps avoid delays. A digital system facilitates real-time problem detection, helping ensure that a problem is eliminated before it snowballs into a major concern.
Reduced costs and errors
Filing paper documents is a time-taking and effort-intensive exercise. Additionally, paper-based systems are heavily reliant on humans, which makes them highly prone to errors. Automated ePOD systems help address these flaws of paper-based systems. Additionally, you don’t need to spend a substantial amount on printing and document storage. Manual data entry processes are eliminated which helps your staff save time and efforts.
Improved customer experience
Your ePOD system allows your drivers to upload information related to delivery preferences. These preferences are visible to other drivers, who can follow the instructions provided by the customer to ensure error-free delivery. ePOD systems also allow drivers to record any complaints or problems related to the delivery. With this data available at their fingertips, your teams can act swiftly to address customer problems. ePOD systems can also be used to collect customer feedback and conduct surveys.