In an increasingly competitive delivery market, documenting delivery performance has become a critical business function. It’s not enough to deliver the goods, or even provide in-transit visibility; customers want to know when a delivery occurred, who accepted the delivery, and what condition the goods were in when they were delivered.
Real-time proof of delivery software and mobile computing can provide the delivery confirmation data that your customers are demanding. Using a combination of signature capture, date/time stamps, barcode scanning, and optional GPS data, freight and delivery companies can provide automatic verification that a delivery was made, as well as document the condition of the goods and generate all necessary invoices and receipts.
These solutions can increase customer confidence, eliminate disputes with customers about delivery times/conditions, and even speed up the billing cycle and order-to-cash cycle. Drivers can eliminate the hassle of dealing with paper forms at the delivery site, as well as managing that paperwork during their route. They also won’t have to go through an inefficient, paper-based reconciliation process at the end of the route. Using these solutions can even reduce idling, since drivers will spend less time at each stop.
There are other benefits as well. Many retailers, for example, will levy chargebacks when deliveries are late, if there are mistakes in the delivery, or if the goods are damaged. With a proof of delivery solution, drivers can provide time-stamped records that can be used when there is a dispute about a delivery. This electronic record also provides a more accurate delivery record, and arms drivers with the information they need to address any potential problems (a damaged package or an inaccurate shipment) on the spot.
Because customers can sign off on the order directly on the mobile computer, orders and deliveries are more accurate and any discrepancies can be dealt with immediately. Equipped with rugged mobile computers, drivers can scan all barcoded packaging, and even take photos of any damaged merchandise.
Here are five key features you should look for in a proof of delivery solution:
Automated Data Capture: The ability to scan barcodes at the point of delivery will eliminate paperwork and manual data entry, and tie the delivery automatically to the purchase order, as well as the inventory and billing systems.
Electronic Reconciliation: The solution should provide electronic signature capture, as well as the ability to generate electronic receipts and invoices that can be e-mailed directly to customers upon completion of a delivery. This enables same-day invoicing.
Real-time, Secure Communications: Wireless communication with back-end systems will improve efficiency and provide up-to-date information to customers. The proof of delivery software, the mobile device, and the wireless connection should provide end-to-end encryption of all customer data — especially sensitive payment information.
Integrated Location and Hours of Service Tracking: GPS data will ensure that customers know exactly where and when each delivery was made. For companies that fall under federal Hours of Service or International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA), the ability to automatically track and record this information will make drivers even more efficient by eliminating paper logs.
Flexible Hardware Support: Mobile computers are evolving rapidly. The solution you deploy today could be obsolete in a few years. Choose a proof of delivery solution that is open and flexible enough to support your hardware needs today and in the future, regardless of operating system or form factor (tablet, smartphone, rugged handheld).
By selecting proof of delivery software that provides the above features and functions, your company can easily meet your customers’ requirements, while streamlining your own internal operations.
Quest Solution’s newest enterprise software solution, Route Edge, is the ideal mobile solution for improving the cost-effectiveness of DSD. Route Edge eliminates time-consuming errors in the field and workers can manage inventory, orders, returns, deliveries, and collect cash or check payments. Learn more about this configurable, scalable solution by downloading the Route Edge brochure!